Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spring fun

Mackenzie's favorite backyard hangout...the sandbox.


Mackenzie's first swim. I thought she would cry b/c that is what happened before when we dipped her toe....but the pool heater was on this time, and so she thought it was a lot of fun. She splashed and kicked..she even liked the baby raft!


Trying for a picture with six eyes and three smiles....


Seriously, Mom, how may times are you going to try this? It ain't gonna happen!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Ashtyn!

She's six! How did that happen so fast? I am going to have to pose a pic of the kids in the party clothes...I never got one with any of the siblings together (and the girls had the cutest matching dresses!) Happy birthday baby girl.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Fa'afetai

That is Samoan for Thank You! It goes out to my dear friend K, who surprised my kiddos with a really awesome care package 'just because'. K is now Home in Hawai'i...I think she picked up these goodies on one of her Pacific Adventures. Here is Kenzie...I think she looks kinda Samoan. I love this little dress!


This face cracks me up...my little cabbage patch kid!

Thank you K!

Ta-Da! Mason sporting his new look...I like him in green. Check out that lei...coolest thing ever...cellophane filled with treats and tied off with curling ribbon in between each item to make the lei. So creative! Did you come up with that yourself, K?

A great big "I love you"

Oh! I am so surprised!

Sending you lots of kisses (with my new Hello Kitty lip gloss)! We miss you!
Enjoy the pics! And thank you again.

Monday, April 7, 2008

100 Days

Azima has been home with us for 100 days! I almost cant comprehend that. In some ways it feels like she has been here forever, in others I am still very much learning to juggle 3 kids. In her honor, let me share a few milestones she has reached since coming home:

  • Teeth...she began cutting teeth...oh....pretty much upon arrival. She is a quick teether, and really doesn't make too much fuss over it. Certainly does not like cold teething rings...she doesn't like anything cold. She is now up to 7 teeth, and working on number 8.
  • Sitting...she has been a solid sitter for a few months now. Irony there is now that she can sit up and play with her toys, she really doesn't like to lie on her tummy and play, so crawling still seems pretty far off. Although she has been known to lean into a pretty good straddle in order to reach a toy that is just beyond her grasp. Maybe one day she will fall unto her tummy and then take off. (I have seen her try to pull her legs up under her, she just doesn't have a strong interest in trying)
  • Eating...when we tried to spoon feed her in Kyrgyzstan, she cried and cried...she just hated it. So we waited a few months, and now she loves her food! She is like a little baby bird- you should see how wide that mouth can open!
  • Growing...she was no petite little thing when we got her- about 15.5 lbs at 5 1/2 months. But now, she was 20 lbs at her 8 month appointment, and I believe 26 inches long. She is so healthy! (we had to get a new carseat, as the infant seat only goes to 22 lbs...and she has gotten too big for her Bumbo seat...which is fine, cause she is sitting now anyway)
  • Talking...Kenzie really isn't a very noisy baby, but when the mood is right, she will carry on and on. "Dadadadadada!!!" is a favorite when she is in a really good mood. "Mamamamama" seems to come out when she is upset- now why is that? They aren't really words for her, just sounds, but who does she want when she is upset? That's right- Mama!
  • Bonding...I am still undecided on how well we are doing here. She is definitely bonded. She knows Mommy and Daddy, and even Ashtyn and Mason...she lights right up when she sees us. No longer does she cry harder when I pick her up, like she did those first few days- Mommy now has the magic touch. Now she cries if I try to hand her off to someone. Here is where I am confused- separation anxiety. I know that it is normal, especially at this age, it is almost expected. She seems to have the worst case of it of any of my children. I am sure I am reading into it too much, but I feel like because she hasn't had as long to form a really secure bond, she really is afraid I might just disappear. It has happened to her before, and as young is she is on some level I think she knows that. But, we have the benefit of being together all day, and the only time she is really with someone else is in the church nursery or when she is with Nana or Grandma (she is bonding pretty good with both of them, especially if I am not around). I am sure we will get through it, and at least it's not usually that she is hysterical, just slightly fussy.
Other ways she has changed...Mackenzie is so much more social now....smiles come easier, and once in awhile you can even get a really good belly laugh. She is very very nosy...intensely examines everything around her. She has gotten very grabby, and I am glad to say that she is much more likely to put things into her mouth (usually a big pain for moms, but her lack of oral exploration was kinda strange, and had me concerned, so I love to see her put things in her mouth) Oh, I am not sure if I ever reported this...she went for her swallow study (fascinating, by the way)..no physical abnormalities. She simply drinks too fast. So a new nipple and a little pacifier break in the middle of a feeding to slow her down is all that is in order. She has also gotten spoiled! She has figured out that she much prefers to be held and played with, rather than sat down to entertain herself with a toy...if I am within arms reach, she is fine...but if I try to do anything else...she lets me hear about how she feels. Oh, well...I guess I like 'em spoiled. We used to ask Ashtyn when she was about 2 "Are you rotten?" and she would respond "Rotten to the core!" So of course this one should be a little princess, too!

