Monday, February 25, 2008

Party Hardy

Well, we survived Micah's 1st birthday party, and we think it was a raging success. :) There were tons of kids here - seriously - people kept saying, "How do you know so many kids?" My friends are fertile? I don't know. But, really, it was a lot of fun. And exhausting, but in an exhilarating fun way. (Why didn't you other moms tell me how crazily exhausting a 1st birthday party is? :)

I don't have many pictures because we hired Linda to come and take pictures for us, and we're waiting to get them back. Yes, I know it sounds wildly extravagant to do that (and maybe a little weird), but let me tell you how awesome it was to not have to worry about taking pictures all night long. It was awesome. And, we love Linda - she did our wedding photos, family photos, and Micah's first photos when he came home. (We probably should have hired her for his arrival at the airport too... okay maybe that would be extravagant.) Anyway, Gracie did take pictures with our camera, so you will get an unprofessional sneak peak at the night's events. I promise to post Linda's pictures when we get them (hopefully within the week!).

Here are the highlights:

*It was a cupcake party! Kevin made these amazingly cute cupcakes. He probably would not like me to tell you that. But, he loves me and he loves his son, so he was willing to get fancy in the kitchen for the party. (He does have a degree in pastry arts after all!)

*Mamush came to Micah's party! Very cool that these boys are already sharing life's special moments. :)

*Cupcake cookies! Our good friend Stephanie made these for the party. She is an expert baker, and I, well, I am not. So she made the cupcakes cookies. I did, however, make the tags that say, "It's fun to be 1" and "thanks for coming to my party heart Micah"

Micah had cake. With lots of icing. I did make him his very own little cake. It was not beautiful, but I was still proud. (Although I overdid it on the icing - tip: go light on the icing for a first birthday cake!)

*You know that scene in 16 Candles, after Jake's party where the record keeps skipping and you see the big mess? That was our house after everyone left. I was crying laughing at the mess - it looked like we had a raging kegger, but with lots of toys and juice boxes. (We cleaned that night - up til 1 a.m. but much better than cleaning in the morning.)

*The best part of the night was after we put Micah to bed and we were all downstairs talking and playing with Micah's new toys. We realized George was missing. Bad sign. I looked at the monitor and saw red lights - uhoh. Went upstairs - into Micah's room - the lights are on, Micah is sitting up in his crib with a bottle and George is laying on the floor playing. I never laughed so hard. So, we got Mic out of bed and he stayed up another hour. George had a point, it was Micah's party after all. :)

So, we had a great time, and were pretty tired (all of us) the next day, but it was well worth it. Just in case you're wondering, here is what Kevin and I looked like the next morning when Micah woke up at 7 a.m. -

Good times, good times.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

All in One Day

Micah's first birthday was marked by an ice storm that caused us to stay holed up inside all day. We had to cancel a lunch with friends at the Ethiopian restaurant - but we're rescheduling for next week. The benefit of a day stuck inside is that today, for the first time, Micah crawled up on all fours! Yippee! I noticed he was trying to get up and go (rather than sit-scoot or hovercraft) so I put his baby-legs on for maximum traction - and off he went. I've never seen anything as cute as his little bootie crawling away from me. Big milestone on his first birthday!!

We had spaghetti for dinner (his favorite) and Gracie & Mitch came up to hang out with us. Micah was especially impressed when Mitch (who is 10) was rocking the guitar hero on a really hard level backwards! I mean not looking at the screen. (I was impressed too.) Gracie helped us out with bath and took pics, but I'm tired so I'll post later.

We finished the night with a family prayer for Micah's first mom - who we thought about and talked about a lot today.

And, just for fun, on Micah's first birthday, I'll leave you with a progression of frog towel photos - because they're so cute.

August 16th - literally 2 days after we got home.

September 27th

And, last week!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Birthday Bean!

Micah's birthday is almost here! Tomorrow!! I can't believe it.

Here he is with an early birthday present - I know I splurged on this one, but I couldn't help myself. I'm so fancy.


