Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Happy 11 Months Baby Girl!!

Amelia is 11 months old today!!! Only one month, which I'm sure will fly by, until she is 1 year old. She most definitely gets more precious (and adorable) every day and every morning when I get her out of her crib I feel like the Grinch where his heart grew two sizes, some how I feel like I love her more every day. Owlhaven did a good post in response to another blogger having this fear of not loving her second child as much as she did the first and I remember having those same fears. I remember after we got the call that her birthmother was in labor and then as we were driving through the night thinking "Are we crazy? How could I possibly have any more love, how could another little one come close to being as precious to me as Isabella, maybe we shouldn't have done this, maybe we should have stopped with one..... :) " Then I think about how we almost didn't have them show C our profile, we were afraid we were jumping into another adoption too quickly, maybe we should just wait. Then God just really tugged at our hearts and we had to say "Ok, Lord you're in control, if this child is meant to be ours, then You have C choose us and you will work out all the details." And now I'm so thankful how God worked things out and I can't imagine my life without her. She is such a sweet little baby who now makes me smile and laugh so much. Her little personality just cracks me up. And I don't know what it is about her, but I have to squeeze her and kiss her a hundred times a day at least! :) So many things I love about this precious girl...... I love the way she reaches up for me to hold her and how she will climb on top of me as soon as I sit on the floor with her. I love that she isn't as "tough" as Isabella, and although maybe a little dramatic, she loves to be comforted by mommy if she even slightly bumps her head. I love that even though she doesn't warm up to people easily, that she will always look to me for reassurance or hold on to me tighter when a new person talks to her. I love her beautiful eyelashes. I love the cute little wiggle she does when she is crawling and I love how she dances to music. I love her little giggle. I love how as soon as Daddy comes in from work, that she will automatically crawl to him or want him to pick her up. I love how she plays peek-a-boo, especially when she forgets to cover her eyes or won't have anything in her hands, but will put them over her head like she is holding up a blanket. I love her cute curly hair and her precious little lips. I love how she lets go while standing and makes this cute little face like "Look at me!" I love that in the top picture, she looks like she is happily reaching up to me, but in reality, this was what she was wanting.....
I love the way she loves that little bear and will giggle, squeal and smile every time she sees it. I love her, love her, love her!!!!
You were made perfectly to be loved - and surely I have loved you, in the idea of you, my whole life long. Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Isabella's Valentine

Here's the picture of Isabella from yesterday. Daddy bought both of the girls stuffed animals -- without mommy even knowing about it. I think Isabella was pleased with hers. I thought it was sweet that Kenny did that since we all know that daddy's are a girls first love. :)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Little Ballerina

I had a quick little photo shoot with Amelia today -- got a few pictures that I just love, but this was probably my favorite. Maybe I'll post some of the other ones when I get a chance. She seemed to be quite content in her little tutu, so I think she's going to be a little girly girl as well. Hopefully I can get another tutu made so I can get pictures of both of my girls together in little tutus. I also tried to take pictures of both of my girls in "valentiny" clothes, but Amelia wouldn't cooperate for that one, but I think I got a cute one of Isabella. :) Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day. My honey and I are going out to eat tomorrow night because a friend has volunteered to watch my girls. I'm so excited -- a night out with just my hubby!! My parents are watching my girls Friday night so we can do something with the teens so I knew I didn't want to ask them to watch the girls two nights in a row, so it was a huge blessing that she volunteered!!! Today was full of everything hearts for Isabella, heart pancakes and heart shaped banana pieces for breakfast, we made heart shaped sugar cookies for Daddy and Papa/Noni, then I hid a couple little presents around the house for her -- which she loves to find presents -- so it seemed like a good day, until we got to my parents and when they asked her if she got anything for Valentines Day, she said "I don't remember". Wow, lasting impression. So my feelings are a little hurt, but she actually isn't feeling good tonight so maybe that's what's wrong. Hope yours was full of love!! :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Little girls need no excuse to wear a tutu

Just rambling

To begin with, just a couple days ago I was forced to switch to the new blogger, so as I signed on today to create a post it came up with comments that needed to be "moderated". All of these comments were from weeks ago -- what's up with that? I had been getting most of them in my e-mail, but I didn't get these. And like I said it was just this past weekend that I updated..... I'm so confused. Anyway, I'm sorry to those of you whose comments didn't get "published" until now. I wasn't ignoring you, I just never got the comments.

