Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gotcha Video a special Sunday Update

This has been a work in progress and Ive done about as much as I could do with about 12+ hours of work put in. There are still some issues we cant figure out like the pinnacle sign but for now we share with you all, our Gotcha video of sweet Malia. I watched so many of these throughout our process and they truly helped me through some rough days. Seeing families with their babies home made it seem possible. I'm hoping others will get that from ours too. There are parts of this video that I pictured in my mind for over a year. Of course imagining and figuring how to bring to life is different with my skills but I love the video and hope you all do too!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Girl can talk!

Finally getting some snow tonight!!
You cant see them but we were playing with bubbles


She was saying everything so good until the camera came out... of course!

In 7 weeks I think Malia is doing remarkably with her words. HAHAHA to all those who ask how she will cope with the language barrier LOLOL!! She has about 10 words at least I think. She lately has been copying me pretty well too. She usually starts off with momma and then will move on to other words. Tonight Rich took the kids to the movie and Malia and I hung out at home. She was sounding out Maddie (somewhat) but when it comes to Kaden he is still aba. Some new words are... poop (which btw if you tell her to poop she will try, and if she isnt having issues she gets the job done! I think potty training might be pretty easy with her!) Maddie, shoes, pretty, ruff ruff, hair hmmm I think Im missing a couple. But really if I sit and say a word over and over again and she is in the mood she will say it back. So anyways tonight she was climbing all over me and eating some pretzels when she started laying in my lap and saying momma so I got her to say a few words. They dont sound great mostly just the sounds because of her full mouth but I think you can see how well she is doing and how freaking cute she is, even though she was being silly and not totally copying everything!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ya Turkey Day!

Today has been super sweet for me. Being a day of reflection and being thankful I am full of gratitude for all that I have been given this year and for all that I have. As Malia slept in my arms today after her first Thanksgiving I was almost breathless at thinking how far we have come in such a short time. I can not believe how lucky we are to have this sweet girl in our home. What a true blessing she is to us all. We were talking tonight about how just normal she seems. I cant pin point one thing right now that doesnt seem exactly the same as any of the other kids at her same age. She comes to us when she is sad hurt hungry or happy! She loves to just toddle around the house and explore. She is super smart I believe. To think that this time last year was actually very hard for me. Vietnam adoptions were falling apart and I couldnt get any information from our agency and I was beginning to feel like I had bought into a sham. Well fast forward to know and having Malia home I am still in shock at our luck and the Love the Lord has for us in giving us this sweet girl.

I also feel very blessed that in this very hard economy right now that we are still doing well. Im so glad my husband is such a hard worker and able to supply us with all of our needs. Im so grateful to the older two kids and how well they have adapted to the big changes we have had the last couple months. I am grateful for health. Im so grateful to my sister who is always there for me... wish we could be together for the Holidays but maybe next year A???

I am very grateful for close friends. We had the Zimmers over today for Thanksgiving and it was just the best Thanksgiving ever. After they left tonight Kaden said that was my best Thanksgiving ever... he then said he thinks it was 53% because of the food and the rest because the Zims had joined us. We had such a great time and great food. I think we all walked away from the table wishing we could shove down more but all needing to stop. We are so thankful to have such good friends who are always there for us and were brave enough to trust me with a turkey dinner YIKES! I got a little fancy with my napkins on the grown up table but I think it turned out cute. After dinner we cleaned up played games and ate pie. It was so much fun! Thanks to Tami and Caleb for bringing some very yummy food... BTW I totally forgot to steal some of your roles! UGH!!

I had fun in the kitchen today. The kids helped me with different things. Maddie helped me with turkey tail rolls and some pies. Kaden helped me with frog eye salad and taking out lots of garbage. And Rich was there helping where ever I needed him! And little miss Malia was there on my toes begging to be held which though I had to keep passing her off, just the fact that she wanted me so badly was a gift! Oh and Maddie decorated the kids table. She was so pleased with herself and kept rearranging until it was finally time to eat.

So for me this year Thankful isnt a big enough word but I am Thankful for all that I have, and for having such a blessed year!

