Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Updates on Micah and Then Some

Micah turned 17 months this week - he is officially a toddler who can run, almost jump (he tries) and can definitely CLIMB. He wants to climb everything and is learning that you can stand on things (like the wipes box) in order to try and climb over something (like the baby gate). He has actually lost weight since he started to walk (I've heard this is common) because he is so busy. Here he is in a pair of shorts that I promise fit him last month...
Apparently, he could get a ticket for wearing his pants in this style. We changed shorts right away to elude the authorities. (But not before I spent a good 5 minutes laughing uncontrollably at how cute he looked with his bootie hanging out.)

We are still in a nap-time flux around here. Micah still takes only 1 nap per day, but lately he wants it to be in the morning as opposed to the afternoon. This is confusing for mom, but we've been working with it. He's also decided that it is no longer fun to sleep until 7:30 or 8. Nope, that's so last month. Now it's fun to get up at 6 or 6:30 (which could be the reason the nap has switched to the morning).

Here he is sleeping - this was taken about three weeks ago.

And this one was taken almost a year ago - about 2 days after we got home from Ethiopia. So sweet.

Since we gave up the bottle (almost two months ago), Micah's new bedtime routine is all about books. He loves to read books, and now will sit in the glider with us before bedtime and and listen to books. Here are some current favorites:

A classic - he loves to turn the pages with the holes in them.

I just like saying the part about the pigs singing "La La La" (So maybe this is my favorite :)

He loves this one - especially the page with all the animals. He points to each one and we have to say what it is and then make the animal sound. He loves the kitty best. Does anyone know what sound a hippo makes? I'm not so sure.

Micah has just started to give real kisses instead of trying to make out with you. Here is how he usually gives kisses...

His Uncle Ryan was the lucky recipient of that open-mouthed love. Just yesterday he started to close his mouth and even make a kiss sound. So of course we made him give us 100 kisses just because it is so cute. Love it!

And now, an update on #2...I wanted to thank you all for the wonderful comments about our second adoption. It still feels pretty surreal and all of the old worries and fears are coming back out (our poor social worker - I've already called her with a list of questions and we haven't even been officially accepted yet :). But, then I remember that things will work out the way they are supposed to, so I try to let those things go.

A couple of you asked about a timeline - Of course I know that there is no way to plan in IA, but here is our plan (I can hear our SW laughing now!). We hope to have our homestudy finished by October so that we can apply for the free extension for the I-600a. We'll then get to work on our dossier and plan to submit that by December-January-February (I'm being very open with our plan, you see). CHI is quoting the wait for referral at about 6-10 months, so if that holds true, we could see a referral as early as next Summer, or as late as Winter of 2009. Of course, things change, so it could be earlier or it could be later. (See my easy-breezy attitude about this? Hah- I know what you are thinking, and yes, in 1 year I will probably not be easy-breezy, but please do not remind me of this then. :)

In the meantime, we are waiting to hear back from CHI on our application, and then we can get started with the homestudy paperwork. Yipee!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Two Families

If you are so inclined, there are two families that need our prayers and positive energy.

Julie's Mom (and sweet Maya's Grandma) has been diagnosed with uterine cancer. Please say prayers for healing and recovery for her Mom. You can read about it at Julie's blog.

The other family is one who is in Ethiopia right now to bring home her daughter who has been admitted to the hospital and is very sick. You can read their story here and see pictures of their beautiful daughter here.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Big Day Today

Today marks the day that we have officially started our second adoption! Micah & I went to Children's Hope International and turned in our application! We found out that we were actually able to use CHI again so we have decided to stick with what we know (and stay with our awesome social worker). It felt a bit strange to be handing in an application to people who I already know so well! :)

Jenni reminded me that today would be a good day to turn it in - since one year ago today we found out that we were parents and I was finally able to show you all how cute Micah is. And, there is even more good news - last year at this time Jenni and Jim were seeing Mamush's face for the first time and we were all so happy. Now, they are also submitting their application to CHI for their second adoption (siblings!) so we will be on the journey together again with our friends (and Micah's BFF!). Good times!

To mark the momentous occasion of driving in to drop off our application, I took a picture of Micah and I in the style of Amy Bottomly :)

(The girls at work tell me these sunglasses make me look like an insect.)

We then went to the park to celebrate...

(This park has fountains - perfect on a hot summer day.)

