Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Every Year....

I tell myself that I'm going to be done shopping and wrapping and baking and and and.....by the first weekend in December so that I can really enjoy the Christmas season, and every year I find myself a few days before Christmas still plugging along with various projects (and often frantically wrapping everything on Christmas Eve)! I will say that this year I did do better than in the past, I had most of the kid's stuff done before December 1st. All would have been good had I not decided to make several things this year! Don't get me wrong, I love crafting, and I think that a handmade gift is better than any that can be given! It's just that I'm a procrastinator, and I have a really hard time focusing on something that isn't in dire danger of missing it's deadline! I am getting better at this, and have been working diligently on a project for Ana for weeks, but the fact still remains that I still have a lot to do! Thank goodness Greg has the rest of this week off! I hope the kids won't miss me too much as I practically move myself above the garage to my craft room! My new goal? Be done everything by lunch time on Thursday so we can enjoy a leisurely after dinner drive light viewing, and a calm, stress free Christmas Eve!

More to come on the homemade/refurbished gifts I've been working on!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday Cooper!

Dear Cooper,

I can't believe a year has passed already!
You are an amazing little guy
and have brought so much joy to our family!

Let's see, at age 1 you:

Are not walking yet, but you will take your hands away from support and stand on your own. You have even turned to take that first step and mummy gets really excited but you just psyche me out. You do think you are super cool when you push around Ana's tricycle though!

Can wave, blow kisses and clap.
Sometimes you add the cutest little "haaah" (hi, I think) or "haaalaaah" (we think it's hello).

Had a mohawk
(or a babyhawk as a woman in the store once remarked)
for your first 8 months or so. It was the cutest thing, and I'm a little sad your hair got long enough to lay flat!

Are sometimes jealous.
If I have your sister in my lap (she's been jealous too) you come over and pull on her clothes and yell!

Are a mummy's boy.
Only mummy will do when you are tired. Well let's face it, if you see mummy, you need to be held by mummy or you scream!

Have the most infectious smile and giggle.

Can climb.
Almost anything.
Particularly the bathroom stool so you can reach the sink.
Oh and let's not forget the stairs, you climb them with vigor!
Most of the time giggling all the way up;
especially if you are caught in the act.

Are happy almost all the time. Seriously!

Have a temper!
When we take things away from you, your little eyes get wide, you open your mouth and yell! It's seriously cute, actually!

Don't sleep through the night.
No kidding. I think there have been four, maybe five nights since you were born that you have slept through the night; two of those were before you were 5 months old. You just don't want to give up that 2 or 3 o'clock snuggle time I guess.

Love your brother and sister from your hair to your toes!
Whenever they are around you are smiling, and whatever they do makes you giggle!

Have 5 teeth,
which is WAY more than your brother had at this age! You have been working on a sixth for about a month now but it just doesn't want to pop through!

LOVE the dishwasher.
This is no surprise to mummy though. Your brother and sister had a fascination with the dishwasher too!

Give the sweetest hugs, and the juiciest kisses.

Can say "ma ma" and "da da" and I'm pretty sure you say hat (ahhhhht) when you are playing with Papa and his hat. You LOVE playing with Papa and his hat!

Are very ticklish!
On your neck, pudgy thighs, belly and sides; right down to your feet!

Are constantly in the dog's food or water, and it makes mummy crazy! I have had to change you so many times (mostly after you've just been freshly dressed; and lots of times when we are on our way out the door) because you have splashed in, then emptied the dogs water onto the floor (which you then delight in splashing and crawling around in some more). Let's not talk about the amount of dog kibble I've had to scoop out of your mouth.....yuck!

Are as cute as a button!
Of course I may be a little biased.

We love you so much our little birthday boy!
Happy One Year!