(P.S. You know I have to tell you all - I made that banner! Aren't I getting crafty? It's definitely not perfect, but I wanted to make something for his party and voila - I did! :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Diaper Man

Video! Let's see if this works. It's only been 6 months since we came home and we (Kevin) FINALLY figured out how to post video. In this fun clip (taken tonight while I was out) you can see Micah's weird sit-scoot. You can also see him going towards his favorite thing - the toilet. (Not allowed! :)

Also - went to see Juno tonight. I sobbed at the end and then pretty much cried the whole way home. But, yes, I loved it. Loved it, loved it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

For My Mom

Yesterday my Mom had to let her best friend go. Gracie was old, but she hung on for a long time to be there with my mom. I have never seen a dog care for it's owner like my mom's dog. She was a sweet girl with a gentle spirit. We will all miss her.
Love you Mom!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Heart Day!

Hope you all had a good day of lovin'. We had crab legs for dinner with mini chocolate cakes with chocolate mousse filling (I MADE THESE - CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?) and chocolate covered strawberries (that my sweet husband got for me here at Merb's - best ever) for dessert. And, of course, a really yummy wine - Malbec - my newest favorite. Micah had a tiny taste of chocolate mousse - and, yes, he likes chocolate. :)

P.S. I forgot to add the best part - for Love Day we got a family gift - A DYSON! Yippee! Seriously - this thing has changed our lives. (You remember that we have three dogs right?) We don't vacuum anymore - we Dyson. Go get one! (They're on clearance at Target!)

Kevin hearts Dyson

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tidbits *EDITED*

First, thanks to everyone for listening to, and commenting on my rant below. Haze made a really good point that she sees people being nice more often and I wanted to add that I do actually see people being nice - random people have helped put groceries into the car and people often stop to smile at Micah and tell him how cute he is. So, there are good people out there. I was in a bad mood and so for a minute I was focusing on the negative. Thanks Haze for reminding me to look for the positive.

Did you know that Micah can do the splits? Seriously. Full-on-out splits. (Is this normal?) It's hilarious. Last night we were getting ready for bath and we spent about 15 minutes watching him play with a lid to a baby food jar (we're so fancy with our toys). He was doing the splits the entire time! I would have taken pictures to share, but, umm, we were getting ready for bath so he was nekkid. The party ended when he peed on the floor while doing the splits. (that made both of us crack up laughing and he sat there confused - into the bath you go!)
I have to admit that was the first time in the past few days that he's laughed and played for a longer period of time. I think all of those teeth must be bothering him because he has been a serious crab-ball lately! Poor child crabs from when he wakes up from afternoon nap all the way til bedtime. I hope it's just his teeth - of course, I worry that he's sick, but he seems to be fine.

This morning we went downstairs to play (and fold laundry - fun!) and I noticed something looked different downstairs. It honestly took me a minute to realize that it was SUNLIGHT! The sun was streaming through the windows and it's been so long since we've seen the sun that it confused me at first. It also made for terrible naps today. I really need to get room-darkening curtains. Really.

Micah's new favorite thing is for me to fill a basket with books and then he proceeds to take them all out and look at them. His Parent Educator was really impressed that he can turn the pages all by himself. She was also impressed that he was doing things that are on a level for 13 months - he's a genius. Anyway, here are some pictures of my little bookworm...

*I am adding to this post something I have been sad about for the past week because I have to get it out. I haven't been sure how to talk about it, so instead I've posted about random stuff, but I just finished re-reading There is No Me Without You and the last chapter touched me deeply. Remember when Mikki & Ryan, the adoptive parents of Mekdes & Yabsira, go to visit their children's grandfather? Remember that a spontaneous second funeral took place at the children's parents grave site. Ryan spoke to the group assembled: "We will love them and take care of them forever... We will always stay in touch with you."

The first time I read this I was filled with hope - hope that I could meet Micah's first mom and send letters throughout the years to let her know he was doing well. Hope that we could meet again someday- either if we went back for another adoption, or when we go back to Ethiopia with Micah when he is older. Hope that my son would have some contact with his first mom, as we know that is what is best for him.

Reading it now, I am sad because that hope is gone. We were unable to meet Micah's Ethiopian mom in Ethiopia, and now CIS regulations have made it clear that continued contact with birth parents is not allowed. I understand the regulation (it has to do with the definition of the word orphan) and will of course comply so as to not jeopardize future adoptions from Ethiopia. But I cannot say that I am not extremely sad about my loss of hope. My loss of hope for my son and his first mother - who cared for him for the first three months of his life and then continued to visit him in the orphanage for the next two months before our adoption was finalized. His Ethiopian mom has felt like a part of our family and I suddenly feel like someone has taken away that family member.

