"Every child deserves a home." --Harry Holt

Friday, February 24, 2012

Midwest Tour

Cupcake and I went on a road trip together.  Admittedly I was a little really apprehensive about doing this without the husband who stayed behind for work. This was no small road trip. We were in 4 different states over a week. Cupcake has made great progress in her carseat, but the furthest trip we had made on our own was about 30 minutes one-way and she did well. Our first leg of this trip was to visit my sister-in-law and brother-in-law and their beautiful girls. It was 280 miles and I could not believe how awesome Cupcake did. She had one, very tiny screaming episode. We stopped a few miles later, changed her diaper, go back in the car and she was asleep in 20 minutes. It was incredible. 

So, we spent two nights at this destinations. Met up with a college friend for about an hour, did lots of playing with our cousin's toys, tried to follow our 8 year old niece everywhere she went and when she would leave and re-enter a room, Cupcake would get all sorts of animated. So cute! It helps that my niece has lots of patience, lots of practice with her 17 month old sister and is just a fun kiddo. We had a yummy breakfast at a local bakery/cafe and did a little shopping. It was here that I discovered the reason Cupcake was probably having difficulty sleeping at night was her first molar had started to cut through and the 2nd one is not too far behind! 

Cute little cousins in their cute stripes. I'm loving my nieces crazy went to bed after a bath hair :)

Cupcake's new favorite person...

I may be biased, but they are some of my favorite little people.
 Our next destination was my former college town (4 hour drive). There is something strange about driving back to the town of my most carefree years where I sort of started to become an adult (I'm still working on that whole growing up thing). We stayed the night with one of my very best friends and her husband and adorable 19 month old son. They took us to a "fight the frost" event where an entire arena was filled with blow-up, bounce houses. Cupcake wasn't too sure what to make of it at first. After a little while, she started to get the hang of it. Pretty soon, she was cruising all over the place. She didn't quite get the hang of climbing so she could go down the slides (I think we will blame the short legs). 

The next day we took the kids to lunch with another couple of college friends. I always think I'm going to have all of this time to chat and catch up, but that never really works out when Cupcake is at the table... I don't think I'll even mention our little adventure leaving the restaurant. Suffice it to say, I'm a moron... the end. Luckily for me, my bff is an amazing photographer so she had a little photo shoot for Cupcake. I'm excited to see the photos (no rush!)

H wasn't unhappy, just not smiling in this pic. They are so cute having breakfast together in pajamas. I would not be unhappy if they are married in 25 years doing this very same thing together...   
 Next, we headed to my hometown (1.5 hour drive) to spend a couple of days with my sister and parents. We got to spend a little time with both sets of grandparents. So, nice! Cupcake did lots of entertaining. It was pretty obvious that this was her 4th trip to stay at Nana and Grampa's house. She knew where everything was, immediately walked around like she owned the place and made a complete and utter mess of everything. We visited my Grandpa in his new assisted living apartment (super nice place). You should be jealous, because I have the CUTEST, SWEETEST Grandpa in the whole world (unless he is your Grandpa too...then you don't need to be jealous). We went to lunch with Nana and Auntie, we went to dinner with Grama and Grandpa V, but mostly we just hung out at with Nana at home.

Just relaxing in bed with my Grampa.

I asked Auntie to read every book I brought with me. Auntie really gets into story-telling...

Nana and I checked the mail together in the snow (taken through a window since this momma didn't want to go out).

I played with this door and the one behind me for quite some time. I was tall enough to reach the handle so that was especially exciting.

I can't quite get the hang of using my great-grandpa's magnifying glass.

I put on a little dance show for great-grandpa. He doubled over laughing when I was showing him how I could march up and down his hallway.

See, cutest grandpa ever, no? This big, burly guy pretty much melts at the sight of his youngest great-granddaughter. So, so sweet...
 We were going to make 1 more overnight stop after leaving my parent's house. However, while Cupcake was behaving fine during the day she struggled to sleep every.single.night of our trip. I was exhausted by this point. Even when it only takes 15 minutes to get her back to sleep, it takes me another hour to finally slip back into slumber. We were awake at 4am pretty much everyday, but usually I could get her back to sleep around 5:30 until 7. I was just feeling worn out, and the daddy kept talking about how he missed having his baby girl around. We are a couple that has done long distance (twice) before we were married, and we made it work, but we just plain ol' prefer to be together. It seemed like a week apart was really, really long. So, I kind of tested the waters, but Cupcake and I made the 10 hour (611 mile) trek back home in one day. She actually took TWO naps in her carseat. She only fussed a little bit when she was getting overtired. We made 4 stops total, and none of them were terribly long. I still am amazed at how well she did in the car (and grateful). Cupcake is still giving signs that her mouth/gums are sore, but just when I had elected her daddy to get up with her at night when she was in pain, she has slept 12 hours straight the last 2 nights. Go figure. 

