True Love: The feeling when you first look in your child's eyes, the tiny little hand gripping your finger, and you can't imagine your life without him or her.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Birthday Baby! {Sunday Snapshot}

Milo's 2nd birthday is tomorrow (Monday, August 1st)! We hosted a small party with some of our closest friends in his honor. He had so much fun & got so many new toys!! We had such a wonderful time & we're so thankful to our friends (who we consider family) for joining us. They have accepted our little boy with open arms & love him almost as much as we do (excuse me while I shed a little tear... *sniff!*). 

Milo got ahold of some of his balloons just before the party began

XM Balloons 7-30-11
Milo & Xandra patiently waiting for the guests to arrive

M Bday 4 7-30-11
We thought Milo might be a little scared when everyone began singing to him... but he ate it up!! He loved being the center of attention!! 

M Bday 2 7-30-11
I love this shot of both the kiddos laughing- they love each other so much!!

M Bday 5 7-30-11

Look Mom!! I got cupcake on my hand!

Xandra got a little gift from us (we were worried she would be jealous of all the gifts for Milo). She adores her new princess watch, even though she can't tell time yet. She'll look at her watch, give a loud frustrated sigh & complain that she's late! *We don't know what she's late for, but she sure puts on a good show!!

It's been a weekend full of celebrating Milo, as it should be. I've been ever so slightly emotional, though I've managed to hide it around the kiddos. I'm just so happy. It's so hard to put into words, but when the two of them are playing together, my world is complete. Sort of... maybe we need another little girl to add to the mix... hmmm..... ;)

Sunday Snapshot

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Odds & Ends

The kids' favorite video is Milo's Gotcha Day. Our original video is a little over 30 minutes long. I condensed it to about 10 minutes & the kids adore watching it over & over again. They were so cute standing together watching it tonight that I had to snap a quick pic of them!! (*We were starting to get Milo ready for bed- that's why he doesn't have pants on!)

M Phone 7-26-11

M smile 7-26-11
I never do get tired of that smile!!

X Face 7-26-11
I know this isn't in focus, but she's just got the most angelic face!!

Xandra was telling me a story- can you tell she uses her hands to talk? :)

We finally hit the "No more pictures Mom!!!"

So not a whole lot has been going on since my last post. Yesterday was my birthday, though we didn't do much. I've hit the point where birthdays are really just another day. If it wasn't for my Facebook friends causing my phone to 'ding' every couple minutes wishing me a happy birthday, I very easily could have forgotten about it. :) My only request was to go to a thai restaurant. It's really out of the way (about a 30 minute drive from our house), so I don't get to go often & Matt's never been. It's one of my favorite places & my loving hubby offered to take me. He got a little carried away with the spice level, though he did say he'd like to go back (yea!!- he doesn't usually care for that type of food). 

Today was Milo's first visit to his new daycare. It's the same place Xandra attends & we love it there. Milo has visited his sister's classroom a number of times when we either drop her off or pick her up. But today, he visited his classroom for the first time. We stayed about an hour. He cried at first, which I expected. It is quite overwhelming for him, I know. It took him about 20 minutes or so, but he eventually got up the courage to break away from me & begin to play! He didn't really play with anyone in particular, but he did play! I think Matt will be taking him back tomorrow for another visit & Friday I plan to take him again, but actually slip out of the room for a bit to see how he does. We're planning on him starting up full-time on Monday. I wanted for him to be there for a while while Xandra was still there to help him if he needs her. Wish us luck!!!

the long road

Monday, July 25, 2011

IAC Appointment

1 TB skin test
1 immunization shot in the leg
1 stick in the elbow to draw blood- fail :(
1 stick in the back of the hand- success
10 vials full of blood
3 stool samples (collected over the weekend)

We had our much anticipated IAC appointment today (International Adoption Center). It was a 4-hour appointment... which is really long for anyone, but extremely long for an almost 2-year-old! Overall, though, he did really well!!

What we found out:
Milo is behind (duh!) in most areas. His language is @ an 18 month-old. His gross motor skills are @ 20 months. His fine motor skills are @ 22 months. His personal/social skills are @ 20 months.

Seeing as we don't (& never will) know his true age, I feel pretty good about the results. One theme of today that was repeated over & over by the various doctors was how determined he is. When given an obstacle, he is determined to overcome it. Just one example from today- they gave him a kick-ball to pick up from the ground. He had a tough time keeping his balance while he bent over & tried to pick it up with just his one hand. He tried & tried & tried. He fell & got back up & tried again. And he got it. And then he did it again. I'm so proud of my little man I could just burst!!

