Monday, January 31, 2011

Going Private Next Week

Hi There... well I doubt there are that many of you still following our journey since at this time we are pretty much settled in. So, I am going to return to being a private blogger next week.

I started the blog as a way to keep in touch with family and friends and then it turned into a journal about our adoption. That has led to some AMAZING friendships, however I feel naked with so much of our info out there for all to see. If you would like to continue following our blog please comment and leave your email so I can send you an invite to our private blog.

Winter Time Photo Re-Cap

Winter Time Fun!!!
I love Disneyland at Christmas and luckily my kids never get sick of going. Sweet M* especially enjoyed "It's a Small World" and the Christmas Parade.
My mom and grandma came along for the fun.
M* is SO into having his picture taken. This was the second time he saw Santa and both times he was more excited about the picture and candy cane treat than he was about telling the big man what he was wishing for.
Here is the foursome all together.
I think they may have enjoyed running into Pluto the most that day. He is one of their favorites.
My husband has A LOT of Christmas traditions which make the holidays so much fun for the kids. Here they are after picking out their tree.
Tree picking involves matching Santa Hats and big mugs of cocoa for all. Oh, and yes blaring and singing holiday tunes with the windows rolled down all the way there and back. FUN! We feel like if they get used to having parents who embarrass them maybe it won't bug 'em as much later- right?
The cookie party tradition was something my mom's family did when we were growing up and I LOVE being able to do it with my kids now. I have a large family so there are a bunch of kids, lots of sugar and laughter.
Sweet M* was lovin' it too! This was right after he decorated and ate his very first Christmas sugar cookie.
I think he thought it was delicious.
In December my good friend finally brought her sweet sweet baby girl home. She was kind enough to bring me home some "real" Ethiopian clothes home for my kids. I was a dingbat and only bought clothes for Sweet M* on our trip. Thanks H ;)
Sweet M* was thrilled to see sweet baby girl. He kept looking at her skin and than his and telling me that they were the same that she was "Ethiopia too" how cute is that. We are so lucky to have close friends who adopted too it really helps Sweet M* sort of understand his story and feel positive about it. Much more than I ever knew it would.
Here are the four in their adorable Ethiopian garb. Shea was thrilled to see them all wearing it and the kids were all super excited to have their own so they would match their brother!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How is Sweet M*??

Experiencing (fake) Snow!!!
Well... I am still catching up on posts and it is the very end of January, but I wanted to remember where we were in December.
When looking back through the pictures these ones brought back some warm fuzzy feelings. My husband is Mr. Christmas so once we got back from our Thanksgiving cruise it was a rush to make up for lost decorating time. Sweet M* was thrilled as each rubbermaid bin came down with Christmas decor. It was so fun to watch him put up his first ornament, hang his own stocking and eat his first sugar cookie. But, my favorite memory of Christmas decorating and preparing was when Hubby took him outside to see the lights on our house at night for the first time. We have a fake snow machine that we put on the top of the house and the lights go to music.
He stood out in front of the house in AMAZEMENT.
It was like magic watching him. He had the most beautiful and sincere excitement in his eyes.

When the music was done he walked over and told me... "Mom snow is not cold." Ha... I laughed because we kept talking to him about snow. About how you have to wear special pants and gloves bc it is so cold when you touch it. And, then we walked him out to the fake snow aka: a special bubble solution and I am sure he thought we were nuts. It turns out it is very hard to explain the difference between real and fake snow to a child who just learned English and has never seen any kind of snow before in his life.

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I have thought a lot lately about my love for my son Sweet M*.

About all the differences and similarities our love and attachment have to that of my other children. I think about the love and attachment process with my biological children and about how I probably wouldn't pay so much attention to it if I hadn't adopted... never read an attachment book, read other blogs on attachment etc... And, how VERY thankful I am that I did.

Is my love for M* exactly the same as my love for my biological children- NO. But, is my love for each of my biological children identical- NO. Love is ever-changing and complex and it builds over time through all the intimate moments we are fortunate enough to spend with those dear to our hearts. I absolutely LOVE each of my children and its a true love that will never end, never die and always grow.

Now go read this beautiful post over here because it gets you thinking.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Vacation time was here and boy did we all let loose and have fun!
Who knew my pesky chunky little brother would grow up to be an awesome uncle who has turned into Mr. Fit losing over 100 pounds!!! Now I call him for workout advice... crazy world.
Here we are getting ready to board.
Sweet M* always brings the party. This little guy has more energy and enthusiasm in his body than anyone else I know.
Hubby and my brother attempting escargo... turns out they enjoyed it?
I think Captain looks more and more like Hubby everyday. So handsome!
Me and Cuddlebear all fancied up.
Belle with her idol.
The beaches were so much fun.

