Friday, June 27, 2008

High five

We went to Woodland Park today for our weekly play date. SO FUN! I love this park...there's a community pool, a great playground, a skate park and lots of big trees. Katelyn was soaking it all up! She went on the swings for a long time. This is a breakthrough. She was terrified of the swings at first but every time we go to the park, we try she liked it. The white knuckles are gone. Whoo hoo!

We all went to grab some lunch. My friend has a six year old son adopted from Ukraine and a two year old African American little boy adopted domestically. The two of us with our children of three different races/ethnicities are quite the site. My friend and I just chat away and every once in a while I catch someone watching us trying to figure out which kid goes with whom and how all of this works. It makes me laugh every time. Our families aren't quite your typical make-up. It's amazing how quickly your child just becomes part of you and you forget that they don't look like you. I'm glad it's like that. The great thing is that usually people just love our kids. They are all so cute and they all have BIG they are entertaining to all who are lucky enough to have their lunch completely interupted by us. Mr mailman from the A&W...sorry you didn't get to eat in peace...please don't "lose" my mail.

The boys did teach Katelyn how to high five today. She was so proud of herself. Now she gives me high fives when I stick out my hand and laughs about her new skill. She's destined to marry one of these boys...I'm pretty sure of it.

My baby's really cool!!!

Katelyn's one wacky kid. She's funny...real funny. She keeps us on our toes. I wanted everyone to see all of her teeth...FIVE to be exact. And she chews everything right in the front of her mouth with those little a little bunny.Just hanging out at home.
Just in case you were wondering... no one likes this child. She doesn't get any attention at all...especially from her grandparents. (I'm so funny). Mom and dad left for Michigan this morning. I think Katelyn misses them already. Below is her signature one finger...we don't really know what it's all about but she throws that finger around like you wouldn't believe...Like I said, she's wacky!
Uncle Jason and Aunt Doris sent Katelyn a present. She saw me grab the camera and she turned and looked right at me with the biggest grin. What a ham! (We were getting ready to go upstairs and take a bath...I mean, oh, this poor kid has no clothes, everyone should send more.) Okay, just kidding...she's got more clothes than Josh and I combined...she's quite the fashionista!
What a fun present! We love the new puppy...much easier to take care of than Brody! Props to Uncle Jason and Aunt Doris....we LOVE you guys...COME VISIT US!!
Oh and by the way, Katelyn walked from the coffee table to me on the couch the other day...her first solo flight! She just decided crawling doesn't work for her and went straight to walking. I know it's an important step...blah, blah...but I want someone to tell me how you MAKE a child do something in the order they're "supposed" to do it in??!! This kid has a mind all her own. She can get to the end table now...I've moved the toxic plant to higher ground.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Our adoption agency had their annual family reunion today at a local park (It's so nice that our agency is right here in Lexington). Four other families from our travel group were able to come and it was really fun to catch up and see how well all of the girls have adjusted in just a couple of months. Katelyn did really well and even took a mid afternoon nap in her stroller in the midst of tons of noise and hundreds of people. Here we all are. I wish the other families could have come also! If you're reading, you were missed!
Here are the girls from our group. The little girl on the far right was not adopted on this trip but her older sister was. The two girls on either side of Katelyn were adopted from the same province as Katelyn (Jiangxi)...not the same orphanage though and they are both one year old also.

We had such a fun day and I just want to give my husband props. Josh worked third shift last night, came home and slept a few hours, came out to the park for a couple of hours and then went back home and slept for a few hours. What dedication!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More birthday pictures...

Here are some more pictures of Katelyn's birthday.
This is Aunt Niki. She and my brother, Mike, just got engaged! Whoo hoo! Here's a picture of the lotus candle we brought back from China with us. The wick shoots up this big flame and then it lights a bunch of other candles inside which "opens" the petals which each have little candles that are then lit. It was REALLY fun!
Katelyn digs into her strawberry cupcake. And the mess grows. The deal is, Katelyn will eat whatever we feed her but she won't put any kind of food in her mouth on her own. We're working on it and I'm assuming it will all come together eventually (since I don't really want to be feeding her when she's a teenager). Anyway, I gave her a few bites of the cupcake, but she just smooshed it and squashed it all over her tray.
And all good parties must come to an end...especially when the guest of honor gets really tired.

Katelyn is ONE!

Well, it's official...we have a toddler. Katelyn turned one yesterday and we celebrated her life! The one thing I selfishly wanted was to have our baby home in time for her first birthday. And we were so blessed to get to play and celebrate with friends and family. Katelyn is such a joy. She's so full of life and so interested in exploring everything.
I had a sad moment yesterday after our little party right after I had put Katelyn to sleep. On the other side of the world there was a woman who was painfully remembering giving birth the year before and giving up her child...wondering where she was on her first I said a prayer thanking Jesus for my baby and thanking her birth mother, who I will never know, for having the courage to give her baby up so that she could have a better life. I don't know the circumstances around that decision, but I do know that I love this woman so much, because without her, I wouldn't have Katelyn...and I just can't imagine what that would be like.
Happy birthday baby!
Here's part of the spread.
I must say I was excited about the cupcake creation. (Really I was excited that everything fit perfectly on the platter.)
I can't believe how big she's gotten in two months!

My mom took some great pictures too. I'll put more up tomorrow. Now I need to sleep because there will be a little person babbling into the monitor at 6:30 am. :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

What's for dinner?

