We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are." ~Marjorie Pay Hinckley~





Loehrmann Family Favorite Recipes

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

8 weeks old!


Well, we took some unexact measurements the other day to take a guess at how much he'll weigh, etc, at his 2 month check up, coming up next week. So last week this is what we're guessing:
head - 15 3/4 inches
length- 24 inches
weight- at three weeks he was 11 lbs and 6 oz. (Not telling what we're guessing!)
We're taking a poll to see what everyone else will guess. CHeck it out on the side!

So far, Lukas enjoys the following:
-Smiling like crazy when people give him attention
-gurgling and cooing (almost sounds like "goal") "gooo" "ahhh" "hi" "buh"
-making bubbles with his lips
-holding his hands together in prayer while he eats
-sticking up one pinky while he eats
-standing up on his strong legs while we hold him under his arms, only for support! (has done that for at least a week now)
-looking at the mobile from Michelle Gardner, with the black and white swirls and funny google eyed animals hanging from it! He giggles when he sees the orange one!
-he has started to hit at the hanging mobile guys
-he smiles when we shake the tigerente rattle
-he likes to be swaddled to sleep
-he only seems to like Nestle Good Start formula, and sometimes Enfamil
-has to eat from the drop-ins bottles so his tummy doesn't hurt
-when lying down, he can turn his head from one side to the other while tracking something he's looking at (like the mobile with the funny guys)
-we know he can see over a meter away, since he still tracks the mobile at that height
-he likes wearing 3 months clothes since he's grown out of newborn stuff over the last 2 weeks
-likes tummy time on the insideout blanket from Sharlynn
-can hold up his head for short amounts of time while on his tummy
-he hardly ever throws up, and has yet to have a "blow out"
-wears Costco diapers with the little monkeys on em, and smiles when being changed
-he kicks his leg profusely when being changed, as if tapping to time of some song in his head
-he grabbed my hair for the first time today
-he wraps his fingers around mom's or dad's finger while eating, or a shirt sleeve, or puts his hand down the shirt sleeve til he finds skin to hold onto
-he hates the aspirator bulb after about the third time we suck his boogers out, then he gets hoppin mad
-he doesn't care when we take his temperature
-sometime's he needs a binky to suck on, but also has been known to send it flying when he spits it out :), and it usually lasts for a couple of minutes, then he spits it out while still awake, as if he got his fix & is done.
-seems mostly laid back and super content
We sure LOVE this little guy!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Beach Trip!!

What a wonderful way to spend Memorial Day! We took off Sunday night to stay with friends from the ward, who we know even from when we served in the same mission!! So many memories to share, and fun to be had. We got Lukas to giggle and smile on Sunday night like you'd not believe!! (See video below!) On Monday we went to the beach in Santa Cruz at Half Moon Bay. The weather was really gray but eventually the sun came out and everyone popped open the sunscreen! A lot of families made the two and a half hour trip to see the ocean, and although it was FREEZING cold for a lot of the time, we had fun being together and seeing so many people try to surf for the first time, including Jared!! (There was no way I was jumping into that freezing cold water! My lips would've been blue in five minutes! LOL- Maybe next time when there's 80 degree water and 100 degree weather :) haha) That night was so fun to talk to Christy's family, who all doted over Lukas and how cute he is (he had the ladies swooning with that cute dimple grin of his!) and with whom we barbequed that night. We laughed at everyone's proposal stories and mostly the interview with the father stories! (Even Grandma & Grandpa shared theirs!) I hope that when our whole family is together this November that we can have a great time just being together and doing some activities together! In fact, you guys, I'm already planning out Friday, Sat, and Sunday for that weekend, so hope you can make it!!

video

Little Church Goer

I was actually giddy dressing Lukas on Sunday morning, thinking of how cute this little man was going to look! :) Hope they bring a smile to your face! Thanks Jana & Justin for the cords, and thanks Joel & Amy for the shirt! (If I made a mistake here, please tell me!)




Friday, May 22, 2009

The Heirloom suit

Imagine Jeremy, Justin or Joel wearing this suit: because they did! SOO cute!


Sleepyheads

After Lukas slept through the night last night (no 2am feeding!! WOHOOO!) he also slept after his 6am feeding til 10am! Jared's been working so hard, and Lukas was so tired, this is what I found in the living room after Jared fed Lukas at 10am:

Back in the water

With laundry washed & drying on the line, house cleaned, RA duties fulfilled, we rewarded ourselves with a trip to the pool, much to Jared's encouragement (what a nice dad!) so off we went in the stroller, this time equipped with swim diapers, our own sunscreen and even a cool hat from Aunt Jana & Uncle Justin :) Enjoy (and sorry that there are so many pics of me... just look at Lukas!)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The OOL, The Park & The BBQ - a week of firsts


... oh, we hope there was no 'P' in it. Lukas' first adventure with the pool turned out to be a major success. He slept the entire way there in the stroller, woke up when getting changed into a swim diaper, liked the pool for a second until he realized that it wasn't as warm as his bath, and that "oh yeah- I'm hungry!!"

