Under Attack

Sorry I have been quiet lately. But our family has been under “attack”. Another adoptive mom posted the following on facebook:

 “When God has shifted things in your favor, don’t be surprised if you have opposition. It means you are close to your victory.”

This is exactly how it has been for our family these past few weeks. We have been experiences a few attacks. One we can’t share about yet. When we can, when we have clarification and answers (well, as much as we can get anyways) we will share. The one we can share about is our financial attack. Monday, while an hour away from home and at work, my car stopped working. It turns on, I can move the gear shift, but then the car doesn’t move. It’s in drive but won’t move. The tow truck guy couldn’t even get the car to budge forwards or backwards when in neutral. So, what does this mean? A HUGE expense, unplanned of course! The mechanic called and unfortunately it is not an easy fix. It requires a special dealer part that has to be special ordered. It has been ordered, but who knows if it will arrive this week, and he doesn’t know how long (meaning how much labor at about $50 an hour) it will be in addition to this special order part! Meanwhile, we are paying for a rental car. Being a one car family has its down side. Tony does have a truck, but it’s not a commuter car I need for work and it is not safe for having Hudson in, so a rental car it is.  I can only hope that the quote above is true and we may be getting close to a victory in our other “attack”. But for now, we need to increase our fundraising efforts to make up the expense we will have to pay out for the car. Luckily, we have a big fundraiser coming up soon! Like our facebook page “Fufu and Injera- our DRC & Ethiopia Adoptions” so you don’t miss it.  We still have plenty of body scrubs, shea lotion, and bath salts for sale and our puzzle piece fundraiser going on. You can sponsor a piece of the puzzle for $10, purchase any of our fundraising items, or take a change bottle and fill it up. The puzzle will be framed double sided so our child can see all the names of everyone who helped bring them home to their forever family. Contact me to sponsor your piece.

And continue to pray for us in our other “attack” as we wait patiently for answers.

Nursery Theme Decided!

We have a theme decided for the baby’s room. Since we are in the long “wait” time for our adoption we decided to work on something fun: the nursery décor. We have decided the base color will be gray and we will go with blue or purple depending on our referral. Furniture will be white (since that is what we have from Hudson’s room and it works perfect with gray). What we can’t decide on is to have an accent wall with white and gray chevron stripes, or large horizontal stripes on all the walls of the same color just one of flat paint and the other with enamel paint. I have been looking on pinterest and love the different ideas, now to just decide and start painting. And we have the theme! Want to know what it is? Help us reveal the theme by completing our puzzle. Here’s how it works:

We will hang the puzzle in a double sided frame so both the front and back can be seen. We will write names on the back of the pieces as a visual for our little one to see of everyone who helped bring them to their forever family.  Once the puzzle is complete we will post a picture to reveal our nursery theme. So how do you get your name on a piece? Here’s how:

– purchase any of my fundraising items. (go to the top and click on “fundraisers”)

-from now until March 25th you can donate a new item for the auction

– take home and fill up one of our “Change a Life – Change for Congo” bottles. This will give you two pieces to have the — Family across two pieces

– sponsor a piece for $10 by making a donation

Contact me to get your piece and be a permanent part of our child’s journey to their forever family. (gonzaleskt@yahoo.com)

Hudson’s Hair Care Products

Let me first say this is what I do for Hudson’s hair. These are the products that work best for us. They may not work for your little one, but it’s a place to start. So here are the products I use in Hudson’s hair, where I get them, and how I use them. Also, yes there are a lot of products in this picture and a good chunk of money was spent, however, these products last me a very long time and his hair is super healthy, so to me it’s worth it. You by all means don’t need to use the same as me or have the variety. The keys items are liquid (water), oil ( your choice) and a cream (moisturizer). And when I travel I only take the necessities. For our trip to Hawaii I put in small tight cornrows (to last longer and help with sand removal) and all I took was a spray bottle, jojoba oil, coconut oil, tangle teezer, rat-tail comb, kinky curly knot today, and his conditioner for co-washing.

hair products

Coconut oil – I like to buy organic unrefined coconut oil from the cooking section of you favorite grocery store. This is used in many ways:
– I mix it in the spray bottle of his daily spritz moisturizer and refresher
– melt in my hands and apply directly to dry hair before using the kinky curly come clean shampoo.
– melt in my hands and apply after co-washing and detangling when using the kinky curly curling custard for shingling his hair (free hair days)

Jojoba oil – I buy this at Whole Foods. It can also be found online but I found it cheaper at Whole Foods (before they raised their prices). I bought this about 3 months ago and it is used daily. So you can see it does last a long time
– I put this in his daily spritzing bottle
– use a q tip (or acrylic paint brush) to dip in the jojoba oil and apply directly onto the scalp when I notice dry patches

Distilled water – buy at your favorite grocery store. I used distilled water because the dis tilling process takes out impurities making it healthier for the hair.
– use in daily spritz bottle
– also a separate bottle of just water for when I need to get his hair wet when styling

Kinky Curly Knot Today – I buy this at target. This bottle has lasted me about 7 months know. I use a small nickel size amount on damp hair. Work in tips to root before detangling. This is a leave in detangle, not a moisturizer. You need to make sure to add oil and/or moisturizing cream after using this product. Using this alone can cause hair to dry out.

