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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Nursery Pieces

I'll definitely be taking pictures of the nursery once it's all completed. And we are still a little far from completion...but things are moving along. It's been a fun little project. One that I don't really feel like I've had time for with 3 little boys, a busy working husband and rarely ever a break for me...but I'm doing it anyways. Some of these things that are in his nursery are too special to not go ahead and share now.
My mom and dad were at our house this week. Back when we were in Oklahoma, I asked if she would mind making curtains and a pillow for the rocking chair in the nursery. Suddenly, she was offering to make bumpers and a diaper stacker also. I nixed the bumpers, but she completed the diaper stacker this week and one panel of the curtains is almost completed. Here is the finished diaper stacker with his name on the shelf above. His wooden letters came from this little Etsy shop.
I told myself that I wouldn't go nuts with the elephants. (haha. Seriously, no pun intended there. Nuts and elephants...I caught it in my proofing.) With the first nursery we did in 2008, I wanted only theme. But while I was in Oklahoma, spending way too much time on Etsy, I found this fabric and fell in love. So I'm trying to not go over the top with the elephants, but it may be too late. I have definitely made some elephant purchases and a little DIY elephant craft for his wall is in the works. Anyways, mom did great on the diaper stacker. She never ceases to impress me with her sewing skills. I definitely did not receive that talent or a desire to practice it.
My sister, Amy, told me about the grey elephant sheets at Target. Same sister found this cute little grey and yellow monkey for his crib, at Target also. And then the chevron blanket with grey mink on the backside is where the ideas for his room all began. I found the blanket at this little Etsy shop.
Last week, my long time friend Kristy sent me this sweet little sign in the mail. From Etsy also. :) It's from this little shop where I've already ordered 2 more custom signs for our house. Kristy had asked me about his nursery, so she was my first guess when it ended up on my doorstep. It is a perfect and very appropriate little piece to add to his walls.
This little gift made me cry. You may remember me posting about this song here. I claimed that the song was going to be baby #3's song because God had already been using it in the previous months to encourage me in our adoptions process. Well, these words really began to mean more as Abe came into our family and I feared attachment, bonding and all of those things since he was a little older. So Amanda had this designed specifically for us. Special, special gift from a very dear friend.

And you want to know what Abe thinks about his new nursery decor and gifts? A round of applause.
That's right, he has just started clapping his little hands in the past few days. He is very proud of this new accomplishment. We just think it's cute. :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Abe's homecoming has brought on the visitors. We've enjoyed having friends and family into our home to love on our sweet babe and  to show him off, in person, for the first time.  People went above and beyond with meals for our family and sweet gifts for our little boy. We are blessed. We have definitely felt loved from those around us.

When I returned home with Abe, nana was the first person outside our immediate family to welcome him, hold him and love him.
My dad, Papa J, shortly followed the next day. He couldn't get here fast enough. My parents are definitely baby people. They go nuts for babies. I used to think it was crazy how they melted around a new grandchild. Now, I realize that's just them...they are just a little crazy for the babies. ;)
Aunt Amy, Carson and Cameron didn't waste much time and came a few days after we had been home. Aunt Amy had gifts for ALL 3 of my boys because that is just the way she works. They also brought ChickFilA for lunch. Sometimes the little blessings go along way during these transitions.
And we had to get a cousins picture. Now there are five boys!
Amanda came the following day. She had the most special piece created for Abe's nursery that I can't wait to post here. It's incredible. She knows me too well. And earlier this week we had Pioneer Woman's Chicken and Spaghetti she had lovingly made for us and placed in my freezer. It was delicious.
Noe, Lauren and Cruz followed that evening. They brought dinner and I talked them into joining us to eat it. So it was a good time to fellowship and catch up after a very long absence from these friends that we typically see at least weekly. Cruz and Abe got to have a little playtime together. They'll be BFFs in no time.

Michael, Jacque and Julia dropped by one evening for a visit. Delivering a belated birthday gift for Holden and a new toy for Abe. This is another family we see I hardly recognized baby Julia after a 6-week absence.
Then yesterday morning we had more visitors. I sat out my camera and then forgot to take a quick picture. :( But Amanda, Autumn and little Presley did come bearing some much needed and appreciated necessities.
A friend in Oklahoma who made a visit to us as well during our time there (before I thought to start snapping pictures of our sweet visitors) said something like this to me....I know your third baby boy doesn't need much, but ALL babies should be celebrated. It's been a true to joy to watch as our friends and family have showered us and our new little bundle with love.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

another water boy.

