Monday, January 25, 2010

Many New Posts Below...

I know I've been a negligent blogger, please forgive me. I took advantage of my unexpected day off to post a few things I have wanted to do for quite some time. Keep scrolling...

16 Months Old

Yes, it has been forever since I last did a Payton update. We took Payton for his 15-month checkup about a week ago (after his 16-month birthday) and found out that he is officially 20 lbs 7 oz! Yeah, way to grow Payton. He is also 29 inches long. He remains very tiny, but consistent on the growth charts and the doctor was pleased with his development and health thus far. I say that, but today he is running a 100.5 temperature. Uh oh. He also sports 11 fine teeth and is quite adept at using them for good (eating) and bad (biting me and chewing on books). Payton is no longer a baby, but a full-fledged toddler. Payton's latest interests include:

1. Feeding himself. He has been eating finger foods for quite some time, but now he successfully uses a bowl and spoon. It is a messy endeavor.

2. Payton is (kind of) drinking out of sippy cup. This has been a battle for us and he still primarily uses a bottle, but he will actually take a few sips on his own will out of these cheap take n' toss style cups. I think we've spent at least $50 buying various types of sippy cups only to find the cheap ones are his cup of choice.
3. Payton has stepped up the game of peekaboo to the level of Hide and Seek. He newest hiding spot: under the coffee table.
4. Payton is officially (finally) a walker. He took him 15 1/2 months to figure it out, but he did.

5. Payton loves to throw anything and enjoys playing "Roll and Catch" and "Throw and Catch." We made use of this skill while we are at the mall in Towson yesterday. Here he is making a wish with a penny.

6. Some of Payton's favorite foods these days include grilled cheese, potatoes, tofu (always a favorite), and V8 Splash. Payton understands the concept of HOT and will blow on his food when I say it is hot. Again, too cute for words. He also enjoys injera when we visit our Eritrean friends and showed Christi how to use it when we met up with her at a local Ethiopian restaurant. Here they are playing after feasting on injera and various types of wot.
7. Payton is using very few spoken words these days and chooses to sign most everything. He knows giraffe, duck, finished, please, dirty, more, wash hands, dog, music, milk, brush teeth, eat, and many more that I cannot recall at this time. He focuses on one or two spoken words a week but seems to forget words he learned the previous week. This weeks spoken words include down and shoes. Maybe one day he will reach into that memory bank of words and start putting things together. Payton also enjoys ROARING like a lion and panting like a dog. He is also a huge fan of saying "na na" when he is mad about something. I take it that "na na" means "no no."

8. Tantrums are a part of our everyday life. Payton's tantrums last for about 1 minute and are complete with screaming, hitting, and kicking. I became more aware of the problems these tantrums can bring for us while we are the mall yesterday. People gave Wes and I many strange stares as Payton yelled" na na" and smacked us. We are going to start carrying family pics because I am afraid people won't believe us when we say he is our child.

9. Payton's favorite toys include his Rody and zebra which he loves to bounce on. He also likes his little people Noah's ark (a gift from the Hagertys) and his leap frog farm animal magnet set (from Aunt Nancy). His favorite books are Welcome Little One, Good Night Moon. We read Good Night Moon every night and each time I say "little old lady whispering...," Payton follows with ushhhhh. It is soooo cute. Payton also likes Wheels on the Bus. He asks me to sing the song so he can do the wheels on the bus action and he has added the windshield wiper action to his repertoire. Payton likes to take Scout with him everywhere he goes and just loves it when wonder pets come on the TV in the morning when we are getting ready for work.

10. Although Payton is a world class tantrum thrower, he is also a cuddle bug. He loves to give us real kisses and hugs. He gives his puppies kisses too. And just to embarrass him down the road... Payton likes to push Wes and I together and watch us kiss. He laughs and covers his mouth like it is the most hysterical thing ever. In a few years, he will say "stop kissing...ewwwww."

11. We still cuddle him at night and he falls asleep in our arms. I know there are different schools of thought on allowing your baby to be rocked to sleep, but he seems to sleep so much better this way. He usually goes to bed around 10 and wakes around 730. He takes about a 45 minute nap each day around 1 and occasionally another 30 minute nap in the evenings.

12. Payton continues to love playing "where is Payton's....". And can correctly identify his eye brow, hair, nose, eyes, mouth, teeth, ears, belly, belly button, feet, etc. He also grabs his diaper when I ask "Did you poop?" and he has... Maybe potty training isn't as far off as I thought it might be.

13. Our little man is very independent these days. He does not like to hold our hands when he is walking in public places. I can't say I blame him as my arm would get quite tired if I had to hold it over my head all the time. I have pondered getting a child harness for him so I don't have to be so fearful of him running off and being unable to find him. Thoughts on the child harness? While he prefers his independence when he is wide awake, he much prefers cuddling in my Mei Tai carrier when we are out and about and he starts to get sleepy. He usually falls asleep within 5 minutes of wearing him as opposed to whining and crying in the stroller. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this carrier. It is still comfy with a 20 lb baby. Payton also asserts his independence by brushing his own teeth, turning the pages in books, stacking blocks, and turning lights on and off. According to Payton, no Mommy assistance is needed for such things.