Oh, and take it easy on mummy today, she's having a hard time with this growing up thing.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ian's Birthday Surprise

So, Greg has a friend at work who also happens to be a flight instructor. When he heard that Ian was going to be celebrating a birthday, he offered to take him up for a ride in his airplane! We were so excited for him! I picked Ian up from school early on his birthday, and simply told him we were going out to lunch with daddy, so we headed to Greg's work. When we got there, we told Ian what the actual plan was, in that we were going to catch a quick lunch and then head over to the airfield where he was going to get to go up in an airplane! Ian was pretty nervous when Greg told him what his big birthday surprise was. He actually quietly asked me if they were going to crash! I assured him that Mummy and Daddy wouldn't allow him to do something that we didn't feel was completely safe. When we arrived at the airfield, none of us quite knew what to expect. Greg's friend met us and took us out to the field where the plane was waiting and began to explain to Ian how it works. Ian listened intently, and I could tell he was pretty scared! He then showed Ian where he would be sitting, which just so happened to be the pilot's seat! Greg got in the back seat and they buckled in, and put on their headsets. It wasn't long before they were taxiing down the runway one way and then down the other before taking off. Ana, Cooper and I waited in the grassy fields beside the runway, and occupied ourselves with watching other small planes come and go, chasing butterflies, picking flowers, throwing grass at each other and dancing. It was actually a good time for all of us! As I understand, the boys flew all around Portsmouth and even landed at Pease Air Force Base before coming back to check in with us. They took off one more time so Greg could have a turn in the pilot's seat, though this time they stayed right over us and we could watch them overhead the entire time. Ian really had the most incredible time and has in fact declared it his best birthday ever!

Down on the ground, here's what we were doing:

Thanks so much Mike, for giving our birthday boy the time of his life!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ian Gregory Christopher,

I simply refuse to believe you are NINE years old today! Where did my baby go? You are one crazy kid Ian, and despite the insanity you cause your poor mother, I wouldn't have it any other way! Let's celebrate your big day with nine things about you...

1. You are a strange balance of wanting to be the center of attention, but acting like you're uncomfortable with it when you get it. You are definitely the class clown, but thankfully, you know how to pull it together at school because you have never been in trouble with the teacher; they always say what a character you are though!

2. You have decided to grow your hair out, much to mum's dismay; and boy is it getting long! We have always kept your hair pretty short and this is just a shock to mummy's system to see you with this mop on your head! You think it's going to get longer (in fact you think you are beginning to compete for the Guiness Record) but I'm sorry you will soon find that there will be limits to mummy's tolerance with that. It's about as long as it's going to get and there is a "clean up" hair appointment in your immediate future! I won't make you go short again, but I will make you tidy your appearance a bit!!

3. You really love your family. Even though we have our differences; I think you need to shower every day, you prefer to be stinky; I think it's important to wear socks with your sneakers, you....well, again the stinky-ness; you have your moments when you sit with me or dad and give us a little cuddle that lets us know that you really do care; or you ask to read to Ana at night or play with Cooper...I love these moments! Oh, and you still let mum kiss you before you get on the bus...that makes me very happy too!

4. You love music. You always have. You have just come off a Beatles phase which was nice; well, except for the all night repeating of "Hey Jude"...that got a little old after the 46th consecutive night (you are like your Auntie Shelle with that..she could listen to her favorites over and over and over again too!!).

5. You are very indecisive. In fact in a 2 hour period today, you went from wanting your party at the Space Center, to the Pottery place to having a party at home making t-shirts....these three choices have been in constant flux for days!! I think we have you pegged down to a sleep over with movies and t-shirt making though. I'm excited about that!

6. You tell us you don't like school; that was until you started this school year and got Mrs. Eichen for a teacher. I wouldn't say you love school now, but we don't have to fight to get you on the bus every morning anymore! We love Mrs. Eichen!!

7. You like to figure out how things work. Daddy has given you computers to take apart and you LOVE doing that!! You like to work with daddy with electrical and computer projects and dream up inventions that you want to pull together out of all dad's spare pieces in the basement. It's cool to see your mind thinking like that! Not so cool when you leave your inventions laying all over the house though!

8. You still climb in bed with mum and dad just about every night. It is difficult because you are no longer the toddler that we can just slide over when you get in the way; and you do get in the way...especially when mum gets up with Cooper and comes back wanting nothing more than to fall into bed and finds you have rolled into my spot. But secretly, there's a big piece of me that will miss you when you decide to start staying in your own bed.

