Haircare: We’ve Turned a Corner

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The last three times I’ve done Baby Girl’s hair she hasn’t complained. Whoo hoo!

I think conditioning it in the shower may have helped. I used to:

Wash with baby shampoo.

Dry hair.

Apply refined cold-pressed coconut oil.

Style hair.

Sometimes she would stand it for a bit but if it was tangled, she would lose it. One time I decided to see if conditioning it with my conditioner would help and … it seems like it did.

I condition it right after washing and detangle with my fingers in the shower. The first time I put two ponytails with twists and a “bang” ponytail in the front. The second time, I did afro puffs. This afternoon, I did two French braids. No crying. She played with her bag of hair accessories.

I think we’re in business!

=)

Firsts: Baby Boy’s First Puzzle

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The entrance to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve.

He did it!

We we had some work in Sacramento and decided to visit the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve while we were there. The kids had a blast and our oldest decided to complete his first 7 piece puzzle at the park.

Our little ones entered the nature preserve and took off running! Lol They enjoyed walking around the history part (there is a bit about the original inhabitants of the area) and took a look at the deer. Yes, there are deer chilling in the nature preserve. There’s even a sign on the lunch tables that asks you not to feed them. Thankfully for us, they were relaxing in a glade a little ways away from us.

We started off on a trail, but the babies kept trying to jump in the puddles and we didn’t bring their rain boots so that was a no go. Lol Eventually, we decided to visit the education center. There are bathrooms, exhibits, and ….  live animals! There was an owl that we didn’t believe was real, a few snakes in cages, and one snake in the hands of a worker. Eek! Lol

sacramento-2016-nature-preserve-guillermo-fish-puzzleThe museum doesn’t seem that large but there are lots of things to do with kids. There are stations set up with Kendama, baskets that can be filled and carried on the head, puzzles to complete, cooking rocks to move with big sticks, a house to sit in, circles to look through, and box-exhibits that light up. Speaking of puzzles …  our oldest completed two wooden puzzles: one that matched images and one with individual pieces. The one with individual pieces impressed me the most. He’s been playing with a matching puzzle with a turtle, a crab, and a fish since he was a year old but putting puzzles with multiple pieces together by himself was new.

At first, he put the fish in the center …  then looked at it …  then took it out. After taking a moment to think, he started putting the sky in. After that, he put the lake in. Once that was done, he placed the last two pieces (the fish) and the puzzle was complete! After a round of singing (“You did it. You did it. Yeah, yeah, yeah!”) he took the pieces out and completed it five more times. Lol I finally got him to stop by asking him what he wanted to eat for lunch. Lol My babies can eat! Lol

Anyway …  it was a new adventure for all of us and I was excited to see our oldest using a new skill.

Earrings for Toddler

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Since our baby girl is still in foster care (we hope the adoption will finalize this spring), we have to ask permission to get her ears pierced. I’ve gone back and forth about it since some folks think putting holes in a person without their permission is cruel and/or unsafe. I have weighed how she might feel about it in the future versus how I grew up, and how I hope she gets to experience community.

My ears were pierced as a baby so wearing earrings is all I know. When I was in middle school, a friend talked me into getting an extra hole. I made it all the way down to the piercing place, but couldn’t go through with it. I’m scary. Lol I’m super glad that my parents had my ears pierced as a baby or I’d be stuck wearing clip ons (ouch!) or magnets (double ouch!) or stickers that are made for children.

We’re gonna get ’em pierced and hope that she appreciates it in the future.

Anyhoo … the real point of this post is about what kind of earrings we should buy. I see articles suggesting something without nickel and other suggesting specific metals like titanium or 14k gold.

Anyone have any advice? What kind of earrings should we buy? Also, where do we get it done? I asked at our pediatrician’s office and they said that they don’t do it.

 

Quick Black Widow DIY Baby CosPlay

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Our nephew wanted to be Captain America for his 8th birthday. Naturally, that turned into an Avengers  themed party. We decided to dress all the kids as Avengers characters and since we only have one girl in the family, you know who became Black Widow.

Originally, I planned to sew her a little jumpsuit, add the S.H.E.I.L.D. arm patches, throw on a belt, and color her hair red using temporary hair spray (I also heard about hair chalk but I wasn’t sure how to use it). Unfortunately, the week took over (I got busy) and fear gripped me (about chemicals on her hair). I woke up Saturday morning and realized that I had a few hours to turn my 9 month old into the badass Avenger team member, Black Widow. I was able to use items that I already had lying around the house so it cost me nothing to join in the cosplay fun.

Materials:

  • Long-sleeved baby bodysuit
  • Pair of black skinny leg jeans
  • Metallic silver pen
  • Black Sharpie
  • Long piece of Velcro
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Elmerps spray adhesive
  • One quarter sheet of white scrapbook paper
  • One tenth sheet of red scrapbook paper
  • One tenth sheet of black scrapbook paper

The baby already had a black, long-sleeved body suit (onsie) so I grabbed that and paired it with a pair of black Joe jeans that we picked up at a clothes swap. Black jumpsuit? Check!

