Monday, July 30, 2012

8 Months Old!

I can't believe that our sweet boy is 8 months old today (and that we've been home for a month and a half!)! 

Hayes is growing and changing so much.  We're loving each and every minute! 

Here's a few things he loves:
-Eating. Fruits, veggies, it doesn't matter.  I hope he continues to be a good eater!
-Bathtime.  He loves to splash around like crazy.
-Babbling non-stop.  This usually includes blowing spit bubbles for at least 30 minutes straight!
-Grabbing  his feet.  All the time!
-His name!  He started recognizing his name this month.  I was excited about this one!
-Sitting in the tripod stance. I bet he'll be sitting on his own by next month!
-Sleep.  The boy usually sleeps 12 hours a night and naps twice a day for 2-3 hours each time.
-Reading.  This makes my teacher heart happy!  We usually read twice a day for about 10-20 minutes each time.

-Staring at the lights from our computer modem (don't act like you wouldn't let your kid lay on the carpet for 20 minutes staring at them!)

-Playing on the iPad.  I've downloaded a couple of apps for him and he LOVES them! 

-Playing ball.  We could have a future soccer player on our hands!  Daddy's hoping!

-Pool time.  We took him to the pool for the first time last week and he loved the water.  Sadly the only picture we have is of Hayes with his "Uncle" Paul. 

-Toys. He shows more of an interest in playing with toys now.  Although his hands and feet are still his favorite toy!

-His Johnny Jump Up.  I put him in there twice a day and he'll last about 10 minutes each time.   He's really getting a leg workout in!

-Trying to hold himself up (He may or may not have fallen right after this picture.  But I had to document it,  right?)

Happy 8 months, my sweet boy!  Your Daddy and I love you very much and thank God every day He blessed us as your parents!

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Weekend Fun

This post is a little delayed, but we had so much fun last weekend, I just had to share!

Friday started off with some VERY exciting stuff!  Our good friend Paul Sikes performed on the Today Show!  Paul is an amazingly talented songwriter here in Nashville.  Hoda had seen him perform at at a writer's round at the legendary Bluebird Cafe here in  Nashville and LOVED him! So she had him come to New York and perform on the Today Show (the fourth hour with Kathie Lee and Hoda).   If you didn't get a chance to see his performance of "My Epitaph" check it out here!  If you like what you hear, head to iTunes and search for "Paul Sikes."  His album is called "Craft: By Paul Sikes."

{source: Jon Stinson on Instagram}

{source: Jon Stinson on Instagram}

{source: Jon Stinson on Instagram}

{source: Jon Stinson on Instagram}

Congratulations Paul!  We're so excited for you!

Saturday night I got to catch up with my friend Amie that I used to teach with and her husband Noah and adorable son Davie.  Noah, Hayes loves you!  He must have been mesmerized by your 2 different colored eyes!  Thanks for coming to see us guys!
(Sorry for the blurry iPhone pic.  And not sure why the hubby was taking it and not in it!)

Sunday night we had dinner with the my sister-in-law and her husband and our 2 adorable nephews.  Knox was cracking me up!  He is one cool dude in his shades.  He told me "take my picture!"


Being silly wearing Hayes's bib!

And what could be more fun than 3 cousins in a cardboard box?  Silly boys!  I see many more adventures in their future!

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Thursday, July 12, 2012


I promised an update on how our little man has been doing, so hear we go!

It has been so exciting experiencing many "firsts" with Hayes...

  • First time to meet friends and family.
Hayes with his 2 cousins, Jack and Knox.  He loves them.  They love him.  I love this picture!

What is he 7 months going on 6?!  He looks as grown up as cousin Jack!

  • First car ride in a carseat (no carseats on our rides in Ethiopia!).

  • First pair of sunglasses!

  • First time to sleep in his crib (which he did on his first night home, but it's still a first!).

  • This was his first nap in his crib.
    • First time laughing (he laughed in Ethiopia with us, but it was more of a "coo."  This is a full-blown belly laugh!)

    • First Father's Day.

    • First time to rock him to sleep.

    • First time to roll over.

    • First teeth (TWO!).

    • First song to dance to (Prince's "Kiss"-that was for you Jenny!)

    • First time to eat "real" food (rice cereal).

    • First family outing (just to my parents' house, but an outing nonetheless!).

    • First trip to the doctor.

    • First time to sit in a seat.

    • First outing with mama by herelf (to Target, where else?!).

