Friday, May 27, 2016

Kindergarten Graduate!

Michael is officially done with Kindergarten and on his way to first grade!! Where did this year go? It has flown by!

He has grown up so much since August! He was just a baby, now he is a grown up boy missing teeth!!

A couple weeks ago, Michael had his kindergarten graduation program at school. They had a "Down on the Farm" program and it was so cute! 

They sang lots of songs, and then each child was presented with a special award and their "diploma". 

Michael got the "respectful citizen" award! Makes me happy to know that he was so sweet and respectful at school! 

They also asked each child what their favorite part of kindergarten was, and Michael said "Learning to spell!" Who knew?

We just loved his teachers this year! 
Here is Michael with the teachers assistant, Ms. Brown. 

And here he is with his teacher, Mrs. Joyner. 

Then this week they had their last awards day for the last 9 weeks. They also have out award for the year. This is a total brag, but Michael got on stage 4 times during the award ceremony! 

He got: 
- perfect attendance last nine weeks

- perfect attendance for the year!

- the American citizenship award

- kindergarten Certificate 

We are so proud of everything he has accomplished this year!! 

He had to wait till today, the last day, to get his perfect attendance certificates! 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Baby J is 16 Months Old

Baby J, you are 16 months old today!! Your little personality has come out over the past month, and it's so fun to watch you get more comfortable with us and open yourself up! 

Here is what you are doing at 16 months:

- You are still tiny, but you are getting bigger!! You are up to 21 pounds and 29.5 inches tall!

- We had to add some carnation good start to your milk, and you love it!! You went from not drinking even a whole cup a day to drinking at least two cups now! 

- you still eat great, and will eat just about anything. We are really pushing the yogurt, peanut butter, and meats. Anything to help you grow! 

- you are a pro at using a fork to feed yourself! Using a spoon is a little tricky, since you want to flip it upside down before it gets to your mouth! 

- you had your hearing checked this week and everything was perfect! The dr did put you on some allergy medicine to help clear up your congestion. 

- the reason you had your hearing checked, was because you aren't saying very many words yet and the dr wanted to be sure you can hear. You have started saying a few more words this month. You can now say, dada, mama, doggy, go go go (when you are running), hot hot (when you get near the stove or anything else you aren't supposed to touch), no no, night-night, and when we say "what does the cow say" you say "moo!"

- you do awesome climbing up the stairs! You are getting better at scooting on your butt going down; and don't want to walk right off the top step anymore! That is a relief for mommy! 

- You can do the sign for please, eat, more, milk and poop

- you know where your head is and can point to it. Sometimes you will point to your nose too, but not every time. 

- You love playing in the baby pool in the backyard, but were not a fan of the big pool. 

- you are still sleeping great! 12+ hours at night and a two hour nap every afternoon!

- you have some teeth that want to come in, and it has made you pretty grumpy. None have popped trough yet, but hopefully soon!

- you love Michael and get so excited when it is time to go pick him up from school! I know you are going to love having him home all summer long!

- You love to give kisses! Especially to Michael! 

We are so happy you have joined our family and can't wait to see what you will do next!

Monday, May 23, 2016

12 Years!

Today, Andrew and I have been married for 12 years! Crazy how fast that has gone by! 

A lot has changed in those 12 years! But there is still a whole lotta love! 

Love you Andrew! 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Two Teeth - Gone!

That's right! Michael lost two teeth this week! The top left one came out Wednesday afternoon while we were playing outside. Poor Michael could hardly eat anything and was talking so funny. I asked him to let me see how wiggly it was, and it was definetly ready to come out. So I gave it a little pull and it came right out! 

Then yesterday, he came home from school, he said he had another loose tooth! The bottom left was ready to come out too, so when daddy car home from work, he pulled it out! 

So I have kid loosing teeth and another kid teething and getting new teeth! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

1 Month with Baby J

One month ago, our lives changed forever, when we became a family of 4! 

I can't believe it has been a month already! I won't say that it has felt like he has been here forever, or that we can't remember what life was like beef baby J. It's been a month of adjustment and transition for the whole family.  We are all learning what it means to have a baby in the house again, and Michael especially is learning what it means to share his mama and daddy! 

Over the past month we have had the chance to get to know baby J and figure out his little personality. One thing we know is that he is a BUSY BOY! He runs everywhere! He is into everything! He climbs up on everything he can! He throws toys and kicks balls! He is just full of energy! 

But he is also a sweet baby! He loves to give hugs and kisses! He loves the dogs and wants to hug them all the time, sometimes a little too hard. 

He is always hungry! He eats all day long. He is a tiny little guy, and we are trying to get him to gain weight. He is still figuring out chewing some solid foods, but we are working on it. He loves spaghetti, beans, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, yogurt, applesauce, macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, watermelon, veggie straws, Cheerios, crackers, and goldfish. He would rather drink juice than water, and we have had to add some instant breakfast to his milk, to get him to drink more. 

He is a great sleeper! He takes at least one, 2 hour nap everyday, and sometimes a cat nap in the car in the afternoon. He goes to bed between 7-7:30 every night and sleeps till 7:30-8:30 every morning. 

He is a big talker, but doesn't say that many words yet. But he is always saying something! 

Life is definitely different with Baby J around, but we wouldn't trade it for anything! He is the answer to so many prayers and a huge blessing to our family. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Baby J's Nursery

The Monday we went to pick up J, I spent all morning getting his nursery ready. I had most of the stuff sitting in the room, just waiting to have a baby to use it for.
Here are a few pictures of the finished room. 

Looking in straight from the door. 

To the right. 