Onto our next adventure!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

We don't put too much stock into Valentine's Day, but we do use it as a reminder to spend a little extra intentional time together. In fact, we have a tradition around here and it is going on it's 7th year. The husband's FAVORITE restaurant (I'm pretty sure in any category) is Taco Bell. If you could see my face as I type Taco Bell you would know that my face says, "Taco Smell." I really, really, really, really am not a TB fan. It just skeezes (is that a word? How is it really spelled?) me out. So, my gift every year is to agree to eat at Taco Smell on Valentine's Day without hesitation and complaint. This is such an effective (cheap) gift that the husband has been talking about it since the calendar read February. My gift from the husband is watching ANY movie I pick out. This really doesn't mean much, because he is such an easy-going dude. If I actually wanted to make it painful for him, I'd force him to read a fiction book out loud to me. He is an engineer so he would much prefer something with logic and numbers. You may be asking yourself how we ever got married in the first place? My answer: we were too young to know any better, but it works, and it works well (almost always). 

The only change in this year's tradition? There will be a sweet little Cupcake tagging along. She will most likely protest anything from the Taco Smell menu, and not just because she is a girl after my own heart... more like, she protests most foods that aren't bananas, peas, cereal...

So, I thought we would let her wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day in the best way she knew how: 


Saturday, February 11, 2012


 ONE YEAR AGO TODAY, we say Cupcake's face for the first time. Our lives were forever changed, and all of it for the better. We send a hug across the ocean to Ethiopia for a very special woman. It was one year ago today, that Cupcake had 2 mommies willing to do anything for her. There isn't a day that goes by that we don't think of Cupcake's first mommy. I can't believe it has already been a year since we saw THIS FACE for the first time: 

 ***Re-posted from 1 year ago***
We received our referral TODAY for our DAUGHTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just typing that seems so very surreal (and incredibly amazing). The entire time we have been in this process (11 months, 2 weeks and 2 days...not that I've been counting), I have been firm in saying that my "mother's intuition" tells me we will be adopting a boy. About 6 weeks ago, a friend (yes, Amy, that's you!) had a handsome little boy. For 9 months, I proclaimed he was a girl (until he arrived, of course). Well, that was the 5th gender prediction I had wrong in a row, so K decided that we weren't adopting a boy, but a girl. I was shocked to find out he was right! I'll never live it down.

I'll write more about her, but for now, she is 4.5 months old, she has beautiful eyes and the sweetest tufts of hair. I could just smooch her lips up... I can't wait to actually do that! She is so SMILEY! I hope she gets my sense of humor, and not her dad's (hi honey!)

We cannot share pictures of her online, but if you see me in person...I'll probably thrust them in your face, you won't have to ask to see them! We are off to celebrate being the parents of this amazing little miracle!

Have a great weekend all!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Don't Most 16 month old children NAP?

Cupcake has endless amounts of energy. My energy is finite, however. Regardless, she is still such a joy to have in our home. Her newest tricks include climbing onto the couch (we had one pretty nasty fall in which I called 911... in hindsight, 911 probably wasn't necessary, but that whole couldn't breathe, gasping for air thing sent me into a tizzy. Paramedics are nice people... I'm thankful for them. She also loves to bolt up the stairs as quickly as she can, but isn't too sure about getting back down them (and while I've tried to show her how to slide down, she still wants us to be right there with her, and I'm just fine with that.) She will now make the 'monkey noise' in addition to an awesome piggy noise. She still prefers to sign things instead of verbalizing, but there are still lots of 'da-da's' and a few 'momma's' when I ask (if she is in the mood), or when she is upset about something... 

Cupcake sleeps great at night (knock on wood), but naptime has been a bit of a mystery for the last 6 weeks. She was had kind of naturally weaned her way down from 2 naps/day to 1, but she was sleeping 3 hours pretty consistently. These days, naps last 45 minutes to an hour and half at most. I cannot seem to accomplish anything! I would say that it is fine if she only requires that long of a nap, but she gets pretty cranky in the evening which seems to signal her naps aren't long enough. If you have any ideas for me, I'm all ears!

The carseat used to be a pretty ugly battle, but she has made her peace for the most part in this department. I can now run errands safely because I'm not tending to a full-scale meltdown taking place in the backseat. Forward-facing made a huge difference, but it has just taken her a long time to understand she won't be stuck in there forever, and an adventure of some sort is awaiting at our next destination.

Light switches are like the coolest thing ever in this house. We cannot pass one while holding her without letting her try it out. I try really hard to distract her from them when we are in a hurry, but it rarely works...

We are just awaiting our 6 month post-placement report and we will be onto finalization in our courts! Think of this as the 6 month home update even though it is has been 6 months and 2 weeks. Just pretend, mmmmk?

Here are some photos of a few recent adventures where the camera was handy:

Checking out the snow fall...

I think I like snow!

Nevermind, the snow touched me... time to go in.

Trying our hand at "making pizza"

Checking out the Children's Museum Airplane

I hit this and it make s cool, loud noise. That baby over there is jealous of my skills...

I love banging on stuff. These drums are neat!

Mostly, I just like carrying this stool around in circles.

A little indoor gardening.

Not a fan of the carousel...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Happy SuperBowl Weekend!

Go Madonna! Sorry, I'm always more excited for the half-time entertainment... Last year, we were supposed to have a party, (because the Pack was playing), but I was really ill, so we didn't think we wanted to feed our friends AND give them a virus. Anywhooooo. I am a fan of Tony Dungy (football coach, team won the Super Bowl, Christian guy, adoptive dad), what's not to like? He has a video that he is hoping people will share during half-time at their viewing parties, but I'll show it to you now so you can still watch Madonna. 


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