Holiday crafts

To keep the kids entertained this week we did some holiday crafts. Maddie was sick sick sick but was feeling good enough for some cutting and pasting! So we made some turkey hats. They turned out really cute, they did a really good job! To keep Malia entertained during crafts she had some marshmallows and ate and ripped paper! After they were all made and they put them on Malia loved it and realized quick the turkey moved so she kept moving her head to feel it wiggle. It was way to cute!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thankful Sunday Update

We had a really great week. I just still am in aww at how well Malia has adjusted. I have talked to friends whose babies have also come home and whose babies have not done nearly as well as Malia and I just feel so blessed. I have a friend who recently got her baby and she is not doing well at all, fussing all the time arching her back has sores on her body and just not healthy. Makes me very sad and grateful at the same time. I guess the Lord knew what I could handle so he gave me the gift of perfection because let me tell ya, I was looking at Malia last night and just marveling at her. She has seamlessly fit into our family and from what Im noticing I cant point out any issues right now that we need to work on. It really feels as though she has been with us forever.
She is so fun and so happy and just sooo well normal, which is wonderful. She is starting to talk and use her voice so much lately. Some new words that she has picked up are.. up when she stands up or wants up, bu bye, all gone or all done (sounds the same) and the best one yet I LOVE YOU.. know yes I know she isnt actually saying mom I love you BUT I do love when she says it back! She is just picking the words up so quickly its great. There are words that I know she just says to copy us but I have noticed that more often than not now she is using the words correctly like baba when she is tired and wants her milk, up when she wants up, all done when she is done. Shes just so dang smart!
One thing we have been having issues with has been some potty problems. Poor girl is having a hard time getting her poopies out (sorry I know thats gross). Its been for the last few weeks and we have tried and worked and worked on her diet but the poor girl just seems to have such a hard time. Right now we have started her on some softeners and Im hoping that will help. It is the saddest things watching her work so hard and to know that it hurts. She will start by standing (her position of choice) but if that doesnt work she sits and leans over, then moves to the laying position the puts her but in the air. She works up a full sweat sometimes to wear it really looks like she is fresh out of the bath and will shake and cry sometimes and it just breaks my heart. Tomorrow I will be calling her doc to see if he can help her out. Haley has been giving me tips and advise which I am very grateful for! Im hoping we can work this out. BUT I do get in some awesome cuddle time, she likes when I rub her back during this and she will come and lay her head on my shoulder or lap while she is working out her lumps.
She is openly giving everyone very sweet and wet kisses now. She will just come up and squeeze and kiss on you and then walk away and come back and do it again. Something else she has started is if you hold out your hands and do like spirit fingers and say come here she gets soo happy and comes right to you. She is also getting good about giving something to me if I want it back or if she shouldnt have it, though some times she sikes me out and turns and runs. She is a full time walker now which is nice for her, and actually has been nice for me. She is much happier just walking around and doing what she wants.
So we are just so dang happy and so in aww of God and his gifts and knowledge and love that he has for us. I am so thankful and what a perfect time of year to be thankful. I hope to remember more often to actually say the words as by the time I get to bed I have been forgetting my personal prayers and going right to sleep. But I am blessed!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

TuTu Funny!

So in prep for a photo shoot coming up on Friday, I was wanting to see how Malia will do in the tutu. UMMM first she LOVED it. BUT I wanted the booty shot and she wasnt sure how to move LOL I was laughing to hard and Maddie was loving it too!

LOVE the booty shot!

She was actually really happy in this photo even though she looks scared

And here she is walking and thinking it was lots of fun!

Confessions of a soccer mom

I have always taken great pride in having a clean car. Im pretty strict when it comes to food and drinks in the car. (ya Im that mom) There are seasons like football where junk starts to pile up and grass and dirt builds up on the floor but for the most part usually whenever someone gets in my car they always comment how clean it is... I like that. I like having a clean car.
WELL since little miss has been home it has been a slippery slope to soccer mom style. OMGosh my floor has been covered in squished puffs, raisins, cheerios, and any other snack that keeps her happy for 5 weeks now. And of course when you have a baby there just isnt the time to take that 5 minutes or even 1 minute to brush stuff out. If we are in the car for more than 5 minutes and Malia is done with the car seat she enjoys some snacks from her cup but then when she is done she starts throwing them everywhere. Also when I take her out of her seat about half the snacks start falling everywhere. Yesterday I was so embarrassed I finally cleaned the car. I couldnt believe how much crap the vacuum found. YIKES! BUT I will say I much rather have a messy car than not have my sweet girl happy!
Yesterday while I was making dinner Maddie started sharing marshmellows with Malia... well when I finally put down the knife and took a peak at sweet baby girl this is what I found...

She was COVERED! And OOO so happy! Now for those of you who know me well know that I avoid messes especially with babies. I will feed her forever just to keep from having her messy but it was pretty dang cute seeing her covered in white.

Well then I saw the table and chairs OMGosh they were covered too!

