Friday, November 23, 2007

It's a Mutiny!

OK, Aunt Shell... I don't know what talks you had with Emily yesterday but this kid loves black olives (and still doesn't care much for macaroni and cheese)!

Emily's First Thanksgiving in Review

Thanks to Tom for pointing out that yesterday was Emily's first official Thanksgiving. She was in Kazakhstan at this time last year and while they celebrate a bazillion other holidays that shut down the country they haven't yet added the American Thanksgiving Day to their list.
With that being said, here's a pictorial run down of the day...

We started with the Isler family for lunch. Here is Emily with her new bestest friend (and cousin), Brooke.

Below is Emily's cousin, Isaac, who is only a few months younger.

We packed our bags in mid-afternoon and headed to the Hypes' family celebration. Here's Emily's other Papa and her personal "Guitar Hero", Uncle Bill. I apologize, the videos are a bit dark.

Pictured below is Emily with the president of her fan club, Cousin Rachel!

Here's how Madame President spent most of the evening. Absolutely adorable!

Here is Ryan The Miserable. He's been fighting a cold for 2 days and was doing everything in his power to stay awake and breathing. ;-)

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Below are a few of the pictures that have been over the past week or so. I finally pulled them off my camera for your viewing pleasure.

Here's Emily The Accident Prone the day after she wiped out on Grandma and Papa's plant stand. She was just getting over the black eye too! Don't worry, it looks a lot worse than it really was. It was more of a rug burn than a cut. And, a little over a week later it's barely even noticeable.

In the last couple of posts, I mentioned some of Em's favorites. Here's "bear". He lives in her crib and comes out on special occasions and when we aren't feeling well.

Here's Aunt Shell and Em celebrating the OSU/Michigan game by reading together.

While the Buckeye fans were watching the big game, I kept myself out of trouble and in the kitchen. I tried a new recipe that sounded good during the 2nd half and while Em gave it a big "MMMMM", I dumped it in the trash a few days later. It was called Harvest Casserole or something like that and was made with pumpkin pie and apple pie filling and some stuff that was like apple crisp topping. Maybe it was just me, but it had the consistency of baby food and lacked any real flavor. Michelle actually tasted a bit and shared her portion with Em (who couldn't wait for the next bite to be handed out).

That's all folks! Happy day after Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

That's My Girl!

Several thoughts today...

Last night, it dawned on me that exactly a year ago (11/20/06) was the first time we learned of our soon to be daughter. It was a few days before Thanksgiving but we still didn't know anything official. My heart, stomach and everything else within me was beginning to do flip-flops. I went through the motions of family get-togethers but was totally distracted by the thoughts constantly going through my mind. We asked everyone around us to beef up the prayer support and things began to kick into high gear.

Fast forward a year and we have a beautiful family with a beautiful new member.

There was no school today so I had the opportunity to stay home with Emily all day. I have been enlightened yet again.

How cool is it that our daughter will applaud for me when I fit a shape into her Playskool Shape Sorter? I'm 35 years old and my daughter is excited for me and amazed at my skills. I'm taking it all in and savoring these moments because I know these moments won't last much longer.

How cool is it that our daughter still loves to play peek-a-boo and giggles with delight when I jump out from behind a chair to scare her?

I'm going to have to watch out... our daughter is pretty adventurous. I'm pretty sure Emily ate cat food today while "we" were making yummy food for tomorrow's festivities. Even better, I'm pretty sure she really liked it because immediately after I heard crunching, I heard, "Mmmmm!". Not only that, but after I removed the remaining cat food from her clenched fist and brushed her hands off, I started to nudge her away from the cat food and she made a dive for the cat bowl again and very determinedly grabbed another fistful. That's my girl! The kid won't eat mac n' cheese but she'll sit down to a cat food buffet!

Emily has learned a few more things since my last post. When I picked her up from my parents' house yesterday, she can now demonstrate the actions for jump, hop, swing and rock. When we ask her what daddy says she laughs and usually does the same when you ask what mommy says. She will also make her mouth open and close like a fish if you ask her what a fish says and she likes to "tell secrets" with Daddy.

Today while we were in the kitchen eating she did the sign for "more" on her own without me asking her. We also took a break from getting food ready and went outside to swing. She LOVES to swing and gives a pretty hardy giggle when you push her hard and fast.

This kid constantly amazes me. Tonight she reminded me how far she has come. We were getting ready for bed and she grabbed her feet again on the changing table and pulled them up to her mouth. She hasn't done that for a long time and it was a really long time before she was even able to do that. We have no way of knowing for certain, but our best guess is that Emily was about 9 mos. old before she could roll over on her own. She was 10 1/2 mos. old before she could sit up on her own and she was about 17 mos. before she began walking. She's catching up and catching up fast.

