Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Celebrating 60 Years!

Last weekend my Dad celebrated his 60th birthday. Friends and family traveled great distances to honor my Dad. He claims he was not surprised, but I think he was... at least a little bit. This was also the first time many of my family members were able to meet Payton and celebrate his arrival.

Payton's "DearMa" (and my Godmother) organized much of the celebration and had a special cake for Payton and a cool sign "Payton's Place." It was so sweet to feel so loved.

Note that the cowboy has Dad's face...

The Birthday Boys... Payton and his Grandpa!

Click on the image above to see a video Wes and I made to celebrate Dad's 60 years!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Obama Mama

My new pin...

Waiting in line...

Payton and I had the privilege of witnessing history today. Thanks to the kind people at the Dem. Campaign headquarters in H-burg, we were able to be some of the first people into the Convocation Center to see Barack Obama deliver a campaign speech. Barack pointed out that he is the first pres. candidate since Douglas (ya know... ran against Lincoln) to give a speech in the Valley. Awesome. I was thrilled that Payton was able to be a part of this historic event. Obama's campaign strategists are pretty smart to send him here, knowing that is a very red part of the state and this will force McCain to spend time and energy fighting for the independent candidates here that he would have normally counted on. Hmmmm. Smart. Here are some pics from our fun day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Repeat Performance!

SHS Boys District Champs (2nd Year in a Row)!
SHS Girls District Runner-Up!

Way to go Blazers! I was so proud to watch my athletes perform today. Their hard work all season long really paid off. So many of them passed people right before the finish line, others toughed out falls and illnesses, and others just ran smart! Today was a GREAT DAY TO BE A BLAZER!

The boys took a victory lap with thier trophy and flag.
Payton slept thru my cheering and coaching. Amazing. He was just so warm and snuggly in his little pouch.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pocosin Trail

Beautiful Lily!

Remains of the Episcopal Misson circa 1904.

Today we went on our annual October Hike. We hiked Pocosin trail which is a 2 mile out and back trail around mile marker 59 on the Skyline Drive. We have a little book called Best Day Hikes in the Shenandoah National Park. Our goal is to finish all of the hikes listed within the next few years. This hike was a nice fall hike, the leaves were AMAZING! It is easily accessible. We parked at the top of the mountain and hiked down 1 mile on a fire access road. The trail passed a small cabin that is available to hikers on the App Trail which crossed the Pocosin Trail about .2 miles in to the hike. After one mile of down hill we came across the foundation of a 1904 Episcopal Mission. We had a blast playing on the ruins with the dogs and took the opportunity to get some pics of our four-legged children. They look so beautiful, but I guess all moms say that about their children.
We did not see too much wildlife on the trail. We did see squirrels, chipmunks, birds, and a bear poo, but I was really hoping to see a bear or deer, oh well. We did manage to take some pesky wildlife home with us. When we got out of the car we noticed that Carmen and Lily were COVERED in ticks...GROSS! We pulled at least 30 tiny ticks off of the dogs. I guess they got into a nest of them. I washed all of the dogs with tick shampoo, but I am sure there are still more. I still feel like they are crawling every where. I hate bugs.
Other than the tick incident, we had a great Sunday stroll in the woods

Payton nestled into my sling and slept the entire hike.

Showered with Love

This weekend my family was showered with so much love. Meghan, Ashley, and Erin hosted a baby welcoming shower for us at the Issac Walton League Barn. Here are a few pics of the occasion.

Bryden helped open Payton's gifts.

The cake was just too perfect!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Anniversary...

Mom and Dad Kite. May you have many, many more wonderful years together.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

