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.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Big K & Backyard Play

Today was Xandra's big day. First day of Kindergarten (aka in Xandra-speak "Gigergarden") & the first bus ride (aside from our transportation in China). Once the bus left with her, I jumped in my car & drove to the school to meet her & help her to her classroom. I managed to hold it together while I was in front of her, but I lost it once I was back in my car on the way home. And yes... it was the ugly cry. Thank God nobody was taking pictures of me! 
 My big girl walking to the bus stop. 
(Thankfully, the bus pulls right up to the side of our house!)

She started out very bravely... 

Then she hesitated... She turned around & came back for one last hug.
**Look how tiny she looks next to the boy down the street!!**

And then she took her first big step. Literally. Look how big that step is!!

And a little over 3 hours later, our girl came home! Is that the the best expression or what?!

After dinner this evening, we couldn't pass up the awesome weather so we headed outside.
This boy lights up our world!  

I am loving Xandra's new haircut, but I think the shorter hairs at the front are bothering her a bit. I did have a barrette in there earlier, but as always, she took it out early in the day.

Ok, so this one isn't from our backyard evening, but how could I pass up this smile?? He's just adorable!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

All Too Soon

How did my baby girl go from this....

to THIS, in the blink of an eye??

That's the funny thing about havin' a kid. They come with their own set of problems; make everything else you were worried about seem kinda silly. 
~Greg Garcia

While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.
~Angela Schwindt

Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the wont's. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.
~Shel Silverstein

It kills you to see them grow up.  But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't.  
~Barbara Kingsolver

Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. 
~Christopher Robin to Pooh (A.A. Milne)

You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!
Dr. Seuss (Oh, the Places You'll Go!)

Think and wonder, wonder and think.
— Dr. Seuss

My darling, sweet little girl is starting Kindergarten tomorrow. I'm not ready, and I'm not handling it all that well. I desperately tried to convince Matt that she wasn't ready for Kindergarten for a few months earlier this spring. Matt knew she was, and I knew it too, but I didn't want to admit it. I've told Xandra a couple times that she's growing up way too fast. Each time she's looked at me and very seriously said "I'm sorry mama. I don't want to grow up 'cause it makes you sad." Oh my heart!! I've assured her it is ok with me that she grows up. And I love the person she's growing into!!

I love you baby girl!! I'm so proud of you as you head out to begin your school career! You stole my heart the moment you were born, and I'm so glad you did! You've made me a better person, and made my life so much more full. I could not have begged for a more caring, more loving, more sensitive daughter. You have been so easy to raise, I almost feel like we're cheating some how (though I think your brother will most certainly give us a run for our money & make up for your ease!). Thank you for allowing Daddy & me to look like such good parents, when really we're just flying by the seat of our pants! I love you more than you'll ever know. 

Sunday Snapshot

Monday, August 15, 2011


Had to share a couple videos I took the last couple days. This little man cracks me up!! Always keeps us on our toes!

A follow-up to yesterday's post:

Whenever he hears music:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

In the Kitchen With Milo {Sunday Snapshot}

One of Milo's very favorite toys is the kitchen set. It has already been much loved by Xandra (*note the layers of princess stickers), and still is. It's one of the few toys that the kiddos can & do play with together without fighting. 

This morning we heard Milo once again playing in the kitchen set. We heard the crashing & banging of dishes & pretend food. After a few minutes, things got quiet. 

When I looked up, I saw a leg.
When I looked where the sink should be, I saw a bottom.
Then I saw a hand.
Finally I saw Milo *IN* the kitchen!!

Sunday Snapshot

Friday, August 12, 2011

So Loved!

Wild Olive
The adoption community is fairly tight-knit. Though we may not know them personally, the stories of fellow adoption families can hit close to home, and we all feel the ripples. Stephanie & her family had been in the process of bringing home two more precious girls to their already large (& beautiful!) family. Sadly, 2 months before she should have come home, baby Ester passed away due to a complication with her heart defect. Little Poppy, however, is finally home and learning what it is to be part of a loving family!! Hurray!!

Because Ester touched so many lives in her much too short life, a wonderful company (Wild Olive) is doing a giveaway of these beautiful shirts. The design was created to help bring both Esther & Poppy home. You may recognize this shirt as the one I was wearing when we met Milo for the first time!! This shirt means so much to me (it's my favorite out of all my shirts!) because I knew purchasing it would help Stephanie's family. Now, purchasing one means even more: 100% of the proceeds will be donated to fund a heart surgery for an orphan in China!! 

Please click the link above to learn more. And please keep Esther in your hearts & prayers, though she is in a much happier place now.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Whole Lotta Nothing

We spent the last couple of days cleaning up our house & getting ready for our first post-placement visit (yesterday). While I know in my head that these visits really aren't a huge deal... my heart was pumping for days. I even managed to give myself a migraine for the 2 days before the visit. Thankfully, it went away yesterday, so I could pay attention to the questions our social worker asked. It's such an odd feeling to have someone come into your house and essentially judge you, your family, your coping parenting style, and your home. I felt the same way when we were getting our home study done. Thankfully, everything went fine & we only have 2 more visits (November & next August). 

