Friday, December 28, 2007

What a Great Week!

Look at me getting funky with my new blog header. And, yes, Tara, I was inspired by you, but your blog is still the coolest on the blog block.

I promised Christmas pics, so here they are in a nifty slide show. (Again - look at me learning to do new things!) My favs are Micah on the orange giraffe rocker his dad picked out, Micah riding his tonka truck from his Uncle Ryan and Micah wearing the blueberry hat my sister knitted for him. Cute!

Speaking of Christmas - can I tell you how amazing my husband is? Yes, yes I can. We weren't supposed to do gifts this year, but we both cheated (of course!). I got Kevin a last-minute-found-it-on-ebay-gift - Guitar Hero III for the Wii. He is playing right now- it's hilarious. I've been rocking out - perfecting "She Bangs the Drums" by the Stone Roses (takes me back to high school!), and Kevin has been perfecting a song by Poison. Awesome. :)

Anyway- on Christmas morning there was a little bag under the tree for me with a little box - I supposed it was jewelry, which of course would be very sweet, but I was wrong. It was a gift card for a SPA DAY! I don't know why, but I bawled when I realized what it was. He knows me so well - that was the PERFECT gift for this tired mama. I'm planning my massage for very soon and I'm going to save the rest for later. I LOVE the spa and he got the gift card from one of my favorite Aveda salons. I love him. :)

And, this has been such a great week in adoption blog land. I have seen so many referrals coming in lately - it is just wonderful. Congrats to the Gurskes and the Magers who received their referrals this week! I'm so happy for them and for all the other families who had Christmas surprises!

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Micah's first Christmas is over - it was a wonderful two days, but we were EXHAUSTED!

On Christmas Eve I spent the day cooking my Ethiopian feast - I made shiro wat, doro wat, and lasagna (we had it in Ethiopia!). Micah really liked the shiro - he kicked his feet for more. I must say, even though my doro looked nothing like the doro I've had before, I was pretty impressed with myself for cooking the meal. Kevin is the chef here and my specialties are limited to fish sticks and mac n cheese. (Pretty fancy, I know.) I put on a small scarf I had bought in Addis and wore it for inspiration all day (the UPS man stopped by and gave me the STRANGEST look ever :). I wish I had a picture, just to show you all what a big dork I am, but I was too busy simmering for pictures.

Here is the table - I used the shawls I got from Ethiopia for chair covers - pretty nifty huh?

My mom and I - the Bean was still napping when she got there so we relaxed a bit before he woke up.My doro wat simmering...

Kevin was getting into the holiday mood...

Micah was dressed in his traditional Ethiopian outfit for the occasion. He looked very cute...

Micah & Mimi

Our Family

We opened gifts from Mimi that night - Micah was a little confused by this, but he had fun...

This was his Radio Flyer wagon!

His Rody - a little inflatable donkey-thing that he can bounce on - very cute!

Typical baby - he was more interested in the ribbons. :)

If you can believe it - we then went down the street to our friends' house to give their kids their gifts and they gave Micah a really cool ball popper.

Chuck was way into it - he kept screaming & laughing at the balls as they popped up. Micah is so smart - when a ball would pop out - he would put it back in. My little genius. :)

This is just cute - it is one of those tunnels and Micah thought it was great. I'm definitely getting one! (Unless Chris hands it down to us first :)

Like I said, Whoosh! That was just Christmas Eve! That night, as I was changing him into his jammies (and we were both exhausted), I told him the story of Christmas and how one of the wise men was King Balthazar from Ethiopia. I also told him how much we love him and how happy we are that he is here with us for his first Christmas. Sweet boy.

I'll post Christmas pictures soon!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

10 Months Old!

Dear Micah Bean,

I've been thinking of writing you a letter for some time now. It is coming up on your first Christmas, and you just turned 10 months old. There are so many things you are learning and doing - you are amazing. Since your mama is bad at writing things down, but good at blogging, I've decided to write you a letter each month to remind us someday of what you were like.

Here are some of the amazing things you are doing:

*You have just begun to figure out how to move around. You are not quite crawling, but you are definitely rolling. In the past few days you have figured out how to move forward, but it is kind of like an inch worm moving along. It is so cute. Your favorite thing to get into when rolling around is the dogs' water bowl.
*Your favorite foods are yogurt, cheerios and sweet potatoes. You also like peas because you really like to grab things and put them in your mouth.
*You LOVE your doggies. Each time you wake up, I pick you up out of your crib and you immediately look toward the door for the doggies (who are gated out of your room). As soon as you see one of them, you flash a big smile (usually behind your binky). You also like to "bark" back at them - especially Ham. Sometimes when I am changing your clothes, we'll hear Hammie bark and you 'bark' back at her. It is so cute. Here you are with Pedro...

