The new normal

Like many of you, I am waiting for Part 2 of my husband’s YouTube video documenting the adoption of our daughter. If you haven’t seen Part 1, you can check it out here:

In the meantime, that’s not the sole reason I haven’t written a post since baby girl’s arrival. She is 1 month old already, after all.

Mostly, it’s just been life.

I’ve heard it said that one of the hardest transitions in parenting is going from 1 kid to 2.

I am very much finding that to be true.

It doesn’t help that this is all happening at the end of the year, with the holidays looming. We already missed Thanksgiving. For those who know me, you’ve seen my holiday cooking schedules. I create my menu, then carefully plan the days-long schedule for getting everything shopped for, prepped, ready, and cooked.

Well, this year that all went by the wayside in favor of flying halfway across the country to meet and bring home our new daughter.

I can’t think of a better reason to cancel holiday plans.

Less than 2 weeks after we got back, my son’s nose starting running. And then he started coughing. And I did everything in my power to keep myself and the baby from getting it… to no avail. She and I both got hit with it.

Nearly 3 weeks later, we are still dealing with it. I’m actually the one most back to normal. My son has an ear infection and is still coughing, and the baby is still congested. In fact, I’m taking her back to the doctor today.

It’s pretty scary when your 2 week old baby sounds stuffy, congested, and raspy. But she’s been to the doctor 3 times already (all well baby visits, but obviously the doctor checked her cold symptoms too).

Jeff had to be back at work the Monday after we got home. So with a one-week-old baby and a three-year-old, I began my journey of settling into the new normal.

There’s a label that gets tossed around in LA for those of us with husbands who work in the entertainment industry. We often refer to ourselves as “industry wives.” It’s like we become victims of our husbands’ careers and the time they take them away from their families. Many of us are virtual single parents.

For example, Jeff works a 10 hour day as a television editor. Then he’s got about an hour commute on either end of that. That means we don’t see him for a minimum of 12 hours a day, 5 days a week. And that’s just when the schedule is typical. If the show is running behind (because that never happens) or they are under a delivery deadline, forget it! The kids may not see him for days at a time.

Welcome to being an industry wife.

I had to hugely scale back everything I typically do around Christmas. We’re lucky we got a tree up, and that’s about it for decorations around our house. I usually make at least 5 different kinds of Christmas goodies and send some off to family (who we will not be traveling to visit this year). I was lucky to get 2 batches of pretty simple cookies made.

I’ve been feeling super irritable and on edge trying to keep up with everything. I’ve yelled at Levi way more than I would have liked. He’s been so sweet and super helpful with the baby too (if he would just stop coughing in her face… ugh).

I’ve been experiencing some unfortunate side effects from that antidepressant I started a couple months ago (I talked about that here). I finally spoke with my doctor, and we decided to stop it and switch to something else. Well, the side effects haven’t gone away yet, and it’s been almost 2 weeks. That has been really frustrating.

So I’m trying really hard to give myself permission to let things go. To accept that my house will be a disaster for the foreseeable future. That the soles of my son’s bare feet will be perpetually dirty until I can get to mopping the floors. That the dishes may not get done every night (a personal pet peeve of mine). That my toilet may have a water ring inside the bowl until I can get to scrubbing it out.

This is life right now.

And all this to say, I’ve not forgotten about telling more of Noa’s adoption story. Because there is certainly more to tell.

There was definitely drama, and uncertainty, and fear, and hope, and beauty, and sadness, and waiting, and just so much emotion.

And while we didn’t get holiday cards mailed out this year, and we aren’t traveling, and our celebration will be fairly small and simple with just our little family… the fact is, we have much to celebrate and much to be thankful for.


We grew by one this year. It’s been a long, hard road, but she’s here.

And our new expanded little family is definitely worth celebrating.

One thought on “The new normal

  1. On Chantel,
    I’ve eagerly awaited your update. I also know how emotional draining it is with kids in general but more so with adoption. I have prayed for your family countless times. After all, you’re kinda walking the path we did. God’s timing is perfect. The baby’s name is beautiful. Holidays can be scaled down, believe me you are not disappointing anyone and in 10 years the kids will be much more demanding around this time of year. It’s heartwarming, and a sense of connection between those that have been in our shoes. I cried nd cried when you announced her arrival, and even more in Jeff’s video. I always worked from home and home schooled 8 kids, many with very special needs, and my husband had clients to attend to and houses to build. I was the main parenting person and my Jeff got to be the fun Dad. It’s difficult, it can be frustrating, It does get better! I am elated that God came through for your family and I cannot wait to see the sequel regarding the adoption. One of the best things about adoption, well two, is you and I didn’t have to recover from child birth and that’s a big one ( I did give birth twice). Secondly God believed in you enough to have chosen the child He had intended all along. You’ve got this! It is miserable to have a baby that can’t tel you they don’t feel well and seeing them with a cold is very difficult. That being said if we keep our babies in a totally sanitized environment their immune systems don’t get that extra boost they need. Your family is beautiful. Well meaning people often say how lucky the baby is to have you (generality) however, it us that were blessed. Uncertainty is an emotional roller coaster but it is the nature of the beast of adoption and worth every second. Please remember to take care of yourself and stop to pamper YOU when you can. Let Jeff have the kids, when he’s able, and allow yourself to recharge……I think a birdie just whispered to me, “Spa days.” It’s impossible to care for your family when your, “bucket,” is being drained. Take care and Glory be to God!
    Love and admiration,


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