Saturday, November 17, 2012

Squirrel...I mean Sunshine's 3rd Birthday !

First, I have to explain the nickname change....Sunshine was Sunshine before she even came home. However, big brother, Giggles, couldn't say girl and so he would say "gwrl" which in turn became squirrel. So, now Sunshine is formally known as Squirrel. It just fits her better now that we know her personality. She's a bit squirrely, a little crazy and oh so cute!

Back to the post...

Happy 3rd Birthday little Squirrel!  She is a lover of all animals....can you tell?


Monday, May 14, 2012

Speedy's Famiversary!!!!

I can't believe that 6, yes 6, years ago today I held this little boy for the first time! Honestly, has it really been that long. I remember that day like it was yesterday. Happy Famiversary to my little Speedy...cake & Fanta anyone?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Giggles rides a bike!

So, Giggles said to me Friday that he wanted to ride a 2 wheeler. I thought that was crazy he is only 4 but he was insistent. I took of the training wheels and lowered the seat a bit. We practiced pedalling and trying to balance. After a bit of that he used his bike without the pedals, like a balance bike, to help him keep his balance. We practiced for about an hour in the morning and then a little in the afternoon.  He was persistent but a bit frustrated.  On Saturday morning Uncle Will came to babysit and the kids were riding bikes on the back patio. Yes, he was riding a bike. That afternoon when I heard that he had been riding his bike I took him outside to see. What do you know he was riding a bike, all on his own with no help from anyone. It was completely crazy! I don't know why I am surprised, he walked at 9 1/2 months so why not ride a bike at 4. Here he is, my little bike rider.

video

Friday, May 4, 2012

A twist out!

Yep, I tried a twist out. She had her hair in a 5 part twist for a week. That was also a feat since it is the longest one of her "do's" has lasted. The twist out looked pretty good but was a little dry on the ends. I did a pretty good job making sure to get the hair pretty straight so the twist out would look good. Here are pictures. You be the judge.



Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hair, hair, hair

It seems that all I think about lately is hair! Yes, I am obsessed with Sunshine's hair! I think about how to do it, how it looks, is the style holding, what will I do next and when will it get done. Seriously, I really spend a lot of time thinking about and researching hair, styles, products, and tutoials. It seems to have overtaken me but I know someday it will just be very easy! Right? One can hope.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Giggles 4 year famiversary!!

So, I can't believe it has been 4 years since we brought our lovely little boy home forever! Here is a picture of him 4 years ago & one from today! I can't believe how big he is.




Sunday, April 22, 2012

1 year as a fam of 5!!!

Our little Ms. Sunshine has been home for 1 whole year! We can't even believe it. Here we are 1 year ago and check out some pictures from today! My how we all have grown....especially our SUNSHINE!



Cake & Fanta anyone?

It turns out that since we brought our kiddos home we have been trying to come up with an appropriate celebration for their respective "famiversaries". It took us a long time, 6 years to be exact, but we finally have it. When I told Speedy that it was Sunshine's 1 year anniversary of coming home (famiversary) he said "Mom we need to have cake & Fanta." Yep, that was exactly what happened in Ethiopia at the kid's adoption celebration and that is exactly what should happen every year to commemorate that event. It took us 6 years but we figured it out and it is PERFECT!!!  Cake & Fanta anyone?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

We finally feel like it's a bedroom!

We have lived in our house for 5 years and never once had a headboard on our bed. Part, was because our bed was first a queen size bed, then a queen with a bonus twin next to it (Will had a nickname for that monstrous bed which shall remain our secret) and finally we have a king size bed. After many different configurations, depending on how many children we had and how many were in our bed, we are settled now with the king and no extra children sleeping regularly in our bed. We felt it was high time to have a headboard. I was tired of parading people through our room, which has the patio door to the backyard in it, and feeling like I was always explaining our current sleeping situation. Will and I decided that all the kids had their big kid beds and we wanted one too. So, I did some research and we decided of course to do a DIY headboard, using a solid wood door. We painted it a fabulous red to add a pop of color to our room. A little research on how to hang it and we were golden. The headboard cost us a total of $23, door $0 (salvaged before it headed to the landfill in a local town), paint $8, and french cleat $15. Can you believe it? I think that is pretty good and we love the finished product. What's even better is that I have found my sense of decorating style, making old things new again! I love to salvage and repurpose and anytime I can do that I will. Check out our new headboard....seriously my picture doesn't do it justice.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Repurposed projects!