9. You are still the pickiest eater I've ever met. Your menus are comprised of, peanut butter and jelly (though you appear to be tiring of that too!), grilled cheese, pizza, bacon (the only meat you will eat), cereal, bagels and toast, cheese, yogurt and very few fruits and vegetables and only when they are forced (which they are, much to your dismay!). You are difficult my boy, but at least you don't gag and throw up anymore when eating things you don't like! This is a definite move in the right direction!!

So there you have it...
Nine things about my Ian on his ninth birthday!

Mummy and Daddy have a big surprise in store for you today buddy and I can't wait to see your reaction when you see what it is! It's something I'm sure you will remember for a long time to come!

So, Happy Birthday to you, my big boy!
I love you more than I can express and can't wait to see what this next year brings for you!

Love always,

Friday, September 17, 2010

Flashback Friday

April 25th, 2010, A trip to the playground!

The weather was just getting nice, and Greg had just returned from a business trip so we decided to take a trip to a little playground in Exeter. It's my current favorite because it's completely fenced in which is so good for little escape artists! Cooper had just recently begun to sit up unassisted and I had hoped to get some 6 month shots of him; that didn't work out so well actually. Anyways, we really did have a fun time; the ice cream truck even showed up much to the children's delight! We played until Ana became desperate for a bathroom, at which time we had to leave and go find a facility! Here's a few pictures from the day.

The playground was honestly a little young for Ian, but he made the most of it!

I seriously could not get Cooper to even look at the camera.
I mean really, how can I compete with naked toes and grass?!
What was I thinking?
I love the picture anyways though...

Ana loves to swing, the faster and higher the better! I think we may have a thrill seeker here!

Love this picture of my gorgeous girl. I'm hoping to play with the lighting a bit when I can get around to doing some photo editing again.

This one was fun too. She thought it was real funny
that mummy was laying on the ground underneath her swing!

Cooper wasn't the biggest fan of the swing.
He probably gave it 3 minutes before he was done.
He didn't hate it, but there was no real love for it either!
I like this picture because for a long while, Cooper sported a natural mohawk and you can see it beginning to emerge in this picture!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dear Sweet Blog....

I am so sorry I have neglected you for so long! I have a list of excuses, but really I won't bore you with them. Greg had you published for me for Mother's Day this year (a most awesome present!) and I came across the books while tidying the kitchen today. I was reminded of how important you are to me, and about what it means to have lost so much time with you! So here's my plan...

We have a lot of catching up to do, so I'll set aside one entry each week just to catch you up on what we've been up to; let's call it Flashback Friday, okay? Maybe we can talk about older stuff on other days too, but definitely on Fridays. And from here on out, I will make my best effort to keep you up to date with what is currently going on my friend!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Remembering Bumpa

Dear Ian, Liliana, and Cooper,

This is hard stuff. I'm writing to you because you have lost a very important man in your life. It's been a month since your Bumpa died and I've been trying to write this ever since then. Ian, I know you have good memories of your Bumpa; you are almost 9 years old and I know this has been especially hard on you. I am so proud of the way you have handled yourself like such a little man through this all. I am proud of how you have talked about your feelings with mum and dad, and even let yourself cry a little; about how you bravely sat at the side of Bumpa's casket numerous times during the wake, no doubt processing what it all meant; how you decided that the flowers from yourself, your sister and brother needed to be placed on your Bumpa's heart before closing his casket and not only did you ask the funeral director yourself if that could be done, but lovingly placed the flowers there yourself, and how seriously you took your role as honorary pall bearer at Bumpa's funeral. You are not always the best at sharing how you are feeling, but it was evident to everyone present that day that you loved and respected your Bumpa very much and for that I am very proud.

You were Bumpa's first grandchild Ian, and I'm certain you reserved a special place in his heart. You loved it when Bumpa would get down on the floor with you and blow raspberries on your belly. I loved that too; he did that with all three of you, and I remember thinking how funny it was to see this man with such a crunchy exterior cooing and ga ga-ing over you guys in a high pitched voice you would never expect to come out of him. He couldn't wait until you were old enough to give treats to. It started when you were about 5 months with, "Can I give him a little piece of cracker?"; to which Mimi would incredulously reply, "Ed! He can't have that!!". Mommy agreed with Mimi, sorry bud. But as soon as he found out you could have treats, you better believe he was at the door just about every Saturday. It started with bottles of chocolate milk and small bags of Ritz Bits peanut butter crackers. Honestly, I'm pretty sure he chose those items because, well you know how first time moms can be, but milk and peanut butter, could mom really deny you that?! You were the first to spoil; and boy did he love to do that!