It seems as though we may have a little boy that might love water as much as his oldest brother. He's had two trips to the pool this week and he loves to sit in the zero entry water and splash his hands as hard as he can. He has loved bath time from the least our beginning with him. So I snapped a few pictures of my little guy in the bath tonight. I adore this fella. He is overflowing with the sweetest personality. I'm so so thankful that God gave him to us.
The picture below is after I picked out his little hawk. We get comments on his hair daily. I agree that it is pretty adorable. And those eye lashes...when he smiles just the right way they nearly touch his eyebrows!
Sweet Abe. He is such a gift.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

bullet point post.

Lots of thoughts floating around in my head.
  • Holden and Pax have been amazing this past week. Behavior has been incredible. It's like they've grown up a whole lot. And unfortunately, with the chaos of the last 5+ weeks we've been off any sort of diet modifications over here. I was worried about their transition and my time and attention being divided. I was especially concerned about my sensitive, little Pax that has been the baby for almost 4 years. My goodness, they've blown me out of the water with how well they have embraced Abe. How they love to care for him and be my helper. How proud they both are to have the title "big brother". How grown up they both seem now. I'm very, very proud of Holden and Pax. They have made this transition better than I ever hoped.
  • I know it's been less than 1 week at home, but I might venture to say this transition from 2 to 3 has been a piece of cake. It took me weeks to take both boys somewhere by myself when Pax came home to us. Basically, I had 2 babies. And it was rough for a while. This time around, my first day at home, we ventured out once. My second day at home we ventured out twice. Piece of cake.
  • Abe loves his big brothers. They make him laugh and smile constantly. This melts my heart. I love that he is already starting to adore them, as many little brothers do.
  • My sweet Jeremy agreed to let me redo the nursery for Abe. We had decided we would use our boy nursery stuff that my mom made back in 2008 for the third time if baby #3 was a boy. And if it was a girl, we'd buy new stuff. Well, I begged and promised to keep expenses way down. And Jeremy caved. It's been fun planning a new nursery for a my sweet boy. And maybe eventually he'll even sleep there. ;) I've made a couple of Etsy purchases and my mom is getting to work on curtains, a pillow and a diaper stacker with some material I ordered last week. We nixed the bumpers. That was one of my ways to keep expenses low. I love these wooden letters!!
  • Lauren and I start a bootcamp class at 5:30am tomorrow. Eek! I'm excited. But so paranoid that I'm going to miss my alarm and oversleep. She and I both bought a 1 month online coupon. I did a bootcamp by myself last spring. And I loved it. It was hard work but so much fun. And I was definitely starting to see changes in my body. This time it is a different local bootcamp. I think I would love to do it year round but I just can't justify paying $100+/month for it. So instead I'm paying $20 for just one month and hoping I can motivate myself to continue the intense workouts at home come mid-July when my classes have run out.
  • Abe was waking around 4am the entire time we were in Oklahoma and I was doing a feeding to get him back down. Since the time he has been home that has only happened once. We put him down early and then do a feeding before we go to sleep... this past week that has been close to midnight on most nights. And then he sleeps through the night. That baby boy just needed to be home!
  • We had family pictures taken yesterday evening by Ashley Rutland. The primary purpose was to get a photo shoot done for little Abe. But since we needed to update our family pictures with our new addition, we did those as well. Ashley was great and took some brother pictures, as well as a few individual ones of both Holden and Pax. She really went above and beyond for us. She went over on her time with us making sure we got everything we wanted. And boy was it muggy last night! I was dabbing drippy, sweaty faces with a burp cloth in between poses. Ashley's price is more than fair. She did our last photo shoot, which was a year ago. She is always creative and I really enjoy her style. When we were in Oklahoma I began contacting a few photographers through Celebrate Adoption and Red Threads...both are organizations that do discounted photography for newly adoptive families/children. Well, as returning customers to Ashley, her price was better than those within these organizations. Being that we were already familiar with her work and style and loved what she did with us last year, it was a no brainer. I am anxiously awaiting my peak at the edited photos.
And now I'm off to bed because my alarm will be going off at 4:45am to get myself in gear for bootcamp.

Father of 3.

