Thursday, May 28, 2009

Me again...

Hi. It's me again.Remember when my mom told you that she was going to babysit Luke for 9 weeks? Well, here was our first day....9 weeks ago.

...and here is our last day. Whew. We made it.

I think Luke's catching up to me.It was hard being couped up inside for so long.
Sometimes I get really loud, when I get excited and I get "shushed."
.....especially when I see my friends. (I've sure been missin' Isabel.)
We even got to play a little while for a super quick visit. And every now and then, we get to go outside. I even got a new pool...just for me.
It's fun and all, but I'm teething some more and it just seems like whatever face I gums still hurt.
Mom keeps saying she's gonna suck the puddin' right out of my cheeks. Oh, and there's just one more thing....
I was happy to share my Mommy with Luke for 9 weeks....but I think I'm ready for some Mommy & Me time.

Can you hook me up, Mommy?
Consider yourself hooked up.
I love you,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Facebook for Baby

Facebook has been such a fun little accidental discovery. I joined because a friend was spending the summer in Canada and she wanted to keep in touch, post pics, etc. With a newborn, I really didn't think much about it til last fall when people started finding me - friends from college, from high school, middle school - and even classmates and friends from NY when I just a little bitty kid. It became quite the firestorm with my brother, my parents and even my inlaws joining. What a hoot.

Well, I came up with the idea for doing a little Facebook for my baby - but not what you might be thinking. I wanted to begin a book for her with the photos and names of people in her life so we can start looking at them daily and making those connections. My husband's entire family lives out of town, so pictures are really going to be key for her knowing/recognizing them.

I compiled pictures of family (I'm still working on family friends & children) and put their names as well as their relation to our daughter. I'm just printing them out and sticking them in a little 97 cent photo book from Walgreens. I've made several copies for home, diaper bag, car, etc. for when we have a few minutes to kill here and there.

Here's an example of what I'm including:

Saturday, May 23, 2009


...I've cut 3 new once - which apparently explains a LOT to my parents.
...I'm back to my normal awesome sleep schedule so the swelling under my mom's eyes can go down.

...I got a new Tickle me Elmo doll that Mommy scored for NINE BUCKS!
...I got to sit on the lawnmower with Grandpa (but I didn't ride with him since it's not safe.)

...I've been hanging outside with Luke and Mommy while she looks for the marbles she says she lost while she was cooped up inside. :)...I'm really good at balancing and can stand all by myself for little bits at a time...especially when I don't know I'm doing it. parents put gates up because apparently I'm a little too "busy."
...I was surprised to discover that my Mommy's been holding out and that I have a whole cabinet FULL of tupperware....just for me! is good.Love,


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Miracle Grow

Our neighbors have an AMAZING garden. They are continually bringing bags of vegetables over for us during the summer...and we are oh so grateful. The brought some enormous zucchini over yesterday and I shot a picture of Gianna with one.

Last summer, they also brought over some super-huge zucchini and we took a picture of our little 5 pound Gianna with one.

It looks like we're all using miracle grow.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Smitten by Smiles

(Three Days Old)

It's been almost a year and from the very first hours that we met her - we have been graced by the most amazing and abundant smiles from this sweet baby that I could EVER imagine or ask for.

That smile is gold. It's sunshine. It's grace. It's gift. It's decadent. It's my purest form of joy.

Just a glimpse: Hope you smile.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Cry Room

The Church Cry Room in my opinion has the tendency to be one of the least holy/spiritual experiences ever - despite the fact that it's located right smack in the middle of the church. Am I the only one who is completely amazed by the behavior of some of the kids and the parents (and even people without kids who seem to hide out from the congregation)? It's like a free-for all with playground behavior, concession included! Yikes.

I decided long before I had kids that I would only use the cry room to quiet my children, then return to the main body of the church. Now, I know there can be extenuating circumstances....and I've had a few on occasion, but c'mon.....there can at least be a standard to shoot for. We're usually there for 15 minutes or so....sometimes more, sometimes less...and I'm always very relieved to join my husband and the congregation.

Not long ago, when G decided she'd try out for the choir during the homily, I quickly slipped into the cry room. The first glimpse I had as I opened the door was of a young mother lovingly cradling her obviously brand new baby. So tiny. So sweet. So perfect.

As I approached the woman (with the intention of making a quick whispered compliment about her new little miracle, I was stunned by the perfection of it's tiny little head. My goodness: perfectly round, perfectly bald, perfectly........PLASTIC!!!! Huh? Are you kidding me? Am I delusional? Am I crazy? I quickly glanced to the infant carrier hoping to find the real baby - but it was empty. And then, while I was still in shock and desperately trying to make sense of all this - the baby started crying. Huh? Crying? Oh my word!!! - But as I listened - I heard a motorized sound behind the cry: It was a fake cry. But that sweet little mom continued rocking that fake little perfect baby still lovingly caressing it.

