Thursday, January 31, 2008

Way to Go, Little Buddy!!

We rolled over today!!! Well, kind-of. We were doing tummy time, and I had Steven propped up on his arms a bit, and as I was watching, he rolled right over to his back. The look on his face was hilarious--wide eyed, like "what just happened??"

I put him back on his belly, again propped up a bit on his arms, and he started trying to roll over again. It didn't happen, but that's probably partly due to our limited tolerance of tummy time. He got out of it later on by spitting up all over his play mat. That is now in the wash, and he gets a brief break. We still have the boppy though :)

Poor Little Buddy!

Today Steven had his 2 month check up. Yeah, that means shots. The poor guy got 4 shots, and he turned as red as can be. The nurse was really fast in giving them, so it was over before he fully processed it. He still let us know what he thought though! The highlights for him were the cherry tylenol and the apparently yummy tasting oral vaccine :)

At his one month visit, he weighed 8.5 lbs., and at birth, he weighed 6.2. Mark and I thought that he had gained about 2 lbs. since his last visit, but it was actually almost 3 lbs!! He weighs 11.3 lbs!!! He is 50th on the percentile chart for both height and weight, so I guess he's pretty average. He just seems really big to us!

Steven was really good at the doctor's. He was asleep when we got there, but he didn't fuss at all when I woke him up and got him undressed. He did pee all over everything when he got weighed, but he missed the nurse and me, so that was okay. (Slightly embarrasing, but okay)

He smiled for the nurses, but not as much as usual. He also showed off his ability to stand, and the nurse was impressed by how strong he is. (You don't have to tell me he is strong--I have bruises on my legs from where he stands when he gets upset that I'm burping him instead of feeding him!)

He's been pretty groggy since we got home. He slept for a long time, ate, and then went back to sleep. I've been giving him tylenol like the nurse said, so I don't know if that is part of it. Overall, though, he's doing well. He has to go back in two months, but as I pointed out to him, that's another lifetime away :)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Plymouth Ice Festival

After church today we headed over to Plymouth for their annual ice carving festival. I didn't realize how long it has been going until I heard on the radio today that people who went when they were kids are now taking their grandkids to it!

This year the weather was nice--cold enough that the ice wasn't melting, but not so cold that you couldn't stand it. (Last year it rained, and the year before it was so cold you could hardly stand to be outside.)

It was crowded as usual, but not as bad as it could have been. We've had some light snow in the last day, so some of the sculptures are a bit hard to see. I just wanted to go over and dust the snow off each one, but I knew that Mark would kill me if I went behind the yellow tape :)



A dragonfly. You can also see some of the other sculptures in the background.




A guy and a fish.
There are different competitions you can enter--individual or group, high school or college. It is interesting to see the different skill levels, and even more interesting to see them working on the sculptures right there!


There is at least one team from Japan that comes every year and does a HUGE sculpture. One year it was a massive pirate ship!


We've never seen them with flowers inside of the sculptures before, but there were a lot of them this year--including one that was heart shaped and read "Will you marry me?"


A team from UofM working on a palm tree. They were using some sort of spray to "glue" on one of the branches.

A reindeer.

They also had snowshoes that you could try out.



Steven's excitement at being at his first ever ice festival!

Friday, January 25, 2008

New Website!

I now have my lia sophia website up and running. You can look at the new catalog online, find out when I have shows, or even book your own show! The address is www.liasophia.com/rebekahcross.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Love My Georgie (and My Daddy!)

After noticing how much he likes his burp cloth (even after he's finished eating), I pulled his Georgie Giraffe out of his bassinet for him to hold. He grabbed it with both hands and held on to it until he started to fall asleep.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Another Great Show!!

I had another amazing show today--even bigger than the last one. I've already recouped all my start up costs and made a good profit. All in just two shows!!

God is so good.

We Have a Monitor!!