By the time Ana came along, Bumpa caught on that mummy was a little more relaxed and she knew that you weren't going to wither away by being treated on the weekends so his visits would bring one of a few usual suspects; ice cream sandwiches (always the neapolitan kind), devil dogs, Hostess Donettes (you know, those waxy chocolate covered "donuts" that you guys LOVE!), ding dongs, Market Basket brand chewy chocolate chip cookies, or the most recent addition after finding out Ana's love for it, popcorn. These things will always remind me of your Bumpa.

Liliana, you have handled this I guess like any 3 year old would. We were torn whether to bring you to the wake and funeral, but I do think it was good for you and has helped you understand a little more than you otherwise would have. We were a little concerned when you asked a couple times at the wake for Bumpa to "wake up" but when we explained that Bumpa's body didn't work anymore, I think on some level you got it. At the funeral, you asked to see Bumpa a few times and as they wheeled the casket out you wanted to "go with Bumpa", so I'm sure you knew that even though you didn't see the casket close, you knew that's where Bumpa was. When you went with Mimi back to the cemetery a couple days after the burial, I'm told you did ask where Bumpa went. When Mimi told you that Bumpa was under the flowers you responded with a very literal 3 year old response of "Well, he's gonna get all messy under there!" I do think your presence through all of this added some levity and like to think that it helped especially your Mimi, Daddy and Uncles. I'm certain you don't fully understand all that has happened, which was made clear to me a couple nights ago when you asked if Bumpa was done dying yet so we could bring him chocolate in the hospital and make him feel better. I explained to you again that we wouldn't be able to see Bumpa again and you got a sad face and said, "Oh...dat sad". It is so sad my sweet girl. Liliana, Bumpa really loved having a grand-daughter! I'm told that he always wanted a daughter, and you could tell by the way he looked at you that he thoroughly enjoyed watching you and your girl-y ways. "Ahh-na", he would say, (again in that high pitched Bumpa voice) "look at your pretty dress!" He would always remark on your shoes and how they never matched and were always on the wrong feet, because you do that, a lot! He loved it when you would stay with them while mummy ran errands or had appointments because he was very proud of the fact that he was the only one you would cuddle calmly enough with to fall asleep next to him on the couch. Thank goodness Mimi even caught this on film a couple times. You were definitely his special princess!

Cooper, I'm especially sad for you. You are so young, and your memories will be based in the pictures and stories we will share with you. That's a big reason this was so important to me to get down on "paper". The day you were born, Bumpa had to have a procedure done and he was not happy about it! You better believe though that he was the first visitor bright and early (your Bumpa was ALWAYS bright and early!) the next morning so he could give you an extra squeeze! I'm sad that you didn't get to experience the weekend Bumpa treats like your brother and sister did since it really was something that made your Bumpa especially happy to do. This was not due to his lack of trying though!! I think you were about 3 months when he first tried to give you a cookie crumb to which your Mimi exclaimed, just like she did years ago with your brother, "Ed! He can't have that!!" Cooper, your Bumpa was quite taken with you and how much you look like your daddy; "Spittin' image of Greg", he would say every time he saw you. He loved what an easy baby you are! When you were teenie, he would come over and pull you out of the swing (whether you were sleeping or not) to give you a cuddle; you would sit with him and he would remark, "Such a happy baby!". You loved it when he would pretend to gobble up your chubby little fists, making that chomping noise that only Bumpa could make as you would reach out to him for more. You also loved when Bumpa would get down on the floor with you just like with your brother and sister; no matter how much I'm sure his legs were hurting, he got right down with you on the floor and blew raspberries on your belly too! You certainly were special to your Bumpa!

