Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Fun!

The boys were finally old enough to "help" with pumpkin carving this year.  I had been mentioning to Malachi all throughout the day, so he was very excited to get down to business, although he ended up hating the pumpkin goo.  

Eli seemed to like the goo

Until Daddy put it all on him.

While I got all the kids down to bed and went grocery shopping, Peter got down to business! 

Nice work Peter! 

And for reminiscing's sake, a look back at all the pumpkins we've done so far:

Malachi's first pumpkin:

Last Year with his buddy Elmo: 

And amazingly Elmo seems to have become replaced by a new obsession - Thomas!  

And Mr Eli's first pumpkin was Darth Vader:

And this year Lightning McQueen:

And little Miss Bina baby's first pumpkin - Tinkerbell

Thursday, October 18, 2012

6 Months So Soon!

Gah, my baby is already 6 months old.  I'm not sure how I feel about this!  I love having a baby in the house and gosh, my baby is now 6 months old!  What am I going to do with myself?!?  I know she is going to go through so many rapid changes in these next 6 months leading up to her birthday.  I'm just trying to enjoy as much time as I can with her being a snuggly lil baby!  

Sabrina is now 14 lbs 4 ounces.  This is almost a pound of weight gain in the last month, which is great considering she hasn't gained hardly anything the 3 months prior to this!  However, this also does mean she has dropped to the 5-10% for weight.  Our doctor said she wouldn't be concerned until she is under the 2-3%, but we will talk much more in depth with her about it all at her appointment next week!

With that being said, she is still nursing about 6 times per day.  In addition to that, I have started supplementing her a few ounces of formula after a couple of her feeding every day.  This seems to have helped her gain a little bit of weight.  She is also eating 3 meals of baby food per day.  I am still really enjoying making all of her food.  We added a bunch of new fruits and veggies this month and also chicken!  I think we have a new contender for a favorite food - she seems to really love Zucchini!!!

Sabrina learned some new big tricks this month.  She learned how to sit up all on her own.  Sometimes she still needs a little bit of help with a boppy supporting her, but she can also do it on her own when she wants to!  And just very lately, she has started scooting backwards during playtime.  Just today she got up on her knees briefly, so she is showing all the signs that she is thinking about crawling.  Honestly, I am not a huge fan of that idea.  She can stay my baby as long as she wants.  Would it be wrong of me to push her over ;)

We have gotten in to a really great schedule with her!  She goes down between 7-7:30 every night.  Lately she has been waking up between 5-6 in the morning to nurse then will go back to sleep until around 8.  She takes a nap at 11:00 and 3:00.  They are usually about 2 hours each!  It is nice to be in a good routine now, even if I am still very busy trying to balance all of the kids.  Fortunately Sabrina is a pretty patient little girl!

She is still just a really pleasant and fun little baby girl!  She loves her Mama (I am definitely her most favorite person - YAY!)! We are seeing more and more of her personality everyday.  She seems to have a very calm demeanor like Elias, but might even be quieter and calmer than he is!  She is also just super happy and has the biggest smile!  At this point she also still has blue eyes, so I am wondering if she might actually get to keep them - that would be a huge surprise!!!

We love you Beanie Baby!  I hate that you are growing up so fast but I know it has to happen and I do look forward to all of the fun things to come with my daughter!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dinner with Almaz

Tonight was a very special night for our family.  2 Years we left Ethiopia with Malachi in our arms.  I longed for a year to bring that little guy into our home and yet for some reason when we got on that airplane with him I was overcome with tears and sadness that we were taking him away from his country and the only people he ever knew.  

One thing I know without a shadow of a doubt is that Malachi was loved DEEPLY while we were waiting for him to come home.  The special mother's who took care of him and also by a woman named Almaz - the director at Hannah's Hope.  When we left the gates of Hannah's Hope, I didn't think we would ever see any of them again, but tonight we had the incredible opportunity to take Malachi to Portland and have dinner with  Almaz!  