This year, the holidays are less stressful and more cheerful. I'm no longer living in the cocoon of never-ending adoption paperwork and the end that felt like it was never in sight has come and gone. It's like being in love all over again. Colors are more bright, the air is more crisp and I feel more alive.

This year, as always, I'm so thankful for my loving and supportive husband. I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to be Ryan's stepmom. And, I'm so very thankful for the opportunity to be Emily's mom. I'm even thankful for the speed bumps and problems that we ran across during our adoption. We grew through each and every one and though they were difficult they allowed us to be in Kazakhstan for God's perfect timing. We have so much to be thankful for and I continue to keep other families and couples in prayer that are going through infertility or adoption issues. (The holidays are especially tough for these folks. My public service announcement for today is to please be sensitive to their emotions, thoughts and feelings as everyone celebrates with families and are surrounded by children especially during the next
several weeks.)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Officially One and a Half

Last week, Emily officially turned 1 1/2. All along when people have asked how old our daughter is, we've felt the need to give her age in months. "She's 10 mos. old." "She's 13 mos. old." "She's 17 mos. old." Now, I believe she's officially "a year and a half old" until she reaches that magic age of "almost tw0". When does that happen?

Now that Emily is a year and a half, I'll fill you in on some of her great accomplishments...

Emily can identify:
• her hair
• her eyes
• her ears
• her nose (and she likes to point to the inside of her nose with her primary digit!)
• her mouth
• her tummy (but she can't just pat it, she has to lift up her shirt to prove to you that it's really there)

Emily can also tell you what various animals, people and random objects do. Here they are in order of appearance...
• What does a sheep say? -- "Baa"
• What does Papa's mower say? -- "bpbpbpb" (Sounds like you're playing a tuba - How do you spell that??)
• What do Papa's tires do? -- "tssssss" (Papa was filling his tires with air while Em was in the garage.)
• What does a goat say? -- "Ahahaha" (This sounds like she's clearing her throat.)
• What does RyRy say? -- (She responds with lip smacking kisses.)
• What does Daddy say? -- (She responds with kisses or "tells secrets".)
• What does a rooster say? -- (This one's a hoot... apparently roosters have very serious conversations in higher pitched voices... but they say the same thing each time we ask! It sounds something like "Ahroowawoo")
• She is also still fascinated with overhead lights, ceiling fans and now light switches (...thanks to Papa who lets her turn them off and on frequently but never would have let me do that as a kid!).
• She also recognizes sign language for eat, drink and milk and will sign the word "more" if you ask her if she wants more of something.

Some of her favorite foods:
Milk, Juice, Ice Water, Oatmeal, Cheerios, Lima Beans, Sweet Potatoes, Corn, Potatoes, Applesauce, Yogurt, Peaches, Mandarin Oranges, Beef, Turkey, Fish Sticks, Chicken, Ham, Bread, Animal Crackers... and so much more.

Her favorite toys:
Books, Shape Sorters, Balls, most anything with music and lights

Her comforts:
Bear and Blankie in her crib, and Mommy, Daddy and Ryan when we are out and about.

Emily's walking has taken off and she getting really good at learning to steady herself so she doesn't fall. She still takes a spill here and there but overall we're so excited to see how far she come in the past 10 mos. Our little girl, who couldn't sit up on her own until she was about 10 1/2 mos. old, can now walk around on her own and gets very excited about it.

She was just starting to get over her shiner and then took a spill at Grandma and Papa's earlier this past week and scuffed up her upper lip a bit and got a bloody nose. We were scheduled to have some family pictures taken this weekend and opted to postpone them a couple of weeks so she has time to recoop. It's getting better and I can't resist teasing my mom about delivering Emily in the mornings -- wrapped in bubble wrap. Bumps and scrapes are all a part of learning to walk but I have a feeling that Mom would have her house covered in rubber bumpers if she could.

Emily is becoming more and more toddler-like. Now that she's able to walk around like a big girl she's getting more independent each week. She likes to walk around at church on her own and explore the open spaces but she still likes to have me close by if she falls or if too many kids want to be all around her at the same time. She loves her big brother and takes comfort in him when he picks her up, holds her or plays with her. She even cried this afternoon when he got out of the car to go back to his house when we dropped him off. She LOVES her RyRy.

I apologize for this entry being so long but it will eventually make it into her memory book. Thanks for the memories!

Take care and be blessed! More photos coming soon... I promise!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Macaroni and a Shiner

Could this really be my daughter? Emily has decided she no longer has an interest in eating macaroni and cheese. As a baby/toddler I would eat mac & cheese and nothing else. A few weeks ago Emily discovered that even though she didn't like to eat mac and cheese she could still find a use for it.

Hair gel!

The finished product!

It's a good thing we had time for a bath after lunch!

