Growing up, my grandpa used a number of catchy phrases to impart his wisdom to us. One especially stuck with me.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Growing up, my grandpa used a number of catchy phrases to impart his wisdom to us. One especially stuck with me.
Monday, September 30, 2013
"So, Bailey had some muddy hands this morning..."
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
I'll let you figure out who loved it when Bailey said "iPad" during a "hair" session and who groaned...
It's been a long time since our last post. I blame Abby - every time I get ready to write, she's using the laptop as a pillow. Cutest writer's block ever, right???
We've had a lot of fun this summer experience new things with Bailey and spending a lot of time with friends and family. We have been able to see some other families with children from DRC, including some that were at the transition home with Bailey. This little girl below is one you might recognize from our "No more waiting" picture. She and Bailey had a special relationship in the transition home so it's fun to watch them together now. We think that this little girl "adopted" Bailey as her little sister and loves to take care of Bailey when they're together. It's so precious!
I've lost track of all the words she's saying and all the little personality traits that reveal themselves each day. She's such a fun, sweet little girl!
The other side of the coin - yes, there is one - the tantrums, the fussing at the word "no", and so on. You know, normal 19-month old behaviors. So for those of our friends that think we're making it up because they haven't seen it in action yet, I'm sure it's coming to a dinner or play date near you soon. :-)
We love that Bailey's showing us the good, the bad and the ugly. It tells me she's comfortable around us. She's ready, willing, and able to push our buttons, to test the boundaries, to be a kid around her parents.
She's got such a sweet spirit, as you can see in these pictures. She loves discovering new things and playing with whatever is around. One of the new things she's enjoying, much to my enjoyment, is golf. YES!
Here are some more pictures from the summer.
Our inflatable pool in the backyard...
She still has a very one-sided relationship with big sister Abby,
and has decided that spinning around with clothes on her head is one of her favorite things.
This skirt is the new "hotness" in her wardrobe. She absolutely loves it! If there was a first day of school for her this year, I'm sure this would've been the outfit of choice.
In other news, Jenny and I have begun the, "Sooooo, when do we begin the process for #2?" conversation. You'd think this conversation would just scare the crap out of us, me especially. Sure, we have no idea how we'd pay for it, we feel like we're finally figuring this whole "parenting one child" thing out, and we're just 8 months into our lives with Bailey. But, we're not done, and we don't want to be done.
We can always argue that any time is not the "right" time. So, are we supposed to wait on adoption #2 until we're comfortable?
How do I reconcile this justification of comfort with the reality of the calling we feel we have on our lives and all the children in orphanages around the world that don't have families and don't experience the love and care they crave, need and deserve. Who am I to say "not yet" because I want to let all of my first world problems cloud my perspective and my priorities. Maybe we're being challenged to sacrifice our comforts and conveniences and get moving.
All that to say - would you please pray with us and for us? We don't want to be reckless but we don't want to sit on the sidelines either. We want to be obedient, as uncomfortable as that may be. Thanks for your prayers as we think and pray through all of these possibilities.
Sunday, August 11, 2013
|A new favorite picture|
|BFFs, can't you tell?!?|
- No running in the house - Bailey's walking phase lasted about 45 seconds, and has since turned into an all-out sprint.
- Don't talk to your mother that way - I'm hoping it won't be until the teenage years when I need to pull this one one because of WHAT Bailey says. Right now, it's HOW she talks. It's never too early to teach respect, and that there's a decibel level that is appropriate, especially when addressing her mom.
- Don't make me turn this car around - In our case on our road trip, it would have been, "Don't make me continue driving in the direction we're going because we're headed in the direction of home." Anywho, there is only so much time anyone can stand being in a car and that limit is reduced exponentially for a young child. Bailey had had enough and was letting us know, and I had had enough of her letting us know. Although the words came out of my mouth, to date I have "turned the car around" as many times as my dad did. :-) But man, were his threats SERIOUS. Fear. Of. God.
- Bailey won't smile for pictures. See:
- Bailey hasn't begun potty training yet but she loves her potty. This is a common pre-bath ritual. It doesn't make sense to us either.
- Bailey's hair is getting really long. We need to start styling it or at least trying. I can't wait to share those stories. This could take her relationship with us (and by "us", I mean Jenny) to a whole new level.
Sunday, August 4, 2013
A couple weeks ago, we set out on our first road trip with Bailey - it was a short one, just 3 nights away from home. We made our way up through the Black Hills of South Dakota, stopping to see the Crazy Horse memorial (what a sham!) and Mt. Rushmore (pretty cool to see in person). We spent the remainder of the trip visiting friends in Wyoming, including a nice day with the family that was with us in Kinshasa bringing home their little boy.
Bailey did great in the car - it was a lot of hours to be confined to her carseat. We've got all sorts of new songs and games with her as a result. And we learned that she can (and will) say "mama" just about every chance she gets. Maybe she's afraid of silence, I don't know. We don't have video, but it is reminiscent of this, just a whole lot cuter, and Jenny responds with much more patience and love (obviously! :-)):
116. While we're talking about comparisons, Bailey drinks her milk with such conviction and force, I can't help but think of Napoleon Dynamite...