So, I have been repurposing old items. I love antique items and love to find new uses for them. We used antique levels and added coat hooks to make our entryway simple and functional.




We needed a new key hook. We were at an antique store and I thought, what about a cribbage board? Then we stumbled upon a really pretty maple one. We added bronze hooks and here is what we ended up with. I love repurposing.


Fun letter play with Giggles!

Here is what I did with Giggles and Sunshine one morning for at least an hour. I can't wait to print these and frame them! Giggles was so proud....we even took a pic of one for our best buddy and texted it to him. It was a nice birthday treat for our buddy. We did one for all of the kids. I posted Daddy's.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

2011 A year in review!

I have been meaning to start blogging again but it seems there is rarely anytime. I have also been meaning to recap 2011 and here we are 3 months into 2012 and I am finally getting to it.
2011 proved to be an extremely crazy roller coaster for us. However, it was sort of like the month of March...it came in like a lion and out like a lamb. By the end of the year Will and I finally felt like we were in control of our own lives again.
January:
Will & Jenn turn 33 & 34 respectively, seriously are we that old.
We celebrate Speedy's 5th birthday!
We wait and wait in hopes to hear we can head back to Ethiopia to bring Sunshine home.
February:
More waiting and watching our adoptive friends receive word they can travel back to bring their babies home....so happy for them but so hard for us.
March:
After a long month of Tuesday after Tuesday going by we finally received word on March 30 that we had a VISA appointment. We were to leave for Ethiopia on April 13th!!!! Oh the joy & relief we finally felt but still I didn't let my guard down. Too many things had been going wrong this time around.
April:
Talk of government shutdown threw Will and I into a tizzy and we wondered what would happen if the government shutdown. We decided we would go to Ethiopia anyhow, at least we would be there once the government re-opened.
Lucky for us the government didn't shutdown but we watched every political website on the night of April 8th until we were certain the shutdown had been avoided. I think we finally had a glass of champagne in honor of our trip that night.
April 13, we leave for Ethiopia to bring home our baby girl and boy oh boy that day couldn't have been any sweeter.
April 22, we came home with baby girl in our arms....it was a happy day!
April 24, we had to call in some help. Despite our best efforts Will and I were quickly falling behind and the house was deep in dishes, laundry and other chores our jetlagged selves just couldn't handle. In our attempts to keep all 3 kids happy we were drowning...seriously. Will's mom came down to help because she had the time available and she did what needed to get done so I could focus on the kids.
May:Home 1 month and it was quite a transition for all of us...we are of course still transitioning.
June: Summer is starting soon and it will be a full summer with all 5 of us home. We can't wait but know we still need to focus on attachment and bonding since little Sunshine has barely been home a month. Eli learned to ride a two wheeler!! It took him 5 days...seriously that was it....I know it took me a lot longer.
July: We have spent lots of time at the pool and you can tell because the boys have become little fish. We went from not wanting to stick our heads in to swimming under the water, jumping in and attempting actual strokes. Sunshine is a daddy's girl but is slowly coming around to momma too. She is our little ray of sunshine. Sunshine attended her first 4th of July parade.
August: More pool time, a little camping, and all the summer activities we can think of in the greater Madison area! Uncle Josh came to visit and meet Sunshine! We had so much fun and they all missed him when he left.
September:
Speedy starts kindergarten and Giggles starts preschool. Little Sunshine just holds her own and they all have now transitioned to their family niche and are getting along as any siblings would.
October:
Sunshine's first Halloween and she kept up with those boys trick-or-treating. We thought she would be more reserved during our night time trick-or-treat ritual but she literally ran behind the boys almost the whole way. She insisted on going up to every door and at the house where they let her pick what she wanted she chose a regular sized snicker bar. Loved this Halloween...it was by far our best one yet. The boys had the cutest costumes, made by their Nana, and had such a great time.
November:
17th-Sunshine turns 2! We were going to do a big party but decided she wasn't ready for it so we opted for the usual family party. That was just her speed and even that was a little much for her.
Thanksgiving-Sunshine meets Uncle Ben.
December:
3rd-Giggles turns 4! We had a Packer party during the Packer game...it was like heaven to Giggles...seriously he loved it.
24th-Sunshine's 1st Christmas with the Nana & Papa.
25th-Sunshine's 1st Christmas with Grandma & Grandpa!
Such a fun Christmas with all 3 kids.
That's our year in review....it was seriously in like a lion and out like a lamb. 2011 we will never forget it!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Giggles turns 4!!!!