All in all, I think Sharon summed up your Bumpa the best when she said that he was a lot like a toasted marshmallow; kind of crusty and crunchy on the outside but all gooey and smooshy on the inside. That gooey goodness oozed out whenever he was around you kids. He loved you all with every ounce of that tired heart of his and that's what I want you to remember the most; how much he really loved being your Bumpa.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


My Sweet Liliana,
You are three years old today!
It's hard to remember you as
the quiet little baby you once were
because you are anything but quiet now!

You love to sing
Quite dramatically actually
and loudly!

You clutch your hands to your chest,
tilt your cute little face upward
and belt it out.

Your songs usually don't have words.
But when they do,
they are ones you have made up
and don't often make sense.
But that's okay, it's wonderful all the same.

The drama doesn't stop there though.
Whether it be changing your clothes 14 times a day
(you are very particular about your clothing)
Or your fiery attitude
(you are a sassy little monkey)
You definitely keep the boredom away in our house!

You are also trouble with a capital T!
No matter how many times you've been told,
you think drawing on walls,
or yourself
is far more creative than doing it on paper.

You think Milo's food is there for your amusement.
You especially like to mix it with his water,
or to the water drip tray from our water dispenser
or stuffing it into the soil of my ficus plant.
That's my personal favorite.

But you can be so sweet too!
You melt my heart when you offer kisses and hugs
and "I lub you's"
without prompting
or lay a big hug on Ian (whether he wants it or not)
or get right down on the floor with Cooper to hug him
and say "I lub you" Coopie

You are such a loving little girl...
even though you do still give your cousin Stevie a hard time!

Today we spent the day playing outside.
You pushed your baby around the yard in her stroller
Tried to steal blueberries from the bushes
Played on the swing set
Tried to steal blueberries from the bushes
pulled leaves off the forsythia bushes,
and pretended to cook them in your playhouse
Stole blueberries from the bushes
Yeah you LOVE blueberries.

We met Papa and Ian at the golf course
to watch Ian finish his final lesson.
Then Papa bought us pizza for lunch on the way home
and sent you home with
a chocolate chip muffin in a bag for dessert.

You watched Tinkerbelle and the Lost Treasure
for a little rest time
because a nap was not on your menu for the day

Then we played outside some more.
This time Ian joined you,
and you had a ball pretending to drive
back and forth to the grocery store;
loading your cart up with leaves, twigs and dirt

When daddy got home we went to
Ice Cream Haven for a treat.
You requested that specific ice cream place
so you could see the "baby" ducks.
They're kind of "grown up" ducks now
but you can call them babies if you want to.

You wanted a purple ice cream cone.
I don't think you would have cared about the flavor
as long as it was purple.

You took a few licks of that cone
then left it on the table to melt
because feeding the ducks was way more interesting.

All in all, I think you had a great day.
We are looking forward to
celebrating with family on Saturday
and with your friends next weekend for
a yet to be determined
princess or fairy party
(you change your mind hourly).

Happy Birthday to you my sweet girl!
I love you so very much
and can't wait to see what this year brings!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Guatemala 900

I've met many blog friends during our adoption journey. One story that I have followed with much heartache is Yesenia's family who have struggled 3 years to bring their little girl home from Guatemala. They received their referral a month after we received ours. As you know we just passed our 2 year anniversary of having Ana home with us. They however have had to endure setback after setback in their journey with no clear end in sight. Sadly they are not alone. This is from our agency:

"Some of you may be aware that there are still approximately 500 adoptions, which were grandfathered under the new law, which have been obstructed by the Guatemalan authorities for various reasons. Hundreds of U.S. families are still hoping to be united with the children they started adopting - in most cases, more than 3 years ago. Some don't know where their children are. Some are supporting their child and hoping that child will come home. This is a travesty of justice on the part of both the Guatemalan and U.S. governments.

The Guatemala900 organization, www.guatemala900.org , has scheduled a Congressional Briefing on Thursday, May 6, between 10-12 A.M. They will be marching from the Holiday Inn Capital Hill to the Hart building for the briefing. The adoptive families and their advocates will be attending the briefing, the details are on the Guatemala900 website. BE AN ADVOCATE to encourage Congressional intercession with our Department of State, so that this becomes a matter of the highest priority for them to resolve. Please contact your congressional reps and ask them to attend this briefing. Please contact any families in the DC area to see if they can join the march and briefing. Please, if you are an agency near DC, please attend and show your support to US adoptive families and their children who are caught in this painful situation."