1 Month Old!

I received the phone call that changed our lives forever exactly one month ago today! The afternoon of the 15th I answered the phone and J. from agency called to say that there was birth mom (C. from here on out) in labor and she was currently choosing between us and another family. What?! She would let us know C.'s decision asap. That nite we were a little anxious, to say the least, and hardly slept a wink. I prayed so hard all nite long. At 9:45 am my cell rang (I was so thankful I had requested a sub at school, even before all of this started, because I was feeling so ill). I jumped up and it was J. The conversation went something like this:
Hi! It's a boy!
Great. (long pause) Is he healthy?
Yep. He and C. look great.
(Note: She had not said that we had been picked yet.)
Well. It's YOUR boy! (note: I was literally spinning in circles in my bedroom.) Are you serious?! She picked us?!
Yes. She loved you guys!
So what do we do now? (my voice so shaky)
Well, you need to come to Atlanta as soon as possible. (Details continued...)
Actually, I want to tell Wes. Can I call you back to get that info. (all this while still shaking and spinning in circles...mostly because I did not know what else to do with myself).
Within 24 hours we were in Atlanta and ready to meet our sweet boy for the very first time. Time has flown by since that first phone call and our sweet pea is already ONE MONTH OLD today. Wow. Babies do change so quickly.

Payton has surpassed 7 pounds, his head has grown about an inch, his hair is curling more and more each day, and his skin looks darker and more beautiful every day. His personality is developing. Payton has a bit of a temper when he does not get what he wants, but is perfectly happy as long as you do what he demands. Usually that involves eating or holding. He has moved into his own room (which is a good thing, at one point there were seven living beings sleeping in one room (me, Wes, Payton and 4 dogs)... a little much. He likes to be entertained (watching faces). He is making new noises each day as he figures out how to coo a little bit. He loves baths (after his tummy is full). And will only tolerate about 15 minutes of tummy time before getting really mad. He continues to suck his thumb when I am not fast enough to give him a binky. Payton does not sleep thru the nite. He usually has one good nite followed by two bad nites. He still seems to have his days and nites confused. But, we really love the little guy. He is wonderful and we feel blessed. Our family and friends continue to be supportive of us during this time of transition. Our church family is bringing us meals on Tuesday, Thursdays, and Sundays which has been GREAT. What a wonderful group of people. We are also excited for our upcoming baby welcoming parties (over the next 3 weekends) and Payton's baptism on November 2.
This is Payton's serious face. He loves to grab things and pull hard. He is actually quite strong. You cannot tell in this pic, but he pulled his right shoulder off the ground. He loves to grab fingers, toys, bottles, and most of all, my necklace. When he is really angry, you better watch out because he will grab your face. During one tummy time he got so mad that he pushed himself off of his tummy and onto his back. I do not think he is supposed to be able to do that just yet, so maybe it was just a one time event, but the kid is strong. Esp. when he is mad.
Look at that cute face! Payton LOVES textures and his snuggle bear is so soft. He likes to rub his face against his snuggle bear.
Thumb, thumb, thumb, thumb....thuuuumb!
This pretty much sums up how we feel lately....tired!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fall Celebrations

I visited my cousin Cristen this weekend and took some sweet pics of our boys together. Beleive it or not, Payton is actually one week older than Jackson. It is really hard to get three week old babies to cooperate for a photo shoot. We were lucky that they were awake at the same time.
After visiting Cristen, Jackson, and the Crabtree fam, we headed to Wes' parent's house for our annual oyster dinner. Here are all of the Kite boys with full bellies!
Today we went to the pumpkin patch and found one really cute pumpkin (pictured above)!
Wes and Payton picked their own...
So cute!

I will save my longer update on Payton's progress for his one month birthday post. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Payton's Room

Okay veteran moms... when do you let your little one move in to their own room? So far, Payton has slept in a Pac n Play in our room (or hotel room) and he only naps in his room during the day when I need him in a safe place where the dogs won't smother him with kisses. I am always concerned about SIDS so I invested in the Angel Monitor system which detects motion, but this only works in the crib, not int the pac n play. But then I read an article that says that fans help reduce SIDS by circulating air. However, I cannot keep the fan in his room on because the motion detector in his crib registers the fan's movement as his breathing, which makes the system useless. I think I am going to move him to his room at one month (next Tuesday!!!.... I can hardly believe it!) Well, if you have any advice, please share.

I am including pics of the nursery...finally (mostly) finished. For so long, Wes and I walked into the nursery and looked into an empty crib and imagined what it would be like to have a little one in there. Now we do, and we couldn't be happier! (BTW, the blankie with his first and middle name on it is not usually there (I know better), I just thought it would be cute in the pic).

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Busy Little Bee!

Ever since Payton joined our family, we have had him on the go! This weekend was no different. Here are some of our weekend highlights.

Sitting on my old (almost 40!) show pony, Topper! Each day is a precious gift for Topper, so I thought I had better seize the opportunity to get a pic of Payton and my Top man!
Chillin' with my bffs! I am so blessed to have great friends. Before Payton's arrival, we (the four of us girls) had planned to take my friend Erin (pictured on the left) out for her last hurrah on Friday before her little girl arrives (her due date is election cool!). So we did... but Payton came along for the fun. We ate dinner at a Thai restaurant and went home and donned our pjs as we watched a girlie movie. Wes tolerated our girlish giggles and took a few pics for us!
On Saturday, we traveled to VMI for Wes' five year reunion festivities. Unfortunately, the football team did not fare well against Richmond, but it was nice to catch up with some old friends. Payton and I went to church Sunday AM while Wes was at his football meeting. We immediately left church so Payton could go ride in his first-ever horse show. Here is sitting so proudly on Sneakers. He wore the same pair of baby riding pants that Brooke and I wore as tiny tots. Mom brought the jacket, but it was just too big!

Like mother, like son. I was 4 weeks old at my first show. Payton beat me to it at only 2 weeks and 5 days! This is a pic of my Aunt Judy, Aunt Linda and my Mom holding me on top of Stu ball at my very first horse show.

Payton's first blue ribbon!

One proud Grandma! (The number was just as big as him!)
We rushed out of the horse show to drive back to the high school where I teach to watch Wes participate in a charity wrestling event. I was LAUGHING! Basically, there was mass chaos in the wresting ring as reality stars took on old pro-wrestlers and local high school coaches to raise money for the Special Education class at the high school. It was so cute to listen to Wes explain the event to Payton. He said, "Payton, sometimes we do things for other people even when it means giving up our free time...and looking a little silly. Helping others is important." What a great role model! Keep up the good parenting, Wes!
That is our weekend in a nutshell. I am sure this week will have plenty more opportunities for pics!

Obama/Biden 2008

I LOVE AMERICA! Yes, even in this turbulent time, I am so grateful for the freedom to say and do whatever I think is right as long as it does not hurt others. The Constitution is an amazing document and our founding fathers and mothers (yes, those men writing the Constitution talked over these concepts with their wives), esp TJ, were true MAVERICKS (that would be the appropriate use of the term, Sarah Palin.) On that note, I am going to use my freedoms to respond to a comment posted to my blog by ANONYMOUS (it's okay, btw, to say who you are...remember this is AMERICA).
Here is the comment to my earlier post regarding our (Wes and I) support of Obama in November:
"Diana,Please don't lump all people who listen to conservative radio together with this man. It would make you no better than him. Not all of us feel that way, and neither do all the conserv radio hosts. As far as voting for Obama- you do realize that he is pro-choice? You would not have that beautiful little boy if his birth mother had been of this same mindset.I respect your rights to your opinions, but I wanted you to know not all conservative, pro life people are like this man. I applaud you and Wes for adopting a transracial baby, especially in a Southern state. Love definitely knows no bounds. Congrats. "
A few comments...
1) Thanks for the congratulatory remarks and your support of transracial adoption!
2) I was not lumping all conservative talk show listeners as bigots (and that is what that man was!). Rather, I was commenting on the fact that he believed everything that they (conservative propagandaists) said! Anyone who believes everything they hear on conservative OR liberal talk shows needs to seriously consider their information source. One thing I teach my high school students is to spend A LOT of time cross referencing information to ensure that they are making their own, informed decisions on topics, rather than allowing the media (radio, tv, internet) to make it for them.
3)Yes, I realize that Obama is pro-choice, but that does not make him or me pro-abortion. There is a big difference. Furthermore, I will not limit my candidate choice to one issue...I did not even mention abortion in my last post. Rather, I addressed issues such as environment, health care, education, etc. Lastly, I thank God for Payton's birth mom as she gave us an amazing gift that no one else could. She made the decision that was right for her and her family. Please don't make any presumptions about her situation.
4) I am not changing my position. I will continue to support Obama (although, I must say...and watch out... I am going to really ruffle feathers now... I voted for Hillary in the primary and wish she was the democratic candidate). Firstly, I support Obama's energy plan which acknowledges that global warming is man-made and that we need to preserve and protect our environment (plug for my stock...invest in Clean Energy)! Secondly, I support a timeline to remove troops from Iraq! Peace is Patriotic! Thirdly, I support Obama's tax plan that will raise taxes on those that can afford it and reduce taxes on those that are already overburdened. My list continues... 5) I am quite accustomed to defending my democratic views amongst my conservative Christian friends. SOME people think it is impossible to be a Christian, liberal, democrat and it is not. I know this, because I AM.