    • First holiday: The 4th of July (one of my favorites!).

    • First dinner ruined (he cried the whole time out to eat for my mom's birthday.  We spent most of the meal outside!).

    • First Sunday to go to church.

    • First time to visit Daddy's work.

    Hayes is just over 7 months old and is doing very well.  We have been home a month on Friday.  I can't believe it! He got a good report from the doctor and has been adjusting wonderfully.  We coccooned (for the non-adoption world, that means to stay home for awhile) for about 2 weeks before we started venturing out.  We also didn't let anyone else hold him during this time, but we had many visitors at our house.  The hubby and I are still the only ones that hold him when we're in a large group or crowd and the only ones to feed him, change him, and put him to sleep.   I think that this has helped him to know that we're his parents.  When we're in a group he'll make eye contact with me or smile at me.  When I go to get him out of his crib in the morning he greets me with a huge smile and starts wiggling like crazy!

    As far as sleep goes, we have been so lucky.  Hayes usually sleeps 12 hours a night (I know, don't hate me.  I said we're lucky!).  He usually wakes up once early in the morning.  We'll feed him and he'll go right back to sleep until about 8:30-9:00.  2 days ago he actually slept until almost 10! Crazy, right?!  He usually takes 2 long naps and 2-3 mini naps.  He's not usually awake for more than 2-3 hours at a time.  I'm not sure if it's because he's not used to stimulation or if the kid just likes to sleep!

    We are so happy to be experiencing so many "firsts" (both good and bad!) with our sweet boy.  We are so thankful that God chose us to be his parents.  We are treasuring this time together!

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    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    We're HOME!!!

    Sorry that this post is WAY delayed, but we've been HOME enjoying spending time with our SON!

    Let me fill you in on a little of what's been happening here...
    On Saturday, June 9th we flew to Washington D.C.  We stayed the night there and left the next morning for Ethiopia.  We arrived in Ethiopia on Monday, June 11th around 7:30.  Our Embassy appointment was on Tuesday, June 12th.  We arrived home in Nashville with our son on Friday, June 15th.  So, it was definitely a quick trip, but we were so blessed to spend a few more days in our son's birth country. 

    We had a wonderful trip, but were definitely excited to get home so he could meet all of his friends and family.  But it was definitely an emotional ride to the airport.  I cried as we drove through the streets of Addis Ababa on the way to the airport. I made sure Hayes could see out the window (not that he will remember that ride like I will).  We definitely want to bring him back one day when he's old enough to remember it. 

    Hayes did WONDERFUL on the flight.  We were fortunate (thanks to our amazing travel agent Erica Shubin!) that I had a seat on the Bulk head (with more leg room-the hubby was a couple of rows back).  We also had a bassinet that the flight attendants anchored to the wall after take off.    It was about 16 hours from Addis to D.C. (with a short stop in Rome to refuel)   He slept almost the entire time! After an 8 hour layover in D.C. (NOT fun!) we were so excited to board our flight home to Nashville. 

    I can not even begin to explain the rush of emotions that I felt as we walked through the area where our friends and family were gathered.  I immediately started bawling at the sight of so many who had supported us throughout this journey. 

    I'll post more pictures of our aiport homecoming when we get them, but for now, here's a few of our favorite photos from our trip!

     First picture of us reunited (Rebecca, just for you I'm singing "reunited and it feels so good" as I look at these!)

    Hayes with his sweet nanny.  It broke my heart to see how she cried when we left.

    First picture again with Daddy!

    View from our guest house.

    We took many a stroller ride up and down the hallway of our guest house!

    Happy boy after bath time!

    Family picture: take 1.

    Family picture: take 2.

    Snuggle time!

    Nap time with Daddy!

    Ethiopian sunrise.

    One happy boy!

    So glad we got to visit with friends from our first trip!

     Looking at videos with Daddy!

    Ready to board the plane!

    The bassinet on the plane was a lifesaver!

    Nap time during our 8 hour layover in D.C.

    All smiles with Daddy!

    The hubby wanted a picture of us under the Ethiopian flag at the Dulles airport, so I happily  grudgingly agreed!

    Hayes is happy to be on U.S. soil!

    We have been so overwhelmed by the amount of support we've received throughout our journey.  I'll post more soon on how Hayes is doing now that he's home, but I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for your support along the way.  We appreciate it so much! 

    Happy Tuesday everyone!
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