Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Eve Hair Salon

We had a great Christmas here.  So much to be thankful for.  I have a fun family picture from Christmas Eve but am still not supposed to be posting pictures of N so it will have to wait.

I can show you what happened after Christmas Eve dinner.  The cousins exchanged gifts.  Our girls were gifted a vanity and hair styling set (pretend scissors, comb, mirror, hair dryer and apron).  It was a hit and many people got their hair done that night.

 This picture is blurry on Davey's face but priceless nonetheless.  As soon as she saw the trash bag wrapped vanity enter the room, she was excited.  Here she is unwrapping the vanity and taking a look at herself in the mirror.

 Uncle E getting his hair done.

G and Malia working on Davey.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

5 year pictures in 5 minutes

I wanted to take some 5 year pictures of Malia before the end of the year. Unfortunately it is cold here with no warm days in the forecast so we rushed outside and I think took all of these in about 5 minutes.  Lucky for me, Malia is very photogenic and cooperative in having her picture taken. I still cannot believe she is 5.

And I will also include these two from a couple of months ago when we did Davey's pictures.  These were my favorites that I got of Malia that day.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Bye bye paci

Last Friday, Davey gave up her pacifiers.  I am not sure who it was more traumatic for, me or her.  She was severely attached to her pacifiers, all 3 of them (one in her mouth, one in each hand).  They had a great calming effect on her and would stretch out her napping/resting time a lot (which is why I miss them!)  Andrew and I were realizing that it was going to be a hard transition now or later and had already put it off for months.  So we decided to start off his long Christmas vacation by disrupting our sleep.

I am happy to say that we are one full week into the transition and she is doing really well.  The first few naps and nights were really hard for her to fall asleep but now all it takes is a book read in my bed and she is pretty good at falling asleep on her own.  I have caught her with fingers in her mouth a few times but at this point I do not think she is going to replace her paci with sucking on fingers.  Of course,  the jury is still out on whether she threw up last night while trying to fall asleep because of the stomach bug going around our family or because she gagged herself trying to suck on her fingers... evidence (including a confession) leans toward the gagging.  I guess only time and our new (free) video monitor will tell!

Trading her pacifiers for a mini Barbie Rapunzel doll 
(at nap time she highly regretted the trade but we stuck to it!)

 Her first nap without her paci - she would kind of suck on the air when trying to fall asleep.  It was both sad and funny. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Advent: Second Week

I better get caught up before Christmas comes!

Day 8: I gave the girls some window decals to decorate with.  
Davey's curiousity led her to pull apart almost all of the jelly ones!

Day 9: We had dinner at Emmie and Pops and all of the cousins got matching Christmas jammies (this is about how it goes trying to get the 5 of these guys to look at the camera!)

 Day 10: We made gumdrop trees (and discovered that Davey cannot help herself from eating the candy!)

Day 11: We made graham cracker/gingerbread houses (and discovered that Davey cannot help herself from eating the frosting!)

Day 12: Malia's Birthday. We went with friends after gymnastics to Einstein bagels (and instead of running when they saw 7 little girls, they embraced our celebration and made Malia a crown out of a bag).

Day 13: We painted some winter figurines

Day 14: We decorated Christmas cookies (at Malia's party)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Malia's Birthday Celebrations

Last Friday we invited 9 girls into our house to help celebrate Malia's birthday.  I decided to keep it pretty simple.  Pizza, coloring and decorating cookies.

 Birthday girl!

 She really, really wanted to help me prepare for the party.  I had to get creative to find tasks to involve her in because her desire was insatiable.  Here she is sorting out candy for decorating cookies.

 Girls coloring at the party.

 I love this picture.  Kids this age just love to sit on top of the birthday child while they open their gifts!

The party crew (minus 1 who didn't want to join the picture).

Then on Saturday morning we had Andrew's family over for a pajama pancake party.  A highlight was Malia opening her present from Emmie and Pops - a homemade bunk-bed for her dolls complete with sheets and blankets.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Today is a bittersweet day in our house. Naomi's birth parents' rights were terminated this morning. Since we want to adopt Naomi, you would think that this is good news. And it is. But it is also one of the saddest realities I have ever had to swallow. My gain is someone else's loss. I guess adoption is bittersweet that way.

I have had a lot of emotion over this day. A lot more mixed emotions than I would have ever guessed.

I really want Naomi to know how loved and wanted she is on this day. Not just by Andrew and me, and not just by Malia and Davey (who seriously can hardly let an hour pass without kissing her), but by grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and our church family as well.

Naomi, we prayed for you before we even knew you, and we are amazed at how God orchestrated you entering our lives. You have really captured our hearts with your sweet spirit and radiant smile.  Already in your first 4.5 months of life you have taught so many so much about God, (probably me the most.) We are ever so grateful.

I want her to know that even though the specifics of her birth parents may never be known, that they loved her very much too. I know this because in a country where abortion is so prevalant, they chose life for her. I will be grateful to them for that decision for the rest of my life.

I mourn for her birth parents and pray for them today. I grieve that they were in circumstances that led them to leave Naomi at the hospital. Their lack of hope, viable choices and community support remind me how much I have, and I am deeply humbled by that.

And because Naomi can't be sad or mourn today, I do it for her. We have learned about what some call a "primal wound" - the idea that even children adopted at birth have a wound from being separated from their birth parents.  I wish I could heal that wound.

Naomi, I wish that I had answers for the questions that are certain to come as you grow. I am so sorry, honey. So sorry for this loss.

That being said, I also rest in the hope of Christ and the power of his blood to heal all wounds and make us whole. I pray that God would be faithful and known to Naomi even now.

This is a sweet day for our family too. One step closer to having Naomi officially become a part of our family forever. We are amazed at God's hand in it all and very humbled by his goodness to us.

To Him be the glory.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Malia's 5

Malia turns 5 today.  
We could not have imagined 5 years ago how smart, fun, creative, warm, and beautiful she would be. 
We are so grateful for her life and are gonna have some fun celebrating it today.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Advent: First Week

We are doing an countdown to Christmas/ trying to celebrate Advent by doing a fun activity each day.  

Here is out countdown (printed from here).  And here is what happened in the first week.

Day 1: Got our 3, semi-kid friendly, nativities out including this one that Andrew's aunt Bobbie gave me pre-kids.  Each character is a thimble.  Davey treats it as a puzzle of sorts and likes to take the pieces out and then figure out where they return.  Her priceless line while doing it was "Is this where the newborn king goes?"

Day 2: Decorating our tree and putting out Christmas decorations.  

Day 3: We got out our collection of Christmas books (not all pictured).  I have bought a couple but most have been gifts from grandmas and friends and there are even a few from Andrew's childhood.

Day 4: We got out our Christmas sensory bin (which is the same as last years with a few little additions).

 Day 5: I gave the girls a couple booklets of stickers and let them go wild.  They have continued to enjoy the stickers over the last several days and I find them all over my house.  Tis the season for stickers everywhere right?

 Day 6: Painting with special sheets that you just use water and q-tips on.

Day 7: Disney Princesses on Ice.  (Thanks to a neighbor who got us very discounted tickets!)

It was a fun week and we are well into week 2 and still going strong.  More later.