I couldnt get a good photo because she was moving so fast on her sugar high! She sure did love Maddie though for sharing some awesome treats!

Now here is where my confession comes in... yes Im sharing the haul my vacuum got yesterday. Can you say HOLY CRAP! Thats a LOT of junk. Granted the first inch or two was from the house but the rest of that was found in my car and in Malias and Maddies car seats. Ya time to lay down the law again!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Post Placement, Piercing and Posting OH MY!

Yep we are mean bad parents but OMGosh how cute is she in earrings!!! Feel free to leave your a bad parent comments but Ill just delete them HAHAHA!! 1st just let it be said that she cried for like 3.4 seconds and I think it was mostly the holding her head still that bothered her.... I gave her a sucker sat in the chair and boy was she happy with that! The lady (who I questioned for like 5 minutes about her skills and how long she has been doing this) was very sweet and fast. Malia didnt even notice the 1st one and then on the second I think she mostly didnt want me to hold her head anymore. It all took about 1 minute and she got another sucker and was pleased as punch! I have to say she looks darling and LOVES jewelry!!
So with the post placement, we had our 1st post placement visit today. It went really well. Our social worker was very pleased and I think shocked with how well Malia is doing. She kept telling us how smart we are for all the time we have taken with not letting anyone else hold or play with her! We really had nothing we could complain about or ask advise about. The transition has been so smooth and she is just such a sweet and loving baby that we just feel so very blessed! I wrote a letter to her caregivers that Holt will send updating them on Malias progress. I also put together a bunch of photos for them and Holt. We are supposed to send at least 6 but I sent over 20... Geeze I just couldnt choose there were so many cute ones! So whewww that ones over now we have 2 more visits before we are done and then we will go to court and finalize what we already know to be true!
Ok so then posting... I am selling some shoes and clothing that I had bought for Malia but was to small for her. Of course there is some pretty darling things... I think! If you are interested let me know and I will send you the link. Most the things are 3-6 months... there are some NIB pedipeds size 0-6 months that I LOVE but had to buy larger sizes for Malia.
Anyways it was a fun day... well sad and we kept almost backing out of the whole ear piercing but I read an article a long time ago that babies that get their ears pierced are like 90% less likely to get infections and not be called boys LOL!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Miss Maddies Pizzaria!

Maddie made us pizza for dinner tonight and did a great job! I love getting to spend one on one time with the kids. Its something I know they enjoy and I love it too. Tonight Malia was napping and Kaden was doing homework so Maddie and I had fun in the kitchen, she loves helping me in the kitchen and I know I should let her do it more.
It turned out really good and they all ate it right up even Malia... I even relinquished some control and let her get all messy with the sauce YIKES!
Anyways it was lots of fun and Maddie was pleased and proud of herself. I love watching her smile!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My dare devil baby S.U.

Pretty excited about walking
My silly girl

And my crazy baby

We had a really great week! Of course having Becki out was wonderful. It was a much needed visit for both of us!! My kids just think shes the best and now we need to work on getting all the cousins together.
And as you can see from the video little miss LOVES danger. She loves to be flipped and dipped and tossed and swirled. She will just ask for more and more and giggle its just to cute.
Now while she is addicted to danger and has no fear it seems, I realized that I have gotten over some fears that I had had. I think one of my biggest fears with Malia was that I wouldnt be able to comfort her. Especially in public, what if she cries and I cant make her feel better? What if she has a tantrum and I cant stop it and I have all these people staring wondering what my problem is?? These were things I was afraid of. I was afraid Malia wouldnt allow me to comfort her at all, and that I wouldnt be able to meet her needs. BUT I have to say that the last few times we have been out and about it hasn't even crossed my mind. I think I am in tune with her needs and she allows me to comfort her if needed. I really think she is depending on me and knows I am her mommy! She puts her hands out and comes to me if she is sad or happy, she willingly comes to us now and gives us kisses and hugs without us prompting her. One of the cutest things we have realized she does is blow kisses and does it so much I just love it!
When we ventured to the mall on Saturday it was pretty packed and for the first little while she was content in the stroller but got bored so I just put her in the sling and carried her for the rest of the time and she was just happy as can be even though she was tired. I had been pretty nervous about messing with her schedule so we have been very careful not to, but sometimes that doesnt always work but she has done wonderfully when we have messed that up.
We are just feeling very lucky that she loves us and seems to have known from the start that she was finally home with her family!!! Now my new fear will be what my little dare devil will do next!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A family fun time

We had a really great weekend with Becki! (hope she agrees lol) Malia just loved her... but not in a concerning way lol.. Anyways I think they adored each other. Becki taught her how to wink, no seriously Malia can wink one eye when you do it to her. It is the cutest thing I have ever seen. I swear this baby is scary smart! We were driving down the road and Becki was entertaining Malia and started winking at her when Malia did it back, she even got a picture of it that you can see in the slide. She has continued to do it all night for us!