We happened to be sitting right by the door that Almaz came in and she  came right over to see Malachi.  She gave me a huge hug and said Hi to him. Instantly the tears started flowing from her eyes.  She looked around the room and said "wow, look at all these children!"  She went and said hello to another family and then had to leave the room for a few moments to collect herself!  She later admitted that she is a very task oriented woman and keeps the business side of AGCI going, but seeing these kids home with their families was too much for her!  

She was swarmed from the minute she walked in that room with children.  I got to see just how much she loves the kids that came in to her care! This was an event organized by our agency and so they were trying to keep the night moving but Almaz was focused on seeing her kids :)  Even while the AGCI staff was speaking, she was hugging on kids.  She tried to come over and talk to Malachi, but he was being very shy.  She said "That is good.  Usually I am on your side of this.  Tonight, I am the rejected one."  It was a healthy sign of attachment for her to see :)

She gave a highly motivational speech about all the children that have come home and all the children still left behind.  She reminded us that we all have a responsibility to Ethiopia now and that our children are someday going to want to know about the country they came from.  It is part of our duty to remember and help Ethiopia.  The love of God just radiates from this woman and it was truly an honor to get to spend this evening with her!

She loves these kids.  I mean, she really truly loves these kids and I love her because of the way she loved my son!  She worked so hard to get everything in order when we were struggling to pass court.  She even demanded of the judge at one point that we would be granted an earlier court date.  The judge wanted to schedule us out a whole month and she said "no, we will have this document by tomorrow.  Schedule a sooner date." And so the judge listened and we passed court and were able to get our son home.  There is no better feeling than knowing your son was getting the best possible care in that time before he came home!

Tonight was amazing!  God bless Almaz for the work she does!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

2 1/2 Years Old!

2 1/2 years ago today precious little Mr Malachi entered this world!  Look at that handsome little guy!  So blessed to get to be his Mama!  

Today was "blue" day with our school time so we made blueberry muffins and he was so proud of himself.  One of my favorite parts of him growing older is getting to bake with him a couple times a week! 

Malachi continues to amaze me more everyday with all the things he is learning.  He has known his ABC's and Numbers since before he was 2, but now he is an expert at his colors and shapes and even a few sight words.  This past week we worked on which one is bigger and smaller and patterns and he figured those out really fast!  He loves to learn!

Another very fun part of him growing older is the increase in his vocabulary.  He makes me laugh all the time with the things he says!  He is becoming more polite (and sometimes more defiant) and it is really nice that I can sit down with him and talk with him and he actually understands most of what I am saying.  He is also my little echo and repeats everything I say - for better or worse!

Another huge feat we have conquered is potty training!  It is so nice to have one kid using the potty!  Way to go Malachi - Mommy is super proud about this one! 

Malachi remains quite the little firecracker!  He's loud, he moves 100mph, he can be extremely stubborn, but best of all he loves to live life and doesn't want to waste a moment of it!  I have said it all along and I still believe it - this kid is going to do some amazing things with his life, I just know it!

Oh Malachi, you have taught me so much these last couple years.  I love you so much and I feel incredibly honored that God chose me to get to be your mother.  You have lit up my life so much, just by being you!  You made all of my dreams come true!  Happy half birthday sweet boy!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Special Moment's

Sometimes, being a mom is hard - really hard!  But most of the time, it is definitely the best job in the world! Here are just a few reasons that I jotted down during my day:

