Friday, March 30, 2012

March Number

Our official March number is...

One of my favorite toys when I was about 7 or 8 was the magic 8 ask a question and get an answer right away (no matter if it was right or wrong!)... Oh how I'd love a magic eight ball right about now =) Of course, we would miss this faith journey if we knew when, where, what, who in all aspects of our lives! So we continue to wait, learn, trust, surrender, ask questions and simply wait for the time when the answers will be revealed! And you know what? As soon as we get our questions answered we will have more and He will be ready for us to lay those down at His feet too!

We got the sweetest present a couple weeks ago from Mike and Heather! I just love it and it's all Hungry Caterpillar. Diaper changing goodies, bib, burp cloths, texture toy... too cute! Can't wait to have a little baby bottom to use it with.

A few things that I've been really praying about lately is our little guy's birth family and especially his birth mom who is probably going through a lot right now. A lot of people don't realize there are two stories to adoption and our joy and answer to prayer is going to be someones deep loss. There is a lot of grief for all involved including the birth family, our son, us... please join us in prayer as we prepare our hearts for our little guy's story and how we will be instrumental in allowing God to use us to help heal his heart, mind, spirit and body.

I've also been praying about our transition plan for when we will be bringing our little guy home (won't be for awhile!) We plan on cocooning for awhile which basically means we will be staying at the house and will be limiting exposing him to new people and places right away. We need to establish the trust and attachment to us first and foremost... this is challenging for me for many reasons. First, we didn't do attachment parenting with the girls meaning I didn't wear them on me, they didn't sleep in our room, we didn't feed on demand, we didn't rush to them at every sound they made, etc. We will need to do things very differently for our son so he knows his needs are and will be met! Second, I'm not someone who likes to stay home =) I'm a go and do person so this will be hard and it will probably get a bit lonely. Third, I've heard from other adoptive families that telling people we need this alone time called cocooning can potentially be something that can be hurtful and they've gotten very negative reactions to it. I REALLY don't like hurting people's feelings or seem ungrateful for people's support and interest. Almost too my fault I care a lot of what people think of me. We have been so blessed by so many and can't wait for you all to be a part of the rest of his life! We do have to be mindful of this time as it will affect how he bonds and attaches in his future relationships - he will be our number one priority. I will write more about this when we get closer!

Ok - last one and if you've gotten this far you will be SO excited to hear I've been praying about whether or not to induce lactation or not (see aren't you glad you kept reading?). I'm part of an adoptive mom's breastfeeding group and learning a lot. I want to be doing it all for the right reasons and above all to do it for his benefit and what it best for him! Praying for wisdom and discernment in this area!

Alright - thanks for hanging in this long. I don't get to share a lot of this with people and this is such a great way to express myself, inform a lot of people at once and to ask you all for prayer!! Please pray that we get our referral call and get a court date by August so that we don't get caught in the court closures. If we don't get a court date in August or before we won't be traveling for the first time until November which means he probably won't be home by Christmas. Just thinking that makes my heart heavy but I know that although I'd like a magic eight ball, I'm much better putting my life in our almighty Father who can work miracles and move mountains!

Monday, March 26, 2012

my little scrappers

With Claire loving her camera and photography, she has taken even more of a love for scrapbooking! Especially since she got a scrapbook kit for her birthday from Mimi. She loves to do her book while I'm working on a scrap project. Eden is really loving it too and I hope that it continues so we can all share in it together as we create and preserve our memories together!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Slippery Fish

Eden ADORES the song "Slippery Fish" (swimmin' in the water!) and now she is one!! This little fish was a little too comfortable for our taste last year when we spent time at the pool so I wanted to make sure she was getting some experience and learning how to be safe in the water before summer time arrives. This is Eden's first time to take any kind of lessons or class and I think she's really going to love it!

She was such a sweetheart - raising her hand so eagerly to volunteer to do everything first! She only has two other boys in her class. Her coach seems to be really good and she had them do a lot for the first lesson - bubbles, superman, floating on back and jumping in with total submerssion. So glad they didn't waster any time and that she was A-OK with the pace.

She loves to make big kicks!
Eden wanted to say goodbye to her coach before leaving but she had already started a new class and what was the first thing she said when we were walking to the car? "I want to go to swim lessons again. When do I go? I want to go now"
When we got home Claire was running around in her suit playing with the hose! Eden was excited to get in on that action!

This was right before they fell over =) A little too much love!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bluebonnet Season

I just love this time of year when the roadsides are painted with wildflowers! Of course the bluebonnets are my favorite and this year was an especially good one with all the rain we've gotten the past month or two. We have a tradition of taking pictures in the bluebonnets and each season tells a new season of our lives. Here is a walk down memory lane...

2003 - nine years ago! a few months before we started a new forever together

2004 - we didn't take pictures together but this was on one of the many nature adventures Neil took in the forest area across from our apartments. Loved this picture with the apartment building in the back with the ever present balloons!
2006 - We welcomed our sweet Claire just a few weeks before! This was the picture we used for her birth announcements!

