Monday, February 25, 2013

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Here's the news you have been waiting for...  We've been matched!  We are over the moon with happiness! Our baby girl is due June 5th!

My sister's coworker, who has read my blog, knew of a teen wanting to make an adoption plan for her baby. She put us in touch; (thank you so much, J). The absolute coolest thing is the expectant mom is from our hometown and our daughter will be from where we are from.  Marlon and I went down to Virginia and met her and her family. We thought they were great. The lunch went great. Everything is great.  Can you tell I am excited?  I think both parties felt it was meant to be. We were all smiles and hugs by the end of the lunch.  I really feel like it is a start of a beautiful bond between our families.

So there you have it, we are going to be mom and dad in June! I can hardly believe it.  I can't decide what I need to do first.  Anyone that knows me, knows that is plenty of time for me to get ready.  I am already ready in my heart.

UPDATE: Our match failed.  We are heart broken, but we are dusting ourselves off and getting back on the rollercoaster. Read about it here:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Color Psychology for Infants

We recently attended a baby care class for adoptive parents and the instructor mentioned that we shouldn't over stimulate a newborn with bright colors.  She suggested the we choose soft or muted colors in the nursery. Over stimulating a baby can cause them to be cranky.  I have a feeling that when the baby is cranky, that mom and dad will be too.  I guess that's why most infant items come in baby blue and baby pink. Personally, I like bright, bold colors and am not a fan of soft baby colors, so I started looking into color psychology.

What do you know, everything I wanted to know about color psychology has been pinned on Pinterest. Oh, how I love Pinterest.  I found an article from Creative Baby Nursery Rooms with a lot of good information.  There is warm color psychology that includes reds, oranges and yellows. A cool color psychology that includes blues and greens.  There is also psychology for neutral and black colors.

The Painters of Louisville had a great chart for the Psychology of Color.

We've been thinking about what we would want a nursery to look like. We both want it to be not too baby with a good mix of modern and vintage. The color psychology charts were helpful with deciding on a palette.  I found these really cool sheets from Skip Hop. The colors are muted and but still bright enough for me.  I think would work for a boy or a girl.  Love it!

I find it really interesting how color can make an impression on you.  If using a specific color can make a happier baby, then I am all in for giving it a try!  Something to think about the next time you are choosing a color.

courtesy of

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day from Two Cats and a Cradle!

I have been lucky enough to have the same Valentine since I was 17.  We've been together for 22 years and he still makes me laugh. He's the first person I want to call when something exciting happens.  And he always makes me feel better if I am having a bad day.  I feel loved everyday.

However, Valentine's Day isn't really a day that we go crazy with. We have in years past, but there is just way too much pressure for it be a super romantic day. I think it also makes some people feel like if they are not in a relationship, then they are not special. You are. Honestly, I don't want that Kay's Open Heart necklace (please, no!) or some fancy overpriced dinner. To me, those things are overrated. What I think is important is letting the people you care about know how much they are loved. Valentine's Day should be a day that we show kindness to someone, spend some actual time together  or go that extra mile to help out.  So, show some love to someone this Valentine's Day.

My Valentine is getting some chocolate goodies and I am going to put away the cell phone for the evening.  I think I can go one day without playing Words with Friends! xo

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Baby Care Class for Adoptive Parents

I am always looking for an interesting class to take on adoption or child care. What can I say, I am planner and a preparer. So I was really excited when I came across a class given by IAC Center on child care for adoptive parents. I had been debating about whether I wanted to take a child care class full of pregnant women, so this was perfect. As always, Marlon is game for whatever class I want us to take. He's such a good hubby.

The IAC Center is based in Montclair and Pennington, NJ and offers a supportive and informative environment for families exploring alternative family-building options. They offer counseling and workshops for those of us facing infertility and/or pursuing adoption. Most of their workshops are in New Jersey, however they do have some workshops in New York City. Our class was in Montclair, so I sweetened the deal for Marlon by renting a Honda Element for the day. He loves that car. Road trip!

The class size was small, six couples, which gave everyone the opportunity to ask questions and to receive hands-on guidance. Our instructor, Danielle was absolutely great; she was like a friend who happens to be a nurse and mom. She reassured us on many things that are normal with infants but might freak us out, like the baby's first poos will look like tar and be sticky. It's called meconium. I would have been freaked, but I now I know.

Danielle covered a lot of ground in three hours. We learned everything from adoptive parent issues to just regular parenting practices. What should adoptive parents expect at the hospital? How do you travel with a newborn? When should you start looking for a local pediatrician? We covered basic baby care like feeding, diapering, bathing, burping and swaddling.  She even gave us some tips for understanding your baby's needs. My favorite was the list of must-have baby items. We walked out feeling ready to be mom and dad! But we got handouts too, just in case.

The next workshop is in April 27, 2013 in Montclair, NJ, so if you live in the area it is a must do! Click here for more information. We are so glad we went.

Disclosure: I offered to blog about this class and the IAC Center allowed me to attend at no cost. My opinions of the workshop are my own. Marlon paid for his attendance and thought it was worth every penny. He can swaddle a baby like a rock star now!

Monday, February 4, 2013

It's My Birthday!

It's my birthday today!  I am 39.  Wow, I need to let that one sink in.  I feel like I just turned 29 and I am not sure how I got to 39.  It's one of those numbers that makes you think a deadline is approaching. What do I want to do before I turn 40? 

I know for sure that I want to be mom.  I've made that birthday wish for as long as I can remember in recent years. I certainly didn't envision me being a new mom at this age, but 39 is here. I am hoping that with age comes wisdom and that being a little bit of an older mom will be a positive.  I've got lots of experience to drawn from and seen lots of kids being raised that I have already formed some of my parenting opinions.  Though that will probably all go out the window when I actually have a baby. Never the less, I am ready! 

So as I blow out my candles on my birthday cake tonight, maybe you could make a wish with me for our dream to come true this year.

Twiggy stopping to smell my birthday roses.

Happy Birthday to me!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Adoption Tax Credit Made Permanent

Marlon and I wanted to share a nice letter that we received yesterday from our senator, Charles Schumer, in response to our plea to save the adoption tax credit.

Hooray, the tax credit was made permanent, however, it is not a refundable credit as previous years. That means that only those individuals with tax liability will benefit from the credit. It's something though and we are grateful.  This tax credit makes adoption affordable to most families.  Thank you all for emailing or calling your local representative just because we asked you to.

If you'd like more details about the adoption tax credit, click here. The Adoption Tax Credit organization has some up to date information about the bill that was passed.

Here's our letter from Senator Schumer:
     Thank you for writing to voice your concern over the expiration of the Adoption Tax Credit.  Like you, I believe that it is important to preserve this credit as a resource for families wanting to provide a child with a loving home.
     As you know, the Adoption Tax Credit is a federal tax credit established in 1997.  It helps offset the costs of adopting children, other than stepchildren, both domestically and internationally. In 2010 over 97,000 people took advantage of the credit to adopt children who deserve loving families. The credit was set to expire on December 31st, 2012.
     The expanded Adoption Tax Credit was made permanent as part of the “fiscal cliff bill”, also known as the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (HR. 8), that was signed into law on January 2nd, 2013. I made sure that this tax credit, along with others that support middle class families, was included in this legislation before I supported its passage. An eligible family can still receive up to $12,650 from this credit per adoption process. As a member of the Committee on Finance, I will keep an eye on any and all proposed changes to the Adoption Tax Credit.
     Again, thank you for contacting me regarding this important issue.  Please feel free to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance on this or any other matter.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator