Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
The picture below is the end result of four Christmas Day stops plus our nuclear family celebration. Payton got some serious loot, including a quilt originnally made by Paytons Great-Great-Grandma and recently touched up to be passed on to him. Pretty cool.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Today was my first day back at work. I asked Wes take Payton to the sitters because I was having such a hard time motivating myself. I sniffled back tears each time one of my colleagues asked me how it was to be back at work. Many of them understood, being working moms themselves. Any how, the kids greeted me with a warm welcome and offered such kind remarks. Honestly, a first day back teaching freshmen couldn't have gone much more smoothly than it did. However, my teaching voice is completely gone. These three months are the longest I have gone without teaching in a long timeand I think my voice was just not prepared to hold up for the long day. I hope to have a little voice left for tomorrows classes... we'll see. Or I might have to type everything on the computer and project it on the screen.
On another note, I wanted to add a couple more things to Payton's 3 month list (so I will remember to put these in his baby book later):
Payton really enjoys looking at himself in mirrors and grasping my necklace. He also has turned into a champion pouter, sticking his bottom lip out before crying. Lastly, I can no longer put him in his sling. He has graduated to the baby Bjorn carrier. I probably will use the sling again when he can sit upright on my hip.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Beware: Long Post Ahead
Payton's Stats (note: I measured these, so I am not sure just how accurate they are...) It appears that Payton is starting to catchup to his full-term peers. Keep on growing little man!
Weight: 12.5 (5 th percentile) (Note: this is more than twice his birth weight!)Height: 23 inches (25th percentile)
Head Circumference: 16.25 inches (50th percentile)
Payton's latest tricks:
1. Thumb sucking. Payton sucked his thumb when he was first born and then forgot about it. The thumb has returned. He will actually push his bottle out of the way to get to the thumb. Not sure that this is a good thing...
2. Hands! Payton holds his hands in front of his face for a long time and stares at them like they are the greatest toys on earth. He also finds them to be great chew toys. Yum. (Now I have to be a little more careful of who touches his hands and make sure I carry hand sanitizer wherever I go.)
3. Smiles. All morning long. They warm my heart and are the. greatest. gift. ever.
4. Raffi. Yup. What does Payton prefer to fall asleep to... no,not soothing nature sounds, but Raffi . Raffi. Ya know... the 80s singer of Baby Beluga, Oats and Beans and Barley, All I Really Need, and many, many more lovely songs that I now know all of the words to as they play over the monitor in my bedroom while lulling Payton to sleep in his bedroom.
5. Whimper, Whimper....Grin! Payton has discovered that if he cries, it will get my attention.
6. Rubbing his eyes. I read somewhere that babies sometimes scratch just because they can. I think that is what Payton is doing. He will rub and rub his face and eyes. It seems so rough. I cut his fingernails, but he is still scratching himself. Any suggestions?
7. Bubbles. He creates spit bubbles. He has also started making a clicking sound. Kinda strange.
8. Stand and Bounce. Payton can bear all of his weight on his legs and loves to bounce up and down while I hold his hands. At this rate, I think this kid will walk before he crawls. I think I am going to buy him a johnny jump up soon!
9. HATES TUMMY TIME. After 1 minute and 30 seconds, he screams. He does lift his head up to 45 degrees and can push up onto his forearms, but he can't lift his head 90 degrees or push up onto his hands. I need for him to spend more time on his tummy, but he just hates it so much!
10. LOVES BATH TIME. I use it to calm him down whenever he gets over tired and can't quite fall asleep. It does the trick every time.
11. Working on a laugh. He opens his mouth and squeaks, but it is not quite a laugh just yet.
12. Cooo. Cooo. He talks up a storm when he thinks we are to quiet. He has learned to engage us in conversation.
13. Squeal. Payton just discovered his squeal this past week. Usually after Wes gets home and Payton is extra happy, he squeals a couple times. I love it. I expect I will hear more of this as he becomes more practiced at squealing. (kinda like smiling...it takes practice.)
14. Swaddling. We are still swaddling Payton at nite in his snug and tug swaddler. Moms, how long did you swaddle your babies? He sleeps so well with the swaddling that I hate to stop.