Tangle teezer – Sally’s beauty supply or amazon. This is my favorite detangling tool after my fingers. It took a little bit to get use to it. Hold in palm with bristle side up and detangle small sections starting at tips and working your way to the roots.

Clips – I bought mine a t Sally’s but I’m sure they are found almost anywhere. The bigger plastic clips I use for departing parted hair or sections for detangling. They get used the most. The small metal alligator clips are only use when I need them to hold a braid that I will then do something with. Like when I twisted braids together for his black widow and spider web style for Halloween.

Kinky Curly Curling Custard – I buy this at Target. It has lasted me 7 months and I have barely used it. It doesn’t work well with other products. It will make little white flakes, but I have had success using it with just coconut oil in the hair. This is my favorite styling gel for “shingling” (free hair day). It has good hold (his free hair when taken care of lasts about a week) and is cruelty free. I barely use it since I like protective styles for this age and for the winter. I did use it a lot in the summer though and I’m sure I will again this summer.

Blended Beauty Butter Me Up – online from their website. It’s a little pricey but this container has lasted me 4 months now and I have only used maybe 1/4 of it. I use this about every 10 – 14 days when I restyle that isn’t free hair. If you sign up in their website they have a rewards program and email you when they have sales. It’s more money up front, but long term it’s worth it. In fact, I haven’t bought any hair products for Hudson in 4 months because a small amount goes a long way. This is my cream moisturizer. It’s put in after hair is detangled and coconut oil has been worked through. I usually detangle and work coconut oil in then part Hudson’s hair. Then each section I put this moisturizer in (as well as the product mentioned next) before braiding each section

Blended Beauty Happy Nappy Style – online through their site. Again, more expensive upfront but lasts forever. This is what I use for hold. Hudson’s hair is very fine and anything with a wax clumps up his hair and causes build up on his scalp which irritates his eczema. This does not have wax in it but does a great job providing hold to his hair when braiding it. I work this through in sections after the butter me up moisturizer right before I braid the hair.

Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque and a shower cap – both at Target. The whole line of She Moisture is at Target, they just started carrying it. I would love to try their other products but since I have so much left of my other stuff and it works for Hudson we will be waiting until I need to buy more. This product is a deep conditioning treatment  that I use in the winter about every three weeks, summer about every 6. To use, co-wash hair as normal. Then apply the shea moisture masque to the hair (a good amount, enough to make the hair look white from the product), cover the hair with the shower cap and wrap a warm towel around the head. The warmth is to open the pores to allow the product in to the hair shaft. But if you have a kiddo like mine who won’t sit with a warm towel on his head I do one of two tricks: 1. turn the shower nozzle on with warm water and let run over his head and play with in the tub or 2. use those hooded towels and put on and watch TV. Both have worked, just depends on the day. Then rinse out with fresh water (as is not the tub water) that is slightly cooler (this now closes the pores and helps give the shine). I love this and Hudson’s hair is always so easy to detangle and style after a deep conditioner treatment.

Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner – I get this at Whole Foods. This is one of the conditioners I have tried. It works well for Hudson and I don’t have to drive far to get it or order it online. I use this as our regular wash for hair about every 10 days or as needed.

Quick Beader – ordered off of Amazon. This is used to add beads to hair. As you can tell I haven’t used it yet, but have a style in mind to try (maybe I’ll do it and post a “how to”)

Wide tooth comb (blue) – Available anywhere. If there is a knot I can’t get out with finger detangling in the tub with conditioner in the hair I use this. I honestly don’t use it much anymore.

Rat tail comb – I got this at Sally’s because I like the metal one versus plastic. It gives crisper part lines and is faster to make parts than plastic ones.

Silicone rubber band – Honestly I found these at the Dollar Store. I only use these for a style that requires holding braided strands together (like the spider on the web) and then to have for using beads

scissors – Sally’s. This is for cutting out fairy knots. Tiny knots at the tips of the hair. These need to be cut out immediately because they can cause breakage.