*Your favorite books are "Baby Colors" and "My Little Miracle." You really like to read books - I sit you on my lap facing me and read them to you while you turn the pages. You get a very serious look on your face most of the time, but sometimes you will smile and look up at me to make sure I see it too. Your dad reads to you too...

*Your least favorite things are having your hair combed and putting on your coat. The sight of a comb or coat can make you very mad.
*You really like listening to music and you think it's very funny when mom and dad sing along- especially when I use a spoon for a microphone. You really love the Beastie Boys. (Just kidding)

*You LOVE bathtime. You often try to swim right out of your inflatable tub!
*You have lots of nicknames, including Micah Bean, Beanie and Yabbie.
*You have the best laugh ever. My favorite is when you belly laugh - it is very cute. You are also very social and say your version of 'hi' to everyone in the store. If they don't acknowledge you, you will yell at them until they do. You are very popular with the checkout people at the grocery store too. You will always give them a smile.

There are so many more wonderful things that you are learning to do. Your dad and I are constantly laughing while we watch you roll around and begin to crawl. We love to sit and watch as you figure things out. You are very inquisitive and I have a feeling you'll want to get into everything when you start to walk.

Your dad & I are so excited about your first Christmas. Last year at this time we were beginning to dream of you and traveling to beautiful Ethiopia to meet you. Now you are home with us, and you bring us more joy than we could ever have imagined. You are our sweet little bean and we love you so much.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas!**

Merry Christmas from Kevin, Stacie & Micah!

(click on the link for you Christmas surprise :)

**Yucky - it is not working! It did work earlier. Anyhoo - just to let you in on the fun... you can go to (or you used to be able to) and upload photos to make dancing elves of your family and then email them to people. You can even do the dogs (and the cats for you cat-people! :). I have made three already. I really don't have this much free time - I just keep putting off the things I need to do (laundry!). So, Merry Christmas anyway - sorry your Christmas surprise isn't working!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Whole Lotta Rambling (& Pictures!)

First things first... how cute are these pictures that Kevin took?

I mean, I think they're adorable, but these might be the kind of pics that only a mama would find cute. :) I even had to make them large because they're so cute. (And, in case you're wondering - he does not eat with a spoon yet. He chews on them. They're his after-dinner treat.)

Speaking of pictures - here is the one I finally decided on one for the Christmas card. Since they've been sent, I can share. I did not use the one everyone loved because, as my Aunt Terry pointed out, I didn't even iron the sheet I had draped over the chair. It was a practice run, people! So, here is the winner...

I just think he looks like a little elf baby in this one, so that's the one I used.

This week the UPS or FedEx man has been to my house every day. Sometimes both in one day. Or the mailman who likes to knock loudly and aggressively on my door and then run back to his truck. I need to put a "Baby Sleeping" sign on the door because he always comes during naps. Have I mentioned that Hammie has a personal vendetta against the mailman? Well, the mailman, the UPS person and the FedEx person. She has serious probs with all of them, which include barking hysterically when they, or their trucks come anywhere close to the house. Anyway, this is what the delivery fairies brought me today (among other things)...

That's right - we're FINALLY going to tackle the art of Ethiopian cooking. I was inspired by Mike & Jo who are just beginning their wait for a referral and have already made a fabulous looking Ethiopian meal. So, Kevin and I decided to make Ethiopian food for Micah's first Christmas Eve. My mom is coming over for dinner and she's a fan of Doro Wat & Shiro Wat (right Mimi?) so that's what we're having. We're also having lasagna because that was served to us in Ethiopia at our big feast, so we figured, why not? We're not going to tackle injera yet - we're trying to keep things low-key. But, did you know you can buy fresh injera at Yep! That's where I got the spices too. Ok, so our feast may not look like the one we had in Ethiopia ...

but, I'm sure it will be yummy. I'll be sure to take pictures!

Oh, and since we're having Ethiopian dinner, I thought I'd dress Micah in his traditional Ethiopian outfit before he grows out of it...

Can someone please help me and tell me how to wash this? I don't want to ruin it, but I want to wash it before (and assuredly after) he wears it. Please let me know if you have some tips!