Sharon (CHI's Ethiopia Program Director) said we'd probably hear something back next week about our application. Just turning it in is making me excited. I should mention that Micah will probably not share in the excitement. The other day we went to visit my friend Kelley and her sweet new baby (forgot the camera!). Micah laid on the floor and cried when I held cute baby and then clung to me and cried if I so much as glanced in cute baby's direction. Uh-oh. I think since he'll be older when his little sister comes home (!!!) he
'll be better about his Mom and Dad holding another cute baby. :)

And, just for fun, some more cute Micah for you...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Seriously Busy Weekend!

We are tired. But, good and happy tired. Our weekend was crazy but a lot of fun. First, on Friday my Mom and I went to the spa for her birthday (okay, yes, this was relaxing so it does not count toward the crazy part). Then we met Kevin & Micah for dinner at a yummy Vietnamese restaurant. This was a bit crazy, but thankfully it was LOUD in there so Micah was free to yell and have fun. He was the best he's ever been in a restaurant - probably because he knew it was Mimi's birthday. He was also extremely funny and had us laughing until we were crying...

He loves chopsticks. They kept him busy for the majority of the time...

(Kevin says that, based on the way Micah is holding his chopsticks, he will definitely be a drummer someday. :)

Not so sure what to think about this one.

He also was entertained for quite a while by Mimi's birthday card...

He realized cards are more fun if you stick them to the side of your head...

or your face. Seriously - he is hilarious.

After our fun dinner we went home to rest up for the CHI picnic, which was Saturday. We were excited because we were going to see lots of other Ethiopia families - including Mamush, Anna, Mari, Mumblerr Children, Ash, Spud and some others too!

We had a great time at the picnic - lots of fun and pictures until Micah fell and busted his little lip! Poor guy. He was bleeding a lot but he has done this before so I thought it wasn't a big deal. I was wrong - it was way worse than the last time - his lip is swollen and he screams if he tries to eat anything salty (as we learned when all of us met for dinner on Saturday night -we've been on a soft diet since I figured that out). He gets going too fast and falls on his face - I'm hoping this is a stage and he gets more steady on his feet soon!

Here is a preview - I will post more pictures from the picnic as soon as I have permission from all the families...

Arriving at the picnic - it just so happened that 5 of us Ethiopia families pulled into the parking lot at the same time. I love this picture because Micah has such a big smile when he sees all of his friends (and it is cute how he is holding onto his Dad's shorts).

Mama kisses. I pretty much do this all day long.

Do you think Kevin is ready for a girl? (You know I cried a little when I saw this picture - I think we're both ready!)

Thanks to Mari for letting us love on her so much. :) And thanks to her mom - she took all of these pictures! More to come soon!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hair & More

On Tuesday we went to the mall and visited our local Sephora shop for some more Hair Milk. I ended up having a long hair conversation with the woman who works there and learned some things I didn't know before. That same afternoon I had a long hair conversation with the woman who we often talk to at the market - she is African-American and loves Micah. Actually she loves all the babes, but Micah reminds her of her grandson so she loves him a lot. And, he always says "HI" to her when he sees her. :)

Here are some things I learned:

* Shampoos with sulfates in them are bad for African hair - it dries hair out. Sodium Laurel Sulfates are also believed to bad in general for everyone's skin and hair - it's a good idea to avoid it all-together. My shampoo is all-natural and does not contain them, but I never thought to look at Micah's shampoo (which does have sulfates). So, we switched to this

* Shampoos with balsam in them are also drying for African hair. This isn't in the shampoo we were using, but still good to know.

* If your child's hair is dry this summer being in the pool (or is just naturally dry),
this product is a "must." (Disclaimer: the woman from Sephora told me it was a "must" and she is obviously in the business of selling, but she told me it is all she uses on her daughters' hair.)So far I really like the new products. We are still using the Hair Milk daily and only shampooing once a week. I really love the hair smoothie though - it leaves his hair so soft. And, all the products smell wonderful!

And more...
Is anyone else getting super-excited for BU '08? I am. I'd like to take this opportunity to solicit travel advice. We are currently trying to decide between renting a car in LA or just taking a cab to the hotel and walking around (everything is pretty close). If we rent a car, we'd be able to rent a carseat, but if we take the cab I think we'd have to check our carseat on the flight to put in the cab. Fellow Blog Unioners will know (from my postings on our google group) that I am obsessing about this. Any suggestions?

