My little rubberband.
Annie doing what she does best - emptying a drawer.
Today I am thankful that I mailed out my Christmas cards!!! Yippppppeeee. This means, I expect to start receiving them in the mail asap. My friend Kate gets first place because I got hers today! It is super cute. I had to completely redo my address list because it was on a really old computer and I can't get it off. I know I am missing addresses for some bloggy friends, so if we normally exchange cards, email me!! I really can't even begin to explain how much I love Christmas cards. The mail in December is just the best!!
So, after today I officially only have one more month of daily posting. CRAZY! In order to make December a little more fun and not so boring for me, I wanted to let you guys ask me any questions that you might have that I have not addressed. I am terrible about answering questions in the comments because I simply forget about them. I have done this before and it is fun, but it will make writing my final posts of the year a little more fun for me. So, ask away. I will obviously not be answering any questions that I don't feel comfortable with the whole world knowing the answer to. I will try and step up my pictures a bit and not just do jammy pictures right before bed!! :)
I found out today that Justin and I get to go to Vegas for 2 nights next week!! I am sooooooooo excited because I absolutely love Vegas. I am very lucky at the casinos!! June is coming to take care of the girls and we are so thankful that she could do it. This will be Justin and I's Christmas to one another. I really can't wait.
Annie was in a funk all day today. She had a rough night last night so hopefully she will have a good night and better day tomorrow. She wore me out today.
Monday, November 30, 2009
My little rubberband.
Posted by Kelly at 6:07 PM
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Today I am thankful for some one on one time with Lucy. I have been asking her if she wanted to go with me to get our nails done forever. For whatever reason, she did not like this idea at all and always said no. However, when I asked her yesterday, she said she wanted to after she asked me if it was scary there and I assured her it wasn't. Funny girl. So off we went. She sat in my lap perfectly still. I am serious, she didn't move an inch while she got her fingers and toes painted. All of the girls that worked there couldn't believe how awesome she did. I knew she would be like that because she is still very shy in unfamiliar situations. She sticks right with me and she knows from me painting her nails that she has to stay really still. She chose her own color and I love that it ended up being named "Oh Santa!" The girl painted a flower on her big toes and thumb nails. All of the ladies were talking to her in Vietnamese and asking me lots of questions about her. Of course they thought she was a beauty!! We had a lot o fun and I look forward to more trips like this with both girls as they get bigger.
We went to church this morning. We have been terrible about going to church because Annie flips out in the nursery. Our church has a service that we could take her to, but I can't concentrate or pay attention at all trying to keep her occupied and quiet. I like to pay attention and listen, so we have just not been going. Bad, I know. I am going to have to just work Annie up to being able to stay there for an hour. She made it about 20 minutes today before they paged me. She and I watched the rest of the service on the big screen tv. She had gotten quite upset, so she kept her head on my shoulder until the very end of the sermon. Then she was all smiles again and waving at every person that walked by.
It is actually getting cold here tonight and we have a fire going. Love that!! Hope everyone has an awesome week.
Posted by Kelly at 6:27 PM
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Today I am thankful for the way that Annie "sings" along with me when I sing any song to her. She doesn't have very many words yet, but she just sings away whenever I am singing to her and it really is the cutest thing ever. It is one of those things that I wish she would never stop doing.
We ate dinner with our friends Katy, David, and their daughter Ava tonight and I left my camera over there!! Oops. I will have to post pictures tomorrow. I did at least take some. The girls had the best time with Ava. They played dress up, baby dolls, and just ran wild. So cute.
I am off to watch the rest of the Razorback game. Go Hogs!! Annie had pig tails in her hair for the pig game!! Woooooo pig sooooieeeee!
Posted by Kelly at 6:26 PM
Friday, November 27, 2009
Today I am thankful for my Christmas decorations because they make me happy. I LOVE having the trees up and I will work on getting pictures sometime this upcoming week. I just love, love, love this time of year. Less than a month until Christmas. That is just crazy!!
Justin and I are going to see Blindside tonight and I am so excited about that. I almost never want to go to the movie theater, but I am excited to see this one.
Did any of you do major Black Friday shopping? I just don't quite understand the craze and I certainly don't have the patience to fight those crowds. Just not interested but for some reason this year I was at least interested in the sales. There are some awesome ones out there, but again, I am not convinced it is worth the effort.
Posted by Kelly at 5:19 PM
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Today I thankful for so many things. For my family that God has blessed me with, for my church and the chance to know Jesus Christ, for getting to be with family today, for all of the wonderful friends and the support that I get from them, for my business, for my home, for the girls' birth mothers, for Vietnam, for the delicious meal that we had. And the list goes on and on and on. I have so much to be thankful for. My life is so full. I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you all have had the chance to count your blessings today. Happy, happy Thanksgiving!
It has been a long day. We do a noon lunch because it is a tradition to go to the Cowboys game. Ever since we have had kids, two people always stay home with Lucy, Annie, Austen, and Jaksen. I always volunteer because while I enjoy the Cowboys, I don't have the extreme love for them that Justin and his family have. So, June and I stayed with the kids. They were great, but 4 kids 3 and under is tiring!! June and I need a stiff drink!!