Chub alert: Micah went to the doc yesterday and has gained 2 lbs. in the last 6 weeks! He is 20 lbs. now! We didn't measure him, but last time he was almost 29 inches. He seems huge to me! But, don't worry, he has himself on a baby yoga program...

This is Micah's way of getting from sitting to rolling position. It totally cracks me up. When he gets to rolling mode, he looks up at me and I have to clap a little bit and say, "You did it!" or else he may cry because he bumped his head a teeny bit on the way down. Cutie. (Oh, and please excuse what appears to be a dirty floor - it isn't really dirty - it is just old and needs to be replaced. It is LAST on the list of all of the things we have replaced in this house - including entirely new floors/carpeting in the rest of the house, completely re-painted entire house, 2 new bathrooms, and a brand new deck. But, I digress...)

I'm sure I have more to say, but it's getting late, and someone (I'm not saying who) is teething and kept both of us up for 2 hours last night. I'm scared for tonight...

Sunday, December 16, 2007


We love snow around here. We don't get it that often, so when we do (well, if it's more than a dusting) we get pretty excited. Kevin watches the Weather Channel all day & night when there is "weather" on the way. I even got him a Weather Channel t-shirt and he wore it. (Kev - hope it's ok I'm giving out your secrets :) So, when it snowed about 7 inches here last night - he was VERY excited to take his son out in the snow.

Just to prove that we had the kid bundled up, let me tell you that he had on 2 shirts, baby legs, socks, fleece footie jammies and then this snowsuit (I LAUGHED the entire time I was trying to put this thing on him! Poor child.)

I'm still laughing. My sister handed this down to us and, although the tag says 9-12 months, she told me her son wore it at age 2. Okay - I believe it. This thing is HUGE and hilarious. All I could think of was Ralphie from A Christmas Story. I think we need to invest in a proper snow outfit if we get another snow.

Here are some pictures of Micah's first foray into snow!

He's still traumatized from being put in the snowsuit.

A little confused about why we just put him down in the snow.

Kevin is trying to show him how much fun snow is...

He got into it for a minute.

Cute boys!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

This Tops The List...

This is the question I got tonight from someone (someone I've known for years!!) wondering about Micah: "Is that yours?"

Incredulous, I answer a bit sarcastically, "You mean this?" rubbing Micah's sweet belly. I put my face up next to my son's and asked, "Cant' you tell?"

For a minute I thought about saying, "Oh no, we just borrowed him for the night."


Oh - and FINALLY - It snowed! I asked for 6 inches - that's what we got! :) Pictures later!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Currently Inspiring Me...

"Someday At Christmas"

Someday at Christmas men won't be boys
Playing with bombs like kids play with toys
One warm December our hearts will see
A world where men are free

Someday at Christmas there'll be no wars
When we have learned what Christmas is for
When we have found what life's really worth
There'll be peace on earth

Someday all our dreams will come to be
Someday in a world where men are free
Maybe not in time for you and me
But someday at Christmastime

Someday at Christmas we'll see a Man
No hungry children, no empty hand
One happy morning people will share
Our world where people care

Someday at Christmas there'll be no tears
All men are equal and no men have fears
One shinning moment my heart ran away
From our world today

Someday all our dreams will come to be
Someday in a world where men are free
Maybe not in time for you and me
But someday at Christmastime

Someday at Christmas man will not fail
Take hope because your love will prevail
Someday a new world that we can start
With hope in every heart

Someday all our dreams will come to be
Someday in a world where men are free
Maybe not in time for you and me
But someday at Christmastime
Someday at Christmastime

written by Ronald N. Miller and Bryan Wells
recorded by Stevie Wonder on the album "Someday at Christmas" 1967

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Micah's First Tree!

Picking out and decorating the Christmas tree is always a special time for us. Five years ago, Kevin asked me to marry him while we were decorating the tree - our engagaversary is Saturday. (No - he did not rip off the Helzberg commercial and put the ring on an ornament! :) Christmas is Kevin's favorite holiday - and the tree has been something that we look forward to each year.

Picking it out - well, I have been known to cry at the tree lot. Yes, this is weird. Yes, I am weird. But, for some reason, I always feel sorry for the little scraggly tree, and yes, that is usually the one we get. For the past few years, we have gone to the tree lot with high expectations of finally getting a bigger, fuller tree. But, we always come home with the most sad looking tree - even if we thought it looked perfect at the lot. But, we love our sad little trees. It's a family tradition. Maybe someday we'll have a big ol' tree, but not yet.