Not pictured is our shampoo – 1 cup distilled water mixed with 2 TBSP of organic apple cider vinegar. I put in a spray bottle to better control the flow and spray on the scalp. This is used as our shampoo when needed (if product builds up or during swim lessons I use this to help cleanse the hair better – i have other tricks for swimming but that’s another post).

Ok, there you have it, our products, where I get them, and how I use them. Again, these are what work for us and Hudson’s hair. They might not work for the little one coming home so I will have to change it up and see! Hope this helps and if you have questions feel free to ask.

Hudson blows bubbles with sharks and kisses a ray!

Our dossier has been finished for awhile now. It will make its way to DRC by the end of this month, where hopefully it starts getting translated. The past week some changes have been made about adoption in DRC. In short, there has been a change in the investigations and the time it will add to adoptions. This was done to make it more ethical and make the children are true orphans. I won’t go into much details about this because it is new and information about it is still being released. What we do know is it will add some time to the process once w receive a referral. How much time we don’t quite know yet. This is being done to ensure adoptions are ethical and they don’t get shut down like they have in other countries. This is a good thing, difficult to hear and process, but good for the children and the families they have there. Once I know more I will update the blog with information.

But for us, we are still waiting on a referral. We have now been waiting longer for a referral for this adoption than we did with Hudson’s. And I know we were spoiled with Hudson’s short wait time for a match, but in a country with 5 million orphans we never expected to wait longer than an infant domestic adoption. But we wait. So while we wait, I try and keep busy. With fundraising, prepping for a trip that i don’t even know when will happen (I have been working on a little info sheet on how to care for Hudson’s hair – I know over kill, but no one else has even washed it besides me, let alone style it!) work, family, but most importantly with Hudson. I have been making sure to spend time with my little blessing. We have been visiting friends for him to have play dates and went to the Portland Aquarium yesterday. He had a blast, and has no fear as somehow he managed to stick his face in the sharks and rays tank and blow bubbles and kiss the baby ray. (Please don’t ask me how it happened, because I honestly don’t know) all I know is I had to say “I know you love water and giving love to animals but we don’t stick our face in the shark tank at the aquarium” (and really it was only said because of the weird look the staff member was giving me and I had to fight laughing while saying it). So we moved on to the little kids touch tank. The one only a foot high, the one my son repeatedly tried to climb into because he was mad the fish he grabbed out of the water wiggled loose and swam off and he wanted “my fishy”. So I learned a few things from the trip:
1. Don’t try and get the camera out to take a picture of my son feeding rays bc he will use the moment to kiss them and stick his head in the shark and ray tank.
2. While they had their best intentions to make a baby touch pool where moms don’t have to break their backs holding their kids up, my son thinks its his bathtub and will climb in to catch his fish
3. Jellyfish will now and forever be called “bubbles”
4. We are starting swim classes again next session so he has a safe outlet for his love of water (and so I have peace of mind that when he decides to jump in a shark tank he can swim, after giving them all kisses of course)

Bracelets, Key chains, and Necklaces, oh my!

Friday we went to the USCIS office and had our fingerprints done! That means we are done with all the paperwork and steps (until we receive a referral) and are in the WAITING phase. I’ve been here before. We only waited two short months to be matched with Hudson. Wouldn’t it be nice if both our littles only took two short months each to be referred to us? One can hope right. So what do we do in the meantime? We fundraise! Yesterday my sweet friend Stephanie hosted a Partylite candle party at her house to help raise funds for us! Thank you to everyone that came out and supported us and also helped fill another Change a Life – Change for Congo jar. She also made me a prayer necklace, with “patience while waiting” in there. Boy does she know me well!! And i have to say I LOVE it and it will be worn daily and going to Africa with me to remind me to be patient! If you would like to order some candles the fundraising items are ongoing. contact me to place your order.

Yesterday I also met with another adoptive mom (Ethiopia program) and we worked on some bracelets, key chains, and necklaces. It’s nice to have someone so close going through the process at the same time. Someone to share the little joys and steps completed, and someone to turn to when a bump in the road comes along, because in adoption there will be bumps! So here is a sample of what we came up with.

bracelet Bracelets and Key chains are $15 shipping included

keychain

Necklaces are $20 shipping included. The chains are 18 inches.
necklace

All of these can be customized. Different country, Ethiopia, 2 less, DRC and the year, etc. Contact me at gonzaleskt@yahoo.com to place your order or for questions.

