Friday, May 23, 2008

A Video Treat

I had a long day yesterday since I stayed after work to hang out until the board meeting I was supposed to attend. I left the house before Emily was awake and wouldn't get home until after she was in bed. This doesn't happen often and I was kind of bumming that I wasn't going to get to see her. Tom surprised me by coming into town and they had dinner with me before the meeting. I was touched.

While at Bob Evans, Emily decided she wanted to try the lemon from my water and then afterwards showed us her sign for milk.

This morning Emily had physical therapy and because she did so well we stopped at Project Playground for a few minutes before heading back home.

...she's a big fan of mulch and an even bigger fan of rocks these days!

I can't imagine...

LinkTom and I learned yesterday that Steven Curtis Chapman's (a popular Christian musician) daughter, Maria, died in a car accident at their home on Wednesday. One of Chapman's sons was backing an SUV up and didn't see her. To make matters worse, several of the family members saw it happen. Maria, had just turned 5 shortly after Em's birthday and the accident happened several hours before one of the boys' graduation from high school. She was the youngest of their 6 kids, 1 of the 3 they've adopted from China.

You can see a beautiful family picture at:

And, you can see a cute video of Maria and her Dad from several days ago at:

Our hearts are breaking with the Chapman family this week and we're hugging Emily a little tighter.

Please lift the Chapman family up in prayer and say a few extra for their son.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I'm 2 now!

Here's a play-by-play of the birthday extravaganza...

The party was held at Grandma and Papa Gaston's. Mama and Papa Hypes came as well as Uncle Jeff, Aunt Pam, and cousins, Jeffrey and Rachel. Aunt Shell and Aunt Laura also came as well as Mom, Dad and Emily's big brother, Ryan.

We had a smorgasbord of food... hot ham & cheese sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, relish tray, escalloped pineapple, baked beans, chips, salsa, finger jello and much more. Of course there was also cake and ice cream!

I'm this many.

Emily and Aunt Shell

...she standing on her head just like Elmo
at the left side of the picture.

Mama and Papa taking
a break for a photo op.

Totally unprompted, Emily immediately found
a new hat as she was unwrapping her presents.

Also unprompted, Emily immediately decided
this stroller was for her instead of her dolls.

We needed a little assistance with blowing
out the candle... and if you look closely, Emily
dug into the icing as soon as she was close
enough to the cake.

We're doing much better with using a spoon...

...except every now and then we get
food in our hair and it make for a
great hair sculpture.

Emily had a wonderful birthday party and it was great to be able to celebrate it with our family. Thanks everyone for the wonderful birthday wishes, cards and gifts. We have been so blessed to have Emily as our daughter.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's the Last Time...

I just put my 1-year old daughter to bed for the last time. Tomorrow, she will wake up as a 2-year old.

I've been reflecting a lot this week on the past year. I would guess this is what most parents do but I had a really hard time celebrating Emily's first birthday last year. I really struggled with the way I thought I "should" be feeling vs. what I was actually feeling. We brought Emily home from Kazakhstan on February 7, 2007. We celebrated our homecoming with our family and friends at a handful of baby showers and then Emily turned one just 2 1/2 months after we got home. It felt odd to have a birthday party so soon after all the other parties and after only having Emily for a short time so we didn't really do much for her 1st birthday.

HOWEVER... now it's time for a birthday party! We will be getting together with our families this weekend to celebrate Emily's 2nd birthday. I have so many memories running through my head this evening of the past year. And... I get to celebrate the fact that we've managed to keep Emily alive for a whole year without any major traumas. Yeah, yeah, there was bronchiolitis, a couple of colds, the fall down the steps, the stumble into the plant stand, and the recent rug burn from the basement steps, but overall I think we did okay. I tend to agree with my sister-in-law who emailed me this morning and suggested that maybe, just maybe people should be buying me gifts for accomplishing that major feat! We survived!

So, what is Emily like now that she's going to be 2?

Emily LOVES:
  • her big brother, Ryan
  • books
  • bears
  • hugs
  • milk
  • cheerios
  • swinging
  • bath-time
  • pictures of snakes and anything that resembles a snake
  • Daddy's belt (a snake!)
  • hats
  • looking at pictures of family and friends
  • playing dress-up
  • spending time with her grandparents
  • our cat, Spencer
  • going over the Weee! Bridge and railroad tracks
  • helping Mommy with chores at church and around the house
  • going for walks and playing outside
  • ringing doorbells
  • feeding and caring for her dolls and teddy bears

  • having to say goodnight at the end of the day
  • falling down steps :-)
  • when she's away from her brother for too long
  • our cat Spencer's short hair after he was shaved
  • being told "no" when she's wants to do something
  • tomatoes
  • melon
  • lettuce
  • some fruit juices
  • pizza (for now... we have high hopes on changing this one!)
  • laying down for naps (but settles down very quickly)
  • ....the dislikes are really hard to come up with!