Thanks, Amy, for our monitor! I've been wanting to put Steven in his crib to sleep, but I've been hesitant to because I'm afraid I won't hear him if he wakes up. Our house is small, but I take sleeping pills and sometimes sleep through him crying in his bassinet even though it is right next to my side of the bed :( This means that I can keep the monitor next to me and turn it way up if Mark is going to be gone and I'm sound asleep. Maybe we'll have our room back to ourselves soon!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

lia sophia

First show was a success! Thanks, Rachel, for hosting, and thanks, Katrina, for helping me out!!! Next show is on Wednesday.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

lia sophia!!

Tomorrow is my first lia sophia party, and I have another one on Wednesday. I got my starter kit of jewelry a week or so ago, and there is some really cool stuff in it. I've already been wearing a lot of it, and I can't wait to start selling it. I love that it has a lifetime guarantee!

I also like that my manager is a Christian. She started selling lia sophia jewelry so she could stay home with her kids, and I'm doing it for a similar reason. We want to get our adoption loan paid off as quickly as possible. We have five years to pay it back (because you get up to five years to get back the federal tax credit), but we don't want to be paying any more interest than we have to. It's nice to be able to be home with Steven during the day instead of having a traditional job and taking him to day care or a babysitter.

I'm really excited to get started, and once I have my website established, I'll post the address. If you're interested in having a party (and earning free jewelry in addition to all kinds of good deals!), let me know!

Back to School

It seems like life is moving way too fast right now. Classes started two weeks ago, and I've already assigned the rough draft of their first essay. We've met twice, and as is to be expected, there were fewer people in class the second week than there were the first. I'm not complaining because that means fewer essays and research papers to grade.

The class has gotten off to an okay start, but I don't feel my heart is in it this time. I have a decent group of students (with one major exception), but there just isn't much chemistry in the classroom. I'm sure that being a Friday night class is part of that. Teaching on Friday nights also means that I don't really see any of my friends/colleagues. Maybe that is part of why I feel so off this quarter. (Yeah, I know having Steven makes a difference, but I felt this way before we got him, so I know it's not just that.)

On the bright side, though, I am one fifth of the way through the quarter :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snuggling With Daddy


We Went to Court and Later We Voted

I guess the best thing that I can say about our experience in Juvenile Court is that our petition was filed :) We started off with a slow drive in the snow and traffic, and got to the court house around 8:30, the time of our hearing. Mark dropped Steven and me off at the door while he went to see if there were an alternative to on-street parking (no, there wasn't). I went in and found out that you cannot have cameras in the court house. Of course, I couldn't call Mark on his cell to let him know that he needed to come and get it because our cell phones were hidden in the car. (We had been told about them, but not the camera.)

By this time, we are late. When Mark went to run the camera back to the car, Steven and I walked all over before we found an elevator, only to find that there was no 4th floor. Instead, it was in another wing. As I was finding this out from someone on the 3rd floor, we ran into Mark (who hadn't found the elevator and instead had taken the stairs). So we went back down, over to the other wing, and took another elevator up to the 4th floor.

We found our room, only to find out that no, it wasn't our room. So we were sent to the adoption information desk. That's when we found out that our social worker wasn't there and that they had not heard from her. Lovely.

To make a long story short, we ended up with the crankiest clerk around who told us that we need originals of our birth certificates and marriage license and that the copies submitted were not enough. She said that she couldn't file our petition without them, but then she did. Then she asked where our adoption database was. Our social worker (who was the agency director) had never heard of it, but the clerk said that she could not file our petition without it. But then she did. Then she wanted to know why we had already signed our paperwork and told us that we normally do it at the court house and since we had already done it, our trip down was pointless. What????

In the end, it was filed. After six months, we'll get Steven's new birth certificate. We accomplished our task, but had no nice pictures, and not really any nice memories either. However, we left with the cutest little baby who is now (almost) our son!



Dressed in his "little man" outfit.