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Emily's new thing this week is her brand new shiner! Now that she's been walking a couple of weeks, she's picking up speed. Remember that horrible imagine you had as a kid of slamming the brakes on too hard and flipping over the handlebars? Emily sort of did that with a baby walker this week. She started picking up speed, ran into a toy and catapaulted over the walker and landed with her cheekbone on the edge of a wooden rocking chair. Mom and Dad felt horrible and Emily is sporting a pretty new black eye. (We just hope it fades away before family pictures are taken this coming weekend!)

Monday, November 05, 2007


This is nothing new... I've been suffering from this for years! But, because I love you all I feel you need to be warned!

Thank goodness there's a name for this disorder. Somehow I feel better, even though I have it!! Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D . - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide it needs washing. As I start toward the garage, I notice mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier. I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full. So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first. But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only one check left. My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke I'd been drinking. I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. The Coke is getting warm, and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye--they need water. I put the Coke on the counter and discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning. I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I'll be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers. I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill. Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:
the car isn't washed,
the bills aren't paid,
there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter,
the flowers don't have enough water,
there is still only 1 check in my check book,
I can't find the remote,
I can't find my glasses,
and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all flippn' day, and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail....

Don't laugh -- if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Eavesdropping on the baby monitor...

I have to say, Emily's baby monitor has provided quite a bit of entertainment since we got it shortly after we brought Emily home.

There was the time when she was about 10 mos. old and I woke up in the middle of the night to hear Emily singing Jingle Bells. Well, okay, actually it was a little girl whose music I had downloaded to my iPod and left the thing playing all night long.

I've been laying down for a nap and had the pleasure of overhearing Tom reading to Emily and playing with her in her room.

I've heard Emily having "Italian conversations" with the baby in the mirror that's on the side of her crib. These have been fun to witness as well because Emily talks with her hands and drops her voice and her head down really low as she chatters.

Most mornings, Emily wakes up and plays for at least a half hour in her crib before I go in to get her. She loves the mirror on her crib and practices all kinds of words and sounds. She still doesn't say a lot of words yet... basically just Hi, Mmmmm (for food), and Baa. Which brings me to what I overheard on the monitor this morning.

I was lying in bed at 6:00am and through the baby monitor I could hear our cat, Spencer, meowing outside Emily's bedroom door. Spencer's "meow" was promptly followed by Emily's "baa". Spencer would meow again and Emily would baa in response. This went back and forth at least 5 or 6 times until Spencer surely got bored and found something else to entertain himself. Emily certainly could have carried on for a few more rounds!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Trick-or-Treat and SHOTS?!?

Here are some early pictures for Lynne, who gave Emily her Christmas antlers. Thanks, Lynne! Here's Emily putting them on all by herself!

Emily celebrated her first Beggar's Night this year. We didn't take her out trick-or-treating this year... we'll save that for when she's a bit older and can actually eat the candy she's been given. She "helped" us pass out candy to all the kids that came to visit. She wasn't even phased by all the oddly dressed people that kept coming up to our house. She kept busy playing with Grandma and Papa G. and emptying all the suckers out of the pumpkin container and putting them back in.

What did she dress up as? Well, the weather was so nice that for much of the night she had on a fun pumpkin shirt and then it eventually got covered up by her coat when the sun went down. Here's a picture of Em shortly before we ventured outside to pass out candy.

You can tell by Emily's nose that she's still fighting her cold. We ran out of the Tylenol that her pediatrician had recommended the last time she had a cold and since nearly all children's cold medicines have been taken off the shelves we left with being able to give her baby Tylenol that's simply for fever or we can give her children's Benedryl which is an allergy medicine. We have resorted to Benedryl to try to get her nose to dry up and we've been running a humidifier at night. She's been handling her cold very well and the only time she fusses is when we try to clean up her nose. Then, she's a real wiggle worm!

Today, Emily had her 18 mos. check-up (a couple weeks early). She got 3 more shots, including a flu shot. She did not enjoy having her heart listened to by the nurse or pediatrician and she really didn't appreciate us holding her down when she being a human pin cushion. We actually had to recruit another nurse to come in and help us hold her down... because as the doctor said, "She a strong one!" Not only is she strong, but she's a heavy one! Emily now weighs 21 lbs. and is 31 3/4" tall. Our baby's growing up!

Emily was pretty sleepy this afternoon and evening. She ended up sleeping for an hour and a half this morning and then took a 3 hour nap in the afternoon... which is 3 times longer than normal right now! They said she might be more tired because of the flu shot and might have minor flu symptoms for the next day or 2. Great. She was pretty warm tonight. I hope she's feeling better tomorrow!

Well, enough for now... I'm off to bed! Take care and be blessed!
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