So I figure if Beckis gonna teach Malia stuff we should teach Becki some things too hehehehe SOO we corrupted her and got her hooked on the guitar hero. (Sorry Randy! LOL) My sis is NOT a game type of gal. They dont have that kind of crap in their house but I think I have her convinced that the wii is a good time ESPECIALLY the guitar hero, it becomes addicting and Becki quickly caught on and was doing as good if not better than me! We had a blast!! She also was getting strikes right away with bowling though I did school her a little with the tennis... with Maddies crazy help!! HAHAHA

Yesterday we went and got a pedi (I forgot to get photos) and had a very fun time getting pampered, and getting some cute toes. Then last night just Becki and I went to dinner. It was so nice just going and it just being us and getting to be silly and enjoy an evening away from kids (except getting seated in between to families!) Then we came home and Becki made the BEST cake ever OMGosh it is sooo yummy! Im pretty sure Im not gonna fit in my pants for a couple weeks after snacking on this cake so much!

Today we did some shopping and played a little on the computer learning how to digi scrap. We just over all had a really great time. I was so sad to see her go but so so happy that she was able to come out and so appreciative that she came! I just love my sis so much, shes the best!! Every girl should be so lucky as me to have a life saver of a sister!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

13 months and 4 weeks home!

Today marks four weeks with having Malia home. I just cant even believe she has been here a month but at the same time I look at her and it seems like she really has been here forever.
Today my sister got into town!!!! And so Malia and I went to DIA to pick her up. Being there by the fountain waiting for Becki to pop up on the escalator took me back and knowing that today was her 4 week anni, I felt overwhelmed by how lucky we have been, and got a little emotional.... especially when we finally saw Becki. Malia has brought so much fun into our home and has been such a fun baby to have and just so sweet! We are blessed, and I know we keep saying that but when I look at her when she is being all silly and so sweet I am amazed by our luck and that the Lord choose us for her.
At 13 months Malia is right on track with all of her milestones. She is so healthy and happy and seemingly so adjusted that I am in aww of how well she is doing. You think of what this sweet baby has been through in her short little life and it is truly a miracle that she is as happy and easy going as she is. She has been through 4 homes and add that number plus a lot more of mommies for her who have all disappeared and I would expect some trust issues. I will say that I think she is still holding back a little with me BUT I do get so much love from her. She cuddles and kisses on me and comes to me if she is hurt and looks for me if I walk away and cries now if I leave the room... unless she is very entertained with something. These are all very good signs! Here is a list of some things she is doing at 13 months:
Plays pat-a-cake... and LOVES it
Can blow kisses
Can touch her nose and say nose... only a couple times but still!
Will touch her nose or mine when hearing nose or will do this super cute scrunched up face and will blow her nose!
Loves to clap and dance to music
Knows how to sign for more, all gone and all done (these are the only ones we have taught her)
Can say momma, dadda, baba, and baba for Kaden, says more, hi and no... somewhat, sometimes
Loves to snuggle with her blankets
Is now on whole Milk and no bottle... BUT still drinks it out of a sippy while I hold her so we still have that bonding time
LOVES her shoes and if you take them off doesnt want to walk
OO walking she is doing it a TON but still crawling if she falls in the middle of the floor
Im sure there is a lot more but I am so impressed with how quickly she has caught on to words! She is amazingly smart, and very quick. If she sees something she wants she is not easily distracted... dang it! Plays well with others, though I can see that if a kid has something she wants she will take it... we will work on that Jude! She is overall a very easygoing happy little baby and I am forever grateful for the wonderful care she got with Holt they are amazing.
OK so my sister got here today and I am so excited. She also is the first non member of our family to hold Malia! Now this doesnt mean that we are allowing this now or that she is even just picking her up whenever, we are still being very careful. But I think its safe to say Becki adores Malia and Malia sure loves her Aunt! But Becki isnt just grabbing her I placed her in Beckis lap both times. Im so glad that she was able to come visit, sometimes its so hard not having family close, but having her here and getting to catch up in person is so fun! We plan on having a couple of fun filled days!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A fun full week Sunday update

