Sunday, May 31, 2009

On a Roll!

That's right, the peanut is rolling! The first time took both of us by surprise, but when I flipped her back on her belly, she did it again and again and again! And, yes, we got it on video. . .too bad I don't know how to post it :(

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Monkeys!

Monkeys are a very, very big deal at our house right now. Actually, they've been a big deal for quite a while. One of the first animal noises Steven knew was "aah aah" (for ooo aah), and for a long time, that's what he called monkeys. When we went to the zoo in March, he wanted to see the monkeys and signed "more, more" when we started to leave the exhibit or when he heard the word said.

When we were in Ohio earlier this month, I met up with an old friend in Easton, and Steven and I wandered through Build-a-Bear while she and her daughter were at Build-a-Doll. I decided to get a monkey for Steven, and he wouldn't let go of the example one at all, so they let us buy that one. When I asked him if he wanted to take it home, he told me no very emphatically because all he focused on was the word "take," and there was no way anyone was taking his monkey away :)

I saw him caring for his monkey like I do with Michelle, and it just made my heart melt.



Thursday, May 28, 2009

5 Months and 18 Months

I took Steven and Michelle in for their 4 and 18 month visits. They were originally scheduled for a few weeks ago, but I rescheduled once I realized that they were on the same day as our trip to visit Auntie E and that the 4 month shots were the only ones Steven reacted too.

Anyway, they are both doing great and growing right on schedule. Michelle weighed in at 15 lbs, 2 ozs (50-75%) and measuring 25.5" (75%). She's pretty much the same as Steven was when he was that age. Steven weighs just over 29 lbs. (same as he did at his last visit earlier this month), and is 32". That puts him in the 75-90% for weight and 50% for height. I think his 14 month visit was the one where he moved to being in a higher percentile for weight than height.

At 5 months, Michelle
  • Laughs hysterically
  • Enjoys her cocoa butter massages (instead of screaming through them!)
  • Discovered her feet and loves to put them in her mouth
  • Pulls off her socks
  • Sits in her bebe pod
  • Plays with her toys
  • Puts everything in her mouth
  • Drools like crazy
  • Loves her big brother
At 18 months, Steven
  • Is in love with monkeys
  • Is in love with trucks
  • Loves playing outside
  • Listens to Raffi at every opportunity
  • Dances to Raffi
  • Says his name when asked what it is
  • Eats as many eggs as he can
  • Has over 73 words in his vocabulary (and knows at least 11 animal sounds)**
  • Dotes on his little sister and watches out for her

**I made a list of words that he says (in the right context) when I was at work the other day. I have a very very boring job.**

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

ALL Boy

Steven is 100% boy. There's no doubt about it. Today we camped out on the neighbor's lawn and watched a backhoe put concrete in a dump truck. The driver was super friendly, and when he was done, he told us that the show starts again at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow. . .I have a feeling we'll be there :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Absolutely Hilarious

When we got home from Ohio last night, I found this large box on the counter with our mail. I couldn't figure out where/who it was from, so I was surprised to see it was addressed to me. As soon as I saw the return address, I burst out laughing.



It all started with these pictures:




And was followed by this email:


Dear (VP at Heinz),

My 17 month old son, Steven, recently discovered ketchup, and to say that he loves it is an understatement. When he went through a stage of refusing to eat his green beans, we dipped them in ketchup, and he ate them right up. He also loves to eat ketchup plain.

I've attached two pictures to show you how much he loves it, and I think that he'd be a perfect little spokesperson for your ketchup. My mom and sisters took the pictures while I was gone, so you'll have to excuse the odd pants on the head look.

If nothing else, I hope these pictures make you smile.

Sincerely,

Rebekah


Which resulted in this letter:

Dear Rebekah:

Thank you for taking the time to write to the J. J. Heinz Co. The pictures you sent of your son enjoying Heinz Ketchup are priceless. We are happy to learn that our Ketchup is used on so many of the foods your son eats.