My friends and family were so supportive when we were waiting for Ana to come home. I'm hoping you might be able to help out other families bring their precious children home. There is a petition that will be presented that is directed to the US and Guatemalan First Ladies asking for their support that this will be the LAST Mother's Day waiting mothers will be without their children.

My heart just aches for these families.
I can't imagine the pain and worry they are enduring.
I can't look at my own sweet Guatemalan princess without tearing up.
We are so blessed to have her here safe with us!

Won't you please click here to sign the petition?

Thanks for your help!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cooper Fast Forward...

So, after Ian was born I really got into photography.

When he was about 2 months old I took a set of photographs that I really loved and from that point on I decided I was not going to take him to a studio and pay outlandish prices, and hope and pray he would be having a good enough moment to get some good shots.

I decided that I would do them.

And that's what I did.
Every month.
And I was happy.

Along came Ana and though I had the best of intentions and did mostly okay, with a few delays here and there in timing. The difference with her was that I didn't print out oodles of copies every month and hand them out to everyone willing to take one.

I handed out her 1 year photos,

But mostly, they sit here on my computer.
But I'm still happy.
I can look at them whenever I want to after all.

So onto Cooper.
He's quite possibly my last baby.
I want to hold onto every memory even more so.

I've been doing okay.
Well, except that I missed the 1 month and 4 month ones.

It's just so hard to find the time;
enough time to set up the backdrop,
to take the pictures,
and take DOWN the backdrop all in one day.
It didn't matter so much with Ian if things were still set up the next day.

But with Ms. Mischief in the house, it most certainly matters!
In a "we would probably end up in the ER with head trauma" sort of way.

Anyways, what I haven't been so good about is sharing with you all.
So I thought I'd catch you up on how much our Coop has changed over the last 5 months.

So here you go, a Cooper Fast Forward:

There you go.
5 months already.
Time really flies.

But I say that a lot, don't I?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

2 Years Ago Tonight...

This cutie became a U.S. citizen.

We were so happy to finally have her HOME...

It's hard to remember her at that age!
She has changed in so very many ways!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sleepy Stories

Between having a 4 month old who alternates between sleeping 7-8 hours in his own bed to spending vast amounts of time in between mummy and daddy; a 2 1/2 year old who has just graduated to a toddler bed; and an 8 year old who still climbs into mummy and daddy's bed every single night, there's a lot of chatter in this house about sleep. I've started a couple different posts about different stories and have decided to pool them together into one post.

This first one is from February 8th:
Okay, it's 5:20 am and Cooper has slept through the night, and is still sleeping! Why then, have I been up all night? Well, he's got me freaked out, that's why! Besides the sleeping so long thing which was enough to keep me up, he's insisting on pulling the blankets over his head over and over again. So I've been up for hours just listening to him breathing. We did have a big day yesterday, traveling to Worcester, MA to visit with a college friend and go to an indoor zoo event. He was awake most of the day so I shouldn't be that surprised, but he fell asleep in the car around 6:15, and I had to wake him at 8:15 because he continued to sleep in his seat when we got home. He slept through me changing his diaper, then nursed, but never opened his eyes. I put him down at about 9pm and here we are at just about 5:30. As I've been typing he's starting to finally stir, and is working hard to fill his diaper.

So, fast forward to 8 am...I totally expected him to wake up STARVING; after all, it had been 9 hours since his last feeding! But this is what I was greeted with when I peered over the bed side:

I laughed out loud when I saw the grin on his face, he is so funny!

From Febrary 17th:
Ana has graduated to a toddler bed, or as she calls it, her big girl bed. She's doing pretty good and as I type it's her fourth night in it. We have a gate on her room so she can't get out and wander if she awakes during the night, which apparently she does because each time we go to get her after nap (which doesn't involve sleep anymore by the way) or in the morning she is wearing different clothes than she was put to bed in. Yesterday morning, I go in to check on her in the morning and she sits up quickly in her bed and says, "Oh, hi mummy! I waked up! I put my dess on!" (dess is clothes). Her "dess" of choice was a shirt, tights, and FOUR pairs of underpants! I got a total giggle when I helped her on the potty and counted layer after layer of underpant; it was too funny!

