Friday, October 18, 2013

Furry Friends Baby Prep

I was concerned about how Edie and Twiggy would react to the babies when we brought them home. However, I wasn't worried about the cats stealing the baby's breath. You can read about that by clicking here. Our cats haven't been around children except one time with my nephew. With my nephew, they were more curious about a cat-sized person than anything else. I still wanted to make sure the kitties were prepared for the life-change. I read a bunch of tips online and I thought I would share what worked for us.

There are some things you can do before a new baby or child arrives, especially if you are going to change your furry friend's routine. You don't want your pet to associate the change with the child. This will give you an opportunity to ease into a new routine. These tips can be easily modified if you were welcoming an older child into your home.

  • If your pet isn't going to sleep in your bed or room after the baby has arrived, move them out now. Set up a special space where your animal will feel comfortable. This designated place will be also be helpful to your pet after the baby has arrived as some place to go if they need a kid-free zone.
  • If a specific room will now be off limits, like the nursery. Start deterring now.
  • If you think you'll change the time that you will feed or walk them, start to slowly adjust the routine now. If you are going to relocate the litter box, do it sooner rather than later to give your cat time to adapt.
  • Acclimate your pet to the sights and sounds of a baby. Maybe wrap up a baby doll or play crying sounds. Use positive reinforcement, pair the crying noise with a tasty treat. That way your pet makes a good association.
  • After the baby has been born, send a blanket or clothes home for your pet to smell. Our babies were in the NICU for two months, so when we came home with a bag of their dirty clothes we let the cats sniff it before we washed it to get used to their scent.
  • Greet your pet as soon as you walk in the door and introduce the baby. Let them sniff and meet the baby/child -- (If you have more than one pet, making introductions one at a time is probably better.) Use positive reinforcement when your pet acts appropriately around the child. If you see any behavior problems, address it quickly. However, don't punish your pet, but maybe move them to another room. Give your furry friend time to adjust.



Our cats were fine. Twiggy hid in the couch for like two days. Edie didn't let a baby interfere with her lap time. She was happy to share my lap. I think the cats enjoyed us being up in the middle of the night. Give your pets some credit, they understand more than we think. Their instincts kicks in and they know that a baby is different. I can't say that the cats were as bummed as we were when we had to give the babies back. Edie and Twiggy enjoy having our full attention.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Meet My Lil' Niece!

Yay for little girls. We have new niece, Renee' Leina'ala, born on September 23rd. I now get to say I have a favorite nephew and a favorite niece!

So how did my niece get such a fancy name with not just one, but TWO accent marks? Renee' is my sister's middle name. Leina'ala is her grandma's middle name and great grandma's name and it honors her Hawaiian heritage. It means wreath of flowers.

I headed down to VA for a combo trip - to see my new niece and celebrate Landon's 2nd birthday. I decided to surprise everyone. Landon was so happy to see his MeeMee. (That's me!) I took him to City Park so mom and dad could run some errands for the party. Aunt Mai looked after Renee'. Auntie power! Anyway, the park was fun, but it has had quite a few upgrades since I was a little kid. We went down the slides together and swung on the swings. Landon was grinning from ear to ear. MeeMee was pooped!

Renee' is so cute, you just want to eat those chubby little cheeks! There was actual study done recently about why babies are so irresistible. My nephew smells pretty good too. I told him he was delicious and then he went around saying "I'm delicious". I got some snuggle time with Renee' and even showed off my new and improved baby skills.

I am so happy I went, it was so good seeing my family. I look forward to being the best MeeMee in the land!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What Does That Mean? The ABCs of Adoption Forum Acronyms

When I am diving into something new, I like to get all the information that I can about the subject. So when we decided to adopt, I quickly started reading adoption forums and blogs. I had never really read forums before and I was surprised at how many times I needed to google an acronym in a discussion to figure out what the heck they were talking about. So for all of you just starting out, I put together a list of commonly used acronyms in adoption and infertility forums. Now you can read with ease and chat like a pro!

For a printable list, click here.

Forum Acronyms:
  • AA - Adult Adoptee or African American 
  • ABC - Amended Birth Certificate
  • ACR or AOCR - Age of Child Requested
  • AD - Adoptee or Adoptive Dad
  • AF - Adoptive Father
  • AF - Aunt Flow, your period
  • AM - Adoptive Mother
  • AP - Adoptive Parents
  • BC - Birth Certificate
  • BD - Birth (Biological) Dad
  • BF- Birth Father or Boyfriend
  • BM or Bmom - Birth (Biological) Mother (Bmom is preferred)
  • CC or CA - Caucasian
  • COC - Certificate of Citizenship
  • CPS - Child Protective Services
  • CW - Case Worker
  • DD - Dear Daughter
  • DH - Dear Husband
  • DI - Donor Insemination
  • DOA - Date of Adoption
  • DOB - Date of Birth
  • DOR - Date of Referral
  • DOT - Date of Travel
  • DP - Dear Partner
  • DS - Dear Son
  • DSS - Department of Social Services
  • DTC - Dossier to China
  • DW - Dear Wife
  • EM or Emom - Expectant Mother
  • FAS - Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • FC - Family Court or Foster Child
  • FD - Foster Daughter
  • FET - Frozen Embryo Transfer
  • FP - Fingerprinting
  • FS - Foster Son
  • HS - Homestudy
  • IA - International Adoption
  • IF - Infertility
  • ISO - In Search Of
  • IUI - Intrauterine Insemination
  • IVF - In Vitro Fertilization
  • MIL - Mother in Law
  • NICU - Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • OBC - Original Birth Certificate
  • OT - Off Topic
  • PACA - Post Adoption Contact Agreement
  • PAP - Prospective Adoptive Parent
  • PG - Pregnant
  • POA - Power of Attorney
  • POB - Place of Birth
  • PPR - Post Placement Report
  • RAD - Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • SN - Special Needs
  • SO - Significant Other
  • STBAD - Soon to be Adopted Daughter
  • STBAS - Soon to be Adopted Son
  • SW - Social Worker
  • TPR - Termination of Parental Rights
  • TTC - Trying to Conceive
  • VS or DVS - Vital Statistics or Department of Vital Statistics
  • WC - Waiting Child