No pictures to post, but I am definitely going to have a couple little photo shoots with my girls the next couple days (maybe not today as they keep having runny noses) I've been slacking on doing that. And I definitely need to post a new picture of Amelia smiling because she (finally)has 2 teeth!! A few weeks ago, her two bottom teeth came in. She looks so cute --- no signs of any more coming in anytime soon though. She has been so funny lately, she likes to play peek-a-boo, which is nothing new, except if we sit on the couch and she is on my lap, she will lean over and bury her face in the pillow until I say "Where's Amelia" and then she will quickly pull up and look at me with her cute little grin. She also likes to do this to people as they open the car door, the other day Kenny opened her door to get her out and she flung her head around to look at me (at the other door) but I could see the little look on her face and I said "She's playing with you" and sure enough she jerked her head around to look at daddy. And of course, she thinks she's hilarious. She also likes to play peek-a-boo with those around us if we go out to eat. The other thing she did today was that for the past few days I keep trying to get her to say mama (other than when she is crying), but she always says da da and smiles. I kept thinking she was just trying to tease me and then today I found out that I was right. This morning, I went to get her out of her crib -- at the time she was saying Ba Ba (I'm not sure if it was for bottle or Bella) and I picked her up and she said "Ma..." squealed, kicked her little feet and buried her head in my chest. Honestly, it was just like "Oops I wasn't supposed to say that" It was so cute. She's become a little more social too -- she's actually been in the church nursery a few times and has done well. Today at Isabella's gymnastics class, she played with the toys and other kids on the floor rather than just clinging to me. The only time she freaked out was when she crawled down in front of some other mothers, looked up and realized they weren't me, then looked at the lady standing behind her thinking it was me and started crying, like she had lost me. Pitiful, but it does make me feel good. :)

And the good/bad thing from last week is that Isabella no longer is taking her daytime naps. I personally think she is too young to stop taking a nap, but we had been really struggling with her at night. We don't put her to bed really early, Kenny doesn't get home until 6:30, then we eat and I definitely don't want to just throw her in bed after dinner, plus she wouldn't have time with daddy that way. But we would start at 9:00, get her ready, brush her teeth, read, and she would be down by 9:30 ------ but not asleep until midnight!!! A couple nights, it seemed like a battle of wills, but other nights she would just be in there in bed wide awake trying to play with books, her stuffed animals, etc (nothing loud enough to wake up daddy, but mommy hears everything.) I don't understand it. At nap time, it had actually been easy, she'd go to sleep right away and sleep for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. And then in the mornings, it wasn't like she was waking up really late, she'd be getting up at 8:00 --- only 8 hours sleep for a 3 year old--- that doesn't seem right. Quite honestly, I was getting exhausted. I tried everything, giving her a nap earlier, we have a nightly routine to try to get her "ready to sleep", but nothing was working. So now, she has "rest" time, she has to go in her room, stay on her bed, but she can "read" her books or play with the stuffed animals/dolls. Then I set the timer and when it rings she can get up. Then at bedtime, she goes right to sleep and sleeps 12 hours!! She really doesn't get fussy if she doesn't have a nap, so that hasn't been a problem, the problem has been if we go anywhere late afternoon or evening, she ends up falling asleep in the car and then we are destined to have another late night. She seems too young to be outgrowing naps, but as long as she is resting and I get a little bit of quiet time, I guess I'm Ok with this. Plus, it definitely works better at night -- no more being in bed, drifting off to sleep, just to be woke up by hearing Elmo saying "Elmo loves you" as Isabella squeezes her doll. :) Did anyone else's little ones outgrow their naps at this age?