2007 - This was the year of the bluebonnet photo challenge =) Neil and I each took Claire separately to see who could take the best pictures! Just a friendly competition that we don't remember who judged or who won! Claire was just a little over a year

2010 - A few pics with Abbey and one with Eden in the same outfit that we took Claire's pictures in.
Eden Noel (1 and 4 months old) still 2010 - this was the first time we did professional pics and they were by Synergy Photography in San Antonio.... some of my most favorite pictures not only because they were amazing but because of the time of our lives it signifies! This was when we started our adoption process and we used these pictures on our thank yous for everyone who helped us in one way or another. These pictures will always be some of my favorite...

Eden - 1 and 4 months old
Claire - 4 years old
2011 - we were all set to get pics taken again but it was so windy that we delayed and then when we rescheduled the bluebonnets were gone!! It wasn't a very good year for them!

2012 - this year... my sweet girls in matching dresses...these will also be some of my favorites for all time =)

Eden - 3 and 4 months old

our budding photographer and memory preserver!
It's amazing to see how God has weaved our lives over the past years! I pray that next year we will have three little ones posing in those bluebonnets and celebrating yet another season of what He has in store for our family!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Break Project

Last year we painted our front door red during our spring break so this year we went a little bigger... xeroscaping our front side lawn that gets direct, beat down heat!! I worked so hard to keep it up with hand watering but I don't want to do that again this year! Well, we originally thought 2-3 days project and we now know it's a much bigger undertaking than we thought. Thankfully we are getting a lot of help from my dad, my mom and the girls helped me pick out some good plants and the girls are keeping entertained outside with playing with water, catching bugs and trapping ants =)

Can't wait to see the finished product with the crushed granite and plants!! A HUGE thank you to Neil who worked especially hard and to my dad who helped us above and beyond!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Birthday Celebrations!

I can't believe my baby turned 6 on Tuesday!! We had her birthday party on Saturday and what a fun celebration! She wanted to invite all the girls from her class and some of her closest girlfriends from church so we had 11 little girls running around the house in their pajamas!! That's right - a complete girly pajama party with fingernail painting, bracelet making, being silly, playing a stuffed animal/toy game, eating cake and pizza and watching Tangled for those who could stay for the after party. It was just what Claire wanted and I know she had a great time having her friends here to celebrate with her!

I got this balloon wreath idea off of pintrest and it is something I can use for any other birthday celebration! Well worth the time and effort as I over heard Claire telling some people at school about it before they came to the party. She thought it was pretty special =)
Here's my sweet girl! We planned on doing sponge rollers in all the girl's hair so I rolled Claire's hair. But after she looked at it she was in tears wanting me to take it out...I told her I needed atleast one picture of her! 3 other girls at the party rolled their hair along with this mommy so it was worth having out!

The grandparents from both sides were there as the designated adult helpers! Thanks mom for all your fruit/dips and extra help and to Elaine for bringing the yummy bread! Made these yummy s'mores treats off of pintrest and put it together with stickers and a bog of popcorn to go with the pajama party theme! "Thanks for poppin' in and makin' my party s'more fun!" They were SUPER yummy and I've already made them two more times since!
Claire picked out a couple baby pics of her to have out with the flower cupcakes!
Making bracelets! They couldn't get enough of it... some of them made 3 or 4 of them! Beads on pipe cleaner
Most of the girls in the hallway
Here they all are!! Loving their time in Claire' room and hanging out on the bunk bed
Each kiddo brought their favorite stuffed animal/toy and dropped it in a designated bag outside the front door to keep it a secret. Then we all guessed who brought what... I wasn't' sure if they would like this game but they loved it!
Singing happy birthday! Ever since I made Eden's Snow White cake Claire has wanted a Rapunzel cake. This one was a little more challenging with her hair being so long and with the different colors of the skirt.
Guess who enjoyed it?
Thank you to everyone who blessed Claire with such thoughtful gifts! This was one of her favorites - the Rapunzel Hair!
We LOVE you Claire - our favorite 6 year old!! You have changed our world for the better and we are so honored to be your parents!
If you want to see more pics you can click on this site and go to Claire's 6th birthday!

Claire's birthday was actually Tuesday so Neil and I gave her our gifts that morning. She loved her "foo foo skirt" outfit and really liked her feather hair clips. I also finished her birthday scrapbook up to her 5th birthday and she was really excited to look through it... now I get to do the 6th birthday! I love this picture of her...she just looks so cute!
I couldn't believe all the attention she got at school! It's amazing that at a large school they can still make a student feel special. She was on the BSN news announcements in front of the whole school, wore this special hat all day, got sang to a few times and got free ice cream at lunch time! I was able to take her lunch and celebrate a little with her in the cafeteria... funny story... I asked her what she wanted me to bring her for lunch thinking McDonald's or Chick-fil-a but with big, bright eyes she said "Chocolate pudding and Cheetos!" So that's what she got =) That and a bowl of her favorite minestrone that I make. What a sweetheart that she felt like that was the way she wanted to celebrate!
After school we went to see grandpa and he had a special snack for the girls including a candle in the oatmeal pie!

After gymnastics, we met my parents, Billy and Neil's parents out for chinese to celebrate my Mom's birthday on the 8th. Happy Birthday Mom and my Grandma Ann!!

Can't wait to see what this year will bring!