This led to a little guy being stripped down to just diaper and drinking a whole 6 oz bottle while lying in the big pool in my arms. He liked being cuddled in the security of somebody's arms. Yes, it was warmer water in the big pool, and with a bottle in his mouth, he'll go with just about anything. It was like 100 degrees outside (and yes he was slathered in sunblock!) After finishing a bottle, we all ate lunch on the grass, Lukas in a light blanket next to me on the towel, covered from the sun, and he just lied there grinning from ear to ear.

All that grinning and sunshine eventually did him in, and he slept all the way home in the stroller. We definitely have to go to the pool again!




FRIDAY!!!!!!!!
We went to Park Day for the first time! We walked with the stroller all the way to Central Park, and there Lukas just ate the rest of breakfast. It was nice to hang out under a big huge tree and watch kids play and exercise their power over one another :) My favorite was when Eva "helped" Eli to go down the slide, and he says "Eva, be nice!" So awesome. My other favorite is Anaise's little voice. So darling.


SATURDAY!
Lukas went to his first barbeque at some park in Davis (we just followed- I still don't really know where we were!) It was beautiful, and we had the yummiest Bratwurst, hotdogs, hamburgers, chips, strawberries, watermelon & ice water on this 101 degrees day! Luckily we were in the shade, and Lukas was just as relaxed as could be! We got some really fun pics of Lukas with sweat marks under his arms. Oh yes, what a man. The kids and Jared played croquet :) and had a blast. Thanks Waites for a great afternoon! You're kids are awesome!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Welcome to the family Lukas & HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUSTIN!

Last night I found this message "from Lukas" on the bathroom mirror! SO CUTE! As of today we are officially Lukas' adoptive parents (and no longer his foster parents) and once 6 months has passed the adoption will be finalized! Here is us with the adoption director Wayne, who was actually our first case worker in CA! And Justin, for you HUGE Birthday surprise, Lukas has a rap prepared for you!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! We love you so much and are super proud of you! You're a great dad and a wonderful brother :)
video

Sunday, May 10, 2009

HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY!!

What a treat to show talk to Oma & Opa in Germany this morning through the computer! They got to see and hear Lukas, and oh how sweet to hear a grandparent sing German lullabies through the computer as Lukas sat in his car seat on the computer desk facing the big screen with Grandma staring at him! haha. How funny if you think this is normal :) haha He doesn't know any better yet!

Then this afternoon I got to talk to my own sweet mother who is on her way back from SLC after surprising my brother Joel by coming to visit from VA for the weekend. What a cool mom to go see the huge church production/play that my brother was in- and for which he's been growing a beard, etc. since October!! Way to go Joel! We're so proud of you!!

And to my sweet sisters in law- Jana, Amy and well, Amy (you can decide which of you I listed first! LOL) How wonderful women it must take to marry a Meredith and love it! haha Thank you for being so loving and kind to me, and for being such great examples of loving your children :) (and for leaving comments on my blog!!) p.s. Amy-A speaker at church quoted Groucho Marx today and I thought of you. Jana, when they passed out chocolate covered strawberries, I thought of you and your Garden. And Amy, when mom & dad told me how you helped plan this huge surprise for Joel my heart was all warm & fuzzy inside with love for you :) You three are just wonderful!
And I got to celebrate today too! Lukas gave me a big lick/kiss on the cheek this morning, and Jared got me some beautiful flowers & said they're from him & Lukas. Cute, huh! What a difference it is to go with warmth bubbling in my heart about the little soul that I get to raise! :) The pics are from our balcony, and the last one is how Jared and Lukas felt about going to choir practice after church! This was them once they were both home! LOL



Friday, May 8, 2009

My Mother's Day Story

I'm so excited to give my two cents on this Mother's Day weekend! I too hope that nothing I say will offend anyone, but I think that if people know me, they won't feel offended, but rather enlightened by a perspective they never really thought about, maybe because they've never had to, or perhaps you'll feel validated and understood, like I do when I read a talk about someone who lived through another Mothers' day at church.

My experiences living in BYU Married housing for 3 years vary from happy to complacent to angry, to utterly upset and alone, to freedom, to peace, -not necessarily in that order and not necessarily one feeling at a time!

At that time that we left our three-year stretch at Wymount, we had been married for five years, and although we'd always hoped to have kids, and have never found any medical complications, we were still childless.