Please know that your comments are important to us and we appreciate receiving feedback from our consumers.

I hope you enjoy this basket of Heinz "goodies". [Their grammatical errors, not mine!]

Sincerely,


(VP, US Ketchup)


And in this package:







**I'll have to post a picture of Steven wearing the shirt so you can see what it says!**

P.S. We don't even give Steven ketchup at home, but he does love it when he gets it!

P.P.S. We buy generic ketchup :)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Lovin' on Baby

Steven loves "baby" so much, and it's amazing to watch them interact with each other. He often goes and comforts her when she's crying, and he likes to go see her when she's in her swing (and stopping it as a result). He's also learning to share with her because one of the toys I give her to chew on is a monkey that hangs on her playmat. I usually shove it in her mouth when she starts sucking her thumb :) Steven hadn't seen or played with the monkey for a long time, but monkeys are his all-time favorite thing. He's been doing pretty well, though, sharing it with her.

"Here you go, baby!"

Giving her the toy bar.

"Hmm. . .maybe it goes this way."


Trying again. . .

. . .and again.


So proud of himself even though the toy bar is no where to be seen :)

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

For Mother's Day, we took my parents to Outback for a late lunch. Any time you go out to eat with both Steven and Michelle, it's an adventure. When Michelle decided she was tired of sitting in her seat, my mom offered to hold her since she could eat with one hand. Michelle is definitely ready for food--she followed every bite from the plate to my mom's mouth :)

Too busy staring at the food to look up.

Looking at the camera but not so happy about it.

We have no pictures of Steven, but he definitely enjoyed his grilled cheese-a-roo and mashed potatoes!

Another First

Well, Steven escaped from his crib for the first time today, but I don't think he did it intentionally. He loves being in his crib, to the point of refusing to get up in the morning because he just wants to play and read books in there.

I'm pretty positive that Steven escaped by standing on his ball that I let him have to play with and then flipped over the side of the crib. I'm also pretty positive that the poor boy landed on his head. All I heard was a huge thunk and then screaming. I know that it really scared him. Needless to say, he won't have that ball in his crib again!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Praying for Kaleigh's Family

A little while ago, I posted the box on the sidebar asking for prayer for Kaleigh Anne Freeman. Her family and story was featured on the show The Doctors this morning, and it has been amazing to see the faith of this family. Their faith has been very evident this week as they have dealt with her dying on Monday. Please continue to pray for her family.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Birthmother's Day!

On Friday, we met up with Aunt E and the rest of her kids to celebrate an early Birthmother's Day since I work on Saturdays. We decided to go to Chuck E Cheese with all SIX kids, and we had an absolute blast! I found some great coupons online, so it didn't cost us nearly as much as it could have (probably less than half!), and that made it even better.

Steven had never been there before, and he loved it. Of course, every time we see Aunt E, he gets to eat all the yummy food he doesn't get at home. For dinner that night, he had pizza (3 pieces!) and Sprite. I did give him some applesauce though :) I don't have a problem with him eating like that every once in a great while, and I don't want him to feel out of place when we spend time with them.

It was the first time that Mark has spent an extended period of time with Aunt E (and only the third time he's ever seen her!), and it was the first time he met her other kids. He was pretty tense at first, but he eventually relaxed and played with them a little bit. It was fun to hear him ask Steven if he wanted to go play with his sister in the climbing tubes :) Steven really enjoyed playing with the other kids and warmed up to them very quickly. It helped that he had a nice long nap before we went unlike last time.

He was pooped out when we left--I don't know if he even made it five minutes in the car. Aunt E said her kids were the same way. Mark carried Steven in the house and put him in his crib, and he didn't even make a peep. He then slept in until 12:45 Saturday! (Michelle slept in to noon, so Mark had a very productive morning.)

We got some great pictures, but not many that I can post here. If you want to see the other ones, they're on my picasa site. If you need the password (case sensitive), let me know.

