Saturday, June 30, 2007

2nd Trip To the Zoo

Yes, that's right! We had such a good time at the zoo yesterday that our family decided to take part of the afternoon today to check it out... and we decided to buy a membership so we can go more often this year.

We checked out quite a few areas but we always have to stop by the red panda exhibit for dad... they're his favorites. And, we touched all the fence posts... they're Emily's favorite exhibit at the zoo!

By the end of the day we were all feeling pretty lazy and ended up watching the people more than the animals so we figured it might be time to head out.

And, yes... Emily will usually leave a hat on if it's sunny outside but she does occasionally like to practice taking it off and putting it back on. She cracks herself up when she gets it to land on her head in almost the right position. She's very proud and she makes us giggle. :-D

Friday, June 29, 2007

1st Trip to the Zoo

Our friend, Tina, and I took Emily to the zoo for the first time today while Dad worked. We had a perfect day for it! The weather was amazing. It sprinkled in the morning while we were walking to the gate but stopped raining once we were inside and stayed cool for the rest of the afternoon.

We saw all kinds of bright colored, noisy birds, giant turtles, gorillas, bonobos, and then we made a stop at the aquarium. What did Miss Em think of it all?

She's really a bit young to get excited about seeing all the animals but she loved reaching out to touch the fences and the glass! That's my girl!

She was the highlight for a couple of kids in the gorilla exhibit! A little boy asked his dad, "Can I pet the baby?". He came over and met Emily and was quickly followed by another little girl and her family! I think they were amazed to see a wild saber-toothed, fuzzy-headed, Emilamericus that had been domesticated! Heheh.

After a quick lunch, we ventured into the aquarium and Emily loved watching the fish swim by right in front of her. She tried reaching out and touching a couple of them, but then that really cool glass got in the way.

Em was starting to get tired so we decided to call it a day and head out for some ice cream at Graeter's. Emily had her first taste of ice cream (Strawberry) and absolutely loved it!

After that, Emily and I decided to make a quick surprise visit to greet her fan club (and Aunt Shell and Aunt Laura) at OFA before heading back home. She had fallen asleep in the car about 15 minutes before we got there so she was a bit tired and not quite her normal jolly self. It took her a little while to warm up and then she was back to smiling at everyone again. What a trooper!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Good Book, Sockhead?

Today was interesting. Emily was awake at her normal time and we had a fairly normal morning together. She has been a lot more clingy lately and even more so today. I saw something that really scared me though...

This picture was taken on April 19th... and the exersaucer was set on the lower height.

The picture below was taken today. The exersaucer was raised up a notch (about 2 inches) about 2 weeks ago.. and her legs still look extra long!

Oi vey! My baby's growing up! Tom and I have actually noticed that she has seemed a lot longer recently and the physical therapist confirmed out theory on Friday and said that she has tightened up slightly again. As of today, most of her pants and shorts are anywhere from 3-6 months to 6-9 months. Her waist is still fairly small and anything bigger than that falls off of her. Her onesies are mostly 6-9 mos. and we're squeezing in a few 12 mos. onesies so we can get some extra wear and tear out of them over the summer.

In other news, part of our shopping spree earlier this week involved getting a new book with mirrors in it. Emily loves looking at "babies" and especially the one that smiles back at her! She spent quite a bit of time this afternoon looking through all of her books and she definitely has a special liking for her newest acquisition.

She adds a whole new meaning to the line, "Mmmmm, this is a really good book!"

And, yes, that would be part of the book cover residing on her chin! Nothing like a little extra fiber!

Not only was our tall, book-eating baby extra clingy today but she was also playing with other weird things in the house. For some reason, she took a special interest in my socks tonight! She's recently been fascinated with putting hats, links and teething rings on her head and gave me the goofiest look when she decided that my socks needed to go on her head as well! ...that was after she flailed them around like cheerleader pom-poms and sucked all the shoe juice out of them! Ewwww. And, yes, I watched her do that briefly before I snatched them away from her. She giggled at my attempt.

Oh, and I don't have a picture for this... but I learned late in the day why she was so clingy... tooth #6 (4th one on the bottom) was coming in today. She preferred to be held most of the evening. I was sitting on the floor with her hugging my neck when she decided it was time for her to get down. She crawled out of my lap and the second her toes hit the carpet she started crying like I had abandoned her and made a beeline for my neck. This one seems more painful for her than the previous 5 teeth.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Hypes For Almost 5 Mos.

On Friday, Emily will have been a Hypes for all of 5 months. It's hard to believe that she's been with us that long and at the same time it's hard to believe that she hasn't always been with us. She fits in so well with our family, our extended family and our church family.

In the 5 1/2 months that we've known her, she has learned to roll over, sit up, say "hi!", crawl, cruise along the furniture and now she's starting to wave and it won't be long before she's walking!

Last week was Vacation Bible School at our church and Emily ended up accompany me each night. I had a baby carrier (a baby backpack) in the garage that I had purchased a couple of years ago and I thought it would be good to give it a try instead of trying to carry her the whole time. (She's in the "I have to be touching Mommy" stage right now and doesn't like me walking all around without her... at least we can say the bonding and attachment is working well!) I tested the backpack out for about 20 min. at home to see how she'd do and loved it. I did laundry and made supper while she just hung out and watched everything I did. She gladly rode in the backpack for about 3 hours each night and kept an eye on the kids as they did their memory verses and learned the new songs and motions at VBS. What a kid!

Here are some pictures from today. We recently spent some more of our baby shower gift cards and money for some more baby equipment.