We had a very busy week and Malia had a big week of some fun firsts! O and some not so fun firsts. This week I took Malia to her first check up with the doctor. It actually went really well other than I wanted to smack the nurse... but first some stats! Malia is still weighing 20 lbs but has gotten taller, now 29 inches! She is in the 20th percentile for weight and 40 for height. They doctor was really impressed with the care she had gotten and didnt have any concerns! NOW right away I didnt like this new nurse, she wasnt very friendly but whatever, when she went to weigh Malia I put her on the scale and she saw Malias Mongolian spot on her arm and gasped and said O MY GOSH what happened to her... well being a nurse yes ask but geesh have you never seen one before and can you be a little more tact full? Anyways I explained and we moved on.... later after waiting 20 minutes for Malias 4 shots while she chatted in the hallway she finally came in had Malia sit on my lap while she gave her the shots very slowly, of course Malia was screaming and when she was done the freaking nurse GRABBED her off my lap and started trying to comfort her I WAS PISSED and so mad that I didnt stand up for Malia and myself and stop her. I just stood there with my hands out SHOCKED by what she had done. I have never had a nurse do that, Im not sure if she does this with all babies or if Malia was special but hello we are working on bonding and crying after shots was a HUGE thing for me, something I had been stressed about and prayed and prayed that I IIII ME the MOM would be able to comfort her after!! GRRRR Anyways Im still ticked and it even kept me up in the middle of the night, I need to tell the doctor to give her some education on adopted babies but Ive been being a chicken. Anyways that was that and Im so glad that she is healthy and happy!!
Of course Malia had her first Halloween this week, I think she loved it, she had fun being carried around and loved her soft costume! She was super cute!! Then yesterday we went on our first family bike ride since shes been home, I think she loved that too. We also discovered this week that Malia loves hats, Kadens baseball hats, Maddies helmet, whatever she doesnt care she just wants it on her head! Too cute! So I had fun today putting one of her super cute knitted hats on her, and she left it on for a long time! Also in the photos youll see that baby girl LOVES paper, she will chew on her books, baby wipes and yes magazines. She was loving on a cooking one today and was walking around chasing Rich to get it back, I was cracking up. So yes that means she is walking more and more and getting braver and braver with her walking.
I wanted to educate a little in this post about Malias Mongolian spot, I have had a few comments that as a mommy are irritating but at the same time I understand the comments though I have always been one to think about words before I say them. Malia has Mongolian spots on her shoulders and on her bumm. They are dark marks, and on her arm it is especially dark in one spot and does look like a bruise. These are very common with Asians, its pretty much a birth mark that will most likely fade as she gets older. I am hoping that people will stop gasping and asking what happened to her, as she gets older I dont want her to be ashamed or self conscious of her beauty marks! I also have gotten twice asked the question if I am babysitting Malia, once by an adult that I didnt know and once by a kid at the school... I will have to learn how not to be annoyed by this but just answer and move on!
So we had a great week. I cant believe its going to be 4 weeks this week already. She is still such an easy sweet baby and is just growing more and more close to us and giving us herself. Shes the best! And we are one big happy family. I also have to say how proud I am of Kaden and Maddie for also adjusting so well and loving their sis so easily and sweetly.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Footballs over!!!!

One of Kadens runs... not one of his longer ones but still exciting!

The season is officially over! Can I get a woot woot! So honestly yes Im super excited that the football season is finally over, BUT it was a great wonderful season. The season ended 5-3 and that is our first winning football season EVER! They were undefeated at home, which is way neat. Kaden had the best season ever also. He really boosted his game this year, was able to run the ball a lot more and just over all really improved! He has become a really good player and is a good team player which is most important to me! He has walked off the field so bruised up and never complains. There are boys who get knocked down and are constantly getting walked off the field crying where its obviously for show... (sorry its true) We have been so proud of Kaden for wanting to always stay in the game and playing so hard! We have had really great weather for this season too only having 2 hot hot games and only 1 rainy icky day, the rest of the time was really beautiful.

Kaden loves football and no doubt cant wait for next season... as for me Im looking forward to loosing all those long practices 3 times a week and those 4-5 hour Saturdays for games.... O WAIT basketball starts like next week CRAP!! Though basketball is a lot easier on me.. Rich is always home for practices and games are inside! Heres hoping Malia likes bleachers!

Again we are so proud of Kaden for the hard work he put in this season and for all of his accomplishments. I dont think there was maybe more than a couple games that he didnt at least score at least once, which was super exciting... except for in the beginning where we made the mistake of telling him we would pay him $20 for each time he scored.... didnt realize he really didnt need the motivation OOPS! So goodbye football and hello b-ball!