Further right. 

To the left. 

Close up of the alphabet/number prints I made. I thought they turned out really cute.

We still need to find something to hang on the wall, but not to bad for a mornings work. My mom bought us a glider also, so I need to take a picture of that. It has been so nice to have! 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

I had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend!  

This was in Michael when he came from school on Friday! 

So sweet!

On Saturday, Andrew had the boys at home, while I went to get a pedicure! So relaxing. Then he took the boys to do some shopping while I stayed home and relaxed some more. 

Sunday we were all up by 7:30, so I suggested a nice breakfast at Waffle House! Everyone filled up and then we headed to church. 

I opened my card and We took a few pictures before we left. 

After church we just came straight home. The weekends are hard on a baby and we are trying to keep somewhat of a schedule. We picked up food on the way home and came home and put J down for a nap. 

There was also talk of chocolate covered strawberries, but I haven't seen any yet! 

While he was napping, Michael and I went outside to play in the sprinkler. It was fun just the two of us, and I miss it! 

It was a great Mother's Day and I feel so blessed to be able to celebrate this day. There were years I longed to be called mama, and now I have to boys calling me that! 

And just for comparison, 5 years ago was my very first Mother's Day and yesterday was my first as a mama of two! 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Our Foster to Adopt Journey Part 4

Saturday April 16, 2016 was the day we would meet our new son!! Nervous and excited, we drove the hour and a half to his foster home. When we walked in the door, his foster mother and I fell into each other's arms and wept. Her, because she was losing a child, and me because my prayers were being answered and God had given us another child. 

Baby J was asleep in his crib, and I just stood there staring at him sleep. So peaceful and completely unaware that his little life was about to change forever! 


He woke up, and Andrew and I took it slowly, not wanting to overwhelm him. We played with him and let him get comfortable with us. 

He loves to play with a ball! So he was kicking it all over the house or throwing it to us. He warmed up to us quickly. 

We also took this time to get to know his foster parents. I can not say enough nice things about them! They are wonderful, and Baby J is so blessed to have lived with them for 9 months. He has been so loved! 


We were there for about 3 hours just playing and letting baby J get familiar with us and hopefully start to bond with us a little. 

He really took to Andrew quickly, and was super happy to be in his arms! 


When it was time to leave, I gave Baby J a blanket that I had made. I had been sleeping with it, and hoped it would carry my scent and so the next time he saw me, he could make a connection. 
Well after we left, the foster mom sent me pictures of Baby J playing peek-a-boo with the blanket! Made my mama heart so happy! 


The next day, Sunday, April 17, 2016  we got to pick up baby J and take him for the afternoon. This was the first time Michael got to meet him, and he was so excited! We met the foster parents at the restaurant they were eating lunch at. when we walked up, the foster mom was holding him, and quickly bend down, and told Baby J to give his new brother a hug! And he did! So sweet! 


After the baby was finished with his lunch, we took him to a playground to play. 



The boys had so much fun playing together. I so wish I could show his little face in the picture above. He was looking right at Michael and smiling! My cousin said it best, when he captioned this picture, "Did we just become best friends? Yep!"

We actually went to the playground at our church, since we knew the building would be open in case we needed to go inside for anything. Well, we ended up inside for a large part of it, because it was so hot outside! 


The boys kicked the soccer ball around the empty hallways, and had a blast!!


Andrew and I just sat and watched the boys play together! It brought tears to my eyes to see God's answered prayers playing together! If these boys only knew just how much they were prayed for...


Our first picture as a family of 4!!

After a couple of hours, it was time to bring him back to his foster parents. On the way to meet him, Baby J fell asleep in the car, and was so snuggley when I took him out of the car seat! 


The next day was the Day!! I had a lot to do to get ready for a baby!! Luckily, I didn't have to work, so I could spend the whole day preparing!!

Monday, April 18, 2016 was the day that changed our lives forever!!  


Michael was so excited about becoming a big brother! He wore his big brother shirt to school and made the baby the sweetest card at school that day!


 Andrew came home at lunch time, and then we went to get Michael from school. It was time to go pick up Baby J!!

When we got to the foster parents house, the foster mom had everything ready to go. She was so sweet and gave us diapers, food, and lots of clothes and shoes!! This little boy is set!!

The adoption supervisor and the guardian ad litem were also there. We signed a paper, and then it was time to go. I thought it might take longer, but it was really quick. We let the foster parents have a few minutes to say goodbye. It was so hard! They love him so much, but know that we do to, and that we are forever! We took some pictures of them together, and then she brought him over to me, and repeatedly said, "This is your mama!" with tears streaming down both of our faces, she handed him over to me. 

We took a family picture, and then got in the car and headed home!!


We picked up dinner on the way home, and then let the boys play for a little bit.


Michael insisted that the baby needed to put on his matching shirt, and we tried to get a picture. We will work on getting a better picture soon. 


The first night was rough! The baby slept most of the ride home, so when it was time for bed, he wasn't tired. Michael was feeling all kinds of new things, like jealousy, and didn't know how to process everything. It was 11:00 before both boys were in their own beds asleep! Since that first night, we have figured out a great bedtime routine that works great for both boys!

Despite all of the bedtime problems, I went to sleep that night so happy that our new blessing was home!

Oh yeah, and that date in January I told you to remember back in my first post,  that is actually baby J's birthday. So the night we were in our very first meeting with DSS adoptions, he was being born!! Isn't God amazing? He writes the best stories!!

And so for now, that is where our foster to adopt journey is. I will do an update once something happens, but right now, we are all happy and healthy and thrilled to be a family of 4!!