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8 posts from July 2006

July 31, 2006

Happy Birthday, Madeline!

Bday_cake_2nd1

Madeline is 2 years old today.   We wish we could be with her to celebrate but that will have to wait just a little bit longer.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

July 28, 2006

Chicken Tikka Masala

Tikka_masala_crop I never ate Indian food until I started dating my husband back in 2000.  It was weird but it was a weirdness that really grew on me.  I love it now.

Gwen loves it too.  Even the spicy stuff!  She's like a little birdie with her mouth wide open chirping for the next spoonful.  Okay, you might notice that Daddy is feeding her this with chopsticks.  It's just another quirky reason I love him!

Look at this happy girl!  She'd just had her bath and I put her hair in pigtails and she found Daddy's tshirt and pulled it on.  Then she mooched Daddy's dinner off of him! (as always, click on the picture to view a larger version)

July 28th

This date seems to be all about my babies. 

July 28th 2003: A joyful day! I was 5 weeks and 4 days pregnant (but didn't know it yet).  It was our first pregnancy together.  We were heading to Las Vegas with Michael and two of his friends for a fun family vacation.  On the last day of our trip, I took a pregnancy test and about fainted when the 2nd pink line appeared.  It was our 8th (and final) IUI and we were shocked that it finally worked but thrilled!  But the excitement wouldn't last as long as the eventual grief.  If we'd known, we would have tried to brace for it.   .

July 28th 2004: A joyful day!  I was 6 weeks and 4 days pregnant with our 3rd pregnancy.  It was our 2nd (and final) IVF.  I braced for another "bad" ultrasound but this is the date that we finally saw our baby for the first time -- heart beating!  five weeks later, there was no heartbeat.  But our grief was nothing compared to that of Gwen's birth family on this very same day in China.... .

China_982005_071smaller July 28th 2004:  This is the date that Gwen's birth mother kissed her for the last time.  She was born a month earlier and they kept her until she was strong enough to be left alone for a few hours.  She was left at this beautiful location on July 28th, 2004.  We were celebrating our baby's heartbeat while Gwen's first family was grieving the incredible loss of a child they held in their arms for more than a month.  Our eventual loss pales compared to theirs and we're so grateful for their sacrifice.

Birthmom1 July 28th 2004:  Madeline's mother would be very anxious this day.  She'll give birth in just three days and leave her tiny newborn with a note at the gate of a local school.  .
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001 July 28th 2005:  The most joyful day! This is the date we got Gwen's referral! Yes, on the anniversary of the date she left her first family, our lives were joined forever.

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Bw20060704_sprinkler_091_sm_1 July 28th 2006:  This is the date we kissed our daughter, home 10 months, and whispered to her about all of the sacrifices of the many people who loved her.  She didn't seem to notice but someday she will.    I think about Gwen's birth mom today because, even though it's a happy anniversary for us, it's a very sad one for her.  How hard it must be to not know where her precious little one ended up.  I wish there was som way to reassure her that she's with us and very much loved.
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July 28th 2006:  This is day 65 of our wait for TA for Madeline.  She's in foster care in Guangzhou and doesn't understand the significance this day (this week?) holds for us.  She'll be age 2 on Sunday!  We hope to have her in our arms in less than a month.  If she knew this, she'd be terrified even though we're ecstatic!

July 28th is an amazing date.

July 26, 2006

Leaving home

Michael_school_years_cropped

This time last year, we were waiting on pins and needles for our referral.  We were a family of three with a son about to start his final year of high school. 

Fast forward to today and we're a family of four with a fifth on the way!  Our HS Senior is now a HS Graduate and will be leaving home in just a few weeks.

I created this collage of his school pictures just to help convince myself that he really didn't change into a man overnight.  Although I know I had good warning that he was growing up, I'm teary eyed typing this anyway.

If you have kids already, you know what I'm talking about.  If you're waiting for your first child, my advice is to be sure to treasure every single stage and don't be too impatient for them to be able to sleep alone, walk, talk, feed and bathe without help, ride a bike, stay home alone after school, etc.   Before you know it, you'll be looking into the face of your child and realize that they're an adult. 

So, one down, two to go.  Here's a picture of our next two!

Gwen_and_maddy_cropped_sm

July 11, 2006

How to keep a toddler in her crib

Crib_tent_room Answer:  Crib Tent!

Gwen wasn't in her crib when we went into her bedroom yesterday morning to wake her up.  Instead, she was on her twin bed with all of her stuffed animals.  She flashed me a giant smile after my eyes darted frantically around the room and finally landed on her.

This isn't the first time she did this.  Back in September, she climbed out so we removed the mattress support thingy and lowered the mattress all the way to the floor.  That bought us an extra 7 inches of height and nine months of escape free nights!  But now she's figured out how to scale the rails with her little monkey feet and throw a leg over!

We want to keep her in her crib and not transition her to her twin size bed for at least a year.  Some of you might think that's unreasonable but if it keeps her in her room and out of our bed, it's a GOOD thing!  Frankly, I'm okay with keeping both girls in their cribs until they're 5!  Gwen sleeps really well in her crib and she's encouraged to go back to sleep if she wakes up since she can't wander around and amuse herself. 

We considered several options but drew the line at installing a plywood "door" over the top of the crib. We were relieved to find the crib tent.  So off we scooted to BabiesRus and grab it!  We weren't sure it would work on our bizarro crib but with a bit of creative thinking, 5 feet of PVC pipe, and an extra yard or two of Velcro, it's a done deal!

She loves it.  We love it.  Ahhhh.... life is good!

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