Friday, December 21, 2012

Eleven

Beckett, somehow you are already 11 months old!  You've been home with us for about two months now!  In no time, we will be celebrating your first birthday!!
 
Here's what you're up to:
-You love patty-cake, especially clapping your hands.
-You can stand for several seconds and have even taken a few steps (with encouragement)!
- You have uttered "Mama" a few times...still not sure if you know what it means, but I'll take it. :)
-You are slowly, but surely, starting to feed yourself.
-You can go all night without a bottle, but you tend to be an unsettled sleeper and need to be comforted often.
-You like to be held, but you are starting to enjoy playing on the floor in longer stretches.
-You dislike snow very much!
-You are smiley...I can pretty much always get a big grin from you! :)
-You have four teeth...and I'm pretty sure there is going to be a nice big gap between your top two.  It's pretty cute right now!
-You want to do everything your big brother does.  Wherever Caysen goes or whatever he does, you are sure to follow!
-You've been saying "Dada" since we met you in Taiwan; again, not sure you know what it means yet. ;)
-You take two naps a day, sometimes three.
-You love kisses!!
-You have captured my heart; love you precious boy!!!!
 


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ten Months

Beckett, you are 10 months old!  You have been home with us for about a month and your little personality is coming out more every day!
You are 19 lbs. 4 oz. which puts you in the 21st percentile for weight.
You crawl and pull up to furniture and occasionally you stand independently. :)
You LOVE being held!  If you had it your way, I would never put you down!
You are a pretty good eater.  You've mostly only tried cereal, baby food, and yogurt, but we've given you a few nibbles of grown-up food here and there and you seem to like it!
You are a snuggle bug!  Love!! :)
You smile with your entire face!  It's pretty adorable!! :D
You mostly sleep through the night, but occasionally wake up and need help finding your paci and blanket.
On a daily basis, people tell me how beautiful you are...I agree. :)
We haven't heard any words yet, but you were primarily exposed to Chinese until about a month ago, so you could be forming complete sentences for all we know. ;)
You have a temper!  You can scream and bang your head like I've never seen!
You love following Caysen around and trying to do whatever he does. :)
You are a little bit shy, but as long as I'm nearby, you are usually ok.
You are in the 50th percentile for height!
You are loved by many!!
We look forward to continued bonding and getting to know you more over the next months and years!
 
 
 


Monday, November 5, 2012

Times Two

 I started to write a blog post about a week ago...it's probably a good thing I never finished.  I was in the midst of terrible jet-lag and child-refusing-to-sleep induced physical and emotional exhaustion.  I really didn't understand why anyone would choose to have two children.  I thought it a bit cruel that no one had warned us that having two children is exponentially more difficult than having only one! 
 
There was an incident that involved me trying to take a shower with two kiddos and a hubby back at work.  It ended with the shower curtain on the floor, a crying mama, and two crying boys.  I really wondered what I had gotten myself into.  I didn't know if life would ever be fun again.
 
Thankfully, the jet-lag began to ease and the child decided to sleep.  Our new routine was taking shape and things got a whole lot happier!  We still have a long way to go with bonding and attachment, and figuring out our new normal...but I can honestly say, life with two boys is pretty darn fun!   


First Loves

Toward the end of our time in Taiwan, Caysen got to see someone very special!  Suki loved on Caysen like he was her own and it was such a blessing to see them together again.  If I were to give Suki a title, I would call her Caysen's un-official foster mother.  I won't go into the details, but Suki and Caysen have a unique bond and I am so glad it worked out that we could meet up while we were in Taiwan.  I just love this picture of the two of them!  It says so much more than words can express!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Glimpse of Taiwan

A typical street view in Taiwan.

Lots of colorful signs and cartoon characters.

View of Kaohsiung from the zoo.

Scooters everywhere!  I liked the lady's hat. ;)

The Hats

 Our gifts from Beckett's birth parents:
Doesn't Lance look thrilled? ;)

 Only Caysen could pull off this look and make it cute!
They were very thoughtful to bring us gifts and I'm sure Beckett and Caysen will have fun with them in years to come!