Oh heavens. She's nuts, the poor dear. (Or am I nuts?) Then it occurred to me, that it was possible that this young mom was a student who was taking a life skills class who had one of those realistic baby dolls that simulated the demands/needs of a baby. Oh PLEASE let that be the case. Please don't let her be nuts.

As I decided that this HAD to be a student with a simulation doll (this girl deserves an A+ in her class, by the way) I became increasingly aware of the other people in the cry room who were obviously were as intrigued as I was. The best bit of entertainment was a toss up between the kids in the room whose eyes were as BIG as saucers and the new folks entering the cry room who were desperately trying to catch the glance of someone who could shed some light on the situation.
Oh. And when we were back in the main body of the church, I was intrigued to see what would happen at communion time, when the priest/communion minister would typically bless the baby. As the girl approached with "baby's" head to her chest, the minister gave the "mom" communion and didn't bless the baby, but acknowledged it with a reverent and slight bow of the head. How precious. What an interesting little experience.
In a related story: it seems like every room we enter these days is a cry room. Our little sweet potato is going through a another little phase (please, God, let it be a phase!) Since she is more mobile and into EVERYTHING wreaking havoc on anything in her path (or out of her way, if it catches her fancy), she is hearing, "No, no, no" and "No ma'am!" and "Gianna!!"and "That's not for you." and the ever irritating "Aaah, Aaaah, Aaaah!!!" a whole lot more often. Let me just say that she isn't at all impressed by the serious, authoritative tone or the words or the finger wagging.

We know that she is well aware of what's allowed and what's not since she typically looks back at us before she gets to the forbidden object/area and shakes her little finger and head and fusses LOUDLY! Well NOW, she's combined the grunt, the fuss, the scream and the cry when she is irritated or in the middle of the night when she awakens and is bored or,really,at any ol' time she pleases. She'll cry out with the most disturbing screams which sounds like she's being tortured, yet there are no tears and she can shut it off as fast as she can turn it on. Holy Cannoli.....what a challenge. I am praying there are teeth trying to come out soon (don't feel a dern thing except that one little toof that's already there) so I'll have some sort of answer or blame.

You know how for some kids "the look" will be more than enough to discipline. (I was one of those kids.) Well, guess what: Gianna's not one of them. And than there are the kids who are affected by the change of tone in the parents' voice. Yeah, Gianna's not one of them either. And then there are the kids that a raised voice will jolt them into an attentive state. Uh guessed it...not her either. The child is seemingly unaffected by any of our attempts to warn, caution or discipline. (God help us.)

I'm pretty certain, she's figured out what pushes our buttons and what gets the most "entertaining" reactions from us, so we've changed our strategies. We have quickly discovered that removal and redirection is our only hope. We figured we better save our louder tones and "No's" and "Stop's" for those truly dangerous situations, so she might actually heed our warnings. It certainly takes more energy, discipline and patience on our part - but I think that was God's intention for us anyway. I'm actually glad our munchkin is like this early on, so I am not tempted to turn into one of those fussing/loud/yelling parents that I don't want to be.
It does happen on occasion that we do have a sweet non-fussy, non-screaming, non-grunting little angel. Here she is:

Friday, May 15, 2009

Our Bandaid Vacation...

Last year at this time we were preparing to go on what was to be remarkable trip to a five star resort in Cancun to help us get away, heal and renew after Maddie & Collin's adoption failed. We called it our "Bandaid Vacation" because it was supposed to make our adoption "boo boo" better.(Looks like a Corona ad, doesn't it?)
(View from our balcony)

(View from our front door.)

For eight glorious days we were treated like royalty, laid by the pool all day sipping tropical drinks, jumped in the ocean regularly, ate like a king and queen, and resided in an opulent suite. It was so good that we never left the resort except for a couple hours of shopping.

(We I booked the trip, I checked the box that we were celebrating our anniversary - I thought it was appropriate since they didn't have a choice that said 'failed adoption' on the form --- which they really SHOULD have! And, besides, our anniversary was in a few weeks anyway.)
(This is what they called a "magic box." When you ordered room service, they would put your order in and flip the ready light on. Then you open it up from the inside without having to see anyone or become "presentable." Pretty cool, huh?)
(Would you believe you could take these Mini Coopers out for an hour at a time if it was part of your package? Driving in Mexico alongside INSANE Mexican drivers? No gracias, Senor!)(The food presentation was AMAZING for every meal and the backdrop's not too shabby either.)

Interestily, we were supoosed to book a trip for Hawaii but they couldn't secure the dates til the end of July. I told our agent that I would be ready again to be open to adoption at the beginning of the July would be too late. Guess who was born exactly a month after we returned from Cancun? God's fingerprints were all over this one. Go God! :)

Here's the photobook I did of our stellar Bandaid Vacation:


Click here to view this photo book larger

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