Today is always going to have extra special meaning for us because we arrived home from our extremely crazy trip to Vietnam for Annie at 9:30 am Thanksgiving morning last year. I seriously cannot even begin to describe how relieved I was to be back at home and have some reinforcements to help us for a while. The relief that came from knowing we were so close to our doctor and getting Annie the attention that she needed was the best feeling. The plane ride home, not so fun, but it could have been much worse. Jen took these amazing pictures for us that I will always treasure. It really means a lot to us that she came and met us on Thanksgiving and did this for us. Thanks again Jen!
One of my favorite pictures of all time. She was screaming bloody murder, just like she had been for the previous 1.5 weeks.
Jen is a genius. I had walked off to try and calm her down and Welcome Home was in the background. So cool.
I didn't care how much effort it took, I got them both dressed in darling dresses to meet everyone!
Posted by Kelly at 5:34 PM
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Today I am thankful for family being in town. Cayce, Adam, Austen, and Jaksen got here this evening and Andy and June are on their way. Poor things have been stuck in traffic for so long. I knew it would be bad with the holiday week and hopefully they will be here soon. I got most of the cooking done today and I am so happy about that. Now I can just focus on enjoying family and EATING tomorrow!!
I am off to have a domino match. Cayce and I are going to kick the boys butts!!
Posted by Kelly at 6:50 PM
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Today I am thankful for being half way done with Christmas decorations and for having my Thanksgiving grocery shopping done. I am completely worn out and can't bring myself to do any more even though the babies are in bed and I could actually get some stuff done quickly now. My throat is hurting and I just want to rest so that I don't get sick.
Keeping Annie out of the Christmas trees is going to be a full time job. It makes me a little nervous. I am sure that just about the time she is ready to leave them alone it will be time to take them down.
I am off to lay on the couch and do nothing for a while. Night, night.
Posted by Kelly at 5:19 PM
Monday, November 23, 2009
It has been FOREVER since I have participated over at I Heart Faces. I have not had the time to devote to anything other than keeping up with my own photos and staying afloat during holiday photo season. But I couldn't resist this week since I am pretty much caught up. I LOVE, and I do mean LOVE, sun flare. It is beautiful and it challenges you. Once you learn how to capture it, it is hard to stop. This is one of my favorite pictures of all time, and to make me even happier, his mom said it was her favorite picture of him ever!! Head on over to I ♥ Faces to see more beautiful sun flare images.
Posted by Kelly at 8:14 PM
They are really, really starting to have fun together!! Yay!
Today I am thankful for not hitting any traffic or delays on our drive home. The drive is long enough without any delays, but it seems like we often hit some sort of problem. Not today though and the girls did really, really well. It was nice to be home just because I know I have so much to do tomorrow and Wednesday. I am going to have to make use of just about every minute of the day. I seriously can't wait for family to get here and celebrate!! Again, I love Thanksgiving!
I am off to work on ordering. Lots to do so that I stay caught up!!
Posted by Kelly at 7:24 PM
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Today I am thankful for getting to do a bunch of shopping with my mom and sister, Katy, because we always have a lot of fun. We did miss Holly and Amy though!! Justin was home with the girls while they napped and we just ran around getting lots of stuff done. It is amazing how much can get accomplished without my 2 little helpers tagging along!!
We head home in the morning. I have so much that needs to get done before Justin's family comes in for Thanksgiving. I seriously LOVE Thanksgiving and all of the food that it involves, so I need to get ready for it!! And the house could use some love and I want the Christmas decorations up immediately!!
Posted by Kelly at 5:44 PM
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Today I am thankful for how much fun the girls have every night after dinner. They chased one another all over the house just laughing and smiling the whole time. Then they rolled around wrestling on the floor together. So sweet and cute to watch!
I am trying to decide if I have the energy to do anything tonight. I am such an old lady these days!
Posted by Kelly at 6:01 PM
Friday, November 20, 2009
Lucy is IN LOVE with snow globes, and Lee Lee had a special one just for her when we got here.
It doesn't take us long to take over Papa and Lee Lee's house.
Today I am thankful for a really fun weekend ahead of me. Since I got completely caught up with work yesterday, the girls and I headed to Little Rock because there is a lot going on here this weekend. Tonight is my dear friends, Adam and Stacey's 30th birthday celebration. Tomorrow there is a Razorback game here and Justin is working here, so he will be here as well. I am very excited about it all and mostly excited that I have ZERO work hanging over my head, which feels awesome.
I hope everyone has a super, duper weekend. I plan to.
