Tuesday, July 28, 2009


A couple of weeks ago, Evie took her first independent step. It was from the stair rail to a chair in the kitchen, and she didn't even realize she had done it. She did this same routine a handful more times in the following days, and J and I came to call it "advanced cruising" because that's exactly what it was.

Today was different. I was sitting on the porch, chatting with my mom on the phone, and Evie had pulled up to stand on my footstool. All of a sudden she just took off across the porch, taking 6 or 7 steps in a row, "landing" at her zebra toy. I was in shock at what I'd just seen, and then she took a few more steps in a row a few minutes later. So, after dinner I took her back out onto the porch with video camera in hand. I wasn't expecting much, because it took me a long time to finally get her to crawl on camera, but she miraculously complied with my request. Here is a short video of Evie the Walker:

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Grandma's Vacation Photos

Ummmm...my mom went to Virginia with us last week and yet only ended up in a couple of the pictures. Sorry, Mom. But she got some great shots of Evie, and me, and Evie's G.G. Enjoy Grandma's pictures!

Evie enjoys looking out of windows these days:

And she LOVES touch and feel books:

She is obsessed with dishwashers (pictured with G.G.):

And may be getting some top teeth soon, judging by the drooling and chewing:

Did I mention she loves books? G.G.'s bookshelf got emptied more than once during our visit:

Her favorite book is still Goodnight Moon. It was on the "must remember to pack" list:

We were on the go all week and she took several naps in her car seat, which is unusual these days. She hardly ever falls asleep in the car anymore, and almost never in a carrier or stroller. But vacation shakes things up:

She is learning to brush her two bottom teeth:

And learning to use those teeth to take bites from food that hasn't been cut up for her:

Evie and I got to spend a lot of time with friends, in addition to visiting G.G., and one of those visits was with Diana and Payton (we also loved hanging out with Jen and Deanna). Check out Diana's blog for a picture of Evie and Payton in C*hipotle together. I think it's so cute that they have on contrasting overalls. We didn't plan that. :) Evie and Payton were born and adopted only days apart, and I love reading Diana's blog. She almost always says something about Payton that makes me exclaim "Evie is exactly the same way!" And because we are both Wahoos, Christians and adoptive moms, I almost always agree with what she has to say. I'm glad we get to be IRL friends now!

Monday, July 20, 2009

10 Months Old

Having just gotten back from a trip to Virginia, I am overwhelmed with unpacking and getting things back to normal, so the text in this post will be succinct. We were flying yesterday, on Evie's 10 month birthday, so I took pictures and video one day late. The video is OK, nothing great, so I'll edit it sometime this week and post it eventually. Here are some of the best photos from month 10 of Evie's life. There are more from our trip, on other people's cameras, so they will probably surface later.

For starters, here are a couple of photos from today's birthday diaper photo shoot:

Here is the "winner:"

...and Evie's month 10 in pictures...

Separation anxiety and Mommy's need to do laundry result in some strange consequences:

When J and his dad tried to take photos with Evie (on Grandpa's birthday), none of them were "perfect." This one is the best of J and his dad simultaneously, and Evie is cute no matter what (to us), so here is the "winner:"

p.s. Cool shirt, Grandpa! (it's from his gym)

Evie has become more...curious...this month. This has lead to some sticky situations. This particular instance has two views. Top:


Playing at a mall kids' area this month:

If you can accurately identify all of the foods on her tray, I'll send you a prize (seriously):

Swing!! Thanks, Daddy.

Our little climber in the Detroit airport (layover) last weekend:
Let the U.Va. indoctrination officially begin! (with her Grandma and G.G./Great Grandma in Charlottesville):

Eating cheese cubes on G.G.'s china plates:
Visiting the Washington Mall for the first time:

In the grass of the National Gallery's Sculpture Garden:

Playing Three Stooges with Deanna's Snippet (he was pulling her hair while she poked his eyes...Zoinks!):

Cruising (and posing) on a sculpture that she wasn't supposed to be touching (whoops):

We have officially skipped the sippy cup phase and moved right on to the juice box epoch:

Playing inside my suitcase as we packed to leave D.C. and head back to Charlottesville:

I'll save the bulk of my writing about this month for a later post, but here is a summary:
1. Evie is an extroverted morning person and I am an introverted night owl. We're compromising. I mean, I'm becoming an extroverted morning person. Yeah.
2. She is sweet, curious, energetic, funny, independent and unpredictable. I get to know her better and better each day...leading to loving her more and more each day. I'm a little worried that if this trend continues, my heart just might grow three sizes, like the Grinch, and explode into soft, fuzzy fireworks over our house.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Open Adoption Wishlist

I didn't participate in the second Open Adoption Roundtable because it was about fathers and A. I had just written about G shortly before the roundtable and B. I asked J to do a guest post about it and he didn't have time. Sorry!

But it's time for the third topic: our open adoption wish list. Visit Production, Not Reproduction to read the rest of the roundtable posts for this topic. My wish list is short but ambitious:

1. I wish that the right words existed in the English language to explain adoption to Evie so that she will never, ever, ever doubt the tremendous quantities of love her four parents have for her. It scares me that she's turning into a little person who understands things. One of the things she needs to understand is her adoption. J and I are responsible for using positive adoption language, telling her her story and answering her questions. I have performance anxiety. I just want to do it...perfectly.