This year was no different - we picked out a small tree but thought it looked great. (You must note that it was sitting off to the side all by itself... yep - that was probably what did it for me.)

We got it home, put it up and then laughed - the branches were haphazardly placed, with big gaps and goofy ones that stuck out of nowhere. This is a little embarrassing, but we even put it up on blocks to make it taller. I know - so fancy! But they are covered by the tree skirt - so it's not as bad as you think (only a little bit as bad as you think :)

Oh well! We'd make it work! We always do. So, tonight we decorated the tree. Micah was up for the lights to be added and turned on, and to add a very special ornament. His ornament...

(I know - we all have one of these.) I put it on the tree and told him it was for him, because he is our inspiration. Then I cried a little bit. Then he took it off the tree and proceeded to eat it. It was obviously very emotional for him as well.

I put him to bed and Kevin and I finished decorating - my favorite part about decorating is finding all of those ornaments from years past and remembering who gave them to us and what memories they hold. I used to dream of a martha-like tree with all one style of ornaments, but this year I realized how much I love all of the different ones we've collected over the years. And, I'm sure the future will bring us more - homemade ornaments from Micah, etc. I look forward to that! :) Anyway, here is the finished product. I think we did okay with what we had! (It looks prettier in person - all lit up.)

It's a little goofy, but we love it. Oh, and this also made me cry tonight...

See Micah's new stocking? (The other three are for the dogs :) Seeing that there just makes me very happy. I'm very happy. My Christmas wish is that all of you who are waiting - just beginning, waiting for a referral, or getting ready to travel - that you all have this same joy next Christmas!


With all the gloomy days we're having here, Micah and I have been watching this and cracking up. It is too cute!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Micah's Girlfriend

After weeks of failed court dates and waiting, I'm happy to see some good news in the adoption world.

First, Jocelyn received her referral for sweet Pacey - she is adorable - go see!

Pacey is already spoken for, which is a good thing - because Micah is now in love with cutie-pie Amari! (I know - he's going to have competition from Mamush!) Congratulations to Jill for making it through court the third time around!! :)

I love hearing good news - especially when it has been extremely dreary & rainy here for OVER A WEEK!!! It's muddy & gross, and this is my life:

Follow that with -
1. Clean out the tub - made muddy by muddy feet
2. Mop the floor - made muddy by muddy feet
3. Feel fortunate that I do not share a bathroom with the dogs (Poor Micah does)
4. Think to myself that it is a really good thing I love dogs because this is a pain in the butt
5. Wish for the sun to return or for it to snow 6 inches (that would make it worth it!)

I'll quit moping now - I have to remember - there is good news out there! :)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

It's been one year...

...well, almost a year. Almost a year since we first went to the information meeting at CHI. I remember that it was before Christmas, but not the exact date, so let's just say it's been a year.

And, what a year. We never could have known that just 5 short months after we turned in our application, that we would walk into CHI again to see this beautiful face.

Our son. It is amazing to even think about it - and it happened to us! While I was adding our timeline to the blog (it was deleted in the re-design project), I was thinking about how, one year ago, we told our family that there was a small chance our child (or children then!) would be home for Christmas the next year. I was secretly hoping for Fall.

And, then early last Spring (probably right after CHI was licensed) I said to Kevin that perhaps there was a possibility we could get in before the courts closed in the Summer. His answer: "It would take a series of small miracles for that to happen." And, I believe that is just what happened - a series of small miracles that brought us to our own unbelievable miracle. I know that this also included the heartbreak of one very amazing woman, and she is often in my thoughts.

And, now that we've been home for 4 months (well 4 months on the 13th), I am still in awe over how things fell into place. Micah is such a special little being, and I know I say it all the time, but we are so blessed to have him here with us; to have the honor of being his parents.

And, seriously, could he be any cuter? :)

Friday, December 7, 2007

I'm Finished.

I know the poll results were saying that most of you loved the new design, but I had to change it. It made me feel like I was going to have a panic attack every time I looked at it. This one is simpler (maybe a bit more boring) but it makes me feel calm, so I'm sticking with it. Oh - and if you really loved the last design - you can go get it yourself at I'll warn you though - you lose everything on your sidebar, so you have to save your links before you change your template. This was a much bigger project than I thought it would be!!

Special thanks to Julie - my new design coordinator. (I appointed her with that title :) Here she is with Micah!

Micah hearts Aunt Julie!

Julie's daughter S (future babysitter!) - I love how she & Micah are almost making the same face here!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Bling Santa

Ok - first I added a poll to see what we think of the new blog. I am not in love with it yet, but I haven't found anything else that I like more than this one...