Monday, February 05, 2007

(Be forewarned, this is long) This time the last few years

The last few days hold a pretty big significance for us in many ways. Monday, February 2, 2004 -- we were able to leave California (very late) to fly home with our precious Isabella who was then 2 weeks old. We flew through the night and were home Tuesday morning, February 3, 2004. What a wonderful blessing to be home, our tiny little daughter was out of the hospital, we were no longer living in a hotel and we were finally able to share her with our family. When we got home, my SIL had a banner on the garage and balloons on the mailbox welcoming us. I remember my parents staying to watch Isabella while I slept a little. It was wonderful! It was also a funny memory, because I remember telling my parents "When you feed her don't feed her more than X amount, she may act like she'll keep eating it just because but she throws it up....." Sure enough, the fed her more than X amount and she spit up. Awww, my first "mama knows best" moment. :) The next few days were full of fun being able to share her and show her off to our friends and family. Fast forward to February 3, 2005 -- We, along with my parents, head back out to California to finalize Isabella's adoption. Yes, it had taken a whole year to get done with the post placement visits and then get a court date. We then finalized Isabella's adoption on the next day February 4th. What a precious memory!! Actually that whole trip is a precious memory. The finalization was wonderful and then afterwards we were able to head over to the hospital to show my parents where Isabella was born and where we spent most of our time for those couple weeks. We were also able to see the nurses (and God let the ones we wanted to see the most be there) that took such wonderful care of Isabella (and us.) That was a blessing, for us to be able to once again tell them how much we appreciate what they did for us and for them to see Isabella, 1 year later. Then last year at this time, we found out that we had gone through an adoption fraud (on so many levels). Sometimes I just say failed adoption, but it wasn't a failed adoption, it was a fraud. It actually starts before Christmas. Mid December 2005, we got on a plane and flew out to California. This time it was to meet our next potential birthmother. I had been talking to her on the phone at least every other day for over a month and she wanted to meet us in person. We flew out there and had a couple days of getting to know her. She was one of the easiest people to get to know. She was outgoing, loud, and very funny -- a bit rough on the edges, but fun nonetheless. We enjoyed our time with her, went out one day and bought some toys for her kids, and were able to buy her a few odds and ends and a coat as well since it was cold and she was never wearing one. (There is a reason I'm telling this part) On Sunday, we were going to meet her for breakfast, but then she wasn't able to, which in the long run was a big blessing for us. We took off that day and went to Sequoia National Park --- Kenny and I love being outdoors and we would love to visit as many National Parks as we could, so this was very exciting for us. We had a fun family day, took all kinds of pictures and I came back saying that was my Christmas present. Shortly after we got home, we got a call from our attorney saying that he got a call from someone out west that had another couple working with this same birthmother. In other words, she was working with us and another couple, getting her living expenses paid for by both parties. She had worked up a scheme with even the landlord to be able to do this. I was floored, I felt I had been stabbed in the back -- honestly I don't trust many people, I don't have the easiest time talking to people I don't know, but I was fine with her. Well, they did a conference call with me and the other couple and Andrea (the potential birthmother) to confront her on this and to let her know that we all know and see what her plans were next. This actually is a felony charge to do this. Anyway, she said she really was wanting to place the baby, chose us, took a good amount of verbal lashing from the other couple, but didn't flinch. She knew that she wasn't going to get any more of her living expenses paid for the next month from us, but she still wanted to press on. We continued our regular conversations and I tried to trust her as much as possible. She told us that she was wanting to fly out here to have the baby. We bought her a ticket to fly out here (a refundable one though), I talked to her one night, she was all set to come, the next morning I called her number and got a disconnected message. I called the airlines to see if she had checked in -- Nope. I then refunded my ticket, thanking the Lord that I had listened to Him rather than the secretary at the attorney's office in buying a more expensive, yet refundable one. So last year on the weekend of February 4th, we were supposed to have our second daughter, but God had other plans. Last year, this past weekend, Kenny and I decided to go to Nashville to take Isabella back to a Rainforest Cafe (that's where we took her in California for her finalization dinner) We wanted to get away and we wanted to celebrate her -- the precious gift that God had given us. My parents, my brother and his family decided to come with us and make it a family trip. It was great, we had alot of fun and it reminded me of what I have to be thankful for. Fast forward to this weekend, February 2007. The past whole week, I've thought alot about last year. Not just because of the adoption fraud, but because of other things that occurred after, I have no respect for the attorney we were working with, we stopped working with him, although I'm not sure if he even realized that, but he has never called us since. He was a Christian, I won't recommend him to anyone, but I also try to keep from becoming bitter. I know that God will be the one to judge his actions and I just pray that somehow God will protect others from getting hurt through him. But the main thing I've thought about is, Andrea -- where is she? Was she even pregnant? Does she have the baby? Does she think she got the best of us? Because she didn't, God hasn't revealed his reasons for putting us through that, but He has revealed that His way is perfect and that Amelia was His plan in our life. Has it caused us stress we weren't hoping for? Sure, we are definitely hurting more financially after losing the money to her and the attorney, but once again "My God shall supply all my needs." Did she keep the coat? Does everytime she put it on, make her think of us? Does she see our faces and the face of our precious Isabella and remember the kindness we poured on her? I hope so, I hope that somehow our lives touched hers, I hope somehow God used us in her life. So many times, my phone or someone in the store will go off with the same ring I had her number set to and I will think of her and wonder if she will ever try to contact us again. Although, the attorney supposedly sent an affidavit for her arrest (once again, a felony) I doubt he even did that, which bothers me because she will probably do this again to someone else just thinking she can keep getting by with this. But what has hit me recently is that honestly -- and I think my husband could agree with this one -- somehow nothing she did caused any bitterness in me, "somehow" I have forgiven her. I know that "somehow" is Christ. Quite honestly, I'm not that kind of person (none of us are) I don't like being "stabbed in the back", I don't like to be hurt, but once again God has brought about a peace that anytime I think of her, I feel sorry for her, but I don't hate her, I pray that God will bring her to know Him, I don't pray for bad on her. Two things hit me this Friday, mostly through this song by Casting Crowns (and this isn't even my favorite on the CD :)
I will sing to the Lord
And I will lift my voice
For You have heard my cry
I will sing to the Lord
And I will lift my hands
For You have brought me out of the pit
For You have brought me out of the pit