15. Sleeping thru the nite! YAY! Payton takes his last bottle at 1130 pm and sleeps until 630am. Not perfect, but a huge improvement! He has done this consistently for the past two weeks. After his last pm bottle, I change him, swaddle him, give him a wubbanub, turn on Raffi and his soothing aquarium lights and he peacefully drifts to sleep, even if he is awake when I put him down. What a blessing!
A. Cloth diapers. I have started using cloth most days we are home. I ordered two types, BumG*nius All-in-One organic and BumG*nius 3.0. I prefer the 3.0 because they offer better leak protection. I just found out that a diaper service will actually come out to our house. When I return to work I may start using the service if diaper washing proves to be too time consuming. Those of you that cloth diaper, how many diapers do you have and how often do you wash?
B. Letter from Payton's birth mom: We received a letter from Payton's birth mom. It was very emotional and she sent some mixed signals about her feelings regarding the adoption. I am not going to go into too many details to protect her and Payton, but I did send her a Christmas gift (a photo book of Payton). Other dom adoptive parents, did you guys do anything for your child's birth parents? Just curious. Please keep Payton's birth mom in your prayers as I am sure she is still adjusting to her decision and life changes.
C. Back to work. Today is my official last day of maternity leave. I must confess that I loved being a stay at home mom and witnessing every moment of Payton's development. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. There is a tiny part of me that wants to go back to work, but my heart breaks thinking about leaving Payton. I know he will be in great hands, but they are not my hands. I have cried regularly these past few days. It is hard, but I am trying to stay positive. At least the cash flow will increase again. And I do have two weeks off for the holidays after being back W,Th,Fr of this week! One of the few perks of teaching! (I may not have to go on Wed.... they are calling for an ice storm. We shall see....)
D. Kwanzaa. We are celebrating Kwanzaa with Payton this year. This will be a new experience for Wes and I. Has anyone ever gone to a Kwanzaa celebration? If so, what was your experience like. We have ordered the appropriate symbols (candles, corn, mat, etc) and Payton's gifts (traditionally books...). Some people have given us a hard time about celebrating Kwanzaa. I think mostly because they are misinformed. Kwanzaa is NOT a religious holiday, it is a cultural celebration of African heritage and values. The holiday was created in the 1960s during the civil rights era. Wes suggested that we start celebrating now and creating a new family tradition to honor Payton's heritage. After reading Black Baby, White Hands by Jaiya John (btw, this is a must read for transracial familes), I think it is important to celebrate Payton's African heritage. Some trans racial families try to overlook their child's different skin color and act like everyone is the same. Most of the time, this actually hurts the child's psychological development because there are obvious differences and they cannot understand why people don't want to acknowledge them, which eventually leads the child to resent their own skin color or their families. We don't want Payton to grow up with an attitude that any ethnic group is better than another. Rather, we want him to understand that cultures all over the world have amazing elements and achievements that they can share with others. Therefore, we are choosing to celebrate and honor difference!
1.Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (middle school clarinet)
4. Visited Hawaii (twice..once for my honeymoon!)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland /world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (in church choir...when i was a little kid and my horrible singing voice did not really mater.)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child BEST THING EVER!!!!
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill (but I do usually have a dentist appt scheduled.)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb (too many to count...my Dad is a sheep farmer, which meant our house was filled with lambs needing assistance late jan thru march)
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person (so the maid of the mist should be renamed maid of the rain!)
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (Ireland, and so badly want to go back...but I still have several other European nations to visit.)
35. Seen an Amish community (no, but I live near a Mennonite community)
36. Taught yourself a new language (still working on Italian)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (no, but I should be satisfied with what I have.)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person3
9. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud (state cross country meet 1998)
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (and got my 100 boxes sold badge!)
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (DD Jill ...long story)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial (every spring, btw if you look at his hands they spell A and L in sign language).
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (only if blue crabs count.)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life (no people, but I have saved a lot of Boxer's lives)
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous...a lot of brief encounters.
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one...Granny
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Look at this fluff ball. On Sunday, Payton, Grandma Kemper, and I bundled up to see Grandpa Kemper be a wise man on the Ruritan float in a local parade. It was a very tiny parade for a very tiny town, but it left our hearts feeling warm and tingly with the Christmas spirit.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Brooke, Susan and Harry brought back a special dish from Europe to start a new Thanksgiving tradition for the Kempers. The coffee is passed from person to person and we wished each other good health. The trick is to drink the coffee without it spilling on you. Check out the "Wes" approach to drinking from the dish. I spilled it all over me... It was fun.