Two nights ago Jeremy asked me if I could believe we had 3 now. My response was YES! His life has been somewhat similar as he has been home during the weeks with our 2 big boys while Abe and I were in Oklahoma. I don't want to say his life has been the same. It hasn't. At all. He busted his tail during those 5 weeks to bring the boys to visit on the weekends. Alot of miles and hours of back and forth. He also spent long hours at the office so he could have an extra day in his weekend with us in Oklahoma. I don't dismiss any of that. I know that was all very hard on his end. But now that Abe is home, I think it is just now beginning to hit Jeremy that he is a father to 3 little boys. :)  And what a wonderful daddy he is to these 3. And I couldn't ask for a better partner in parenthood.
A few pictures from Father's Day 2013...
You can't read it, but the boy's stickers said "My dad is My Hero." They all wore them proudly. Jeremy's sticker said "The Amazing Incredible Super-Dad"
We have another little water lover over here.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Holden's tooth

Today Holden lost his very first tooth. He pulled it all by himself. He was so proud. Jeremy and I were so proud! His tooth became loose the day after he turned 5. He actually kneed himself in the mouth that day at school and knocked it a little lose. But many months prior to that day, the dentist had warned us that he would be losing it in the near future. Holden got his 2 bottom center teeth first at 4 months of age. He had a mouthful by the time he turned 1. So it's no surprise that he lost his first a little earlier than most. So the whole time I was in Oklahoma and I would see my boys on the weekend, I would tease Holden that he was not allowed to lose his tooth until I was present for it. Everytime I saw him it was getting more and more wiggly. By the way, wiggly teeth completely gross me out. And I'm pretty sure I'll never be pulling any teeth. Well, my sweet boy waited for me. And it just so happens the boys had a dental cleaning on Thursday. That's when we noticed the permanent tooth was already coming through even though the baby tooth was hanging on for dear life on the front portion of the gums. Well, he kept wiggling and kept messing with it. And I may have tried to entice him to pull it, by telling him he would have a cute little toothless place in his smile for our new set of family pictures (that we just had done this evening). So about 1 hour before we left home for our photo shoot, he pulled that tooth out of his mouth. Another little first for my firstborn. Being a mommy to this boy is a very fun adventure. :)
On Thursday when he was doing a lot of wiggling. I seriously thought he was going to tackle the tooth on this day.
And tonight...not his most beautiful smile, but he's showing you his missing tooth. And you can definitely see the permanent tooth coming in.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Last night my family of five was finally home. Together.
And we are giving thanks to God for this new life.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

going on 4 weeks.

Yesterday was 4 weeks. I really am thankful that I didn't know this process would take this long when we began. Obviously nothing would have changed, but knowing the length of our stay might have created more stress on us than the stress of just taking it all a day at a time. As frustrating as it is waiting day by day for status updates, I think knowing too much too far in advance would have been much worse.

Now for the good news. All paperwork should be getting approval from Oklahoma offices tomorrow. Should be. Hopefully. They will then overnight it to Texas for approval and then we are cleared to leave. So we might be heading home on Monday. Why these government offices do not work digitally in 2013 completely baffles me. Completely. Baffles. Me. Going home Friday for a nice, normal weekend just sounded so much better than Monday. But at this point, I just want to be home so I'm not going to complain about a few more days. And on the bright side, Jeremy and the big boys are headed up to see us tomorrow. We will have another weekend as a family. These weekends together are one of the things that have gotten me through this ordeal. We are all just very ready for our normal life again.

I'm in such a better place this week than any pevious weeks. I've hardly cried at all. ;) It may have just taken me this long to adjust my expectations to this reality. Or I've just gotten use to the chaos of this whole situation. Or maybe I can just finally see the light at the end of this tunnel. Either way, I'm in a good place for the most part. I will admit that it has been a constant spiritual battle the past few weeks. Faith and my prayer life normally hasn't been a struggle for me. I'm not boasting AT ALL. My struggles are many and in other areas. I typically have no hesitations in asking God for the impossible, to break down walls and show His power in situations that sometimes seem impossible. And then trusting His plan and His goodness regardless of the outcome. That has normally come fairly easy for me. But as I've asked for very specific things, our situation has continued to unravel even further into a bigger, impossible mess. And it was completely discouraging for my faith. I was still believing that God's plan was good...even if I couldn't exactly see the good...but I wasjust having trouble continuing to ask God to move mountains when it was clear that I couldn't understand his ways for this situation. I think I've become a little intimidated. My friend pointed this out as Satan today and I think she is right. So I'd love for God to tear down a wall and we could be cleared to go home tomorrow, but if I'm being completely honest here, I'm almost afraid to ask. So it has definitely been a little spiritual journey. A big one, actually. But His plans are good. Always. I don't always have to understand them. In the grand scheme of things, this is little stuff. The closer we get to the finish line, the more easily I'm able to recognize that. And tonight I'm not even going to suggest how you should pray for us now. Because I just don't know. But thank you to so many that have been praying for our situation. So many have been loving us in some incredible ways. So thank you, friends. We are very grateful.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Abe is 6 months!