His favorite ride.


Yummy pizza!


Driving with Chuck.


Hanging out and watching the bags.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

Watching Raffi!

Raffi's still a hit in our family, and Steven absolutely LOVES to watch him. He knows that he's supposed to sit in his rocking chair while watching Raffi (the only tv he watches), unless he's dancing (quite often the case!) or playing with something else.

I'm amazed at what Steven has picked up from the video. He can now moo like a cow, baa like a sheep, stomp, clap his hands in a very odd fashion (still not sure where that came from, but it's his special Raffi clap or something), "snap" his fingers, swim (which looks quite a lot like the sign for traveling in basketball), hum, and who knows what else!

Today he watched Raffi while waiting for me to get ready to take him to the zoo. Don't you just love his little bucket hat!? I could hardly get him to look at me long enough to take the picture. I just can't compete with Raffi :)


In Just 10 Months

By little boy went from this:


To this:


I can't believe it!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lovely

**Update: Mark read this post and decided that I was right :) He went out and bought a new door that same day. (Although it is still sitting in the hallway, but he's been working like crazy on another project around the house.)**

Remember this post? Well, Steven has discovered the hole. Lovely. Add this to the fact that it doesn't have a working lock and that Steven has been able to open it for quite a while and he likes to come see me, I'm thinking it may be time for a new door.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Steven's Life Book

Cover Photo


In the last issue of Adoptive Families magazine, there was a lengthy article about making life books for your kids. Basically, they are books that tell their adoption story. It was something I was already planning on doing, but the article had great ideas and really motivated me to start working on it.

On Tuesday, I got an e-mail coupon from Shutterfly for a free 8x8 photo book. I had never used them (or any other online service like them) before, but it seemed like a good idea. There wasn't any big catches. I didn't have to buy anything else or sign up for something. There was, however, a huge catch for me--the certificate was only good until Thursday. Yeah, that's technically three days, but it wasn't like I could drop everything and start working on it the moment I got the e-mail.

I stayed up late the last two night, working very hard to get it done. I won't tell you how many hours I spent on it, but that wasn't just because I had no clue what I was doing. A big reason was that both of our computers are ancient in computer years. (I think that one year equals ten computer years, which means that mine are way past middle age!) The laptop couldn't handle the software, and the desktop wasn't the greatest. Mark finally came in and helped me with some of it. If he hadn't, I would have never finished it.

Anyway, it brought back a lot of memories of what it was like only 16 months ago. The book is relatively simple, since it's for him when he's young, but as I pulled up pictures of his interim care parents and the first time we met him, it really came back to me.

I included pictures of us before he joined our family, pictures of the first time we met him, when we brought him home, pictures of my family and Mark's family, a ton of cute pictures of Steven, pictures of him being a big brother, pictures of his birth family (even one of his birth grandmother once I cropped Michelle out of it), and finally, one of us, his forever family.

I'm going to make him another one, probably on cardstock and then have it laminated and bound at Kinkos. Steven LOVES looking at pictures, and I want him to have a book that he can use right now.

If you have an adopted child, you seriously need to make a life book for him/her. I know that Steven is going to read this book over and over and over again, and it will provide many opportunities to talk to him about his adoption. I'm sure that I'll be making more as he grows up--ones age appropriate and that gives him answers to the questions he has then.

I'm so thankful for the relationship we have with his birth family and all the little stories I've collected to share with him. We are so blessed!

P.S. A great book for kids (adopted or not!) is Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis. It's a life book for a little adopted girl, and the story and illustrations are both amazing!

P.P.S. Adoptive Families is a great magazine. It's more than I would usually spend on a magazine ($25 for 6 issues), but it's completely worth it. . .and you'd be helping us out too :)

P.P.P.S. (Last one, I swear!) I have Steven's life book on our new shutterfly site, but it's password protected since it has pictures of his birthfamily. If you want access to it, let me know, and I'll send you the info.