Uncle Harry and Payton
Friday, November 28, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
His morning routine involves 30 minutes on his play mats. He loves to smile at the baby in the mirror.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
- 10 lbs (5th %)
- 21 1/4 inches long (5th %)
- 15 1/4 inches head circumference (25th %)
- He still has a heart murmur that they are monitoring and if it is still present at 6 months, the peds. will send us to a cardiologist.
- He received 6 vaccines-- 5 shots and 1 oral vaccine. I teared up a little. It looked so awful.
That is about it. We go back in two months for his next check up.
I will post a few pics and a little more detail about his two month birthday over the weekend. As usual, Payton and I are busy little bees seeing as many people as possible and doing as many fun things as we can before I return to work :(. It makes me sad to think about leaving my little guy for 7 hours a day...
This weeks other adventure...cloth diapering. More to come on this endeavor.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
1. I can't believe his mother did not want him!
Response: Firstly, I am his mother and I want him. Secondly, his birth mother loved him enough to give birth to him and make a choice to give him what she thought was the best possible life for him. He is loved by two moms. That IS special!
2. At least you didn't have all than hormonal/emotional stuff to go through.
Response: Ummm. Are you serious? I lost 10 pounds in two days from stress and anxiety waiting to see if his birth family picked us and if they would sign the papers. On top of that, we found out that we would be parents 24 hours before we met our son. Then we spent a week in a city we did not know with a newborn and without family or friends. I wouldn't trade those emotions and experiences for anything, but it was stressful and I was an emotional basket case. Just ask the social worker that I called every ten minutes while sitting in the hospital waiting room awaiting news as to whether or not the birth family signed papers.
3. Are you going to tell him he is... ADOPTED?
Response: Of course. Firstly, it will be quite obvious. Secondly, we will share as much of his story with him as is developmentally appropriate for him. And thirdly, there is nothing wrong with being adopted. Why would we NOT tell him?
4. Is that baby YOURS!
Response: YES! (We experienced this remark as we walked out of the maternity ward at the hospital after visiting our friend and their new baby. I guess they thought we were taking a baby. I know Wes and I don't look like Payton, but he is ours and we are so proud of him.)
5. Are you going to have one of your OWN?
Response: We have our own, his name is Payton, thank you very much.
6. He is such a lucky little guy.
Response: Actually, we are the lucky ones to be so blessed with an adorable baby boy!
I am sure there will be other comments to add to this list down the road, but maybe non-adoptive parents reading this can reflect a little on the well intentioned comments that are actually a little hurtful to adoptive moms and dads.
Our adoption journey continues tomorrow as we travel to NoVa to meet with our social worker for our first post placement visit. I am excited to check off one more thing off of our list with the end goal of getting his birth certificate with our names on it as Payton's mom and dad! He is already ours in our hearts, but I want to see that little piece of paper. Our labor of love continues...
Monday, November 10, 2008
On Saturday Payton and I woke up at 5 am in Lexington to drive up to NoVa to watch the AA State CC Meet. It was a heart breaker for our boys. They ran their absolute best and I was proud. Unfortunately, they did not place in the top three. They were FOURTH. Nothing to be ashamed of, but not what they had hoped for. Only 10 points separated the second, third, and fourth place teams. I hope they feel as proud of themselves as I am of them. They are a great group of athletes and humble in defeat. Our one female athlete that qualified for the event also ran a PR. Congrats SHS CC! Payton and I left the state meet and headed to Cville to meet my best friend's new baby, Chloe Grace (pictured above). She is beautiful and will bless Erin and Grant with so much joy. Praise God for happy, healthy baby girl.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
After the service, Susan, a friend from church, hosted a shower/baptism celebration for Payton. Payton got all kinds of goodies, including diapers and a whole bunch of clothes from some of the other church families. We felt so loved by our church family and grateful for their support.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
The SHS Boys CC team won the regional meet (by a decent margin) and is headed to the state meet. Stay tuned for results! The girls placed in a heart-breaking fifth place, which just knocked them out of advancing to the state meet. I was pleased with all of the performances and very proud!