Bye, Bye, Aunt Meghan: The weekend before school let out (June 6), one of my best friends came home to the 'burg for a bit of a farewell. Meghan, Payton's Godmother, is moving to Boston :( for a few years. Although this weekend fun was a sort of spur of the moment thing, we had a blast! I know Payton won't remember the fun things she did with him in the early months of his life, but clearly, she loves this little man. We started out Saturday morning hitting up some yard sales. One of the small towns near us has a community yard sale. I have never gone before and did not realize that, literally, then entire town shuts down for the day. This town has a large Mennonite population as well, and it was just so cool to park my car next to a horse and carriage and get out to shop for toys for Payton. We did this for an hour or so, and were pretty well shopped out. We did manage to snatch up a Baby Einstein play table for Payton. On the way home, we stopped by a local produce stand and got some fresh strawberries and peas and snacked all the way home. Erin, one of my other best friends since 5th grade, met us for lunch. Her daughter Chloe is close to Payton' s age. We soon discovered that lunch with two soon-to-be toddlers is very, very different that what we are used to. Payton and Chloe had their very own language. It was so cute...and loud! We drove home and took the kiddos on a two mile walk, followed by trip to the farm, complete with riding for the kiddos. The evening ended with wonderful meal at Meghan's parents house. I am sure going to miss having her around, but I am excited for the opportunities that await Meghan in Boston!
Our Gang (minus Ashley): Chloe (7 + mos), Erin, Me, Wes, Payton, and Meghan
Payton and Chloe: Both are expert army crawlers, so we enjoyed placing toys far away from them and watching them race to the toy.
This pic is from a few weekends ago at the relay for life. Check out Payton with Joe's (Meghan's bf) glasses!
Payton riding Blaze, one of my Mom's school ponies. Chloe really liked riding, too!
This pic makes me sad because Payton looks like a little boy. How did he get so big, so quickly :(.
Carmen Rushed to Vet: No joke. We had another dog emergency. It just does not seem right! Carmen woke up in the middle of the night vomiting and started peeing blood and breathing funny. I sat up with her, all night, scared that she was not going to make it. Wes rushed her in to the vet the following morning- yes, they take us without an appointment, gee...I wonder why? After various tests, they still are not sure why she had such an acute attack, but somehow she got a very bad UTI, very quickly. They put her on a high dose of antibiotics and she appears to be on the mend. I made Carmen promise me she would at least give me 6 months before she even thinks of checking out on us. We just need a little time to adjust to all of our pet losses lately and all of the vet bills we are still accumulating!
Visiting Emilie in Erie, PA: The week after Meghan's farewell was busy with end-of-the-year school details for me. Lots of meetings, lots of classroom packing, several graduation parties, and best of all-- watching the kids walk across the stage. Sitting through 340 names at graduation has got to be some kind of torture session, really. I think Congress might need to investigate...
Anyhow, as soon as Hell Week was over, one of my college roomies (Shannon) met me and Payton at our house, and we set out on our LOOOOONG journey to Erie, PA to visit our other former roomie (Emilie) and her newborn (Lyla). I really should not complain at all about the car ride because Payton was a darling. He slept, he cooed, he babbled, and cried for a total of 5 minutes. AMAZING CHILD! We only stopped three times each way: once to eat, once for gas, once for potty. Once we arrived, we showered Em with some gifts for her precious new baby and settled in a for a few days of fun. On the second day of our visit, Emilie's high school friends, Kathleen and Rachel, stopped by to visit as well. It was nice to catch up with them. On the third day, we hit up the outlets in Grove City and I splurged on 7 new outfits (Gymboree, Carters, Osh Kosh) for Payton. What is so cool though...I only spent about $40 on everything for him. LOVE outlets plus sales! The following day we took Payton and Lyla on a long walk along Lake Erie. As we walked, Payton managed to lose both his sandals and his hat numerous times. Luckily, several nice bikers were willing to bring them back to us each time. I really enjoyed my time with Shannon and Em and can't wait to see how Lyla will change and grow when I see her again.
The only sad part of my trip was that I was away from Wes on our 6th anniversary. We still have yet to celebrate our anniversary. We really have not done anything for our anniversary since our first one, but hopefully we will make up for that in the coming years. SO honey, Vegas for our tenth? Or a cruise? Put it on the calender! I still love you tons!
Payton and Sophie (Rachel's daughter) playing with Lyla's toys. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Payton's crooked smile!
Payton and Lyla passed out after a day of shopping. SOOOOO cute!
