New Home Update


On Monday, we closed on construction loan. YAAAAAAAYYYY! I’ve never been more excited for a loan closing, probably because we’ve been waiting months and months for this. Kudos to local Wilson Bank for working things out for us and being super awesome so far. Now we can break ground. Woohoo!

Jason and I stopped by the property the other day. It’s hard to not walk around and dream about our new home. I can’t wait to start seeing progress! (SIDENOTE: Today is our NINTH wedding anniversary! Happy Anniversary, Jason. I love you!)

While we were piddling around at Home Depot the other day, we spotted programmable light switches. This one made by GE is only $19.97; a better deal than I found last week. We got one for the front lights at my parents house so we’ll get to test it out and see if we’d like to have one or two at our new home.

While we were there, we also looked at some paint swatches. These are all just ideas. Most are Martha Stewart Living and a few are Behr. Sherwin Williams colors are my favorite so we’ll probably get colors from there (plus there is a store right down the street from us) but anyway… top left: kids room; top center: Jason’s studio (which is going to look like a cave…); top and bottom right: my office/laundry room; bottom left: baby’s room. Precious wouldn’t stop eating the paint chip for Behr Raspberry Lemonade (fourth from the left on the bottom) so I’m pretty sure that’s her vote.

Teeth Are Good for Corn on the Cob


Our little Choongie loves to eat. Purées are getting less and less interesting and the rest of the food on the table more appealing. The other night she was intrigued with our corn on the cob so I snapped mine in half and shared with her. She was thrilled!

Seriously?! You’re gonna let me have my own cob to hold?

Her fifth tooth has been stubbornly working it’s way out and it seems like chewing food is particularly satisfying.

It gets even better, baby! There are millions of wonderful foods out there.

Mack the square chair and Sarah the lamp


I’ve decided to start naming vintage furnishings when we buy them. For fun, ya know, to give them a little more personality! We did a little thrift store shopping recently and found Mack, this boxy upholstered arm chair. I’m teaching myself to reupholster furniture (with books and YouTube vidoes) and I think this will be my first official furniture job. I want to tackle the 3 piece sectional (now named Sylvester) but it’s intimidating. If I can do this chair, I can repeat the same process three times on the sofa.

I think Mack would benefit from a set of brand new 6″ wooden cone legs after it has some new upholstery. It’s lightweight, quite comfortable and in great condition.

We also scored this lamp, Sarah, for $2 (half-off day at Goodwill—woohoo!), which happens to be very similar to this lamp we already own. With matching shades, they’ll look like sisters.

Sarah’s long lost sister


Programmable Timer Light Switch


While we’re waiting to break ground, I’ve been pouring over the plans for our new house hunting for anything productive we can do now. I’ve even studied the electrical schematic, looking at where light switches will be placed for which lights.

Our last house was lit at night by a spotlight kit we got at the local big box store. It came with a timer box, which eventually broke and we just put a regular programmable timer between the outlet and the plug for the lighting system. We had the lights automatically come on at dusk and shut off in the early morning hours (around 4am, usually). In the winter when it got dark at 5:30, it was so nice to arrive home from work to a lit up house. It increased our home security also, since anyone snooping around our house would have been hit with spotlights, making it difficult to be unnoticed by our close neighbors. When I saw the light plan for our new house and the marker for a light switch by the front door that operates the front under-eaves down lights, I had an idea. Surely, someone makes a programmable light switch; one that can be set to flip on and off at set times everyday.

Good old! Seems like I can find almost anything on there! I have two of these Honeywell 7-Day Programmable Timer Switches ($28.75 with free shipping)on my wish list for our new house—one for the front lights and one for the back lights. It can have a different program for everyday of the week. It fits a standard light switch box with a standard face plate (same size as a GFCI outlet, I think) and it comes in white. Perfect!

Phone Photo Friday


We stayed overnight at Jason’s boss’ guest house last weekend. This was my view Sunday morning while I fed Precious her breakfast bottle.

Precious Girl in Mommy’s Sun Hat


These are from a few weeks ago but I don’t think I’ve shared them with you yet. This girl is a great combination of joyful, silly and photogenic. She makes some hilarious faces and loves to smile for the camera.

When she’s thirsty for a bottle, she puts her thumb in her mouth and says “goodg, goodg, goodg.” That’s all I can hear when I see these. Don’t worry, I fed her right after I took the photos.