117. Bailey is our prayer compass. Every night at dinner, she reaches for my hand and for Jenny's, and bows her head to pray. I don't know about you, but seeing your child do this, even if she has no clue what we're doing, is a great kick-in-the-pants reminder that we need to be very intentional about modeling to her what a life devoted to Christ looks like. Even at this early age, there is so much that she's absorbing about life and how we live ours.
118. #117 is also a reminder that Bailey has entered the "mimicking" stage and has begun to mimick our actions and repeat our words. Gulp...
119. OK, just one more opportunity to show off - a couple nights ago, Bailey had one of her worst nights of sleep that I can remember. Once 3am arrived, for whatever reason, Bailey was very unsettled. We would get her back down, but not 15 minutes later she's up crying. At the 4am shift, she didn't want milk. Nope, she wanted to read her children's Bible! A half-asleep reading of the Bible was not at the top of our priority list at 4am. Another 5-letter word was the one and only priority - SLEEP. Regardless, it just melted my heart to see her asking for these stories. It is a prayer of ours that God will be very present in her life, in her heart, in her dreams, and I'm thankful that she's embracing these foundational stories.
120. Watching our child eat spaghetti is one of the most joyful experiences ever!
121. Bailey seems to be fascinated by Jeeps, which is quite the coincidence (or is it?) given the way God used Jeeps to remind us to pray for Bailey during our waiting.
122. Many people ask us how we think the bonding/attachment are going. Six months in, I can confidently say that it has gone better than we could've ever imagined. Bailey seems to have really developed a strong bond with both of us and recognizes us as her mom and dad, her caretakers, her need-meeters. I can't point to one thing in particular, but a few realities have contributed - her age when we finally brought her home, the health scare shortly after coming home, and even the 10 days in near-isolation when in Kishasa. I think our short period of hibernation has and will continue to pay dividends in our strengthening relationship with our daughter. That being said, we can't lessen our quality time with her and making it clear to her that we're her forever family.
|Just chillin' at Costco|
124. Bailey's favorite "toys" these days: boxes, sunscreen, and Jenny's childhood STEVE URKEL doll. Yep, you read that right.
Friday, July 19, 2013
6 months ago today we held our little girl for the very first time. 6 months ago today we began learning about our little girl. The months of waiting finally turned into the moment we had anticipated for so long.
Oh how different life can be in just 6 short months. Daily life has taken on a whole new look. Yet, I can't seem to remember what life was like without her. This is the new normal. Drool stains on our clothes. Milk stains in the car. Poop-related conversations more frequent than I care to admit. I know more about coconut oil, cocoa butter and hair souffle than I ever thought possible. Mornings watching/playing golf have been replaced with swim lessons. Meals have become events. I am floored by how much Bailey has grown. I guess I could brag and also say I'm amazed at how much I've grown from this guy in the airplane bathroom (scroll way down...). But that's not nearly as interesting as talking about her. These 6 months have been a joy.
Bailey's talking up a storm these days. Her vocab is growing and now includes a bunch of words - bubbles, cookie, cooler, and ice, to name a few. She still has a very healthy dose of unintelligible "words"...see for yourself.
LL 111. Her decibel level is increasing as well, especially out at restaurants. How does such a small child create that loud a sound??
LL 112. Bailey's got this southern-ish accent when she says some words. It's most noticable when she says "bye" and "baby". We'll try to get video - so cute! Jenny would say that she gets it from me. She swears I've got an accent, especially when I say bull, dull, full, etc...
LL 113. Bailey was "helping" a friend of ours tickle her baby the other night and now she can't stop tickling. Here's how a conversation went tonight in the car:
Jenny: Yes Bailey?
Bailey: Tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle. (I think she's tickling herself as she says this)
Travis: Yes Bailey?
Bailey: Tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle
And repeat x20. She loves tickling and being tickled, but she can turn it on and off! Another way she's smarter than I am.
LL 114. Jenny and Bailey had their first mommy and me swimming lessons - 20 minutes of nursery rhymes in the pool. Well, it would've been 20 minutes if Bailey hadn't decided to pee all over Jenny 10 seconds before the lesson started. Perfect timing.
LL 115. My resume as a writer is growing! This article was picked up and published in the Southwest Kansas Faith and Family periodical. A friend on vacation stumbled upon it! Not quite the NY Times, but I've got to start somewhere!
Hear are a few more pictures of her adventures. She's so much fun!
Saturday, July 6, 2013
"Abby, Abby, Abby, Abby."
It seems that Abby is never far from her mind. While we'd prefer "Mama" or "Dada" to be the first thing she says in the morning, it usually tends to be "Abby". It is so darn cute. Bailey has now begun trying to put Abby's diaper back on when she comes back in from the backyard and she follows Abby around the house. She has been caught more than once in Abby's crate and bed and we just hope she doesn't crawl in either of those when our social worker comes over for a visit!
This is just one of the ways we see Bailey's personality continuing to blossom. She is such a happy and funny little girl. She's adding more words to her repertoire each day and surprises me with some of the things she says! Today's word was "bubbles". No matter how many new words she adds, we've quickly learned that OUR favorites are still the sweet sounds of "Mama" and "Dada".