All of us: Me, Payton, Shannon, Emilie, Lyla, Sophie, Rachel, Kathleen, and soon-to-arrive Baby B.
Bryden's 3rd Birthday: We celebrated our nephew, Bryden's, third birthday the day after we returned from Erie. He wanted a John Deere Farm party, and he sure did get one! I laughed so hard as Bryden came running in, screaming "birthday cake" over and over again, as soon as we pulled in the driveway. His mom told him he could not have cake until everyone arrived and we prayed and ate dinner. Byden quickly folded his hands, bowed his head, and quickly said the "God is Great..." prayer. He looked up and asked again, "Birthday cake?" Clever little man! Bryden got a new mini-Gator for his birthday, which he used to run into the garage and his Daddy's truck. So cute. Check out the interview with Bryden and Payton.One very awesome cake for a very awesome little boy!The kiddos went for a ride in the Kubota after dinner. Can you spot Payton????
Refugee Arrival: As soon as the party ended, I went in to action to prepare for the arrival of 15 Ethiopian Refugees to our town . I volunteered to help with one family thru my church. I was the chair of the welcoming committee and was, honestly, completely unprepared for what was about to happen. We had signs, gift bags, travel arrangements, apartments and meals for these families, but I think all we really did was overwhelm them with stuff and our loud, obnoxious American culture. After getting to know these women and children over the last several days, I am learning a lot about myself, Kunama culture, and children. As the women attempt to understand the modern conveniences now available to them, their children laugh and play and explore. They are simply children. During one of very confusing exchanges, they asked about Payton. They thought he was Kunama. I am still not sure that the women understand my relationship to Payton, as they do not speak English or Amharic, only Kunama, but I tried to explain anyway. Payton and I have spent many, many hours with these families and I only hope that I am bringing them some amount of comfort as I hope to be the "hands and feet" that they need to serve them right now. One of the highlights for me was introducing the children to peanut butter! THEY LOVED IT! I am taking them a few more groceries tonight and trying to figure out what I can do to help them next. If you are the praying type, you might want to add these five families to your prayers.
Father's Day: Yes, this was Wes' very first father's day. He is an awesome Daddy to our little man. My heart still melts when I see Payton asleep on his shoulder or laughing as Wes throws him in the air. One of the best parts of being a mommy is watching Wes be a daddy. We celebrated Father's Day by taking both sets of our parents out to dinner.
Wes and Payton playing in GaGa and Grandma's pool.Payton and his Grandpa after Father's Day dinner.... so cute!
Payton's Doctor Appointment and Other Data: Monday was Payton's 9 month check up. He is now 16 lbs 10 oz (below the 5th %) and 27 inches long (7%). While he is a little on the tiny side, he is meeting all of his developmental milestones on cue, with his verbal milestones already past the 12 month marker. Way to go, kid! We also had a long discussion with the doc about Payton's allergies ( he is still on neb treatments, singulair, and children's zyrtec). But other than that, the boy is healthy!
It is obvious to me that Payton is beginning to understand things we say as he plays games now. If we say, "Night,Night," he plops his head down on our chests and waits for us to say, "I'm awake" and he shoots his head straight up and smiles. He will also play this game while sitting in his high chair. This is an awesome stage! Payton is also much more mobile; pulling up, crawling, walking with assistance, and in general, getting into everything! He is learning how to problem solve and figure out how to get to the toys he wants (like dumping over the toy basket). We really loved this 9 month birthday because his birth certificates, with OUR NAMES on them, came in the mail on the same day. AWESOME! They arrived after a very irritated me called the GA Vital Stats department, only to be treated as a second class citizen. They refused to discuss his information with me since I did not have his "real name" and I (according to the phone lady) was not his "real mother." Oh yes, things got heated during that phone call! Finally, I had to call our lawyer. Eventually, the birth certs were sent to our lawyer, who then forwarded them to us. I hope and pray I never have to deal with GA vital stats again, because I don't think I will EVER get what I need from them. I am gritting my teeth just thinking about it all! Luckily, we did not have as many complications on Monday when we FINALLY were able to apply for his soc sec number (b/c we have his birth certificate now). Once we get the soc sec number, we will move forward to get his passport. Whew. The paper work never ends...
What's next?: We head to the beach in a few days with my extended family (which reminds me... I need to line up my house/dog/horse sitter). We are all very excited for Payton's first real trip to the beach. WooHoo! Before we leave, I will be spending a lot of time with the refugee families... and of course, soaking up every minute of my stay-at-home (or away-from-home) summer with my boy!