Let it be said that I completely understand that in most IA cases, contact with birth families is not a reality. But, in Ethiopia - it was. (It still is in that an initial meeting is sometimes allowed.) To lose that reality is hard.

Thanks for 'listening.' I couldn't keep it in any longer.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It Takes a Village

Ok, I know it is a cliche, but Lori's recent post reminded me that I wanted to post about something. And, yes, it is about the village raising the child. Well, sort of. Here's the thing - lately I've noticed that while I'm out with Micah, some people will go out of their way to help me, while others will ignore completely that I might need a hand, even if they are standing right next to me. Granted, these are people that I don't know, but I think our culture has really lost it's ability to lend a helping hand, literally.

Case in point. This is a lame example, but bear with me. We were at Borders the other day and I had not brought the stroller with me, so I'm carrying Micah and three books. Standing in line, Micah was crabbing and reached out toward the gift cards and proceeded to knock a whole bunch of them on the floor. Great. So, I bend down to pick them up (still holding baby and books) and notice that two women are standing behind me and staring at me picking them up. I figured they were about to bend down and help me when I noticed the woman directly behind me begin to inch up, as if to take my spot in line!!! The audacity! I was silently fuming and made a point to return to my spot in line (with said crabbing baby in my arms).

Not to say, "I am so great," but if there is someone behind me in line with a babe who is obviously unhappy, I will offer for them to go ahead - I know how frustrating it can be to have a little crabber in your arms - they don't understand waiting in line. And, obviously if their little one knocks stuff over, I would bend down to help. (You would too- right?) So, to think that this woman would not only decide not to help, but to get ahead of me in line... I think that's awfully rude!

Second story - we were out renting a movie last weekend and the parking lot was extremely crowded. We got to our car and another car (with two women in the front seats) stopped to wait for our spot. I buckled Mic in, but it takes a little while to make sure he's secure. I got him in and closed the door and then heard the car behind us HONKING at me to hurry up!! I went to the back of our car, put my hands in the air and asked, "Are you kidding me?" They SAW me carrying my baby to the car, but they want me to hurry up? I couldn't believe it.

So, my point of this vent is that we need to be more caring - we need to lend that helping hand - we need to show that we care about ALL of the children of our world, not just our own. Maybe I'm being selfish in thinking this way, but I'm putting it out there (here) anyway.

Whoosh. Glad to get that out. Feel better now... :)
(Oh - and don't miss the post below - lots of good news to be happy about)

P.S. Go sign this petition:

Happy News!

This morning I woke up and diligently checked the blogs - and on a week where I really need it - found happy news! First, the Gurske's got their travel email! You can go see pictures of their beautiful son! And, the Shubin's are home with their sweet son! We met him at the House of Hope and are SOOO happy that he is home! (This means that all but one of the children we met at the HOH in Ethiopia are now home!) And, Jocelyn is posting like crazy while in Ethiopia, so I was able to see all the beautiful pictures of Pacey - and video!! Go see!

Oh, and then, just now, I figured I'd go check on Coming to Amharica because I knew they were close - and guess what? They got their referral! More good news!!! YAY!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Together Again

Yesterday we met up with Jenni & Mamush. It is so great when we get to see them - and to see Micah & Mamush together. We feel so blessed to live close enough to them to visit and get the boys together. (If you don't remember - these boys were at the same orphanage in Ethiopia and we were there when Mamush came to the House of Hope, so they have history together.)

We made quite a spectacle of ourselves having a photo-shoot of the boys in the middle of the restaurant. It was worth it - look how cute they are!

These next ones crack me up - they look like they're having a conversation!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

It's COLD Outside!

This is what happens with Micah's stuff after he goes to bed...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

We Voted... and other musings of the day...

So we went out and voted in our state's primary today. Micah rode in the baby carrier and 'helped' me vote by trying to grab my pen and the ballot from my hands. He is so very helpful. :) Watching the primary results come in, we were discussing some of the rumors that have been circulating about Obama. It is amazing what people will believe. You can read some of the rumors and the responses to them here. I am also so lucky that I can call Jenni - she is "in the know" about matters of politics, so she answered some questions for us tonight. Thanks Jenni! :)

We have our first ear infection. So sad. We went to the doc yesterday to check out the cough that Micah has had and instead of finding anything bad with that, the doctor found a "fresh" ear infection. So, I guess we caught it early which is good. But, I count ourselves as very lucky because Micah has been very healthy - this was the first time we went to the doctor for anything but a wellness visit or shots.