There's nothing like having a new child in the house to really make you think about the things you do and how you do them. I've been thinking a lot lately about what we eat. For some reason, I would never put half the things in my baby's mouth that I put into my own. I know we have junk in our house that's not healthy and Josh and I eat it without thinking twice about what's in it or where it's from...but for Katelyn, you better believe I'm reading labels. I don't want the food with the ingredients I can't pronounce going into my child's mouth. I don't want her eating all the added steroids, antibiotics and hormones. Our pediatrician gave us the green light to switch from formula to whole milk (whoo hoo). So I was at the store buying organic milk.

I've been reading the book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," by Barbara Kingsolver. (Aaron, I really will give you your book back one of these days!) The author's family moved from Tucson back to her husband's family farm in Virginia and as a family they committed to eating locally grown, organic food for one year. If it didn't come from their community, they didn't eat it. They grew much of their own food and ate things seasonally. In our consumer society where most of our food has traveled 2000 miles to get to our table, this is a radical move. What if more families made this kind of commitment? Health benefits aside (although this reason alone is a great argument), think of all the energy that's being used to process, package, transport, refrigerate, etc. All so that we can have food off season...packaged for quick convenient meals...loaded with preservatives so it can sit on a shelf. We don't think about how the animals have been treated, what they have eaten or what has been shot into their bodies to fatten them up quick. It's sad that we are so detatched and don't care whether it's humane or not. What's even more tragic is that we don't care that we are ingesting things that over time could hurt our own bodies.

I've been looking online for ways to eat organically on a budget. The reality for us is that we can't really afford a food budget that's a whole lot more than what it already is...but at the same time, I think that eating locally grown foods is the way to go as often as possible. Not only do the foods taste better and are better for us, but we are then, as a household, choosing to support local farmers whose very livelihood is dependent on selling what they have grown.

Also, cancer has touched our family in personal ways this year. We've known family and friends who had/have cancer and friends who have lost loved ones. I can't help but think that the foods we put in our mouth are somehow connected to at least some of these cases. Does anyone think that it's a coincidence that as our food has moved away from the local farms of the past to the mass producing farms of today, our nation's health as a whole has gone farther and farther downhill?

I'm not sure what this will mean for us, but two things I've read about/discovered today are: If you can't afford to eat everything organic look at the things you eat most often and the things where it will make the biggest impact to go organic...milk, produce, other dairy, meat. I've also been reading about CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) where you pay so much up front (looks like in our area it's about $600 for 20-22 weeks - mid-May thru late Sept/early October) and you get a share of a local farm's crop. Once a week you pick up a bushel (or 1/2 bussel depending on the size you pay for) of seasonal items that are picked fresh that day. So you are getting a variety...but you are getting produce as it's in season. I love this idea! I like to try new recipes and I love the idea of going out to a local farm and picking up a bushel of fresh greens, berries, squash, tomatoes, peppers, etc and then cooking based on what's we get that week. I really love the fact that our grocery money would go into the pockets of the farmers a few miles from where we live. I really, really love the fact that it's certified organic. I really, really, really love that we would be teaching our daughter that it's important to think about where our food is coming from and how it's been grown.

I think it's too late for us to really get on board with a CSA this year, but we'd like to next spring. Elmwood Stock Farm - a sixth generation farm...the largest organic growing farm in our state is just a handful of miles from our house. They also sell meat and eggs. Berries on Bryan Station is a farm growing organically with a CSA program and they are just 7 miles north of the church where I work. I drive farther than that to go to the mall for pete's sake.

This is all just something I've been thinking about and I feel like as the person who grocery shops for our family, I am not making responsible, conscious choices about the food we're eating...I'm making easy choices. Easy isn't always's just easy. I feel that God calls us to make the best choice...the right choice...not the convenient one.

I'll let you know how it goes...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

It's hot...the pool is open

Well, I think summer is officially here....and it's HOT! Of course our air conditioner froze up this weekend...we called Monday, they came Tuesday...said it's froze up and most likely needs freon...turned everything off and weren't able to schedule us back in until Friday morning because apparently the whole city is calling them saying their air isn't working :). So it's quite sticky in our house. Katelyn woke up from her nap this morning hot and sweaty. What better time to bust out the pool. Now that I've passed out from blowing up the thing, here are some pictures of our fun in the sun.
Good purchase mom! She loves the pool just like she loves the bath...our water child. (See Brody in the background running around like a crazy dog.)Laughing, laughing.
Oh, this is so fun...can we stay in here all day?
Funny face #487.
Just a girl and her daddy. I think they like each other. Katelyn says daddy's cool because he throws her in the air and stuff.
Just a sidenote...for all moms of little bitty ones. The Baby Einstein DVD "Baby MacDonald" is the best thing ever! Katelyn loves all the animals on the farm. She laughs when the cow puppet does silly stuff. It's so cute.
"Gramma and Grandpa, I miss you. Come back and play with me in my pool.", Love Katelyn

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New computer...I'm back!!

Well, we finally broke down and bought a new computer. When it takes you a half an hour to turn on your five year old laptop and get it to do anything, it's just time to move on! So now we're rolling again with our HP. Thank you Circuit City for trying to entice everyone with a stimulus check...we're still going to use ours to pay on our credit card...but thanks for the 25% off, the three months of no interest...we'll take it. I feel like I'm sticking it to "the man". :)
On to more important things...drumroll please...Katelyn's hair is long enough for little pig tails..SO stinking cute!
Oh the squishy face...I love it every time.
Katelyn says, "all done" with dinner.
Just playing with my toys...
Okay mama, I know I'm a rock star, but no more pictures today.