Since we had such a long day with the doctors, the camera didn't come out today... But I have some miscellaneous shots from earlier this month.

Wait- Is that Al Bundy chillin' on Daddy's recliner??

Rub-a-Dub!! 2 kiddos in a tub!!

This is what happens when parents are too busy in the morning & trust a 5-year-old to pick out & put on her own shoes!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

HOT Weekend!!

This isn't news to anyone who lives pretty much anywhere in the country
Weather Forecast (Hint: It's Hot...)

But we were tired of being stuck inside so we decided to have a crab boil :)  This happens to be a picture of a previous crab boil, but you get the gist! We love our seafood around here (even if we are way too far from the ocean for my taste!)

Today, however, we once again got stuck inside. It started out as a decent day, and I got our little pool all set up ready for a nice swim.... then it started raining & didn't stop. We've been desperate for the rain, but it was disappointing for the kiddos. So we had a boring day inside. Again. 

These pictures are beyond awful. I took them with my phone. But it was such a cute pose of the two of 'em, I couldn't resist.
XM Window2 7-24-11

They were watching for daddy to come home.
XM Window1 7-24-11

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

62/73 Days

We have been home with Milo for 2 months now. 62 Days Home. 72 Days with Milo in our family.

As I've heard many adoptive parents say, there are days I feel he has always been with us, and days I feel he's so brand new. There are many days I count down the minutes to nap time and/or bed time, only to find after the house is quiet that I miss his smell & his giggles.

I so enjoy watching Xandra & Milo play together. Every morning when Xandra gets ready to go to school, Milo tries to get himself dressed as well. He will put on whatever pair of shoes he can find (usually his sister's), and clomp toward the door desperately wanting to leave with Xandra. When Matt walks out the door with Xandra, Milo will usually be in tears. And when I bring her home in the afternoon, they both squeal & giggle! It's the sweetest thing I've ever seen!

He is full-on exploring his home and his limits. He pushes all boundaries. He hates to be disciplined, although I've yet to figure out a truly effective discipline for him. He's well aware what "no" means, though he rarely pays attention to me when I say it any more. Maybe I'm saying it too much??

In honor of this day, please excuse me while I post an absolutely obscene amount of pictures of my baby boy!!! :)

M6 7-20-11

M7 7-20-11

M4 7-20-11

M8 7-20-11

M1 7-20-11

M9 7-20-11

the long road

Monday, July 18, 2011

Stalking Cookies

Milo & our dog Lexie have a very special relationship. As long as Milo drops/gives Lexie food, the dog loves him. Otherwise, the dog really hates that we have added children to our home. She does not like Xandra getting anywhere near her (as Xandra no longer drops food for Lexie), and is starting to get the same attitude with Milo. Unless, of course, there is food involved. 
 Milo is happily enjoying a little cookie. Notice in the lower left corner.... the outline of a dog on the prowl...

 Yep, there's the little beggar!

Milo (smartly) did not share his cookie with the dog today. He did however share dinner with her later on. We figure it's only fair- Milo feels that Lexie's dog food bowl is his personal snack bowl. So, share & share alike?? I guess? Ick!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Busy Days of Summer

How is that summer days (especially weekends!) get so packed up with stuff to do?! You would think I'd have all the time in the world since I'm not currently working, and I'm on summer break from school. But no... there is more to do than ever before!

Let me start with a quick update on Milo's eye:
The swelling has gone down, but now the pretty colors are showing. In the right lighting, it looks like he's wearing eye shadow :)

So this weekend... I had a girls' night out Friday (Fun!!). Saturday morning was the FCC Play Group. The kids have such a good time there every couple weeks- I just love going! Saturday night, Matt & I went on a double-date with our friends. We had dinner, caught a movie, & planned our vacation together for next June (yeah, we're those people!). And finally, today Xandra had a birthday party to attend. The highlight of her day? That A also attended the party!

Although A barely notices Xandra, she follows him everywhere (granted, she's subtle about that, but still). We really need to have a discussion about this with her!

The kiddos were extra tired & therefore cranky today (that's why there's a lack of pics!). Our friends' daughter was their sitter last night. Xandra loves her, but this was Milo's first time with her. And we just pretty much set her up for failure- we asked her to put the kids to bed. No one besides Matt or I has put Milo to bed since the day we met. We fully expected to come home & see Milo still up. Nope! He was asleep! **She did have trouble with that, but it did work out for her.** When we walked in the door, it was Xandra's smiling face that I saw still awake. She stayed up until 11 (unheard of in Xandra's world!), and then insisted on sleeping in our bed. Late night + early morning + swim party = C.R.A.N.K.Y. girl!!!