And, today is February 5th, which means it has been exactly 6 months since we first met our son. Happy Family Day Anniversary to us!

Micah is getting 5 new teeth all together. FIVE! He has one coming in on bottom too now. Here are the top teeth coming in (along with yogurt mouth and a strawberry)...

I love his teeth! They are so cute. I do miss that gummy smile though.

We had a fun weekend - I went to CHI on Saturday morning (solo) for a meeting about Ethiopia and trans-racial adoption. I've been before but it was good to hear from other families and to refresh what I've learned. We also had home-made doro wat. Yum. Ke
vin went to Mardi Gras all day Saturday, so Micah and I had a date Saturday night before we headed to my step-Grandma's birthday party. We ran errands and then finished our date at Noodles & Co. Micah enjoyed himself as he yelled HI and waved to the diners seated at the next table for, oh, about the ENTIRE time we were eating. They weren't the kind of people who thought it was adorable either. He is very social when we go out to eat - he yells at people if they don't acknowledge his cute-ness. And rightly so! :)

Sunday we went to our friend Baby J's baptism. Micah was terrible during mass - it was right during his nap but he stayed wide awake the whole time. When it was time for the baptism (after mass) he promptly passed out on me. So, he only got to nap for about 30 minutes. It was great seeing Baby J and his mom & dad & sister though. His mom and I have been trying to get together for months - seriously.

And then Sunday night Micah enjoyed his first Superbowl at Chris & Rob's house. Here are some pics...

Eating his Superbowl dinner. We had pizza & wings. He had turkey & vegetables. Yum.

Gracie "watching" the game. We did watch on a bigger tv - this was just on in the kitchen. :)

Watching the game and eating some goldfish with dad.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Tagged... AGAIN! (Jocelyn!)

Yes, friends, you are so lucky that Jocelyn tagged me with another fun blog game - now you get to learn 7 weird things about me. As if you hadn't learned enough on my 100th post (lacking greatly in the 100 things) or lately here. So, to spice this up a bit, I am going to give you some weird things and some just plain weird photos of myself. I have no shame - I will show you my weirdness. (Besides, I posted a slideshow of my son looking half-drunk in many pictures, so I owe it to him to fly my freak flag about now.) *I should warn you that the last photo is not exactly G rated - now don't scroll down so fast - it's not that exciting! :)

1. I have had the same haircut (with mild variations) for a LONG time. Although I did grow it out for a little while, I cut it back to same old shortness right before we left for Ethiopia. Proof? Here are Kevin and I in 2001...

And, here I am recently (with my other main man) in 2008...

Pretty darn close to the same hairdo. Maybe that's not weird, but I kind of think it is.

2. I do things like this...

And this...
3. I once entered our little dog (Pedro) in a contest to be the mascot for the Humane Society's Bark in the Park. He made it to the top three and was up against a greyhound and a three-legged dog. I was obsessed with him winning and basically became a pageant mom for my dog. He came in second to the three-legged dog (not even a Hurricane Katrina survivor like my little dude could beat that!). This is why Kevin will not let me enter Micah into any contests of any kind (Don't tell him about the silly picture contest!). I have pageant mom tendencies. (Note: If you are, in fact, a pageant mom, I do not mean to offend. Really.)

Here's Pedro in all his second place glory...

See the three-legged dog? How can you compete with that?

See his shiny medal? I was so proud. :)

4. Sometimes I dress up my dogs and then take pictures...

5. I LOVE the show Northern Exposure and I really wish Cicely, Alaska was a real place where I could go and hang out with Ed, Ruth Ann, Shelly, Howling, Maggie, Joel, Marilyn, and most of all Chris. Or maybe most of all Ed. Don't know - love them both. My sweet husband bought me NE on DVD for Christmas a few years ago...

6. I really don't mind if the dogs sleep in the bed with us. I do wish we had a larger bed (only a Queen size right now), and I do have to change the sheets a lot, but other than that - I am fine with it. Pedro likes to spoon.

7. And, as a testament to my weirdness, I will leave you with this final image. Sometimes I just cannot resist...

* I forgot that I'm supposed to tag people. Next time I will remember!