Every time I was reminded of my childlessness I felt like an outcast, and it wasn't because others weren't nice, etc. but pure circumstance makes you part of different social circles, different conversations, different experiences and needs. I felt locked out of a sorority I so badly wanted to be hazed into.

I felt so validated at the World Wide leadership meeting for the LDS church when one of the general authorities said that although we teach in ideals, that there are those that stand a bit on the outside looking into that ideal. Among those outsiders, he listed those who were divorced, those who never married, those who've lost a spouse, those who wished for children and didn't have them- and right there, I thought BAM!! YEAH!! FINALLY!! Somebody will acknowledge how I feel! "Besides," people would say, "we are all mothers." I could agree that we all have a way of "mothering" other people's kids and can be helpful & loving to them, but I did not consider myself a mother.

Up until then I felt almost guilty for disagreeing with people when they said that this "outsidedness" I felt wasn't really the case and that of course people love you, etc. Yes, it is true that sisters loved me, but our relationship was in fact different.

I felt more a sense of sympathy (even if it was only my fault that I felt this way) from different people, and because I did not have kids and did work full time, it felt difficult to establish some other kind of real friendship with someone, you know- the kind where they call you out of the blue to hang out- just with you- not to schedule a "date" with "us" but just with me. I loved my job and found great value in what I did, and even highly successful, especially when I was voted "Teacher of the Year," However, I promise you that I'd have given that all up in a heartbeat to just be a mom.

Now this "be a mom" thing was a process of thinking for me too. I couldn't help but think about how cute and adorable biological kids from us could look like (vain, I know, but you know...) and to even breathe the words adoption felt like an admittance of failure, although others suddenly put us in a category of sainthood "for doing that" - as if we were really just out there trying to do our little part to help the world. haha. Ohhhhh, if they only knew how long it took (especially me) to get to the point of walking into the adoption orientation. There's a whole process I went through, and still go through now and again, and I now know that it is totally normal to feel this way. It's the grief cycle: Shock, Denial, Anger & Guilt, Despair & Depression, Acceptance, and Finding good Listeners!

I realized a couple of things for myself through this cycle that I would like to share with especially those who've never had to deal with not being in control of having something that you have absolutely no biological control over. I realized that as a latter day saint, we feel an added stress, because of our beliefs which center around the family. Because of this, going to church, although supposed to be there as our anchor to lift us up, can be very heart wrenching and unbearable when we are faced with what we cannot in that moment have, especially when it's such a righteous desire. I also realized because of this, that other people who may seem depressed at church on Sunday have a full-fledged right to feel that way, because of whatever "ideal" they are unable to attain and are faced with. I actually went "inactive" for a couple of weeks (yes, we still sort of laugh about this in our family) because I just couldn't bare another blessing, another announcement or seeing another person pregnant. Oh, and here's another tidbit- even though I could still be happy for those who would become pregnant at the end of the day I would still think- "but it's not me." And perhaps I was even more genuinely happy for those who I'd known had struggled- but there the thought would sometimes come, "Even THEY finally got a chance to have children!" So if you are struggling and think that when you read our whole story, I am not in the least offended, but truly understand how you feel.

I also realized at some point in my heart (not just in my head) that it wasn't my fault and what I mean is mostly that I realized that I wasn't a failure for not having children in this life, and in fact, kind of freed myself from the responsibility altogether as I remembered that it wasn't even a requirement for me to leave this life having born children. It was "just" icing on the cake. It was around this time that I began to allow myself to relish in the fact that I could live it up BECAUSE I didn't have kids(and NOT feel guilty for doing so). A new couch, a couple of really special outings just the two of us, watching an opera in Vienna... these are things I was excited to tell people about without having to somehow guilty that I wasn't sad. I freed myself to feel happy. It was a mind switch for me that really took some time.

Watching "Meet the Robinson's" surprisingly pushed me over the edge at one point to even consider seriously adopting.I finally gave up on having biological children -for the time being- as I walked into that adoption office, and kind of thought I would surrender all. A key realization was made that more than having biological children, I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to be somebody's sunshine in the doorway with cookies after school, I wanted to change somebody's poopy diaper and I wanted to be sleep deprived so that I could bring joy and comfort to a tiny screaming person.

And oh you should've seen my face when a case worker said, "It's all the Lord's timing," and I replied sweetly - "I am a little sick of the Lord's timing" - hoping that I hadn't just landed myself onto some LDS Family Services blacklist. Oh,my emotions were in my throat and I was vulnerable at this time. Interestingly enough, after we did decide to proceed with adoption papers, it was most all that folks would ask us about- which was fine. I know they meant well, and wanted to strike up conversation and were perhaps a bit curious, but I couldn't help but still feeling very different and very alone, and perhaps even like I had to do everything "the hard way." If you disagree, I beg you to become informed about the emotional roller coaster of putting oneself and ALL of your personal information - and I mean personal- out there with a hope and a prayer that someone "picks you".