We have almost known Abe for 4 weeks. Only 4 weeks. So it's gut wrenching to me that he is already 6 months old yesterday. Now that he's in our arms I haven't dwelt too much on the fact that we did indeed miss so much of his beginning. I just think about what a blessing that he is ours now. He is just amazing! The way he has attached himself to us so quickly has been like watching a miracle take place. I know this was a major transition for him. It had to be scary, our new faces that were suddenly taking over as his family. But he has exceeded all expectations in his adjustment so far. I think he loves us as much as we love him, if that is even possible.

Last week, Abe and i made our 7th, yes 7th, move in 3 weeks. So two more new faces and a new location to take us in. He has been very leery of new faces. Everywhere we go, strangers want to chit chat with him. Especially the grannies. But little guy always looks wide-eyed and serious. And the grannies normally comment on how they can't get a smile from him. Breaks my heart a little. So we moved for the 7th time last Thursday. And I sat with these new faces, in this new house, for about 30 minutes letting Abe warm up. Then i decided to unload our luggage from the car. So i passed Abe off to the girl as the guy helped me unload. As soon as I reached my car outside, I heard the whaling from inside the house. And my heart broke at what his mind must have been wondering in that moment. I couldn't get my things fast enough to get back inside to show him I was back and not leaving him. I took him in my arms as I entered the house again and he quickly calmed down. And then I realized, he really is comfortable with me. Its only been 4 weeks (almost), and he may not yet fully trust if I'm coming or going. But those tears let me know he has enjoyed his life with us, our company, the kisses, the constant attention. He's happy with us and doesn't want us walking out. That was my interpretation. Who knows what is really going on in his little brain and heart. That meltdown from Abe was hard for me to hear and see, but also such a wonderful sign of his attachment to us. God is so good. We are so thankful for the healing he is doing in our baby boy's heart.

I've finally been able to weigh our big boy. He is 20lbs. Spot on, the same size that his brothers were at 6 months. Crazy! He's wearing size 4 diapers, 6-9 month clothes, 6-12 month clothes and some 9-12 month clothes. Our third big-o boy. One of the stranger/grannies at the grocery store called him my little linebacker when i told her his age. :) He takes about 6 bottles in a 24 hour period. He normally takes all 5oz at each feeding. He does very well eating his baby cereal from the spoon and really seems to enjoy it. I've given him fresh mashed banana twice this past week and he liked that as well.

Abe is now able to roll over in both directions. Though he more easily rolls from tummy to back. He has improved much in the past few weeks at hand-eye coordination and grasping toys with his hands. We are still working on him sitting up unassisted. He's not there yet.

So far his personality seems laid back, happy and content. He rarely fusses. He is a joyful little guy, full of smiles. He always wakes up so smiley and happy when he sees Jeremy or I. I just love it. I adore his wide-mouthed smile. And his big eyes turn small and squinty when he grins. Oh and his have to see them in person. They are so long! He's is taking 3 naps during the day. And he's now stretching his naps longer...closer to 1.5 hours. He was only napping 30-45 minutes in the beginning. So this is good progress. Nighttime sleep is about the same...only going 5-6 hours between feedings. But i think that he'll get there in time.

Pax immediately took to having sweet Abe as his baby brother. As much as we worried about Pax, it's almost funny now. It is like he was born to be a big bro. Holden hasn't been near as interested in Abe. But I noticed little evidences of the two of them bonding just this weekend. Abe will be very loved by his two big brothers. If we could just get them in one location for some normalcy!

It's only been 4 weeks...but i can not imagine my life or our family without this sweet boy. Thank you God. We are so blessed by this new life!