And today, I spent most of the afternoon trying to catch up on laundry. Oh, how I hate laundry! Seriously. It didn't even bother me that no one in the family had clean clothes to wear. You know- just turn your undies inside out & wear 'em again!! ;)  My incredible, wonderful husband was sweet enough over the past week or so to actually wash & dry the laundry. The big task that no one wanted to do was fold. So I finally sat down & folded 7 baskets worth this afternoon. Blegh!! And I actually have a couple loads left to do. Can you believe that a family of 4 can produce that much???? I was shocked, but I did discover some clothes I'd completely forgot I owned!! It's almost as exciting that finding a dollar bill in your pocket!!

Since I've been doing the domestic thing today (& the past few days), I don't have any new pics. I haven't grabbed the camera in a few days. I will be soon though... I can't wait for Lisa's photography class to begin next Thursday!! Woo!! :)

 My cutey-pie shaking her booty in the water!

 She really gets down!

 I can't believe those long legs!! Matt & I are both on the short side- I'm not sure whose kid she is... ;)

I so wish I hadn't cut off Xandra's head in this shot! They had so much fun running through the water together! 

**I almost forgot to mention- we now have Milo's surgery scheduled for the end of September. The really horrible part is that I'll be in class! :'(  Matt will be on daddy-duty. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wrestling With Dad

One of the kiddos favorite activities is wrestling with daddy. They tend to get a little rough- especially Xandra. But Matt loves it. And obviously the kids do, too. 

These kids just adore their daddy! ... so do I :)

I love watching these two interact with each other. They already love each other so much. I had worried about Xandra before Milo came into our family. Having been the oldest in my family, and the only child for 7 years (!) before my brothers & sister came along, I knew first-hand how difficult it would be to give up all that attention. While we were kids, my siblings & I did not get along. At all. Ever. There was a lot of yelling, screaming, scratching, punching, & some blood-shed. It wasn't pretty. Thankfully, now that we're all adults, we get along so much better (no more hitting... at least not as hard!). So, I was worried about Xandra.

There was apparently no need to be. There is, of course, jealousy on both sides. They both want mom and/or dad's attention all the time. And if only one is getting it, the other will usually (loudly) protest. But these two can actually play together... & love to do so! I love watching them together. It makes all of the work to get Milo home so worth it. These two were meant to be siblings! 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Boy Stuff

It appears that we are just beginning our journey with Milo's doctor visits. Although I will soon be in the medical field myself, I still do not like going to the doctor! Not for myself. And most certainly, not for my kids! 99.9% of the time you need to see a doctor... it's not for something good.

This morning (if you haven't already guessed), Milo had an appointment with a urologist. I went for one thing, and one thing only. It should have been a fairly quick visit. That ended up lasting 2 hours. The doctor "found" a couple of concern areas. One of which is the potential for a hernia (his abdominal wall didn't close up the way it should have after his testicles descended). Ouch. So, Milo will soon be undergoing surgery to fix him up.

I suppose it's better to be safe than sorry... but I hate the thought of one of my babies having surgery. Thankfully, it should be a quick (like an hour) outpatient procedure. I'll keep y'all posted as we go along!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dance Baby Dance!

Milo & Xandra have a new pre-bedtime ritual, outside of our normal bedtime routine. They request the Gotcha Video (I say "they" even though Milo isn't really saying anything- I can tell he loves it). Every. Single. Night.

The best part: as soon as the 2nd song comes on (Selena Gomez's "Who Says"), Milo starts to boogie!

Not much happening over here during these "dog-days of summer." Milo's doing pretty well with daycare. He loves catching glimpses of Xandra- when I picked him up today, he didn't even notice I'd walked in because he happened to see Xandra on the playground & was pounding the window to get her attention. Once he is with his sister & me, he struts around the daycare like he owns the place! 

The next month or so are going to be very busy for our family. Aside from both Xandra and I starting school at the end of the month, Milo's got a ton of appointments. We'll be seeing the rehab specialist(s) at our local Children's Hospital. I'm kind of looking forward to it, though I'm not sure why. We've already pretty much decided we're not going to get him a prosthetic. I figure he can ask for one when he wants it- until then, he seems to be doing just fine with what he's got. :)

Monday, August 1, 2011


Milo has started daycare (yep.. on his birthday). I took him last Wednesday for a quick visit- we only stayed for an hour. He was rather nervous at first, but seemed to loosen up after a little bit. He didn't really participate with the class and kept looking for me every couple of minutes. Matt took him in again the next day. They stayed for a couple of hours before Matt brought him home again. Then Friday, Matt took him & left him for about an hour. The teachers at our daycare are the best- they knew I was nervous, so they sent me a picture to calm me:

We decided we would take him for another couple of partial days before we try a full day. While I'm sure he will be okay... I'm not sure I will be. I went through this with Xandra too. I think this may be one of the hardest parts of parenting- so far!

I got a couple more pictures from the teachers again today to put me at ease:

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