Posted by Kelly at 4:18 PM
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Today I am thankful for the times that I ask Lucy to do something and she doesn't say, "I don't want to do that." And for the times when she asks me if she can do something and I tell her no and she just says, "Okay." We have had some issues with these things as she is getting into her 3s. She LOVES to disagree with lots and lots that I have to say. And she really likes to keep asking if she can do something over and over and over again if we give her an answer she doesn't like. Even with this going on, Lucy is such an easy kid. She can be frustrating to deal with, but she really is such a good girl. And she is getting better with the back talk. I am sure that it is hard for her to understand just why she can't watch tv all day long or eat cookies/candy for breakfast.
I got so much done today. 3 sessions edited so I am down to only one more to go before I am all caught up. This is good because it is about to be crazy ordering time, which is also very time consuming. At least that part is fun because I get to see all of the printed images as they get delivered.
That is it for me tonight. It has been a long day.
Posted by Kelly at 5:18 PM
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Both girls are obsessed with iPhone games
Today I am thankful for today being the day of Annie's Giving and Receiving Ceremony. For those of you unfamiliar with the Vietnam adoption process, this is the day that the child is "given" to you in the eyes of the Vietnamese government. This is the day that she was with us from then on.
I can remember the day very clearly. We were still a little off on our time change and I didn't really sleep at all the night before. I actually blogged at 4 am Vietnam time and Lucy was up by 4:30. We had to meet in the hotel lobby at 6 am, so it was fine that we were all up so early. We drove from the hotel to the Hoi An orphanage where we picked up the orphanage director and a baby and young girl that were being adopted by travel mates of ours. There were 3 of us with babies from Que Son and we had to wait out the 1.5 hour drive because our babies would meet up in Tam Ky at the G&R. It was yucky weather. A bad storm had blown in that stayed the rest of the time we were in Danang. I had of course left a short sleeve onesie and dress for Annie to wear when we visited the orphanage. I knew that the nannies would not like this and just as I had hoped, they sent her in a sweater and socks so that she would have some keepsakes like Lucy did from the orphanage.
Lucy did not have her best morning that day. She was very tired and just acting like a 2 year old. She was fussing and crying during most of the G&R so I was out in the hall with her until it was our turn, at which point she did settle down. Thank goodness. She was wild again after our turn, so I really wasn't in the G&R room very much. Both girls napped on the ride home. We pretty quickly gave Annie a bath because she was so stinky from spit up.
Honestly, at this point, we thought that Annie was going to be a breeze. She didn't fuss at all. She napped well. She was happy during bath and she ate well. The first night she only woke up one time and Justin put her on his chest and she slept there the rest of the night peacefully. I remember going to breakfast the next morning feeling great. I bragged on how awesome she did all day and night. Oh me oh my, we were in for a BIG surprise in the next couple of days when all hell broke loose.
For everyone that read Annie's travel blog, I just want to take a moment and thank all of you that took time to leave me the most awesome comments while we traveled. I am not kidding when I say that they got me through that trip when things went south. I would sit at the computer every night and read them and just cry my eyes out over all that was happening and all of the love and support that I got from people reading the blog. So honestly, thank you so much.
Developmentally, Annie is still playing catch up in some areas. She still struggles with her hands and she has very little arm strength. She spends a lot of therapy working on things like pulling toys apart because she really can't do things like this. Her arms have always been so weak, and the fact that she basically skipped crawling didn't help this at all. We tried so hardly to make her crawl, but she just wouldn't really do it. She is a great walker though and her legs seemed to catch right up once we got her the therapy she needs. She is still in OT. Her mouth is still has extremely low tone. You guys obviously see that she is wearing a bib all of the time. She drools like no one you have ever seen. It is like she is just unaware of her mouth all together a lot of the time. We do different things with her mouth to work on her becoming more aware, and they are helping, but very, very slowly. I will not miss the drool at all one day. It is just so much and she is constantly wet!!
I have been sharing a lot lately about Annie and her story. Sometimes I fear that I am way oversharing, but I just want adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents to know what it can be like. It is certainly not all roses. We are so fortunate that Annie became so accepting and loving of us so quickly. Given her circumstances, we could have had a much more difficult road than we did. And it was not easy. But I will say it over and over again, it was all worth it and I would have gone through much, much worse if it had meant that we got to be a part of Annie's family. She was, and still is, worth every tear, every sleepless night, every frustration, and every worry that we all went through together.
Is she completely over everything? I definitely don't think so. One day soon I will write extensively about how I view her attachment and the work that we still have to do and are currently doing. Her past still rears its ugly head every once in a while and you can just see it in her eyes and hear it in her scream that the scars are still there. But she is awesome. And she has made so much more progress quicker than any of could have ever imagined. And I am sitting here with huge tears in my eyes thinking of all that she has overcome in her 19 months of life and just how she has done it. By giggling, loving, and smiling the biggest smile of all time with her whole little body and soul. She is such an inspiration to me and I hope that by sharing her story, she will let other people be inspired. She is a determined little girl.
Look at her skin. All of those scars are completely gone and she has the softest, most gorgeous skin you could ever imagine.
She couldn't resist giving us a few of these. We knew she was going to be so smiley, and we were right.
Posted by Kelly at 5:39 PM