Friday, October 3, 2008


The my aunts and cousin meeting Payton for the first time!
Grandaddy Kite holding his second grandson.
For generations--Great Grandma Wright, Grandma Kite, Daddy Kite, and Baby Payton Kite. So special!
Auntie Brooke holding the wee one.
We had a special treat to meet up with "Yoka" and Lilli before they move out of the country. Their little girl is only 7 weeks older than Payton and was placed with their family thru our same agency. Although it was a brief meeting, I was so glad to get to see their precious little girl before they move.

Life is starting to return to normal. We have been home for a full week now. I have returned to work a few times to iron things out with my sub and I have also returned to my routine of feeding the horses every morning and evening, Wes has gone back to coaching, working, and studying. All sounds pretty normal. Except now we have a baby! We are still inundated with visitors daily and love all the support and attention our family and friends are giving us. We are also learning a lot about Payton each day. I still cannot believe how much he has changed over the last 16 days. Here are some things we have learned about his personality:

1. He is DETERMINED! He still has his days and nites mixed up with his most alert hours being 3am-6am. He will SCREAM until you pick him up. Last nite we let it go for 2 1/2 hours and he was still screaming! As soon as I finally gave in and scooped him up, he immediately stopped crying. He is already manipulating us. I have officially met my match!

2. He is STRONG! I am amazed at Payton's strength. He can almost roll over already. He also can lift his shoulders off of a flat surface and pick up and turn his head. Everyday his muscles are strengthening.

3. He is COORDINATED! Payton loves to suck his thumb and clasp his hands together. Sometimes it looks like he is praying. SOOOO precious. I am currently debating between giving him a pacifier and not... what to do when you have a thumb-sucker on your hands? Any advice?

4. He is CHILL! During the day (remember, that is Payton's sleepy time), he will sleep in my sling, in his boppy bouncer, in his crib, in the pac n play, wherever.... he is so relaxed and happy. We are so blessed.

5. He hates to be COLD. The only time Payton's is unhappy (besides 3-6am when we won't acknowledge that he wants to play), is when he gets a sponge bath, we change his diaper, or we change his clothes. The common factor in all of this is that he gets cold. Maybe Wes will finally let me turn up the temp. in the house a wee bit ;).

I am sure to have more fun things to say after this weekend. We have more family visiting, we are traveling for Wes' college reunion, and celebrating some birthdays. Stay tuned for more pics!

One last note, I don't think I have mentioned politics too much on this blog, but our country is in such a bad place right now, that I almost feel obligated to speak up on behalf of my new family. The long and the short of it is that only ONE person we have met in the last 16 days has been rude to us about our transracial adoption. Of course, we have answered many questions about Payton's ethnicity, but people were always respectful and excited for us. UNTIL... we met an old man locally that told us our son would be lucky because they government just gives money to black people and it will only "get worse" if Obama becomes president. Ugh. Ignorant fool. He then proceeded to inform us of all the foul play involved in Obama's campaign (can we say he gets his news from conservative talk radio???). After listening to a few minutes of his rant, I glared and said in my most eloquent, clear, slow, calm, determined voice, "I HOPE MY SON WILL BE ABLE TO SAY 'THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT WAS ELECTED THE YEAR I WAS BORN!'" This country needs change! I want a cleaner environment left for Payton, I want better health care and social services and education for him, and I want him to know that white men will not always call all of the shots in this country. Our voice matters. The Kemper-Kite family will VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN in November. And after hearing Sarah Palin sad attempt last nite to justify conservative policies proposed by the McCain/Palin ticket, I hope more people will join us and demand CHANGE!