Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Happy Adoption Day Alex!

3 years ago today we came home with our precious son Alex. He was such a long-awaited and sought after blessing! After waiting years for the adoption and spending 5 very difficult weeks in Ukraine we were able to bring our son home. He has been such a blessing to us and added so much to our lives.
Alex the day we met him

Our tradition is that Alex gets to pick the meal tonight- his pick is pigs in a blanket, mashed potatos and potato skins, watermelon and deviled eggs. He gets a small gift and then we look at the adoption scrapbook together.
He does not seem to remember anything about Ukraine besides what he has seen in pictures and the video. They told us that would be so- he would be too busy laying down new and better memories and he would just discard the old. He does not ask very much about it, either, at this point. Maybe he will as he gets older and maybe not- and that's okay.
He is doing really well. He has done so well with the girls coming. I think being an older brother has really made him feel special. He knows the girls adore him and he is very protective of them so it has been a great thing. We make sure he gets alone time with each of us everyday and it seems to work out okay.
He has made great progress in school. It is amazing to think he started kindergarten last year barely able to draw shapes and now he is writing stories. He is learning so much and really enjoys it. School is not easy for him, though, and he still has a lot of catching up to do, but he has a great teacher again this year and that is a blessing. She even read a book over the holidays to give her some ideas to help Alex better.
He is in boy scouts now, which he really enjoys. He loves hiking and camping and building things so that is perfect for him.

Doesn't he look handsome in his uniform?

We are so blessed that God chose him as our son! We love you Alex!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

9 months old!!

Can you believe the girls are 9 months old already! The time goes by so fast. I thought I might update everyone on how they are doing now.

Weight: Anna is now 20lbs, 2 oz and is in the 75% for a 9 month old on height and weight
Natalie is 18lbs, 4oz and is in the 50%
Elisabeth is 18lbs, 2 oz and also is in the 50%

Anna has always been the more reserved one and she still is. She usually will not smile at someone she doesn't know and it takes her a little while to get comfortable. I have a tender spot for Anna because she has a strong preference for her mama! She seeks me out the most for comfort. She is pretty laid back- in general she is comfortable to just sit there and watch people and take things in. She is a happy baby and as you will see in the video below has quite a laugh (especially for her brother).

Natalie was always the happiest one and she still is a very happy baby. She has a smile and laugh ready for everyone at any moment. She is developing a bit of an attitude, though. She seems the most frustrated by her inability to communicate. She has started doing a lot of "yelling" for attention or food or her toy that her sisters took from her. We have also nicknamed her the jumping bean, as she loves to jump.

Elisabeth since the day she was born has been the fighter of the group. She is determined to be the first to do everything! She is not content to sit still for a second and I know she is going to be the one to get into everything. I can tell she is going to be the first to crawl and I am nervous about that day :) She is a happy baby,too, and loves to smile and laugh.

Sleep: The girls sleep from 7pm to 7am (although the teething is causing a few early mornings with Elisabeth). They do really well at sleeping and that is a blessing. They are napping still twice a day, and occasionally will take a short catnap in the late afternoon.

Mobility: Anna is rolling over all the time and will not stay on her belly for a second so she has not tried to crawl yet. Natalie can balance on her hands and knees but hasn't started crawling either. Elisabeth, however, is getting around. She gets on her hands and feet and manages to get around pretty well. We are not surprised that our little fighter is going to be the first to crawl as well.

Eating: The girls are still drinking bottles 4 times a day and then I feed them solids for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I am following the Super Baby Food book and it is so great! I am making/puree-ing all their food myself which is actually easier than you would think (and a whole lot cheaper considering the masses I have to feed). Rice cereal, yogurt, sweet potatoes and bananas are their favorites, but they are good about eating everything.. I think I served them the grossest meal last night- mashed up tofu with pureed green beans. Yuck! But they ate every bite!

Talking: The girls have a lot to say! Anna and Elisabeth will say "dada", but Natalie hasn't started that yet. No "mama" as of yet. I think they will probably try to say their brother's name first- they LOVE their brother.

Here is a cute video of Anna laughing hilariously at her brother

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy New Year!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We had a great first Christmas with the girls at home.
Two weeks before Christmas Alex got the stomach flu, which quickly passed on to me and the girls, then Chris, then my parents, and eventually my sister and her family and Chris' sister and her husband. The girls really took it hard and it took over a week for them to fully recover, but they were well at Christmas.
Here are some pics from Christmas with my parents (my sister and her family did not come as they were trying to avoid the sickness... although they did eventually get it anyway.)

Alex got a wii, which was his big gift this year. He actually wasn't really that excited as he thought he wanted toys. But he really doesn't play with toys anymore, and we knew he would like it. And he does now!!! He wants to play all the time (and so do we).

The girls didn't last too long... Anna and Elisabeth fell asleep while opening gifts.


Chris' family came out for Christmas and that was a lot of fun. It is always nice, of course, to have more helping hands around the house...

Here are some pics from Christmas morning

and we also got to go hiking, play tennis, see a movie, visit the great-grandparents, and just enjoy being together.

Uncle Jeremy with the kids

Aunt Laura and Uncle David with the crew

Anna and Mamaw

Chris' brother Jeremy does photography on the side and he took some pics of the kids playing etc... I thought they turned out great. Here are some of my favorites!

I know you probably want to know which baby is whom (and I have figured it out, Jeremy), but I don't have time right now to label them so I will try to later. They sure are cute, though, aren't they???!!!!