Chorus 1:And I'll sing glory, hallelujah
I lift Your name on high
And I'll sing holy, 'cause You're worthy
I'll praise You with a dance

And I'll sing glory, hallelujah
I lift Your name on high
And I'll sing holy, 'cause You're worthy
I'll praise You with a dance
I will praise You with a dance
I will praise You with a dance

Isabella and I were dancing around the room and Amelia was sitting close to us just smiling and squealing. I danced over close to Amelia and she lifted her arms up to me that she wanted to be part of the fun. I had to choke back tears because it made me realize again how much I have to Praise God for!! That He didn't spare us from the trial or the tears, but He heard our cry and got us out of that pit. He heard our cry and gave us not one, but two beautiful little girls. And He has somehow given me something that is not of myself, to not have bitterness weighing me down, but to be able to Praise Him!! Its amazing and He is so worthy of all my praise!!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Snow Day

Thought I would share some pictures from our BIG snow storm we got. :) Ok, so it wasn't a storm and it was just barely snow, but still Isabella and Daddy had lots of fun this morning. Those of you from places where you normally get snow won't understand this, but when we get any kind of "snow", it normally turns to slush and ice rather quick (actually, we normally just skip over the snow and get ice storms) because of that and the fact that we southerners don't have any way to take care of the roads, things kind of shut down around here. Which is why Daddy got to stay home from work for a few hours and spend some time playing with Isabella in the snow. The lack of snowy weather is also the reason why Isabella is wearing a snow jacket that is closer to Amelia's size than hers. :) When Isabella got up this morning, we showed her the snow outside and she was so excited. She didn't even want to eat breakfast, I had to make her go potty and get dressed because she was ready to just go outside -- in her PJs. The first thing she said to me was "I need a carrot for his nose", she was already thinking up the great plan to make a snowman -- whom Daddy named "Melty" since that is probably what he is doing right now. Then Daddy got the sled out and they were able to sled down our little hill. She had so much fun (and Daddy did too!) Amelia and I didn't get in on any of the action. I would have bundled her up and taken her outside, but it was actually raining a little while they were out there playing and I didn't think she needed to be getting wet, especially with her little cold. I think she would have enjoyed it though. She and I stood at the door and watched as they were sliding down the hill and Amelia just squealed. Maybe later I'll sit her on the porch in the "snow" and get a picture of her first snowfall. :) After they were all done playing, they came back inside and I made them some hot chocolate and they sat by the fire -- what a fun wintery day. We don't get many of these types of days so we enjoy what we can!!