Since she did so well in the cheapie backpack, we decided it might not be a bad idea to buy a better one for use on vacations, shopping and trips to the post office and such. I did a lot of research online and checked out the reviews and hopefully found a good quality one that was on the lower end of the budget spectrum. Emily's sitting in front of the box in this picture and is gnawing on the rest of her loot.

She's also starting to walk a lot more and it's becoming more and more evident that this girl likes to move around standing up. I helped her figure out her walker this afternoon and she made several laps across the living room with it today. She's a girl on the move and it won't be long before we're chasing her all over the place to keep her out of things!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Tribute to Molly

Today was Molly's day... She passed away early this afternoon. Last summer, at 15 years old, Molly started to lose her hearing. By the time we left for Kazakhstan she was totally deaf. After returning a month later, she had also lost nearly all her sight. Since that time, Molly has been slowly going down hill.

We moved her into the office upstairs a short while ago so her deaf/blind world could be a little smaller and a little easier to navigate. She has been an incredible cat and companion and I will miss her.

I've finally figured it out...

I took me 5 months, but I've just recently learned that the trick to getting Emily to smile for a picture is to play peek-a-boo with her by peeking out from behind the camera... it's the only way to really get that scrunched up face smile that she does so well. I'm still trying to master the timing of the shots so we can get a pict of the truly scrunched up nose and squinty eyes that she gives us at the peek of her smiles.

For Tom... Happy Father's Day!

Here's a fun blast from the past... two of my favorite guys..

This was posted previously in our blog just a few days after we first met Emily. The two of them continue to have a wonderful bond and they never cease to make me smile when I watch them playing together.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Video to Share

I ran across this Mark Schultz video today and really enjoyed it. I am so thankful to Emily's birth mom for the gift that she gave to her daughter and our family. We don't know much about Emily's birth mom and what we do know we will share in a loving manner when Emily is ready to hear about her. Emily will know that she has been adopted and that her birth mom loved her so much that she went to a maternity hospital to make sure that Emily got the proper care she needed when it was time for her to be born (10 weeks early). I can't imagine how scared she might have been or how difficult it might have been for her to leave Emily in the care of the doctors and nurses in the hospital. We are forever grateful.

Lyrics - "Everything to Me" by Mark Schultz

I must have felt your tears
When they took me from your arms
I’m sure I must have heard you say goodbye
Lonely and afraid had you made a big mistake
Could an ocean even hold the tears you cried

But you had dreams for me
You wanted the best for me
And you made the only choice you could that night

You gave life to me
A brand new world to see
Like playing baseball in the yard with dad at night
Mom reading Goodnight Moon
And praying in my room
So if you worry if your choice was right
You gave me up but you gave everything to me

And if I saw you on the street
Would you know that it was me
And would your eyes be blue or green like mine
Would we share a warm embrace
Would you know me in your heart

Or would you smile and let me walk on by
Knowing you had dreams for me
You wanted the best for me
And I hope that you’d be proud of who I am

You gave life to me
A chance to find my dreams
And a chance to fall in love
You should have seen her shining face
On our wedding day
Oh is this the dream you had in mind
When you gave me up
You gave everything to me

And when I see you there
Watching from heaven’s gates
Into your arms
I’m gonna run
And when you look in my eyes
You can see my whole life
See who I was
And who I’ve become


Friday, June 08, 2007

Another update...

I'm beginning to realize there is a direct correlation with the mobility of a child and the number of blog entries posted. Now, I've never been a math major (thank goodness!) but it seems the faster my kid moves the slower I become at keeping my blog updated. Emily has been crawling with a furry and has become quite proficient at it. We have gated off our living room so she is typically confined to this area while we're hanging out at home. In other news, you have my deepest apologies for that and I hope to beg your forgiveness by posting pictures today of a few things you've missed over the past couple of weeks!

Two weeks ago, Emily was pulling herself up on my pant legs and my pant legs only in order to get up into a standing position. Last week, she started pulling up on the couch, toys, gates, crib and anything else she could get her tiny little hands on. This girl loves to be standing tall! A couple of weeks ago we had to work with her in PT to learn to shift her weight from one leg to the other in order to start "walking" forward. After a few tries at that she learned it on her own. Now, she loves to hold onto our fingers and walk everywhere. It won't be much longer and she'll be doing this on her own. Look out world! She's coming to get you!

- - - - - -

Emily has several different ways she soothes herself to sleep. When we first brought her home from Kazakhstan she would put 2 or 3 fingers in her mouth with her hand turned upside down. We haven't seen that move in a while and now she mostly puts the back of her hand, her wrist or her forearm up to her lips. Sometimes she sucks on her arm or hand but mostly she just barely touch her lips and that seems to do the trick.

Once she has worked her magic she falls off into a sweet slumber bliss.

Speaking of sleeping... Emily still greets me with a smile each morning when I go in to get her from her crib. The other day she was really zonked out from the night before. Welcome to Emily's new sleeping position!

We usually start our days by playing while I work on getting our breakfast ready. She's getting much more flexible and is able to not only sit up on her own now but she's also sitting on her knees to play.

Ryan and Emily have been becoming best buds. She loves to watch him and they frequently make faces at each other and have staring contests. I spend some time on Sunday mornings getting coffee ready for the worship café and Ryan is quick to help with keeping his sister occupied.

Emily's teeth are coming in more and more each day. She's in the process switching from formula to whole milk and we are eating more and more big people food each day as well. Here's a big toothie grin for y'all!

We have a new swing in the backyard that Em got for her birthday from Grandma and Grandpa. She likes to hold on while she's swinging and we're glad that she does!

Our church had a cookout this week and here are some snaps of the fun!

Until next time... Be Blessed!
Tom and Jenni
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