I’m not an artist so I went to the internets to help me with the S.H.E.I.L.D. patches and belt. I found this great diy tutorial that gave me the specifics on what to make. Then I did an image search for the patches to print the patches so I could Sharpie them on to my scrapbook paper.

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Click image to go buy the patches.

 

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These looked great so I saved the image, printed it on regular paper, and then used them to trace the image into scrapbook paper. After coloring it in with a black Sharpie marker, I cut the circles out and attached them to her onsie using Elmer’s glue. I wanted the patched to stay on for photos but not stay on forever.

For the belt, I printed out a photo and used that to draw a silver hourglass on a sheet on white scrapbook paper with a sliver metallic pen leftover from our wedding eight years ago! I drew the hourglass and then cut out a smaller red hourglass from leftover scrapbook paper, and then an even smaller hourglass from leftover black scrapbook paper. Once I felt like the proportions were right, she IS a baby after all, I glued the red onto the metallic hourglass and the black onto the red hourglass. Making the belt buckle was the easy part. Deciding what to make the belt out of was a bit trickier.

I originally wanted to use elastic but all I had was white polyester elastic and I didn’t think it would look good if I dyed it. I also didn’t want to buy a black elastic. Luckily, I had some leftover black Velcro (my sewing stash always has Velcro! Lol) that worked perfectly. Black-Widow-CosPlay-Belt

I fitted the Velcro around her waist and made a cut. Then I cut about an inch off the rough side of the Velcro and an inch off of the  opposite end of the soft side of the Velcro. I used spray adhesive to attach the belt buckle to the end of one side of the Velcro and let it dry for about an hour.

I didn’t end up coloring her hair, though that would have made the outfit perfect! In the end, I was able to use items I already had lying around the house and it only took about 30 minutes.

Next time, I would totally do the hair though.

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Baby Girl’s First Trip – Baltimore

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Baltimore harbor

We have a week of worked booked in Baltimore so we’ve extended on each end and are making it a family trip (we asked her social worker, hopefully the answer is yes)! Since this is our second time traveling with a baby in foster care, I feel a lot better. Last time I had a crapload of paperwork with me when all the airline cared about was a birth certificate. We had a very successful flight and I owe a lot of it to all the great advice I found on the internet.

This time, our oldest has his own seat and we’ll have a new lap child. We’re getting this airplane seatbelt since we travel a lot and our oldest is still a bit small. I know to pack lots of Ziplock bags, snacks, and a few toys. We’ll have two mei teis for this trip and we’ll have to ship two carseats under the plane.

I’m thrilled to be bringing her into our travel adventures but a little nervous about having TWO little ones on the flight. Our oldest flies like a champ (no ear issues at take off or landing, likes to look out of the window, and sits patiently and watches movies in the air) so I’m not too worried about him. I am worried about our youngest being up in the air on her first flight and I am worried about our oldest wanting more attention since our youngest might get tons of attention.

There’s really nothing to do but see how it goes so …  here’s hoping!

=)

 

Our Daughter is Amazing

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I know we haven’t officially adopted her yet, but she feels like home.

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When we got the call, I started crying. When they told me about her medical concerns, I wasn’t dissuaded. When I met her, she wasn’t thrilled about us ….  until we were alone.

Over the course of one weekend of visits, we bonded. She gave us a few days of honeymoon and then let loose … and it didn’t matter. Kids are a pain. All kids. We never thought about saying she wasn’t a good fit. She was always a good fit for our family.

Placement

By the time our adoption worker showed up for placement (five days later) she couldn’t believe the changes in the baby. She was like a whole new baby. Medical concerns. What medical concerns? Our pediatrician didn’t find evidence of any of the earlier noted problems. Failure to thrive? She gained two pounds with us in one week. When she plays with our son … my heart melts.

It won’t be official until the termination of parental rights and finalization but …  my daughter is home. Welcome, little one.

Welcoming a New Baby Into the Orchard

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This is the practice cake I baked before the actual baby welcoming.

Since we adopted, from foster care we had plenty of time to prepare for our child. When I moved to Los Angeles, I sewed him  a baby blanket with turtles embroidered on it and satin edges. We hadn’t even gone to an orientation yet and I was already working on his baby trousseau. Lol

Once we had gone through the classes, had our home inspection, and completed our home study we set our sights on alerting the family. Thankfully, everyone was on board. By the time we were matched, folks were bursting with excitement to meet the addition to the family. Since we already had everything we needed and the baby was already here, we decided to have a baby welcoming instead of a baby shower.

In my mind, a baby welcoming is a time for loved ones to meet the baby and hang out together. It’s a time to create the energy that will bring the baby into the orchard of our family. The baby welcoming we had for our firstborn was one of the best days of my life.

The theme was travel, of course, and everyone pitched in. His grandmother made candies. We held it at a friend’s house. His godmother made a really cool frame for a photobooth and her yummy mini-cheesecakes. We made clay babies, photobombed each other, and ate foods from other countries. It was a really amazing day.

I’m not sure about a baby welcoming for our daughter. I’d love to have one but we’re going into our busy season and trying to squeeze in a baby welcoming and her first birthday party over the next four months might be a bit much. Perhaps a baby welcoming photo shoot??

What do you think? Should we make it happen or hold off and have everyone meet her at her first birthday party?