Ana sleeping in her big girl bed for the first time!

Okay, here's the new stuff:

A little more about Ana's big girl bed escapades - Ana has since started to not want to nap during the day, it's far more interesting to empty her drawers and paw through the bucket of out-grown clothes in her closet, putting on multiple layers of shirts, pants and/or dresses. I'm hoping to do a separate post just on her post-nap styling, but you all know my track record, so don't hold your breath! Another problem we have encountered is that the gate we had been securing her doorway with she figured out how to maneuver out of. One morning last week we woke up and she wasn't in her room...PANIC! She had gone downstairs and had emptied an entire loaf of bread onto the bathroom floor and was playing with it. I can't think about the incident without getting sick to my stomach with the possibilities that could have arisen from her being downstairs by herself (she has taken to trying to go outside to play all by herself on multiple occasions). I'm so thankful that loaf of bread held her interest for some unknown reason!

Lastly, lately our bed has been a gathering place for all members of the family. I have come to the conclusion that we desperately need a king size bed! Anyways, after climbing out of bed one morning a couple weeks ago, I got a real kick out of this sight:

I call it "Small, Medium, and Large".

Oh, I guess there is one last sleep story to share. It's pretty involved, and I'm going to save it for another post. I'll just say that we discovered recently that Ian is a sleep walker...and it was in a very scary way that we made this discovery! More to come....

Friday, March 12, 2010


Recovering from the stomach bug can do a lot to you, but I can't believe it let yesterday slip by without a mention. Two years ago yesterday, Ana was placed in our arms forever. I simply cannot believe it has been two years already! It seems like only yesterday we were sitting in that crowded hotel lobby holding an 8 month old Ana, in disbelief that she was finally coming home with us. Not hearing a word the hogar director was saying to us, only admiring chubby cheeks and crazy dark sticky up hair that covered her sweet head. Two years later, and she has brought so much joy and laughter to our house. I can't imagine our lives without her!

Happy Ana-versary Liliana Michele!
We love you so, so much!

Oh, and thanks to Debbie over at World of Weeks from whom I stole the term "Ana-versary" from. They will be celebrating their own "Lilianaversary" in just over a week, which also happens to be while they are in Ethiopia picking up their newest addition, sweet Naomi. Congratulations guys, and have a safe trip, we'll be thinking about you and can't wait to see pictures of Lili with her new baby sister!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hello 2010!

I cannot believe it's January already! (Okay, so I started this the beginning of January and am now finishing it near the end, so I guess I should say I cannot believe January's almost over already!) I did so little blogging last year, and I'm hoping to change that this year. There's so much that I just didn't blog about, so there's lots of catching up to do! The problem is, I have no idea where to begin! I guess I'll start with just a basic update, then go back and cover the events of last year that I missed. Here we go, onto an update on the kids:

The Beaner

I still find it very hard to accept that he is 8 years old already. I won't lie, age 8 has been met with some challenges; I don't think they are unusual for his age, but they are frustrating nonetheless! You know, back talk, testing, not listening, and a good share of potty mouth! No, I don't mean swearing, he definitely knows better than that. I mean, some days it seems like every other word out of his mouth has to do with boogers, butts, or armpits, and is most often followed by fits of uncontrollable laughter; he just doesn't know when to stop! Anyways, it has been trying. This is not to say we don't have our good days when he is sweet to his sister and plays with her for hours; or gets a real kick out of how much Cooper's eyes follow him around the room and how he gets the biggest smiles out of him when he gets down on his level and talks to him. All in all, he really is a good kid and I think we are just going through a testing phase at the moment. He does well in school, and is respectful to all other adults so I guess I have to be thankful he keeps the difficult behavior at home! His teacher tells us that he is great at school, and that he is one of the kids in the class that she goes to if she needs helpers, so that makes me proud! Anyways, his current interests are reading (even if his favorite is the Captain Underpants series), art (he's started to do some really great drawings!), and using his various building toys (legos, train tracks, dominoes, marble tracks, lincoln logs) to build large intertwining structures; he will spend hours working on them while listening to music on cable's "kidz only" music station. He's still taking piano lessons, and seems to enjoy it most of the time. We also gave him as a Christmas gift, a few karate classes to try it out, so we'll be doing that in the near future. We're hoping it can teach him some self control!

