Saturday, December 22, 2012

You are What You Eat

In a perfect world, I would make donuts healthy and beets junk food.  I would say that chocolate is the number one super food, while spinach should only be eaten sparingly.  But, alas, it is not a perfect world.  And due to the making of chocolate and donuts our once satisfied taste buds, now crave some a little sweet, salty or fried.

Now that I am an adult, I do understand the importance of healthy eating.  I try to keep sweets and processed foods out of my home.  But it isn't always that easy.  We try to be moderate in ALL things, so we don't make our kids stay home on Halloween, or take them home from a birthday party early before they can eat cake and ice cream.

My kids will one day grow up.  And just because a child has never heard of a candy cane or an M&M, doesn't mean they will not want one.  I have actually found that if I don't let my kids try a little of this or that, when they get it from a friend or school, they hoard it.

So a little sweet tooth now and then is okay by me.  But to balance it out, here is my amazingly yummy salad I eat, almost every day :)

It is easy and fast and depending on your dressing, very healthy.

First, I cook up enough chicken to last me 3 or 4 days.  I use a tiny bit of butter (not Margarine) and then some pepper and garlic for taste. Then it is in the fridge so I can just add it each day :)



Second, I add spinach...


Third, I add broccoli slaw...

 Forth, I add cranberries and chicken...

And then a little dressing...


...and viola,
a yummy healthy salad for lunch!



Lots of love,
Niki


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Being thankful or Greedy

I can't tell you how many times I have heard or read about someone who is struggling with infertility and because they have one child, feel they should be thankful for that child and feel guilty for wanting more.

PLEASE!

How many mothers out there, who can have children with just having their husband look at them, want more after the first...

...well, by statistic standers, they want at least one and a half more.

I read this quote from a Facebook page I follow:

A Facebook Community member wrote: "We have one child from embryo donation and I feel totally blessed, but my heart still hurts with jealousy when someone tells me they are pregnant with little or no effort. Being pregnant did not cure my infertility and a feel so guilty for feeling this way, but I just can't help it. It hurts to know I can't give my child a sibling that easily, if at all." (https://www.facebook.com/pages/RESOLVE-The-National-Infertility-Association/57774720835)

Why should a mother, who has to go through a ridiculous amount of emotional and physical pain, not to mention loss and heartache for every month she isn't pregnant, have to be satisfied with just one?

Is there some rule that states, if the baby is harder to get, you should be more grateful than those who had fun making one?  Thus, if you only get one, then your infertility pain is healed?

Hardly.

I have felt the same pain and heartache every time we have had each one of our little miracles.

Just because we want more, doesn't make us greedy.  To me, it shows how thankful we really are, we want to keep sharing our love with these little bundles of joy.

So, to all you mothers out there who are wanting one more and can't have that one, for whatever reason, don't sell yourself short.  Having a child is a divine right and emotion.  Pray.  Love.  And hope that God will guide you to your next little angel.  It may not be in the way you were expecting.  Be open.  Look inside yourself.  God will direct you.

Lots of love,
Niki




Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Headaches and some hopeful feed back...

This post is dedicated to the all-to-well-known problem of, headaches.  I get headaches more often than I would like.  And I am not exactly sure why I get them.  I know that it happens when I change my exercise routine, lifting weights and such.  I get a headache if I have my head turned the wrong way too long, don't get enough sleep, don't drink enough water, the weather changes from sunny to cloudy or eat anything that has strawberries in it...

...Okay, so for the most part I do know why I get headaches; but I try not to do those things...and those buggers still come at me.



I will say that I get at least 2 headaches a week, some are worse than others and some just make doing my daily tasks hard.

I am trying really hard to get back into running and exercising every day, but when I have a headache, those desires die out quickly.  Thus, my routine gets all thrown off and I feel like I am starting over and over again to get back into shape.

All-in-all, these headaches are giving me a headache.

I hope to receive some feedback with this one, hopeful that one or more of you will help me find some relief by sharing what you do to kick your headaches.  Thanks!

Lots of love,
Niki

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Making fun of people

Normally, I am against this.  I don't like to be mean, although, being human causes me to have some tendencies to do so.  While this may be a poor excuse, I really do try NOT to be mean or make fun of people as much as possible.

But, today, I just have to say something.  Now, if you were going to be one of Santa's helpers and share his magic with good little boys and girls, you would think that having that "jolly laugh and smile" would be something that would be required to get the job.