Dossier is Under Review

Well, as it is with adoption, things change. We have made the decision to go with a different facilitator. We are using Wren’s Song as our facilitator and contact with a lawyer, still going independent, and are using DRC Adoption Services for Dossier and Document review. So, we have sent them the dossier to be reviewed since it is DONE! Well, all except our USCIS approval, which we have our biometrics (fingerprints) scheduled for this week. But since the dossier needs to be translated we are sending it off now and are already on the referral waiting list! It is exciting and scary all at once. This is when it starts to feel real and that we are moving forward in the process. However, now the hardest part comes, w-a-i-t-i-n-g!! How long? Who knows. There are so many variables that play a part in receiving a referral. So what can we do in the meantime? Fundraise! My wonderful friend is hosting a Partylite candle party to help us with fundraising this Saturday. Can’t make it? email me and I will send you the link to shop online or the flyer for the fundraising items!

In other news, we were able to see our friends we haven’t seen in years. Last time we saw them we were all kidless. Now, they have two little boys and we have Hudson and are working on our second adoption. It’s funny how a few years changes everything. It is wonderful to have friends with boys Hudson’s age, because lets face it, boys do play differently. And these boys were comfortable with each other and just started playing together. And Hudson was comfortable with our friends as well which is always a plus.

boys

H&KHudson is also growing and changing everyday. It’s exciting to watch and sad all at once. This week we moved him into a toddler bed. He was already in his toddler bed that was his crib and turned into the three-sided toddler bed, but he kept getting his feet and arms stuck in the rails and waking up crying. We were looking at full size beds when a friend gave us their race car toddler bed. Perfect for my little car fanatic! We left it in the play room for a week for him to play in it and get comfortable and then moved it to his room. He LOVES it! Especially the front where he can “slide” head first off the bed (we have no added a foam mat under the to help protect his head) But like I said, he’s a boy and active and no fear. But isn’t he just adorable in this picture…..

bed

And for his hair this week, we went with one of my favorites, the mohawk!

mohawkHe loves it too and it goes perfect with his new head banging dance moves to his favorite songs (Welcome to the Jungle by Guns n Roses and Life is a Highway by Rascal Flatts). It is a pretty easy style to do and one I can get done fast when we are in a hurry!

So, lets hope our dossier has no errors in it and can be sent off to be translated, our biometrics goes well and is processed fast, and we can fundraise like crazy to be ready when we get our referral!

Learning to Deep Condition Hudson’s Hair

As promised, this week’s post is about deep conditioning Hudson’s hair. Last winter Hudson’s hair was little and fine and all it needed was some moisture (water) and a sealer (coconut oil). This year Hudson has a ton more hair (8 inches long when pulled straight on top) and the winter weather was taking a toll on it, so it needed more that our normal routine (that will be another post, promise). So, a deep conditioner it what we did. Here’s how we did it:

The night before I applied melted coconut oil on his hair (we already did his daily moisturizing spritz that morning). the purpose was to add some oil directly to the hair to be absorbed. We prefer coconut oil but other prefer olive oil, use what works best for you. Then in the bath I cleansed his hair with Kinky Curly Come Clean and used his regular conditioner, Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose, as usual. then i applied a deep conditioner treatment. I used Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque. Why? Well it doesn’t contain any sulfates, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, paraffin, PABA, or animal ingredients. It had want we want in a deep conditioner: shea butter, avocado oil, vitamin E, etc. And it was available at Target so I didn’t have to go to the mall to Sephora’s for it. I applied a generous amount to his freshly washed and conditioned hair. I made sure all his hair was well coated, but especially the ends where it was driest. Then a shower cap went on. He didn’t like it so we had to sit with him and entertain him. Reading how to do say you should wrap a warm towel over the shower cap while they sit for 10 minutes. Well, that’s great and all, but not gonna happen with an active 19 month old who didn’t even like the shower cap. My solution, these hooded towels we were given as a gift and never used since we didn’t want the towel over his hair breaking it. I threw it in the dryer and pulled it out and put it on him. it was a warm “robe” and towel hair wrap in one!

3He didn’t enjoy just sitting so we put his music on and let him “shake it”

2That helped to keep him entertained for the 10 minutes. Then back into the tub where I rinsed his hair with the shower attachment to make sure it was all out. Then I followed with his normal hair routine and put it in a protective style (again, I promise to write a post with his routine, why we do it, what we use, etc.).

1I must say I LOVED this deep conditioner. It made a HUGE difference immediately in his hair. It was softer, easier to detangle, helped redefine his curls, and his hair looked healthier that night. We will be doing this probably every two weeks in the winter to keep his hair healthy.

On the fingerprint update: it didn’t happen, however we were able to reschedule it in person for a quicker appointment time than if we sent in the request (like the form says to do). So we are scheduled for January 18th for out biometrics.