Friday, November 28, 2008

I am Thankful for... sweet pea. Enjoy this video of coos, smiles, and baby sneezes. Ignore the mommy talk.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Play Dates

It seems as though Payton decided to "wake up" last week. He now spends most of his mornings smiling and cooing and I LOVE IT! He is awake for many more hours during the day and sleeps more regularly at nite (but still not thru the nite). This week Payton and I visited several of his friends and had a great time playing.

His morning routine involves 30 minutes on his play mats. He loves to smile at the baby in the mirror.
Payton is quite the eater, downing 4-7 ounces at a time. Daddy gave PAyton a little too much and paid the price. I took a picture of Wes' initiation into Daddy-hood.

Payton and I spent Thursday and Friday in Roanoke visitning the Sinks while Wes was away on a hunting trip. Payton and cousin Jackson have matching outfits on...aren't they adorable?

Last TUesday we visited with Erin and her 2 week old daughter Chloe.

I love this picture of my CC kids hay fort. We celebrate the end of the season each year with a football game, camp fire and horse back riding at my parents farm. This year they decided to spice up the fun with a hay fort to block the wind. It made me think back to my youth when we (Lindsay, Brian, Matt, Jenny, Joey, Brooke and I) spent hours building forts in my dad's hay loft. Soon Payton will be asking to go to his Grandpa's house to play in the hay.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


A friend of mine from college took some family pics for us last week. You can see her work and Payton's cute face by clicking here. Thanks, Kristen! I can't wait to see the rest!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two Months!

Yes, Payton is officially two months old. I can hardly believe it! We took him to the doc for his two month check up and here are the results:

- 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

Payton and Lilli

Wes, Payton, and I traveled to our first post placement visit with our social worker. I am pleased to report that it went well. She just asked us basic questions about how we are adjusting to parenting, what kind of schedule Payton is on, and a recap of his visits to the pediatrician. We meet with her again in January for visit number two.
After our visit was over, we met up with our friend "Yoka" and her daughter Lilli. It was so fun to watch the babies interact. This was the first time I really saw Payton acknowledge another baby. Lilli was definitely in to playing Payton and held his hands. They "played" for 10 minuets or so and then Payton went to sleep. Yoka and I received some interesting comments sitting in the food court of the mall. After the strangest one, she turned to me and said, "I feel like we are on display in a zoo or something." I did start to get a little weird. I don't know if this is pc or not, but I guess people thought two white girls with black babies was just an unusual sight. Here is a sampling of the comments we heard--
1. "Are they twins?" (Note: Lilli is a good 5 pounds bigger. They don't look the same age.)
2. "Where are they adopted from?" (Note: This is one of those weird comments Yoka and I both get quite often, people usually assume Payton and Lilli are adopted internationally.)
3. "I just wanted to see your babies because I am 5 months pregnant and I want to see what my baby will look like. My boyfriend is black." (Note: We did not know how to respond to this one. I think we just smiled. It was weird.)
After we heard enough of these....interesting comments, we decided to walk around the mall for a bit and check out some baby stores. It was so wonderful to catch up with Yoka and Lilli. I hope we will still be able to keep in touch after their big move.

Happy Birthday, Carmen.

I cannot believe Carmen turns ten this month. Carmen is one of my dearest friends. When I think of all the fun things we have done over the years, I am so grateful for my little Cameeeena Bean (not sure how this came to be her nickname, but it is.) I got Carmen my senior year of high school and took her to college with me. She traveled with me each weekend to see Wes at VMI and moved to all of my different apartments and adjusted to my marriage and now to kids. She is just a wonderful girl and I hope we are able to spend many more years together. (To brag on her a little more...she won the teacher's pet contest at school last year by earning more votes from students and raising more money for the local SPCA.) To celebrate Carmen's ten wonderful years, we bought all three dogs special gourmet doggie football treats. Here they are enjoying the party and cake!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Adoption Comments that Annoy Me...

Over the past two months Wes and I have heard so many wonderful things about Payton and our choice to adopt. We have also had some very sweet people say some things to us that absolutely drive me CRAZY! Here are a few:

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

Too Busy To Blog

Sorry for the posting delay, but this week was BUSY! The pictures below chronicle some of our activity. I have hardly had a moment to sit down and be still.

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.
Over the weekend, Payton and I were driving back and forth from Lexington so that I could horse show. Friday was Hunt Nite. Daisy was a good girl and looked so cute in her braids.

This week also marked Payton's first time in his bumbo. Go Payton Go!

Of course Payton had to come along to the polls on Tuesday. He even got his own sticker. Wes and I stayed up late to watch the returns and speeches. We were so pleased with the results and proud to be Americans. Today I was watching TV and the news broke in to White House coverage to show Bush and Obama meeting. I was once again reminded why our nation is so cool. They calmly shook hands and walked into the White House. How many other nations have such a peaceful transfer of power. SO COOL!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Payton's Baptism

After the big dip...

Today was Payton's baptism. Baptism is an interesting sacrament that is symbolic of one's new life as a child of God (thru adoption :). Unfortunately, the Sacrament of Baptism has been interpreted many different ways and divided the Christian Church. I wanted to explain what baptism means to us, not to divide those that believe in infant baptism from the Anabaptists or those that do not believe in baptism at all, but simply to state what it means to us. All of these posts will be shared with Payton one day and I want him to know how special this day was for us. Wes and I decided to have Payton baptized as an infant to symbolize our belief in original sin and the need to be cleansed by Christ's love. Ultimately, Payton will have to decide the path he will travel as an adult, but today we confirmed our commitment to raise Payton in a Christian home that will teach him of God's love. Payton's Godmother, Meghan, also committed to share this responsibility with us. Thanks, Meghan, for loving our little guy so much. Other special people joined us at the baptism (Mom and Dad Kemper,Mom and Dad Kite, Brooke, Ben, my Godmother Susie, Rodrigo, Robbie, Camala, Bryden, Meghan and Joe, all our church family and our friends Annie and Brady). SO many people to love on this little man (who slept thru it all!)

The video above is of Payton's baptism. It is pretty short. And yes, he really did sleep thru it all!

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

A Little Lion

It was another exciting week in our household. I've included a few pics to sum up our adventures.

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!
Payton and I had the privilege to spend some time getting to know Bree. She is only a few days old. Her parents, Kevin and Cristin, are so happy to finally meet this little bundle of joy!

Bryden and Payton took a moment to pose for a Halloween pic. I have never seen two little boys look so cute! We did not make too many Halloween stops-- just the Grandparents, Great-Grandma, and the Aunt. I ate Payton's candy. Even better Halloween news-- our house was not TPed by my athletes or students. I am grateful for each year I escape the dreaded TP (last year my students TPed my parents property.)

Don't worry...this little lion is all roar, and no bite!

Payton and I went to Wes' last game of the season to cheer him on. I did not stick around too long because Payton has a little case of the sniffles. I think he got them from his papa. We are resting today and preparing for tomorrow's activities. I'll post pics of Payton's baptism (scheduled for tomorrow) and reception in a day or two.