Beckett's First Family

We were able to meet with Beckett's birth parents while we were in Taiwan.  They were so sweet and funny; what a blessing to be able to get to know them just a little bit.
They wanted to do something fun, not just sit in a restaurant and talk, so we decided to take them swimming.  It was their first swimming experience (swimming is not a common activity in Taiwan), but they seemed to have a good time.  After a little time in the pool, we hung out on the deck and exchanged gifts.  We asked questions and expressed our gratitude (all through a translator) and they did the same.  I am so thankful we got to meet them and I look forward to a continued relationship in the coming years.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

AIT Approval

Our family of four (and Columbus) holding the packet containing Beckett's visa.
Our adoption was final before we headed to Taiwan, but we still had one last hurdle to jump, our AIT appointment.  AIT is the American embassy in Taiwan and they decide whether or not to issue Beckett's visa which permits him to enter the US.
We had a little bit of a scare at our appointment because they asked for a document that was sitting in a filing cabinet at home.  Thankfully, my parents were able to find the document and e-mail it within an hour.  As soon as AIT had the document, they issued Beckett's visa and put it in the mail.  We got the visa Thursday afternoon, just before we started our journey home on Friday! :)

Columbus in Taiwan


On our way to Taiwan, we had a long layover at LAX.  We were hanging out at our gate about an hour before boarding when a random guy approached us and asked us if we would do something.  He had a stuffed raccoon named Columbus that he wanted us to take to Taiwan.  Columbus is supposed to be passed around from traveler to traveler in hopes of sending him to countries all over the world.  I have to admit, my first thought was, "That raccoon is either full of drugs or it's actually a bomb.  There is no way I'm taking it anywhere!"  After giving it some more thought, we decided he probably wouldn't have made it through security if either of the above were true.  So, we took our chances and agreed to take Columbus to Taiwan.  We are supposed to send a letter and this picture to the class in Germany that originally sent Columbus on his journey.  They will respond to us once they get our letter, kinda cool!  A friend that volunteers for His Hands is headed to Thailand in a few weeks so we gave Columbus to her so she can pass him on and see where he ends up next!

Totally Worth It

You can't go to Taiwan without experiencing a hair wash!  I still can't get over it!  An hour of pampering, massage, and a hair styling...all for about $3 US!!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

Twins?

Some women asked us today if Caysen and Beckett are twins.  What ever could have made them think that? ;)
 
Tomorrow is our AIT appointment.  Please pray everything goes smoothly and that Beckett's visa is issued without any problems.  Thanks!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

From Taiwan

We met Beckett on Thursday morning and by Thursday afternoon, I was sick!  I think my body just reacted badly to the jet lag this time around because everyone else stayed well.  Whatever it was, I was pretty miserable for a couple days (which is why you haven't heard much from me).  Yesterday, I finally felt well enough to get out so we took a trip to the Kaohsiung Zoo.  Can you believe that they only charge about a dollar to get into the zoo?!?  It's a real zoo with tigers, and elephants, and lions, and they only charge ONE dollar!  The weather is pretty pleasant here (equal to a warm summer day at home with humidity) and it was fun to get out and walk around after being stuck in bed. 
Beckett is doing great and seems to be getting more and more comfortable each day.  He wasn't crazy about taking a bottle at first, but he's pretty ok with it now.  He LOVES cereal and lunges at the spoon with each bite!  We are enjoying getting to know his personality and learning what makes him smile.
 Caysen is doing better than we could have expected!  He really seems to like Beckett and has been so patient when we aren't able to give him attention as quickly as he would like.  He's been getting a lot of QT with Lance because Mama is frequently busy with Beckett (Beckett has been cared for by women only since he was born so he is taking more time to warm up to Lance).  Other than being a little clingier than normal, Caysen is pretty much just being himself.  It can't hurt that many of the people his aunties here have been spoiling him and giving him all the attention he could ask for.
 Here is the Kaohsiung skyline from the zoo.  Different, but the same. :)
And one more picture from the zoo.  Some of the monkeys hang out by the trash and wait to scam on people's leftovers.  You have to watch out because they are little pickpockets. ;)
 
We spent the weekend soaking in as much of Taiwan as we could and we're looking forward to the week ahead which includes birth-family meetings, our AIT appointment, and a few other fun adventures!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

We Made It!!


We had a long layover in LAX, but eventually we saw our plane arrive.  We took Caysen for one last walk through the boarding area and then we hopped on the plane.

 
Caysen did so well!  We put him in the bassinet after dinner (about two hours into the flight) and he slept...for 10 hours!!  When he woke up, we only had two hours to go and he did great!  Lance and I were both able to get sleep too.  Seriously, we could not have asked for it to go any better!