Payton, we looooovvvveee you to pieces, little man. You mean the world to us.

Well, I am sure I am forgetting something that I want to document, but this is it for now.

Love this Art!

Stumbled upon this artist on another blog, but had to share her work. Although her artwork focuses on Ethiopia Adoption, some of the images are appropriate for transracial adoption. I purchased three prints! Check out her watercolors!

Flood of 2010

These are images of our driveway this morning. I found out school was cancelled and after one quick glance outside, I knew why! Crazy. I enjoyed sleeping, but I am bummed that we did not have school today. I had scheduled a Holocaust survivor, Mark Strauss, to speak with my students this morning. We are trying to reschedule. I have heard him speak before and appreciate the message he is sending to America's youth in this time of world crisis. If only they would listen...


THIS is one of the pups that our rescue recently found. How can anyone do this to an animal? Keep Liam in your prayers. This little guy needs it!
And please consider looking into a rescue or SPCA if you need a new four-legged family member!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Great Find

This weekend we visited family in Maryland and attended the Maryland Horse Expo. Payton was expo-ed out, so we let him snooze in the car for a bit. My aunt suggested we check out kid to kid while while Payton rested. I have never heard of this store, but evidently it is a franchise. I sure wish I knew about this store before buying a bunch of baby stuff. Oh well, now I know. This time I found an almost new pair of stride rites size 5 (Payton is almost out of size 4) for only $5. Woohoo!

Transracial Adoption Play Group

I am so excited! Last month Wes and I met a waiting family while dining at a new restaurant in town. They approached us and asked about our adoption. I mentioned to her during that time that I really wanted to start a transracial adoption playgroup. It is important to me that Payton grows up seeing other families that look similar to ours. Well, I think it is actually going to happen. Julie and I started brainstorming ideas for our group and have planned our first gathering. Julie made a few flyers and we've advertised on some message boards. The response has been terrific!!!!!! If you or someone you know have an interest in joining our play group, please leave a comment with an email address and I will get back to you with more information! I can't wait until our first meeting. The flyer that Julie made reads:

Is your family touched by transracial adoption? Join us for the first meeting of the Valley Transracial Adoptive Families group. On Saturday, January 30, we'll have lunch at Chick-fil-A, get to know each other, let the kids play together, and try to come up with a more exciting name and ideas for future get togethers. Families at any stage in the adoption process are welcome,whether you're just beginning thoughtful engagement, or your kids are already in college!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Heart Cries Out!

The God of Love is speaking in my heart today in ways that I cannot even begin to describe on this blog. Because I see all things through my heart for adoption, I am crying out to God to wrap his arms around those little tiny bodies lying on the concrete with no blanket and no Mama or Daddy to hold them. And I ask God to make miracles happen as the rubble is removed in Haiti and heal injured bodies. And I pray that God gives strength and endurance to those working to provide relief. I am reminded that in the faces of the hurting Haitian people we can find the face of God (Matthew 25:40).

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25:40

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

(I originally critiqued Pat Robertson's ignorant quote in this post (after all, he did get his historical facts WRONG in that speech) but decided to remove the original post because my words were a far cry for any compassionate feelings for him. I am still angry that he could say such things, but I must also were the cloak of humility and kindness (Col. 3 :12 ).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I'll be the first to admit the post-Payton life has meant a little less time for our fur babies. We have to share our attention and the dogs are generally okay with that. We are so blessed that none of our pups have ever shown any signs of aggression after Payton's arrival. They love him. However, we have noticed some passive-aggressiveness from Lulu lately. I know what the root of the problem is: she is not getting enough exercise! It has been so cold that we just have not gone on long walks or runs regularly. She is a boxer who has so much boxer energy. Her separation anxiety, paired with lack of exercise, has led to find several victims each day when we return home from work. Some of these include: a candle, one piece of pottery, the baby gate, Wes' hiking boots, and MANY books. Here is an example of the carnage:

So I guess one of my resolutions for the new year should be to exercise Lulu more often. Does anyone else have any other suggestions for calming this crazy but oh-so-lovable boxer girl. (And no, she cannot be crated because she chews the bars so hard that she hurts herself.) What will we find tomorrow?????????

Project365 (or something like it!)

I had high hopes for the new year and so far it is off to a somewhat rocky start, but that is a story for another day. One of my goals was to participate in Project365, but by January 2 I had already failed to take a picture per day. I am amending the rules to fit my needs. I plan to post 365 pics, although it won't be one per day. Here are the first few!
Payton with one of my favorite college friends, Frances.

My beautiful Carmen after she went to the groomers for the first time EVER in her 11 years of life. Isn't she gorgeous!
Yeah, he's tough.
Payton with his best buds on New Years Eve.
He looks so grown!
Lucy and Payton giving each other New Year kisses.

Payton LOVES Scout.