Friday, November 21, 2008

These Are the Days

I wanted to do a quick post as today is Monkey's "Family Day". Three years ago, Stu and I were in a Russian courtroom and legally became Monkey's parents. What an amazing day that was. We picked him up later that night and life has never been the same. Monkey was described by his caregivers as "spirited". And is he ever! I have never seen a little boy so full of energy and smiles. He is truly one of the happiest kids I've ever seen. He never slows down from the moment he wakes up and keeps us on our toes. But he always has a smile on his face or a hug to share. We are so blessed to call him our son.
Amazingly enough, I was looking through some old papers (still on my organizing kick!) and I discovered that today is also the day that we received the referral call for Chipmunk. I can't believe I never realized it before. It is incredible to think that this time five years ago we were just beginning our journey to parenthood; now we have three beautiful children to love. Life truly is amazing.
HotDog is doing great, as always. One big development: She started crawling a few days ago! I was really, really hoping she would wait until after the Christmas tree came down, but there is no stopping this girl. I think she just wants to keep up with her big brothers. She definitely wants to be in the middle of all the action. She doesn't do the traditional crawl or army crawl for that matter. She gets on her elbows, straightens her back legs so her butt is straight up in the air, and then juts forward. We call her our little Inchworm. It's slow-going right now as she has to think about every movement, but she can get across the room if she wants too. And I don't think it will be too much longer before she can wiggle her way in an instant. Guess it's time to start getting my baby-proofing gear back out.
I wanted to add a few pictures too. The first is a picture of Monkey as we picked him up at the orphanage. The next is Monkey today. Can you just see the gleam in his eye?!

Next of course is HD. Is it possible for those cheeks to get any bigger?

And finally, a good family picture taken a couple of weeks or so ago. I think it's the first time where we are all looking at the camera at the same time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Catching Up

Somehow I found a few minutes to do a quick update. Things are great here but I am finding it so difficult to finish any task that takes more than five minutes. Chasing three kids around is a lot of work! So many people warned me that the transition from two children to three was much harder than from one child to two. I was terrified of this, as I had such a difficult time when we added Monkey to our family. However, I’m finding the transition from two to three to be quite easy; due in part to the good-nature of HotDog, I’m sure. If anything, the addition of another child has had a really positive impact on me. I used to be happy in a household of organized chaos. No more. I am currently in the process of organizing everything in our house. I don’t have the time to hunt and search for every little thing. I need to know exactly where everything is; this is essential as I can tell one of the boys what I need and where it is if I’m busy with Little Miss. I’ve also learned the benefits of planning ahead and following a schedule. No more spur of the moment trips to the grocery to pick up a few things I forgot. It’s too difficult to drag all three kids anywhere, especially now that it’s getting cold outside. I’ve started making a detailed list of what I need and if I forget something then it waits until the next run to the store. We are currently in the process of moving Monkey to his own room (he is currently sharing a room with Chipmunk). This is forcing me to finally clear out the guest bedroom/junk room and I’m getting rid of a ton of stuff that we haven’t used in years. It is such a great feeling to drop a big load off at Goodwill or a consignment store.
Last week was our big appointment with the IA doctor and HD did great. She is either on target or ahead of where she is supposed to be in every single area they tested. The doctors were all very impressed with her development and completely charmed with her big smiles and giggles. All of the tests have been negative so far (which is a good thing) although we are still waiting on a few results. The blood draw wasn’t fun but she was a trooper. Unfortunately they weren’t able to get enough the first time around so we had to return a few days later for another blood draw. She was not a happy camper; thank goodness we are finished with that part of it. We did find out that she has gained some weight too. She weighs a whopping 19.5 pounds at seven months old. Such a big girl!
Also, we received HD’s certificate of citizenship this week (it just took three weeks - that must be a record for the federal government) so we now get her a social security number. That should be the last of the important paperwork we need to complete…until the post-placement reports begin in a few months.
So now that the big round of medical appointments is over, I’m hoping that I’ll have time to catch my breath. Of course, the calendar looks pretty busy over the next six weeks: Chipmunk’s birthday is today…Happy 6th Birthday!! Monkey’s “Family Day” (Stu abhors the term Gotcha Day so we call the day we picked up Monkey “Family Day”) is next week, followed by Thanksgiving, then my birthday and Christmas festivities begin.
But this is my absolute favorite time of the year and we are so thankful that HD is home with us to celebrate the holidays. I wouldn’t trade this time for all of the sleep in the world.
Off to celebrate Chipmunk’s big day now. I don’t think there is anything sweeter than experiencing the excitement and joy of a birthday through your child’s eyes.
Life is good…..

My birthday boy

Brotherly Love

A picture is worth a thousand words