It's too big, so it makes him look huge (like a football player according to my mom)!



We also voted that night after Mark got home. Steven was the youngest voter of the day (the oldest was 99!). He enjoyed showing off his smile to all the workers, and, of course, they absolutely loved that!
For Mom--Mark noticed the green boogies in the picture too!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Love: A Variation of a Theme

If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in it's place, but have not love,
I am a housekeeper--not a homemaker.
If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements, but have not love,
My children learn of cleanliness, not godliness.

Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh.
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.
Love wipes away the tears before it picks up the toys.
Love is present through the trials.
Love reprimands, reproves, and is responsive.

Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, runs with the child,
Then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.
Love is the key that opens salvation's message to the child's heart.

Before I became a mother, I took glory in my house of perfection.
Now I glory in God's perfection of my child.
As a mother there is much I must teach my child,
But the greatest of all is love.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Going to Court

Tuesday morning we have our court date. At that time we will petition the court to make Steven our legal child and to change his name from Steven Kamone C--- to Steven James C---. We won't see a judge or anything; we will just meet with a clerk. Our agency director is the social worker going with us.

After we petition the court, there is a 6 month waiting period. So, on June 15th, Steven will legally be ours, and we will get his new birth certificate (with our names on it as his parents) in the mail. I was a bit bummed to find out that we never get to go before a judge or anything. Our social worker said that the finalization is quite anticlimatic--just a certificate in the mail.

After we go to court, we owe our final payment. Up until now, we've only paid the application fee, homestudy fee, and acceptance fee. This is the major payment (over $10,000). We'll end up getting the money back through state and federal tax credits as well as a $5,000 reimbursement from Mark's employer. Right now we have a Family First loan that is through a bank in Grand Rapids and paid directly to our agency. It's set up so we can pay it back as we get your tax credit checks, but we still have to make interest payments each month.

Things will be very very tight, but as we've seen throughout the entire process, God will provide for us. He has made it very clear that this is His plan for us, and as my dad has said, God doesn't order something and not pay for it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Studious Steven


Oh what has Daddy done??

Grandma, Steven, and Aunt Lauren


The Other Aunt Rachel

Here is Steven with his other Aunt Rachel. She's been out of town for the past week and a half, and we are both very glad that she is back!!


The Little Buckeye!

Steven wore his OSU outfit to his shower. I won't lie and say that it was a hit :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sleeping

Apparently, Steven can sleep in just about any position :)







A Good Mom!

Mom sells rule-breaking son's car
Wed Jan 9, 12:55 PM ET

Jane Hambleton has dubbed herself the "meanest mom on the planet."

After finding alcohol in her son's car, she decided to sell the car and share her 19-year-old's misdeed with everyone — by placing an ad in the local newspaper. The ad reads: "OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don't love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet."

Hambleton has heard from people besides interested buyers since recently placing the ad in The Des Moines Register. The 48-year-old from Fort Dodge says she has fielded more than 70 telephone calls from emergency room technicians, nurses, school counselors and even a Georgia man who wanted to congratulate her.

"The ad cost a fortune, but you know what? I'm telling people what happened here," Hambleton says. "I'm not just gonna put the car for resale when there's nothing wrong with it, except the driver made a dumb decision. "It's overwhelming the number of calls I've gotten from people saying 'Thank you, it's nice to see a responsible parent.' So far there are no calls from anyone saying, 'You're really strict. You're real overboard, lady.'"

The only critic is her son, who Hambleton says is "very, very unhappy" with the ad and claims the alcohol was left by a passenger. Hambleton believes her son but has decided mercy isn't the best policy in this case. She says she set two rules when she bought the car at Thanksgiving: No booze, and always keep it locked.

The car has been sold, but Hambleton says she will continue the ad for another week — just for the feedback.

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press.

Catching Up

1. Classes started this week at school. We had our in-service last Thursday, and my first day teaching is Friday. I'm not really looking forward to going back, but that's how it is every quarter. I just wish that it were a different night!