La Princesa Liliana:

What can I say about our little 2 1/2 year old ball of fire? She has about a million personalities, I swear. One moment she can be so very sweet to you, and the next she is literally growling at you! Look at the above picture, she refused to smile for the camera, the picture oozes her attitude! She's pure drama for sure, and we are never short on giggles when she's around. Her current loves are tutu's, and other dress ups which her Mimi has made sure she has a steady supply of, but she'll get down on the ground and push cars around with the boys any time. She'll get down and dirty in the mud, and the next minute be whining that she needs a wipe to wash up. She is often seen trucking around the house in a tutu and mismatched rain boots toting around 3 or 4 bags filled with random stuff. She is intensely independent, and has for at least 6 months now completely dressed herself from shirt to tights and shoes (seriously, I remember still putting Ian's shoes on when he was 4!). Remember when she used to wear shoes around the house on her hands? Well the obsession has not passed and we can't be out of bed for more than 10 minutes before the feet have to be dressed. She is a major trouble seeker and will wait until I'm busy feeding Cooper to find something to get into. Her favorite is when I leave the gate open so she can get into the bathroom (did I mention she can open doors now?); and the gate is no longer enough to keep her from going upstairs, she slips through the railings on the side of the staircase. I'm telling you, she's a total monkey! She loves going through tubs of wipes at a time changing her baby's diapers, she's gotten into my makeup and completely painted her body from the waist down with lipstick, and we've had several incidents where she decides to change her own poopy diapers (most of the time during nap time, arrrgh!). She definitely keeps us on our toes! But at the end of the day, she's a real sweetheart. She loves her brothers so completely, constantly tackling Ian for hugs and will get down and speak sweetly to Cooper and tell him "It okay Coopa" when he's crying. She is full of "I luvs you"s for mummy, daddy and her brothers and she always keeps us smiling!

Coopie Monster

What can I say about this gushy squishy fellow? I'm smitten for sure. He is the most laid back child I have ever encountered; he really only cries when he's hungry or needs a diaper change. I remember having to carry Ian around everywhere, having to walk him around to keep him entertained (maybe it's that he has constant entertainment with his brother and sister, we're never short on activity in this house!). At night I remember having to rock Ian back to sleep after each feeding; Cooper pretty much eats and goes right back to sleep, it's crazy and I'm so spoiled! For the past week or so, he's been going to bed around 8 or 9, waking between 1 and 3 for a feeding then going back to sleep until 4-6 usually not actually getting up for the day until around 6 or 7, it's amazing (yes I'm knocking on wood)! The only problem we've been having at night is that after that first feeding he really doesn't want to go back into the cradle, he'd much rather cuddle with me in bed; but I have to admit, that's really not a problem for me! Anyways, he's just a sweetie and I wish I could keep him this way forever. But you know how it goes....they grow; and boy is he growing! I had him at the doctors a few weeks ago and he was already approaching 13 pounds! The picture above was taken at about 6 weeks and he's now 3 months old (I just took more pictures, but they are still on the camera), I can hardly believe three months have gone by already! He's a big smiler, I heard his giggle a couple weeks ago, he's started to reach for things and grab onto them, and has started to discover just how fascinating it is to have hands, often spending lots of time just staring at them. We only got a week with Ana when she was this age, and it's so nice to experience it again!

As for Greg and I, we're just flying by the seat of our pants trying to keep up with this crew. We feel like the luckiest parents on earth to have these three as our own. I would have never imagined when we started dating in high school that this is where we would be 18 years later (isn't that crazy?!). It's been an interesting road to get here, but in the end I would change nothing. Everything that we've been through has contributed to where we are, and who we have become. I feel so truly blessed.