How cute is he in this hat?
Belle has developed the best personality this year. She is one funny little girl.
My million dollar smile man.
I just love this picture.
When M* first came home he would freak out if the slightest drop of water fell on his clothes and here he is 7 months later completely drenched and LOVIN it!
With Mr. Fitness in the control seat we beat every record there was for surrey biking. I thought we were going to run people over as we lapped all the other leisurely bikers. Phew... note to self do not attempt to keep up with someone who works out WAY more than you. Although, Uncle J better watch out bc I'm doing P90x so next year may be different.
Cuddlebear is getting so big. He is finally enjoying some of the faster rides.
Is there any age where a stroller is no longer necessary???
Christmas in Florida. Where else could you be wearing shorts??
The one family picture from the cruise that was decent.

The cruise was so much fun. I am a huge fan of cruises recently (this was our 2nd) since all of my kids absolutely LOVE the kids club. It is so nice to be able to have a few minutes alone with my husband just to relax. And, I was SO impressed with M*. I was really worried about leaving him in the kids center because he had only stayed with me or my mom since coming home. But, he did so well. I can't get over what a brave little boy he is and I am so thankful that we were given the opportunity to be his parents.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Birthday... yes there's more!

This year we began the tradition where each child on their actual birthday gets their very own special day with mom and dad. I LOVE this tradition. I learn so much about each of my kiddos during this special time... and I get to spoil them in ways I never could bc it is hard to spoil all four. And, the kids LOVE this tradition too. The boys have been planning their special days since Belle had her's back in August and Sweet M* continues to talk about what he is going to do on his special day next June.

Captain chose Magic Mountain and he surprised me with how brave he was on all of those crazy roller coasters... I was extremely thankful the k2 was closed. Cuddlebear chose Knott's Berry Farm bc he recently developed a love for Snoopy. He loved doing all the little kid stuff which was right up my alley.

I did learn that 2 big birthday parties and 2 very special days = complete exhaustion. Thank goodness a cruise was on the horizon.

Birthday Party #2

After the crazy big party for Cuddlebear I was happy Captain chose to have his party at a place that did everything for us so I was lovin' it. He also invited kids from school which was the first time he had ever chose to do that. When I used to ask him in years prior he only wanted family... a little bitter sweet for me I guess. Anyhoo, the party was a lot of fun... all the kids (especially Sweet M*) loved the blow up entertainment. I don't even know how many times Sweet M* climbed up and down that huge slide. The party was a lot of fun, but towards the end I think all of the attention starting getting to Sweet M* (see his face in the pic above). Birthdays have been hard on him. He had his birthday after being home for 6 weeks. I don't think he knew what it was and I think he barely remembers it. Belle's birthday came in August and he had a few pretty big meltdowns watching her open gifts. He did pretty good with Cuddlebear's big party but I made Cuddlebear wait until I put Sweet M* and Belle to bed before he opened gifts so it was cheating. At Captain's party he started thinking that he was being mistreated and we were not being nice to him- poor kid- and so Hubby had to take him home before he completely shut down. I have to say those moments are hard. The ones where he just does not understand. Your heart breaks for him. It breaks for the other kiddos because you don't want to ruin their special days. ugh! It's hard. Although, after both the boys back to back birthdays and looking back at his pictures of his birthday and flipping through the 2011 calendar a few dozen (hundred) times I think he feels a little more secure that his day will come again.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Okay... first off I apologize for being a terrible blogger. I AM SORRY! Secondly, I apologize for stepping back in time and dragging you all back to November. But, life caught up with me and I did not have time to post and I have been conflicted on where to start again. So, I decided I would go blog crazy and post daily (from my backlog) until I caught up and that way I wouldn't have to feel guilty about missing any important moments. Whew... okay now to proceed since I got that off my chest :)
November was the month of birthdays. Both of my big boys had their special days. And, this is where it all began. Cuddlebear wanted a birthday with his entire class. I the dummy thought he wouldn't get a lot of kids to show bc he is just in kindergarten and we didn't really know that many of his friends or their parents. As you can see by the pinata line I was wrong. Anyhoo, because I "thought" it was going to be a small party I had merged it as a family party too where we would do cake for both boys. Hence the cake for both. So, as you can imagine this was a completely exhausting but fun filled crazy day. It was such a joy to watch Cuddlebear with his friends. He LOVES his friends and I was so impressed at how much joy he brings others. He is a sweet sweet boy!