Monday, January 28, 2013


I wanted to share what I consider a parenting win. Teaching a baby how to brush his teeth is not something that is talked about a lot. I've read lots of advice that says to start brushing his teeth once he has a couple, but no advice on how to actually get that done. Well, now he has 8 teeth and throws a fit whenever I try to put anything near his mouth, food or otherwise. But somehow despite not eating much beside Cheerios, his breath started to stink. So I had to really had to figure out how to get him to brush his teeth.

My solution was to brush our teeth together. I made a big deal of each of us getting a toothbrush and our own toothpaste (his with no flouride). And he held his toothbrush while I brushed my teeth next to him. In the evening, E joins us as well for a family teeth brushing time. The first several days, Seven  just watched us, clutching his toothbrush but being clear not to let it near his mouth. Slowly he started putting it in his mouth for a few seconds. He began to feel more comfortable with the toothbrush day after day. Now he happily chews on it while I brush my teeth and lets me brush his teeth after I am done.

Friday, January 18, 2013


I find myself once again in the position of apologizing for my lack of blogging. But I guess this is a normal part of new motherhood blogging as time seems to zip by and some things don't get done. An additional hurdle that I create for myself is that I tend to want to wait for some big important thing to post about, when my life seems pretty mundane these days. I mean, Seven is changing all the time and is so adorable. His life seems filled with big events and milestones. But yet anyone who's had a 10 month old has been through all of this, right?

Anyway, here are some random tidbits of our lives these days.

1. I am traveling for work right now and it is so hard to be away from Seven. We've been using F.acet.ime to talk but I can't tell if it makes him feel better or not. Last night I was thinking it might be making things worse because he heard me and it reminded him that I am not near him. I take a red-eye home tonight so I can be there when he wakes up and can't wait to hug him again!

2. As E and I were decompressing after taking down all our holiday decorations and thinking about what the next few months would look like, it hit us that Seven is 10 months old! Which means that in another month we need to start planning a first birthday party! How did that happen?!

3. Despite Seven turning one soon, we still don't have a birth certificate for him. Apparently, the department of social services in his birth state is about 6 months behind in processing adoptions and amending birth certificates. We likely won't get his birth certificate until May. And that means we can't get a SSN or passport until even later. We really wanted to take a trip this year that would require a passport, so now we have to rethink our vacation plans. Sigh.

4. There is a point of tension right now in terms of our taxes. You see, we plan on claiming the adoption tax credit this year and given how long the process is, I want to file our taxes immediately. But, E has this one investment that is late every year in getting us our tax document. And by late, I mean really late. One year they didn't send it until early April, giving us only a few days to complete our taxes. This investment doesn't have much impact on our taxes (it might change our tax liability by $2). But if the IRS is going to take a very special look at our taxes, I don't want to file in early February only to amend in April when we finally get this last document. Anyway, I'm ready to tell this investment group that if we don't get it by January 31 that we are making a call to the IRS that they are not fulfilling their requirements. I mean, this is a repeated problem that they are late in getting us the required information. They've not responded to polite requests for the information in a timely manner so I think we need to put pressure on them. But for some various reasons, E doesn't want to do that. Ugh.

5. How do you buy a new car when you have a baby? I mean, do we schlep a carseat around with us as we test drive new cards? A Camry hybrid is at the top of our list, so any feedback on that car or similar cars we might want to consider would be appreciated. This will replace my car (currently a Corolla). We want something a little bigger so that we can fit Seven's convertible carseat in a place other than behind the passenger seat with it pushed all the way up. But I don't want to actually drive a big car. We had a Camry a few months ago as a rental car and it seemed to be the right size to allow me to drive with a carseat behind me, but E has longer legs.

6. Our new car will also need to fit two carseats since we are already thinking about #2. Once Seven's first birthday is past us, we will start putting together a new profile to get activated again with our agency.

7. In my family, there is a long history of giving cars to my sister. Whenever my mom or my grandma were getting new cars, they would give their former car to my sister. And my mom was always maneuvering to find a car for my sister. She is so rough with her cars and thus is always in need of a new car. I mean, I've had the same car for 10 years while she's had about 4 cars in that time. And my car still has a usable life on it, we just want something bigger. About 5 years ago, I'm not sure why, buy my mom brought up that I should give my car to my niece when she turns 16 (she was only 10 at the time). I was like, "are you insane? Everyone else in the family gives my sister their car, but that doesn't mean I have to! If my sister wants to get her daughter a car, she can go buy her own car for her. My sister has no special claim to my car when I am done with it just because everyone else is always giving her cars." So...guess what we are now planning on doing with my car? Yep, sell it to my sister for my niece. It will work out nicely since she agreed to pay the blue book value, she knows I've taken pretty good care of the car despite it being 10 years old, and my niece will be 16 in just a few months. It's just funny that yet again someone in our family is providing a car for my sister.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A New Year

Happy New Year!

OK, I am only two days late, but if I say my New Year's resolution is to be more present with Seven, does that give me an excuse for my repeated blogging delays? Actually, I don't really make resolutions because I never keep them. Although this year there is one thing I hope to strive for. Not to lose weight or eat healthier (although that would be great, too). But to try to be the model of love, grace, and composure that is my grandmother. I don't want to get into the details of why my aunt and uncle are divorcing, but when people say that divorce ruins a whole family, that is really true. Everyone in my family feels like we are grieving our aunt, sister, or (for my grandmother) daughter. Plus my cousin as she was actually my uncle's stepdaughter. I always knew my grandmother was a model of love as she shared it with everyone. She was very close to my aunt, who never had much of a motherly figure in her own life until my grandmother came along. To see my grandmother respond to this divorce, as well as my uncle's very bad behavior through it all, it is making me realize how truly special she is.

As for us, we are back home and back to normal. While Seven had settled in to our temporary home in California, it was clear that he was happy to be back home. He went right to work playing with all the toys he had at home. It seemed the new toys he received for Christmas were of no interest until he re-familiarized himself with everything at home again. And he slept for 10 hours straight, clearly feeling more comfortable in his own crib.
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