1) The way my boys sing along with the opening song of Lion King.
2) I cannot move without one of my little boys jumping up next to me on the couch or gripping my legs and saying "awww, mama" and giving me a big hug!
3) Malachi being my biggest cheerleader.  He is always full of encouraging words "wow, good job mom" "high five Mom" "that looks yummy mama"
4) The love they show to their baby sister
5) How Sabrina adores Malachi!
6) Sabrina's smile when I walk in her room to get her from her naps.
7) The way she looks when I have rocked her to sleep.
8) Listening from the other room to the boys talk with each other and play!
9) Hearing Malachi tell me about how he was born in Jimma!
10) The way Sabrina sucks on her fist.
11) How the boys run to the couch when I bring in a stack of books to read.  Mal will shout "read books?!" and Eli will pat the couch at my spot between them.  Eli always sits on my right and Malachi always sits to my left.
12) The way Eli says "thanks"
13) The fact that they didn't want mama to leave their room at bedtime, so there I sat in the dark with my right hand in Eli's hand and my left hand in Malachi's, singing "Jesus Loves Me" together!

I do say, I have some pretty darn sweet children!  I have been very, very blessed!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fruit Loop!

Every fall we look forward to doing the "Fruit Loop".  Last year, we missed out because I was in the trenches of morning sickness and didn't think I could endure a 2 hour car ride, but we were back on track with it this year and Elias and Sabrina got to visit the Fruit Loop for the very first time!  

                                          Malachi wasn't too sure about the corn maze!

                         And Eli was in heaven, thinking that there were pumpkin balls everywhere!

Now, this just cracks me up.  This is a picture of Malachi on his first trip on the pumpkin patch about a month after we brought him home.  He was 5 months old and SUCH a lil butterball :)  I just wish I could still squeeze that chunky little baby boy :)

                                              And now he is such a handsome little boy! 2 years has gone way too fast!

                                                     And then Sabrina was DONE!

We bought a lot of apples on the fruit loop and got ourselves busy making lots of applesauce for the kids to enjoy through the winter.  The boys even helped!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Peter's Happening's!

Peter has always had a liking to tattoo's.  We've always enjoyed watching the shows on netfliz relating to tattoo's.  Hearing the stories behind them and watching the artist's use skin as a canvas!  Truly, it is incredible to watch them work!  If they mess up, it can be big trouble!

Ever since Malachi came home, Peter has been trying to come up with the perfect tattoo to embrace Malachi's Ethiopian heritage!  He threw around a lot of different idea's and even after figuring out the perfect idea, he spent months trying to design it just the way he wanted!  Then it was time to save all of his pennies, so he could splurge on actually getting the tattoo!  I mean it, any gift money he has received has gone into saving for this tattoo! 

This week he was finally able to get his idea put on his skin!  I know there are lots of differing opinions about tattoos.  Some people love them, some people hate them, and some people just don't care either way.  I think it turned out amazing and Peter loves it!  

To ezplain a bit of the background of this tattoo, lion's are a huge symbol of pride in Ethiopia.  Several times while we were there, we heard stories of how Ethiopia is the lion of Africa.  They are the one nation who has never been overtaken by a foreign country and they feel like they are the leader's of the country.  Now I can also tell you, that anyone who probably has an Ethiopian child can vouch about their alpha personality - it is just who they are and I am proud of that in my son - he is a survivor!  As you drive around Addis Ababa there are also several Lion statue's in the city.  Along with the Lion of Judah, Peter also put Malachi's Ethiopian name under the Lion - Segni Jimma!  

This is Peter's favorite Lion of Judah statue in Ethiopia:

And this is how it turned out on his arm - pretty awesome!

We also continue our journey with running.  I've scaled back a bit, but will push harder in the weeks to come!  Peter is full steam ahead!  He really is an amazing runner! He has a life goal of running a marathon, although I can see him becoming an addict and know that one is probably just the tip of the iceberg.  But he is on his way now!  His first "goal" is to run the Disneyland Half Marathon next September.  I'm good with just sticking to 5K's, although depending on how I am doing I MIGHT (big MIGHT) run an 8K in March.

Peter's plan is to run about 3 training races in the meantime.  His next race up, being a 5K on Thanksgiving Day!  He's all signed up and I know he will do a great job!  I'll be sitting this one out and probably be cheering him on from the sidelines with my raincoat on ;)