Now, on to Santa. Last night we went to visit Santa and he was so funny! I'm not joking - he had on a big ol' black belt, with a big ol' black belt buckle that said "Santa" in gold script. Awesome! You can't really see it in this picture of a picture, but he was definitely stylin'.

Micah was having a good time too - he still loves Santa. He was actually squirming out of my arms to go to Santa. Cute little one. Also - see Micah's shoes? Those cute pumas? I was so excited to get those and he's already almost grown out of them! Not to mention the horror of trying to put shoes on him and then tie them in double-knots. After last night I decided I was finished with that so I went and got some Robeez booties. I got the idea to get these booties from Silas - he's such a trendsetter! Here's how cute Micah looks in his...

They are so great - no fighting with kicking legs - just slip these little booties right on! Mom's happy, baby's happy. Yay! Kevin's first reaction to the booties was, "Hey- Napolean Dynamite." (Remember his moon boots? They are kind of similar.)

But now he thinks they're pretty cute.

Micah is also a rolling fool nowadays. He rolled from the kitchen to the front room, then down the hallway, then into the bathroom where he got stuck under the cabinet. I had to call Kevin to tell him. It's so cute to watch him get more independent. He is also sitting up by himself really well- only a few bumps when mom or dad aren't fast enough to catch him. (Nothing serious, mind you.)

Micah is also loving the tub lately. That is his "dad-time" - Kevin does tub after dinner while I clean up, so they have good bonding time. They splash a lot and I can always hear him squealing in there. Since I love tub pics - here are a couple...


Under Construction

Ok - so I've started this project and now I'm getting a little crazy with it. So, please bear with me - I should make a decision soon and have everything back. But, for a few days all my widgets (on the sidebar) are going to be MIA and things could change frequently. But, I promise I'll make a decision soon. I would recommend NOT starting to re-design your blog - too many choices - not sure if I like any of them! Argh. Why did I ever start? :) OH, and please feel free to tell me if you love it, hate it or if I should just go back to the old way. I saved my old template, so that would be easy.

**Ok - so you all like it so far - but, I'm worried it's too busy (julia - I was thinking the same thing!)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I've recently read two books that I want to share. Probably lots of you have already read them, but they are both inspiring in different ways.

The first is What is the What by David Eggers. It is the story of Valentino Achak Deng - one of the lost boys from Sudan. I wish I could put into words how amazing this book is. But, just read it and then you'll understand.

The second I just finished is Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. It is the story of a man who builds schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Although the writing in this book is not as good as in What is the What, it is still a very powerful and uplifting story. This man's courage and determination are amazing.

And, finally, I leave you with my recommendations for some books for baby. Actually, I'm surprised that Tasha has not clued you all into these. Maybe she has and I've missed it. (Tash- get on it!) They are the Baby Be of Use Four-Book Bundle. These books will help your little one learn "his or her way around banking, car repair, breakfast preparation, and drink-mixing." I just had to share these because they gave me a good laugh! And, they'd make a perfect gift- don't you think? :)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Micah Loves Santa

This past weekend our agency had their annual holiday party - complete with a visit from Santa. We were a little nervous about how Micah might respond to being put on Santa's lap, but he did great! At first, he just kept looking up at Santa, and then back at us.

But then he decided he loved Santa and was almost jumping up & down in Santa's lap. Big smiles. (the crowd loved it :)

Since the Ethiopia program is new at CHI, we were the only Ethiopia family there. But, lots of people had seen our referral video and his pictures on the CHI blog and in the newsletter, so he was like a mini-celebrity. People kept coming up to us and saying, "I've seen your pictures!" It was cute. We also got a lot of questions about the program from families who are thinking of adopting from Ethiopia, so hopefully next Christmas we'll have more Ethiopia families at the Holiday party.

That night we went to visit our friends - and Micah got to hang out with Mitch, Gracie, George & Chuck. Chuck (who is 19 months) was totally into Micah. When we first came home with Micah, Chuck would lay on the floor and scream when he saw him, but now they are quickly becoming BFFs.

(Notice Chuck holding Micah's binky - he always goes right for it :)

Sweet boy that he is, Chuck got down on the floor like Micah to play.

Gracie (who is 8) was happy to hold Micah for a picture for the blog (she's an avid reader). But, this one cracks me up - Micah had just spit up all over her.

Happier now that I cleaned up the mess...

And, finally, here are two that I think speak for themselves...