Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Catchin' Cookies"

I went into the kitchen the other day and saw her reaching up into the snack box with a stick. I smiled and knew exactly what she was doing--fishing for treats! She looked back and saw me and said, "Catchin' cookies mama". Adorable with a capital A.

In other news, my mom-in-love is here and we are sooooo enjoying her being here! She is such a fun companion to have during our days and also a complete and utter lifesaver when it comes to this move. Did I mention that we are moving on WEDNESDAY? Yes, we are.

Also, these two wonderful people were here for a visit last week. We had such a relaxed, fun time together. Every night that they were here I went to sleep feeling so happy and full hearted after our day together. We miss you already Bub and Birdie!

I couldn't help putting that last one in:) It's Bub and I when we were little. Does it remind you of another little pair you know?

Lastly, Sam has started bossing Amelia around and we think it is sooo funny. "Mena come here!" "Mena, get in the tunnel!" Mena, just drink it!" After all of the bossing around that she has done in their 2 and a half years of life, it is about time that he turns the tables a bit:) Here's the little boss himself:

All for now! It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood and I'm ready to go enjoy it! Oh, and pack. I guess I should pack some more! Jen

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Making up for lost time...

Amelia stopped co-sleeping with us at around 10 months I think. She was nursing like every five minutes and bouncing and rolling around like a ball in a pin ball machine and none of us were getting much sleep. So into a hammock in the nursery she went. It was bittersweet and it took her a loooooooong time to learn to fall asleep on her own and then to go back to sleep on her own. It was traumatic for us all but I didn't know what else to do. Sam slept really well with us until a bit over a year and transitioned easily to a crib. We missed him and his cuddly ways, but having our bed to ourselves did feel luxurious for a while. Fast forward to almost two and a half when Miss Amelia starts climbing out of her big girl bed and into ours. At first she was flipping and flopping and so we fought it. We gave consequences if she didn't go back to her bed. We groggily woke up and put her back and put her back and put her back. Then suddenly, things changed. We would wake up in the morning or in the deep of the night and there she would be, sleeping soundly in between us. No flipping. No flopping. We didn't even know she had come to bed! So, we stopped fighting it and started embracing it. Well, as the nights went on her arrival time into our room became earlier and now she comes in between 11-1 usually. And we love it. We giggle as we hear her open her door and then slam shut. She staggers into our room with her crazy hair and sleepy eyes and plaid flannel gown. She climbs into our bed and curls up silently and is greeted with kisses and squeezes from both mama and dadoo. And I think about how we fight things, sometimes, like little ones sharing sleep with us or "having" to rock them to sleep. I mean, I get it. Sleep deprivation is not fun. I have been there, done that and I realize that co-sleeping, etc. can sometimes make for tricky transitions. You have to find what works best for everyone. But sometimes, I think we push independence way too soon and we miss out on the gift of allowing our children to depend on us, to rest in our arms and close to our hearts. And so, our Amelia, she has realized that if she is still (which she now is most of the time) she can rest with us and share sleep peacefully and make up for some lost time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

That's affirmative!

Finally, oh at long last, the babes have started answering us with affirmatives! Words that have laid dormant for their entire speaking lives have suddenly popped up in their vocabulary--words like yes, mmm hmmm and okay have made their debut and they are literally music to our ears! "Sam, would you like some more water?" "Yes mama" instead of "WATER! WATER!" "Amelia could you go get your shoes?" " Okay mama". I know it may not sound like much, but when all you have heard is either a repitition of your words or a "no" even when they mean yes, it is monumental. It makes me oh,so happy. So does Amelia's recent additions of unprompted, " I missed you! " and " I love you."

Sweet times,

Monday, September 14, 2009

Summers End...

We took a last minute weekend getaway this weekend to Capitol Reef National Park. Our friends, the Hyers, went with us and we had such a great time picking apples, driving through the incredible mountains and cliffs, hiking and just hanging out. It's a challenge to travel with toddlers that are tired and whiney and grumpy because of less nap time, etc. but worth the challenge for sure! Here is to family adventuring and celebrating the close of the fabulous season that is summer. Autumn, here we come!

Lots more pictures of our time here
Capitol Reef National Park--September 2009
. Now it is back to the fullness of life at home. This morning alone I had calls from our realtor who I am meeting tonight to tag paint touch ups that need to be done before we move in, our current land lord/friend who wants to come by Wed. to show the house to several people, our adoption case worker who will be coming tonight to look at the new house to amend our homestudy....better get packin! Jen

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Come along with me...