After landing, we made our way through customs, picked up our bags, and found our hotel representative waiting to take us to the shuttle.  I don't know what it is about the Novotel, but we've been upgraded both times we have stayed here.  We ended up in a premium executive suite!  Caysen was pretty excited when we got to our room!!
We managed to get a few hours of sleep and now we will get showered and ready to catch the train so we can finally meet our sweet Beckett!!  In fact, we need to be downstairs to catch our shuttle to the train station in about two hours so I better get to it!  Next up: Beckett in our arms!!!!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

We're On Our Way


We made it to LA!  Two flights down, one really long one to go!!


Caysen has been such a good traveler!  Our last leg, LA to Taipei, will be the most trying (yep, it's 14 hours), but we're really hoping he will sleep for a good chunk of the time since we leave LA in the evening. 
He's handsome. :)
He's handsome too!  Can't wait to meet my other handsome guy in less than 36 hours!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Three

 Caysen, today you are three years old!  You have made so much progress over the past year and we are so proud of you!!
 Your favorite word is definitely "Mom" and you say it at least a hundred times a day.  I think you just like to say it because you know I will respond. every. time.  I sort of love it. :)

You eat like a big boy.  You are not picky and will generally eat whatever we put in front of you. 

You are still a peanut, but growing and gaining weight.  We'll take it!
 You love cars...riding in them, looking at them and saying "vroom vroom", pretending to start them with your keys, opening the trunk, and of course setting off the alarm.  Your favorite car is still Papa's red mustang.

Second to cars, you love books.  You love being read to the most, but you enjoy looking at the pictures too.

You also love to torture poor Zoey!  There is nothing more hilarious to you than chasing after her and grabbing her tail!

 You love your Dada!  You get so excited each day when he comes home from work.  When you are not saying "Mom", it is likely that you are saying, "Dada. Truck. Vroom Vroom."

You like to play outside.  You love to swing, slide, open and close the gate, and of course walk!!

Coming inside usually equals a temper tantrum before you get over it.
Just recently, you learned how to walk all by yourself.  We are still working on balance, but you have taken up to 60 steps at one time with no help!!!!

You sleep great at night.  You love your "kee" (blankey) and request it each night at bed time.  You make other requests before bed and most nights you fall asleep next to you cup (water), a book, a note pad, a snack, and who knows what else.  I think it might be a stalling tactic...but we humor you ;) 

You have recently started shaking your head "no" when you don't want to do something. I know you should get in trouble for it, but it's just so cute!

We love you so much and look forward to watching you continue to change and grow!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Happy Three Years

Sweet Baby Boy,
       I don't remember the day you were born.  I wish I could say I do, but  for me, it was just another day.  I don't have any pictures of you when you were brand new.  I didn't spend hours, days, weeks, and even months praying for a miracle while you lay in a hospital bed fighting to survive.  Even though I missed out on a lot, I am so thankful for the day you were brought into this world.  I am so thankful that your birth mama chose life for you.  I'm thankful that Jesus carried you and healed you and eventually placed you in the loving care of His Hands Taiwan.  I'm thankful that God led us to His Hands knowing that their ministry would be the link that would join us as a family.  You were several months old before God whispered your name into my heart.  Even though I didn't know much about you, I felt sure that you were the one God had chosen for us.  I asked your DaDa if he felt the same way, and he said yes!  I was so happy and also scared, but I knew that God had a beautiful plan and I was so ready for that plan to unfold.

I met you for the first time when you were about a month shy of one year.  It was an incredible moment that I will never forget.  I had waited so long to be a mama and then we found out that you were going to be our son!  What an exciting time!!  Still, we had to wait several months with only pictures until it was time to fly across the ocean and prepare to bring you home.  Meeting you and holding you for the first time is and will always be one of the very best moments of my entire life.

The day after your 1st birthday, we boarded a plane and brought you home.  That was two years ago and I love you more today than I ever could have imagined.  We've celebrated victories and struggled with challenges, but through it all, I remain ever grateful that God chose me to be your mama.  I love you sweet boy.  Happy Birthday!


                                                                                                        XOXO,
                                                                                                                Mom

                                                                                                                     

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The (Almost) Finished Nursery

 We've been in our house for a year and I've finally completed Caysen and Beckett's nursery.  I still have a few things to add as I find them, but I'm calling it done!  I used many of the same pieces from Caysen's nursery and stuck to a tight budget.  There's something very rewarding about not spending a lot of money and still managing to completely change a space.  It's amazing what some paint and a little fabric can accomplish!  Here it is, Caysen and Beckett's new nursery:




Remember the Day canvas created by Hello There Design.
Remember the Day canvas created by Hello There Design.








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