And... I am getting extremely excited about starting our second adoption. We have almost 100% picked our agency and I am ready (I think) to start the paperchase again. At least this time it will be easier since I know what to expect. I'll post more on this soon!

Oh, last thing - speaking of hair - Micah got his second haircut yesterday! He did a great job! He sat on my lap so I was covered with hair, but he barely fussed at all! We had James leave a little bit of his curls so it isn't too short. He hasn't let me get a good picture, so these will have to do...
I'll try to get some better ones soon - maybe this weekend at the CHI Reunion Picnic! I'm sure I'll take about 100 photos there. :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Micah's First Fourth!

For the past 4 years we've been going to a local carnival and fireworks show with our friends and their kids. We always had so much fun - Kevin would ride the rides with our friends' kids, stand in line for hours for a funnel cake, and we would all gather for the fireworks. We always left and thought how much fun it would be to have our own little one there - especially last year when we already had Micah's picture and were waiting for our court date.

So, we were very excited to take Micah to his first 4th of July celebration at the same carnival. And, the great part is that he is old enough to enjoy it a little bit - he even rode a few rides! (He's so big - he's like a big boy now, not a baby. We like to call him our giant baby :)

Here are my favorite pictures from the night...

We used a lollipop again - we were having sushi (which is great to take to these sorts of things) and he had finished his dinner already... so lollipop for dessert! He was pretty happy about it...

Micah also had funnel cake for the first time...

"mmmm.... funnel cake"

He also rode the cars - I was pretty happy that he loved it so much. At one point he was bouncing up and down in his seat. (Thanks to S sitting next to him for making sure he didn't decide to climb out during the ride.)

(Lori - do you have a caption for this one? I know you do!)

And, in case you want to see all the fun... that's right - a slide show! (Oh - and I don't have any cool firework pictures to post because I basically just watched Micah watching the fireworks - Isn't it great that once you have children you'd rather watch their faces while seeing something amazing than to actually see the something amazing? :)

Hope you all had a safe & happy holiday!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Lake

We just got home from a fun weekend at our lake. Yes, I call it "our" lake. Okay, other people use it too, but for some reason, I always call it ours. Anyway, we went down with my Dad & Stepmom for Micah's first lake trip. I have been going since I was a baby myself, so I was excited to take my own child there. (Actually, my Grandpa used to take my Dad there when he was young, so it's kind of a family tradition.)

Our lake house is in the middle of nowhere, Arkansas. Seriously - everyone knows each other and there is one tiny restaurant (tiny tiny) and one tiny store. You have to drive an hour to get to a Wal-Mart (which I think is awesome because I don't go to Wal-Mart anyway). It is truly the boonies and we love it that way. Here is our lake house...

Isnt' it cute? Anyway, the lake, as I said, is a family tradition. Here is a picture of my nephew during his first trip to our lake (all the way from the Pacific NW!)...

Isn't he cute? He is 9 years old now. Here is Micah's first trip to the lake - and his first boat ride!

This is his first time "helping" Papa drive the boat. This is a big deal in our family. As kids we always sat on my Dad's lap and drove the boat, so it has been tradition for the grandkids to do the same. I was actually pretty emotional about this moment.

We had a lot of fun with Micah at our lake. We were a little bummed because the water was so high due to the flooding (there were trees under our dock and trees mean snakes, so no swimming off the dock for me this time!) but we still had a lot of fun. Here are some more pictures...

Yes, Micah is playing on a mattress in the middle of the floor in this pic. There is not usually a mattress in the middle of the floor, but they had brought it to put in one of the rooms and he had loved it so much they left it on the floor for him to play. Nice Gparents!

Micah, Papa & Grandma K

We filled a little boat with water for Micah to play in on the dock. Our goal was to keep him from trying to jump in the water. (He didn't spend much time at the dock - it made us all very nervous because he is a busy little man and wants to run everywhere!)

Family photo - we usually take these at sunset (another tradition), but someone had to get to bed.

Micah LOVES driving the boat on Papa's lap. (Granted, we were only going about 2 miles an hour and were in our own cove, but he still loved it :)

We had a great time, but I think we'll wait until next summer when Micah is older and can enjoy the lake more to go back (and the water level will hopefully be down by then). Next summer we'll have him up on skis! Okay, maybe not next summer, but as soon as he's ready!