2. I wish it were possible for Evie to have more contact with her birthmother, R.

3. I wish, hope and pray that someday Evie gets letters from R and G to put into her baby box. They both said, before she was born, that they were writing letters to her in which they talked about their love for her and explained their decision to make an adoption plan. I have yet to see any physical evidence of said letters. I dearly hope they exist and that Evie will get them someday. I believe that growing up knowing R & G will be great for her, and I hope our adoption stays open and we maintain contact. But. I have a suspicion that the importance of letters from her birthparents, written before she was born and before she was adopted, will be immeasurable to Evie some day. Talking to your birthmother about her pregnancy and decision years after the fact is one thing, but reading the words she wrote while you were still in utero? Invaluable.

4. I wish that Evie will be able to get to know her 3 half siblings some day.

5. I wish that both R and G will be able to sit next to J and I at Evie's wedding some day.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Patriotic Baby

Too busy here to write much, but here are some cute pics of Evie in her 4th of July weekend clothes.

(Anyone know how to photoshop out the glare on my glasses?) A rare family photo:
Thursday we went to the library for a special program about Civil War era music. Evie bopped and clapped along, but melted down and needed a nap before it was over. An hour? Too long for 9-month-olds:

Playing on Friday:

Evie's 4th of July weekend Sunday dress (forgot to remove the bib):

I love her smile so much!--

Hanging with some church buddies:

We didn't see fireworks this year because Evie wouldn't have tolerated being out that late, but we didn't mind missing them.
Evie's latest shenanigans: climbing through the dog doors, pointing for the first time on Sunday and becoming a picky eater. J also installed a baby swing on our screened porch (for the consistent shade it provides as compared to a tree) and Evie loves it. Pics to follow.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Dear Lucy

Happy Birthday! I hope you had fun with your cake and presents today. You don't know me, but I was there when you were born one year ago today! Yours is still the one and only birth I've ever witnessed. One year ago I found out why so many people call childbirth "miraculous." Your Mommy only had to push 2 times and you were born into a hospital room full of people...2 nurses, a doctor, your Mommy (of course), your Daddy, your Grandma and me. Mine was the first face you ever saw up close, and you gazed at me placidly as I cooed and cried over your perfect little body, as the nurses cleaned you up and checked you out. Your eyes stayed open, gazing into mine. At the time I tried to soak in every detail so that I'd remember it forever, and I might just do that! You were a fantastically beautiful newborn. We all agreed that you were perfectly gorgeous, and several nurses made a point of telling us: "She is absolutely beautiful. We say that to everyone, but Lucy really is!" I wonder what you look like now, at one year old?

Lucy, you don't know me, but I'll always have a corner of my Mommy heart set aside to loving you.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sleep Cycles

If you happen to be lucky enough to function on a 24-hour cycle, I am jealous of you. Some people naturally like to be awake for 16 hours and sleep for 8. Or they like to be awake for 17 hours and sleep for 7, etc. You get the idea. The hours add up to 24, which happens to be the number allotted.

I, on the other hand, am what is referred to as a "night owl." I inherited this from my dad. Both of us are chronically sleep deprived, grumpy in the morning, coffee addicts and frequently found awake at ridiculous times like 3 AM. Last summer, pre-Evie, it wasn't unheard of for me to go to bed at 4 AM and get up at noon. And no, I wasn't out partying, I was up scrapbooking, sewing or blogging.

My body works on a 30 hour cycle. It likes to be awake for 20 hours and then asleep for 10. That's the pattern I fall into when I *can* (needless to say, I can't anymore). Sadly, there are not 30 hours in a day. So I end up staying up late, getting too little sleep, waking up in the morning grumpy and dependent on coffee, then being exhausted enough to go to bed the next night at a more reasonable time. The next day, however, I am rested enough that my body goes back to my 30 hour schedule and I end up with insomnia at bedtime. OK, so that's my issue. I've dealt with it for long enough that I can handle it.

Evie, on the other hand, seems to be on a 23 hour cycle. Her body likes to sleep for 11 hours at night, then 2 hours awake, then 0-1 hour nap, then 3-4 hours awake, then 1-2 hour nap, then 3-4 hours awake, then bed. That adds up to 22-24 hours, but usually 23. This is great for her, because eventually she'll adapt and as an adult shouldn't have sleep issues. But right now, we are in a cycle where her bedtimes and wake-up times either keep getting earlier and earlier (6:30 pm bedtime last night and 5:30 wake up this morning) or else I keep a cranky baby up for an extra hour every night, which just doesn't seem right. When a baby is tired and wants to sleep, let them sleep, right?!

Anyhow, J has cycles more like Evie and is a huge help when he's in town. When he's not, Evie and I are dysfunctional. My least favorite time of day is having her clinging to my leg, crying, while I make coffee at 5:45 AM. Believe me, Evie, you don't want to hang out with a Mommy sans-coffee. Just let me brew my pot, please. Pretty please.

Anyone else have sleep cycle dysfunctions with their babies or kids? I bet there are parents out there with the opposite problem...you are on a 24 hour schedule or close to it, and your baby is on a night owl schedule and works on 25 or 26 hour days? I know that my tendencies are genetic, not only because I am so like my dad, but also because my mom says I was something of a night owl even as a baby.

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