Sunday Snapshot

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

B&W Wednesday

X Face

My incredible husband looked at me today as Milo was going down (kicking & screaming) for his nap & said "Why don't you go get a manicure & pedicure?" Do I have the *BEST* hubby in the world or what?!! I so enjoyed my incredibly relaxing time in the massage chair (ahhhhhh.....)! But that also meant I did not get the camera out today. So, these pics are from a while back- I'm not even sure when Xandra's was taken (I honestly don't remember taking it!) but they're still adorable!!

the long road

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Let the Injuries Begin...

I could have never known how appropriate my previous post was... Milo has had a day of injuries today. It started out all on his own- he enjoys crawling under things (chairs, tables, our legs...). He was crawling kind of around Matt's desk chair under the desk, lost his "footing" and scratched his cheek. Whatever it is he bumped also caused a small nose bleed.

When Xandra got home, the real fun began. She was playing with Milo, apparently roughly. I believe she accidentally pushed him, and he fell into our metal coffee table. I heard the thump from the restroom, the brief pause, and then the screams. Our boy is now sporting his first (with us) black eye (on the outer portion of his left eye), and a small cut on his lip. Xandra of course felt awful. But we did have to have a chat with her about appropriate playing.

I'm not sure if I've said it before, but with Milo's dare-devil nature & Xandra's "helpfulness," I really believe we'll probably be seeing the ER with Milo before the year is out. I don't mean to spout such dark predictions, but this kid gives me plenty of reasons to think about it. If anyone knows of a service that will come & rubberize our house for us, please let me know!!!

So as not to end on a low note, I thought I'd include this pic from yesterday. My FB friends will recognize it. I couldn't stop laughing at the little man for getting hold of a tp roll & putting it on his short arm!! He cracks me up!! I love his sense of humor!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Falling Down

Milo in the Grass

We realized the moment Milo's nanny handed him to us that he had not been held much, if at all. He simply didn't know what to do with his body when we held him. And once we figured out he could walk, it became clear he'd rarely if ever been in grass. He has a harder time in the yard than he does on flat ground. He falls a lot. But this boy is bound & determined to overcome & make up for the experiences he missed out on during his first couple years in the orphanage. I relish watching him learn & grow. He is an amazing little boy & I'm so proud to be his mama!!

Sunday Snapshot

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Water Skills

Milo has discovered a new skill today:

I love how happy he is with himself!! It makes me laugh every time I watch it & hear him giggle!

When I got up this morning, I checked the weather report (as I always do) & had a brilliant idea! Sunny, hot weather calls for playing in some water. But Milo scares me when we're in the pool- I much prefer to have at least one other adult helping me with him in the pool & Matt had plans to work around the yard today. So, I figured I'd grab the kids, take them to W*lmart & get a water table toy!

What is this?? Are my kids playing together without arguing and/or fighting??

"Alright Mom! Enough with the camera! I'm working here!!"
Look at that face! He was concentrating so hard! 

They were so mad at me for forcing them to come inside for lunch. I won't even go into the fights I had when I announced nap time. I promised they could come back out & play afterward, so they finally relented.

Xandra was up first, so she "waited" for Milo outside.
 I would like to note that this is the first day in 3 years that my daughter has allowed me to put her hair up in any type of pony/piggy tail. I was near tears I was so happy! Am I a dork?... yes. And I didn't even do a great job of it either, but I was just thrilled! She even asked me to do it again tomorrow & for school!! I'm so excited!

Milo finally got up from his nap... Yeah, we couldn't find his swim trunks, so we made do. 

After an hour or so of playing with the water table, they started getting a little bored. That's when I pulled out the big guns... the Slip-N-Slide!! 

 Milo enjoyed the "sprinkler" aspect of it.
 Oh look! Yet another place Milo has found to get a drink of water!

 There was a lot of slipping... but not much sliding!
Xandra found another way to use it!

We were outside pretty much the entire day. The kids were exhausted- Milo was actually having trouble standing up & walking he was so tired (which also meant he didn't have the energy to practice his new climbing skill)! They had so much fun! I can't wait to do it again! Tomorrow, we're off to our friends' pool again. :) 
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