Congrats Kenzie on 100 days home! You have brought so much joy into our lives, we are so glad to have you here!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring Break

Sorry I havent posted much. I picked up some kind of bug and have been sooo tired for over 2 weeks! Luckily, the mono test came back negative, and I am starting to feel normal again.

Shaun has been doing some installs at the new Hard Rock park in Myrtle Beach, SC. So when he told me he had to be there over Ashtyn's spring break, we decided to tag along. He had to work quite a bit (as I expected), but we did get to see him for dinner, and even lunch one day! It was nice to be able to spend a little time with him...and the kids loved the adventure of staying in a hotel. The digs were pretty nice, too...2 bedrooms, full kitchen, awesome breakfast buffet...very cozy. It wasnt exactly beach weather (should have stayed in FL if we wanted fun in the sun), but we did manage to squeeze in 2 drizzle free hours...and Ashtyn and Mason even got their feet wet. Kenzie and I were content to play in the sand. She really loves digging in the sand!

We decided to take a side trip one day while we were there...before kids, we actually lived in Eastern NC. I still have friends in the area, and one I really wanted to see one that lives not too far from Myrtle Beach. I was thinking if I drove up two hours and she drove down one, we would meet for dinner. So we piled in the van for a little road trip....what I thought would be a 2 hour drive was actually 3 and a half! Yikes! Poor kids...waaay more driving this week than they were anticipating. Luckily they were pretty good. Mackenzie is an AWESOME little traveler. She is so good in the car...restaurants too. She is our third baby, and she really gets the prize for best public behavior at this age and stage. She likes people watching I think...saves the fussiness for at home when she is bored.

Our road trip took us first to the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, where I used to work as an Educator. They have since tripled their size, and are now a really beautiful facility ( I liked it before, it was just kinda small). We had a great time...the kids just love aquariums, and I was trying to find the bones of the place that was once so familiar. I got to see many old co-workers, which was awesome. That was the last job I had...I worked until the day before Ashtyn was born, and have been a stay at home mom ever since. It was a dream job really, and since we moved right away after Ashtyn was born and I no longer knew anyone in this area, I didn't exactly always love that first year home with her. I don't want anyone else raising my kids, but I missed my job and the interaction with other adults. I realize how lucky I am to have this time with my family, and I think I finally have the swing of it most days...it was just a rocky start for me, I really loved my job.

After our fishy fun, I got to see my old friend Rachel. We go back to when we were both transfer students at UNCW...we met at orientation, and grew really close really quickly. She even sang at my wedding (beautiful voice on that girl!) She has been a great resource during the adoption process, as she is actually a Korean adoptee herself (I had no idea of that fact the first time I went to her parent's house...I was really thrown off when a Caucasian woman answered the door:) I have called Rachel with questions after my "conspicuous families" lessons (lead to funny stories about stupid things people say...no, her parents did not import her to clean their house!! really?!?!), questions about saving birth names, desires to meet for learn more about birth families....she has been very very open and helpful, and I know she will continue to be. She and her husband have 2 beautiful girls themselves, our oldest being 8 mo apart...they really hit it off. So we had a great time catching up after waaay too long apart. Hopefully they will be coming to see the mouse this fall and we can do it again.

So, now we are home again (minus Shaun, who still has work to do there :( and I am supposed to be finishing details for that leader dinner (key chains by the way...with inspirational verses...that will be the gift...not exactly the creative stroke of genius I was hoping would hit, but they will have to do).