I would think a Santa-helper-wanna-be's resume would look something like this:

-Good with kids
-Have white hair and beard
-Have a belly the jiggles when I laugh
-Have a great smile for all the pictures I will take.

While this Santa was very nice and his beard looked pretty real, his smile could definitely use some work.



We thought that he looked this way because of Eva...

...but as you can see, that is not the case:


He really becomes the focus in the picture....

lots of love,
Niki

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

We have to what?!!!


It is no secret that adoption isn't easy.  It isn't easy for the birth family or the adoptive family.

That being said, the question is, is adoption the right thing to do?  Here are some indicators as to why adoption is WONDERFUL:



  • Teens who were adopted at birth are more likely than children born into intact families to live with two parents in a middle-class family.
  • Adopted children score higher than their middle-class counterparts on indicators of school performance, social competency, optimism and volunteerism.
  • Adopted adolescents generally are less depressed than children of single parents and less involved in alcohol abuse, vandalism, group fighting, police trouble, weapon use and theft.
  • Adopted adolescents score higher than children of single parents on self-esteem, confidence in their own judgment, self-directedness, positive view of others and feelings of security within their families.
  • On health measures, adopted children and children of intact families share similarly high scores, and both those groups score significantly higher than children raised by single parents.
  • Seven percent of children adopted in infancy repeated a grade, while 12 percent of children living with both biological parents repeated a grade.
  • Compared with the general child population, children placed with adoptive couples are better off economically. (http://adoption-beyond.org/adoption-statistics/)

So now that we can see that adoption IS beneficial to the child, I would like to tell you why I think that is all true.

This takes me to my title.  "We have to do what?!"  Just so you know, babies are not handed out on some assembly line.  After contacting an agency  the adoptive parents fill out form after form, giving social histories, family dynamics, salary info, background info, dates, places, people, interests, hobbies, and so on and so forth.  We have to get two separate background checks, and have a social worker come to our home for two to three hours, asking us questions, making sure we are happy and healthy, that our house is safe and secure. We need to have fire extinguishers, electric plug covers, stair gates, screens in all the windows, locks, dangerous items out of reach, etc, etc. We have deadlines and fees.  We have to have others write letters about whether or not we will be good parents...

...All to be able to bring our sweet bundle home.
It can be very stressful. 

                                



You want to know why adopted kids do so well?  Because when a baby is adopted, it is not only desperately wanted, the family he/she will be going to will 99% of the time be a well adjusted, middle class or rich family who will be able to provide ALL that the child needs and most of what that child desires.  They will come to a safe, loving environment with all the protections and opportunities a child could ever need.

If only every baby came into the world with such great prospects.  
The world would definitely be a better place.

Flavio and I just finished the last of our paper work and sent it off. 

Hooray! 

Now we wait to see if we get approved.


Lots of love,
Niki

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Decisions...

Life is full of decisions.  Every day we wake up, decide what to eat for breakfast, what to wear for the day, whether we are up for exercising, looking on Facebook, cleaning the house, getting to work or school on time, getting our kids ready or just letting them stay in their pj's all day, playing a game with our kids, or doing the dishes, taking a nap or running some errands.  How do we decide these decisions?

I have to say, I don't put a whole lot of thought in most of those things...they are usually just a split second decision and every day we go on, making them, right or wrong, for the best or worst.  Yes to this, no to that, and oblivious to some.

And then there are those other decisions in our day that should take some more thought.

Where to go to school, for instance, or who should I marry?  What career do I want to pursue? Or where should we live?

And another one of those "big" decisions has been weighing on both my husband and me for the last few months:

How to have our next baby?

While most families will say, we think it is time for another baby, or surprise, we are having another baby, Flavio and I have to go about bringing a new baby into our lives a totally different way.  It is not as simple as saying it is time.  We say it is time and then have to go through the task of how we should bring said baby into our family.

In the past we have had only two choices, In-Vitro Fertilization or Adoption.  Both are very expensive and both are very emotionally draining.  Both are full of crazy, heartbreaking ups and downs and both are exactly what we needed to do to get our three little miracles.  And this time as well, we have had to pray and think about and finally choose between these two options, (as we have tried to get pregnant on our own for almost 9 years with no success).

And our new little addition will hopefully come to us through...


Adoption!!!



"Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone, But still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, You didn't grow under my heart - but in it"


We are so excited to bring another little miracle into our home.  
Now we wait.  
Now we wonder.  


Our adoption stories will be shared here...both the good, the bad and the ugly...we hope for your prayers and support.

Lots of love,
Niki and Flavio