I wish you all could have been with us on our trip to the mountains this afternoon. Oh man. It was just beautiful! So, since you couldn't be there, I thought you could come along through some little clips of our time. Actually, it's a pretty long video and there are no high action clips. Just our little family,loving the breeze and the rocks and trees and the water and each other. There are so many things I could say about these clips. The way Amelia breezes through the trees dancing and laughing while Sam is just so industrious. It just amazes me how profoundly "themselves" children are. Anyway,make sure to make it to the Joel/Amelia Mountain Jamboree:)

Even in the beloved mountains, it isn't all sunshine and love. Amelia threw one of Sammy's favorite little dump trucks into the stream and it swam away and then later (as you saw) Sam got very, very upset when it was time to go. After a warm bubble bath and some dancing with dadoo,though, all was well with the world again. Happy, happy late summer Saturday to you! Jen

P.S. If you are adventuring into the forest any time soon with your little ones (or even if you aren't), I highly recommend this book:

I found it at a yard sale the other day and I think my mouth may have fallen open when I saw it. It is written by the author of these favorite books ever of ours but I had never seen this one before! Anyway, it tells the story of three cousins who visit this huge, old oak tree in each of the seasons and it is just beautiful!

Friday, September 04, 2009

So "Clozy"...

After our dear friends Sara and "tiny baby Claire" came for a visit the other day, Amelia reveled in getting to be a baby again and get "clozy" (cozy) in the their old Moses basket. She stayed in there for a surprisingly long time:) Not too big of a surprise though, as the girl does love to snuggle.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


Lately I have been starting posts that go left unfinished and then forgotten. Too much to say right now, I guess, and not enough energy or time to say it well. So, here is a a little summary of bits of our world that I have been wanting to record....


* I have had a little girl attached to my side every where I go.

* Their wonderous words have made me smile. "Deeeelicios" says Sam whenever he drinks a cup of milk. " The way they call the pet store "Pep Store!" The way they jabber to each other in the back of the car, "Look, Sambo there's a crane right there! Big crane workin' so hard." .....

* Amelia's thankful heart. "Thank you mama," is such a common phrase from her these days, but it makes me smile every single time I hear it. Creating the habits of "please and thank you" was the first "railroad tracks" I worked on laying with them. Amelia has obviously formed the habit, we are still working on it with Sammers:)

* Watching Sam go to sleep is one of my favorite parts of these days. Listening to him recite his favorite stories in the dark of the room like, " Sun came out and POP! He hate one apple, still huuuungry! Ate two pears, still huuuuungy!" .....FAT Caterpiller! " Then his 'Jesus loved me" recitation, then he just lays down and looks up with his eyes open and then slowly, slowly he drifts away to sleep. I guess because Amelia is just so opposite from this, it seems like a small miracle every time I see him do it:) Be wary of one size fits all sleep training methods, you new mamas out there. Sam and Amelia are living proof that you can do things the same way with two children and they just have different sleep patterns/preferences/tendencies. Don't freak out if your six week old isn't sleeping in six hour stretches (or whatever those books promise)--you may just have an Amelia on your hands. In the same way, don't get puffed up if your infant does sleep for long stretches and think every other mama out there must be doing it the wrong way--you may just have a Sam:)

* There is an excitement in the air about moving into a new house on the first of October. It is bittersweet, of course, as we have loved this home and walking every where, every day. But this new home, it is closer to our church community, it is next door to a sweet adoptive family, it is in a very diverse area. It is bigger than we thought we wanted, but it is a clean slate and we are happy about that.

* I am so thankful for our new family mentor relationship. We had such a great experience with Taleb and Khoula and hope to see them still even though our official mentoring time is over. They are in English classes all day now and are pretty tired at the end of the day.Such a precious couple. The new family is a refugee family from Eritrea and have been living in Ethiopia for 9 years before coming here! Daili is the mama and she has been coming over twice a week to train to be a Mother's Helper. Um, I cannot even tell you how fabulous it has been this week with her here. To get to help someone with their English while being productive along side each other. From the two days she was here I now have three meals and three dozen muffins in the freezer waiting for our upcoming guests! And the companionship is so sweet and welcome. It has furthered my belief that we are just not meant to do life alone! She is so warm with Sam and Amelia and I love to see how their play also becomes so productive when she is here and we are working together. I am so thankful to have them in our lives! Please pray for her and her family if you think about it. She has four children (9,8,3,2) and their government assistance for housing has run out. They are desperate for work but have been unable to find it with their limited English and the present economy. Her husband and father just traveled by bus to another state following a lead on a possible factory job.

* Sam and Amelia have been bickering over things/space often:( I guess it is just a new stage in our journey and I'm trying to find new and effective ways to keep the peace. So thankful that this is a new issue and for the looong stretch of general sharing and caring we have experienced between them:)

* All I have time for for now. Hope you all are doing well! Jen