Why Aren’t More ‘Fertile’ People Adopting?


This is a difficult post to write because it’s such a touchy subject. But I need to get it out: I hate that adoption seems to be linked to infertility 90% of the time, at least in people’s minds. I don’t have any problem with infertile couples adopting. If medical intervention isn’t their thing, or they’ve tried that and had no success, many couples who are unable to conceive turn to adoption. I think birth mothers who are unable to parent their children (and willingly surrender their rights) like to know they’re helping out a couple who couldn’t become parents without adoption. That’s all fine and dandy. My problem is the assumption that adoption is (only) for people who can’t have babies biologically.

It bothers me on two levels.

First, quite a few people have made the assumption that Jason and I really wanted—or still want—to have children biologically and we turned to foster care and adoption as a Plan B. They say things like, “Maybe you’ll get pregnant after you adopt! That’s what happened to my second cousin” and “We adopted two kids and then my wife finally got pregnant after 7 years. You never know!” It’s always said with kindness and sympathetic smiles. But, in our case, we felt like we were supposed to become foster parents and open our hearts to adoption and put the idea of having biological children on hold. Perhaps, indefinitely. I don’t know if we will ever have a child biologically. Honestly, at this point, I have no desire to become pregnant. We have chosen a different route to building our family.

Second, and the main reason I have a problem with the adoption=infertile assumption, I would LOVE to see more kids adopted. My passion is for the orphans in our own country, though there are millions around the world waiting to be adopted, too. There are over 130,000 kids in the United States with their mugshots next to short biographies on photo listings, desperately waiting for parents who will adopt them. Another 300,000 kids in foster care need loving, stable, temporary (but potentially permanent) homes. I don’t have patience to wait for 130,000 infertile couples to exhaust all other possibilities and get desperate enough to consider adopting an older child. And the kids don’t have time to wait either. Every year, 24,000 of them turn 18 and get pushed into adulthood alone, unprepared and unsupported. It’s tragedy upon tragedy.

We need some of the millions of fertile couples in this country to join us on the adoption road!

If you feel compelled to do something, check out:

Adopt US Kids and follow them on Twitter

Adopt America Network and follow them on Twitter

or call your county Department of Childrens Services (Dept. of Human Services in some states, I think) and ask about becoming a foster parent.

(Look at the photo listings of waiting kids if you’re feeling brave.)

New Life for the Inflatable Baby Bath Tub


Back in December, I wrote about our decision to get an inflatable baby bath tub so that it could be easily stored for a future baby. Precious has been using the full size tub for baths since she was about 7 months old so rather than deflate the The Safety 1st Kirby Inflatable Tub, I thought I’d try it out for a few other uses. One day I was sitting out on the back deck to work and I used it was a place for Precious to sit and keep her toys contained. (This was before she was crawling. If I tried this now, she’d be out of it in a minute.)

Then, once it was warm enough for pool time, I used it as a kiddie pool. It was a handy way to keep her contained for a few seconds while I got myself situated to get into the water.

Despite the warning label that says it is not a floatation device, we’ve also been using it as a baby boat in the pool. Shhh… don’t tell anyone.

Clearly, I’m a fan of the The Safety 1st Kirby Inflatable Tub. It has turned out to be well worth $17 for us.

Annual TN-52 Yard Sale Finds 2012


This year my mom and Precious and I hit up the TN-52 yard sale for a couple of hours. Nothing compared to the all morning adventure a couple years ago where we found a ton of great stuff. But, I did walk away with a few great pieces and a bag full of stuff for Precious, all for less than $20. For the mid-century modern lovers, this:

It’s a solid wood (walnut?) night stand or end table. The top needs to be refinished, or else the whole thing needs painted. I haven’t decided yet.

The rest of the finds are for Precious except for some necklaces I got for myself (costume jewelry, 3 for $0.50). I’m pretty excited about this handmade wooden play oven. It’s needs a little TLC but for $7, it will be worth it.

These suede Baby Gap apple boots are size 7 and Precious is just barely fitting a size 3 now. But… they were $0.25. I couldn’t resist. The Etnies sneakers are way too big too. They’ll either fit in a couple years or they’ll be for a future foster daughter.

A fall jacket for Precious and a warm winter coat that should fit her this year. It would work well for a boy or a girl. Not the cutest thing in the world, but again with the $0.25. I’m a sucker for a good deal.

Phone Photo Friday