We have been so blessed by this little girl. I don't think I've ever laughed and smiled this much on a daily basis.

Along with these blessings I'm also thinking of Emily's birth mom in Kazakhstan again. I don't know the circumstances of her pregnancy. I don't know if her family or Emily's birth father knew of her pregnancy or if they might be thinking of her tomorrow. If I could tell them something I would thank them for the blessing they have given our family. We never take for granted the opportunities we have been given to love this little girl to the best of our abilities.

I am thankful for all the sticky kisses that I press into my cheek as I drive to work and for all the runny noses that need wiped and dirty diapers that need changed.

I am thankful for the twinkle in Emily's eyes as she responds with "Baa!" when you ask her what a kitty says.

I am thankful for the "Wheee!" that I hear when we turn onto the familiar roads that contain a railroad track or the Whee Bridge.

I'm reflectively thankful when I look in my rear view mirror and see an empty car seat looking back at me.

I'm thankful for the toys that didn't quite make it into the toybox before bedtime so my bare feet can stumble on them in the morning as I get ready for work.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to watch the same Elmo and Baby Einstein episodes over and over and over and over and over and over....

I'm thankful for all the sippy cups that have gone missing behind furniture and in the car and are found with rancid, lumpy, dried up milk in them.

I'm thankful for the big hugs and pats on the back that I get from my little girl on a regular basis.

Why didn't anyone ever tell me how incredibly awesome it would be to be Emily's mommy?

Happy Birthday, Snickerdoodle! You're going to wake up as a 2-year old tomorrow and what a year of adventures we will have ahead of us!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hat, Praying Monk, Kissing Babies, New Bear Friend

Enjoy some pictures from this past week!

Can you hear me now?

Sporting a new rug burn!

Mom's shirt... Dad calls this series "Praying Monk".

Here's Em doing her custom-made sign for milk.

Saturday's baby shower for Caden was a hit!

Em planted quite a few kisses and hugs on the little peanut.

The white bear was a gift from a friend this weekend.
He's Emily's new best friend.

...making sure he has a good seat for the show.

Ahhh, good friends and good TV.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Whoops & Wheeee!

Emily was in a better mood today. She was teasing me this morning as we were getting ready and was being ornery in the car on the was to Grandma and Papa's. She loves the car rides to their house and especially likes going over the railroad tracks and the bridge on their road that we have lovingly called the "Wheee Bridge" since my college-aged cousins were little.

This afternoon, when Emily woke up from her nap at Grandma and Papa's, I was given a heads-up that she had a run-in with the last couple of carpeted steps that head to their basement. (This is the "whoops" part of the story.) No bruises this time, just a pretty rug burn by her eye. It hasn't seemed to bother her too much except I must have reminded her about it when I put her pj's on tonight and her top brushed up against it.

Oh, another fun story to share... as I was putting Emily to bed tonight we said our prayers and talked about our day tomorrow as I was laying her in her crib. I usually tell her the night before who she gets to play with the next day and what kinds of things she might do.
Tonight, I said, "Tomorrow you get to go play with Grandma and Papa."

To which she promptly replied, "Wheee!"

"Good Night. I love you." ...door closes behind me and I walk out with an ear-to-ear grin on my way to share my story with Tom aka Daddy.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Return of the Snot Monster

Soooo, we've been sneezing a bit in the Hypes' household this week. Nothing big, just a little sneezing. At first we thought maybe Em was dealing with some allergies. But then, I started sneezing and had a scratchy throat. Mother-daughter allergies you might ask? Nope, just a really weird cold!

We've handled our colds very well for the past week and then today... something happened.

I put Emily down for her nap after church this afternoon and some sort of snot monster had taken her place when I went to get her up from her crib. I was blessed by the snot monster though! It seems to like me. I picked it up from the crib and was fortunate enough to have it's muzzle nestled into my neck and it came to rest on my shoulder (and wipe it's nose on my shirt). The monster was unusually cuddly and wanted nothing more than to be embraced by me. I couldn't set it down and couldn't pass it off to Tom for hugs but eventually I was able to sit on the floor with it and coax it back into a drippy version of Emily.

The poor kid has a non-stop drippy nose and still has lots of sneezes to share with us. I'm hoping this is as bad as it gets.

Sorry, no pictures with today's entry. I'll be kind and save you from that!
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