I can't even believe it...my little guy has turned 4. Yes, he is my little Packer fan!! Happy Birthday Giggles!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Baby Girl turns 2!!!

Time sure flies! Our baby girl turned 2! I can't even believe it. She has been home for 6 1/2 months and we have seen so many changes in her. Her language development has grown by leaps and bounds and she is so much more comfortable. She is such a happy little girl and has brought so much joy to our lives. We love her dearly and are so excited to watch her grow up. Here are some pictures from her birthday celebration. In case you didn't know, she is a huge Daddy's girl, which he totally needed after the first two were huge momma's boys. She is also completely stoked about her presents from her uncles, yep cars...she knows what rates around here and she was crazy thrilled!





Friday, September 9, 2011

You Crack me up!

This is by far the funniest thing Smiley has ever said.

We were driving home from somewhere and he said something hilarious.

Me: You crack me up.
S: What, what you said?
Me: You crack me up.
S: I can't crack you up only eggs can crack up Mom.
Me: What?
S: You are not an egg I can't crack you up.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Eaves Dropping

Here is a not so short clip of what my hubby heard the boys talking about in their bunks tonight. E: M when we go to high school, we'll be in the same grade, did you know that? So, when you sit in a chair, I will sit right next to you, I promise. M: OK, but don't you push me out of my chair, or I will be mad.
E: Hey, M, you want to jump out of a plane with me? Maybe like on your birthday, like when you turn 6, because I'm going to do it, I am. Uncle Josh is going to jump out of a plane on his birthday, and probably Collin, Miles, all those guys. And dad did it too. I jumped out of a plane a couple times already.
M: No, I will not jump out a plane because we could land in water and then I would be scared.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Our Feathered Friends!!!

Yes, I gave in and we have chickens! Will so badly wanted chickens and I just can't seem to say no when he wants an animal, although I did say no to a cat. Giggles is in love with the chickens and was practically speechless for an entire day because he couldn't believe we actually had chickens.
We were so lucky to know Gwen, a colleague of Will's, who has chickens and was happy to give us 3. Originally, we were going to get 2 chickens but the one Speedy wanted to give up was, in my opinion, the prettiest and I just couldn't let him give her up. So, now we have 3 chickens. Their names are Freddie, Frank & Princess Consuela (aka Cinderella) and yes I did explain to the boys that they are all girls but these are the names they wanted. I named Princess Consuela because well she seemed like she needed a more dignified name. Although it's only slightly dignified because it is a reference to a name on the old tv show Friends, which is much less dignified. Her are some pictures of our feathered friends and the kids oogling over them. Sunshine and Max are enamored with them and Speedy is taking his chicken responsibilities very seriously. This summer Will is going to make them a bigger run.

Sunshine & Speedy checking them out!

Frank, Princess Consuela & Freddie (from left to right)
Oogling the chickens!
Sunshine made them feel right at home! (Princess Consuela in the corner)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

5 Year Famiversary!!!!

5 years ago today we walked off a plane and headed home with our beautiful baby boy! I can't even believe it has already been 5 years! We love you Speedy and you have brought so much joy to our lives.

Friday, May 20, 2011

One month home today!

Today is the 1 month anniversary of becoming a family of 5!
Our attempt at a family photo @ Easter (Day #2 home)
The boys played along and this picture will forever be known as Easter Butts!
May 4,(home 1.5 weeks)
The kids with Daddy!
Today! Now she not only wants to sit with them she wants to copy them!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

18 months old....let's go fly a kite!

We may have missed her 1st Birthday but we didn't miss her 18 month! We made brownies and sang Happy Birthday and shared in her big day! Then, we all went to the park to fly kites. We had a lovely day as a family of 5 on her 18 month birthday!!! Oh and the dog turned 4!