2. Mark's brother, sister, and her fiance came out for the weekend. It was nice to have them here, and I definitely enjoyed the extra help (aka extra rest!), especially since I was starting to get Mark's cold. They all left on Monday night, but we hope that we'll get to see them again soon!

3. Last night Steven and I drove out to Lansing to meet with my lia sophia manager. We went over a whole ton of information and ordered my starter kit. I can't wait until it gets here! Because of a mistake in entering my starter show, I've had to push back my parties a bit. Now I have through mid-February to have my first 6 shows. I've already got most of them scheduled, but I always have room for more!

Hostesses get really great deals (like any item up to $100 for only $15 just for having the show!!) and free jewelry based on the show sales. You also get to have fun and have me at your house :) If you want to schedule a party, let me know!

It was a scary drive home from there because of the horrible rain, and I hydroplaned one time. I am so thankful that God kept us safe. It was bad enough that I considered pulling over and waiting out the storm. Fortunately, I saw that the next exit was where Mark works, so I knew that I was only 10-15 minutes from home. The rain also let up a bit then. It was already so late (close to 11:00) that I knew if I pulled over I'd have a hard time staying awake.

4. On Friday night, Mark and I celebrated our TWELVE year dating anniversary. Can you believe it's been that long??? We've now hit the point where we've known each other half our lives. That's kind of scary but also really cool. It's hard to remember what my life was like without Mark, but I do know that I don't ever want to be without him again!

5. God has been blessing us in so many little ways. It's so easy for me to overlook the things that He's doing because they're not big, flashy things, but they are all signs and reminders of God's goodness. I don't know how people can live without God. Life would seem so pointless. I'm so thankful that I know Him and am His child!

Baby Shower

Monday night was my shower at church, and I owe a HUGE thank you to my friends who put it all together--esp. Marie, Keri, Katrina, and Rachel! I stopped going to baby showers years ago because it was just too hard, so I didn't really know what to expect.

My friends did a great job with the invitations, centerpieces, cake, and everything else. Thank you!!!



Our hand picked answer to prayer!

Can you tell we all LOVE that picture??

(and my mom would like you all to know that she took it!)

Playing games--it's much more fun to just watch :)

About 50 people came which was good, esp. considering the holidays and the last minute nature of everything. As you can see, we received many nice gifts.

My friend Katrina asked me who I wanted to speak at the shower, and I told her that I didn't have any one person in mind, so she picked. My friends Becky and her daughter Kerigan shared, and it was so special. They are the ones we got our cat from, and through the critter, we've become good friends. I just love their family!!


Becky and Kerigan sharing their wisdom.


One of several hand-made blankets that we got.



Every baby needs a frog pod for the bath tub!

We received so many nice things. One of the best was our diaper champ. We no longer have to bag up stinky diapers to take out to the trash. I had started bagging then and then tossing them out the back window onto the patio for Mark to take to the trash the next morning :) We are both glad that we don't have to worry about that anymore! One of the really nice things about the diaper champ is that you can use regular bags with it--you don't have to buy special ones.

We also received our diaper bags, next size up car seat (yeah!), clothes, toys, and all kinds of other good things. We are truly blessed.

Mommy Took a Nap

And Uncle Andy, Aunt Rachel, and Uncle Ron dressed me up!

I bought Steven a santa outfit after Christmas because I didn't want to pay full price for it when all I really wanted was the hat. Well, while I was sleeping on Monday, he got to try it out. I about died when I woke up and found him sleeping in his swing all dressed up! I ended up leaving him in the outfit, even when we ran errands, and I just told people that he thinks it's Christmas :)



Hanging out in my crib.

Getting my picture taken.



Uncle Andy "sitting" on my lap, telling me what he wants for Christmas

(after this, I'm thinking he'll be getting coal!).

When will they stop with the pictures???


That's it! I've had enough!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008