After all the inconclusive and expensive and painful doctor's tests, we were entering a world of expensive adoption applications (It's $1000 just to get the app) and our privacy was done for. It was a long a tedious process to complete every sheet of paper work, attend classes & trainings, have someone come look at our house to see if it was "fit for children" and get an FBI background check from every place we'd lived. We'd ask ourselves "what biological parent does this? Please!" We laugh when we think that we even have to have a fire extinguisher, an official first aid kid and Co2 detectors in our house! And, because we moved to CA, we were required to do most of the aforementioned things again, and are now required to be first aid and CPR certified! Um, what biological parent has to do that? Don't get me wrong, but it felt sometimes like the more progress we thought we were making, the more hurdles were placed in our path. At least, though, it felt like progress, and for the first time in a long time I had begun to feel hope, because at least we were moving forward. I had some ounce of naive hope to hold onto that somebody out there having an unplanned baby would think we were awesome enough to be the parents of her little bundle of happiness.

When the school year began again at the school from which I resigned, because we were moving, I substituted for my friends' classes at the beginning of that next year, confusing the daylights out of all those who thought I was leaving, and I felt some pangs of sadness- knowing that I was leaving a place and a profession that I truly loved and valued, and was a real part of. Off we went to CA with our car and moving truck, and life began rolling quickly once we got there.

I drowned myself in a new ward, new neighborhood, new service opportunities, and left alllll that baggage and sadness behind me. I still had a really rough week about 6 weeks after we moved, but it was short lived and I moved on, determined to be as pulled together, positive, optimistic and faithful in following the Lord as possible.

Just 9 weeks after moving here we got an email from a birth mom who has now forever changed our lives. Just four months after that first email, she placed her brand new baby boy with us, making our family three. She followed a confirmation she received from Heavenly Father to place her baby, and even though it was so so hard, and others reminded her on the day before placement that she didn't have to go through with it, she said, "I cannot run away from God for the rest of my life" and she knew that it would be the hardest thing she'd ever do. She is now my hero of courage and faith- doing the thing required of us by the Lord even when it's hard. She strives to stay close to the Lord and testifies of his closeness to her, to pick her up, or to send her a tender mercy in the form of someone's words or actions. She gave us what we couldn't give ourselves. Because of her I will celebrate this first Mother's Day with a new perspective.

I won't go all out and have a ton of pomp and circumstance just because "I'm a mom" but I will take with me to church this Sunday the happiness that a new warm little smile has brought my life, the gratitude that I feel for my own mother who taught me to be strong and able, and the tender feelings I have for all those women who want so badly to use their talents for the thing they want most- to be a mom.

p.s. Saturday is Birth Mom's Day! Include thanks in your prayers for all the amazing birth moms that help others to build a forever family!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Danke Oma und Opa in Deutschland!!

Danke fuer die wuenderschoene Decke, die ihr geschickt habt! Nun hat der kleine auch ein warmes Schaf!! Die ist sooo kuschelich und was fuer ein suesses Bild d'rauf! Wir waren soooo begeistert, und der kleine hat die Zeit auf der Decke auch genossen!!

[Thank you for the beautiful blanket that you guys sent! Now the little one has a sheep too! It's so cuddly and what a cute picture on it! We were so excited and Lukas enjoyed the time on the blanket too!]

To answer another question asked: In the last post there is a link to vote for Lukas as cute kid online, and he could even win some $2000 bucks for college if he gets enough votes. He's cute alright, but I think you have to win the contest by popular vote. Facebook it or email your friends :
https://www.greatamericanphotocontest.com/voter1/index_e.aspx?referid=kobe_photoapproval&p=1429732&x=.JPG

In the end it doesn't matter, I suppose, because he sure wins at this house!
Hope you enjoy some of the latest pictures of our smiley man!






Vote for Lukas!

https://www.greatamericanphotocontest.com/voter1/index_e.aspx?referid=kobe_photoapproval&p=1429732&x=.JPG

We've had quite the eventful week full of smiles and squeaking from this little guy! Yesterday, he could not stop smiling after I gave him a bottle, and he was gazing so intently in one direction, that I stood up to see if he was staring at the little family statue we have on our bookshelf. As I got closer though, his little head craned towards what I guess he was really looking at and his smile got all wide again as he stared directly at the picture of Jesus hanging on our wall that Justin drew. His mouth was all the way opened, and I said, That's Jesus. He is our Savior. He will help us to get back to Heavenly Father. We love him very much. The whole time Lukas just smiled. Such a sweet moment.