Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Emma Update

Emma will be 3 months old this upcoming Saturday. It has been whirlwind experience since the day we got that life changing call March 3rd. Now that Emma's adoption is finalized and she is sealed to our family, I feel time is passing at just the right pace (not to jinx myself).

The only way I can get her to take a good nap is for her to sleep on me otherwise she only takes 20 minute cat naps. I can't complain because I love snuggling and it's a good time to catch up our blog using my Android phone or read a book. She does pretty well with one good nap a day so I do it while Owen is using his computer time.

Emma loves to be sitting or standing up now instead of being cradled. She either fusses or tries to pull herself up whenever someone holds her that way. I wish we had one of the Bumbo chairs but they are so expensive for what little time they use them that we improvise. I either have her sit on my lap with her back against me while I sit cross-legged on the floor, or I lay against the couch arm with my knees up and place her so she is sitting on me with her back resting against my thighs.

Here is some video of Emma cooing. She is such a talker and I love talking and listening to her. Honestly I don't remember Owen cooing this much (must be that we girls enjoy talking). At her 2 month appointment she did this much cooing for Dr. Edwards. He said it was really fun to hear her talk that much because most babies will just coo a little for him. I'm sure she is going to be quite the talker as she gets older but I'm glad she is also a very good listener.

Catching that Smile!

The other day I wanted Emma to wear one of the bows I've made. I've been having fun making these easy flower bows that match many of her outfits.


I dressed her in a matching outfit and she looked so stinkin' cute. I grabbed the camera and hoped to catch her smiling. This is the smile that magically turns my moods around. I can feel sad or grouchy but after Emma smiles at me I feel the negative feelings just drain away. I feel so blessed to have Emma and I often think of her birth parents and how they changed our lives with just one decision. Emma smiles a lot now. She has even laughed out loud a couple times. She just loves to be smiled at and talked to.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Our Eternal Family

The first of this month we had our adoption hearing and had our petition to adopt Emma granted. After the hearing I had the exact feelings I did 4 1/2 years ago when we finalized Owen's adoption. I remember feeling that though the court had made Owen officially part of our family, I didn't quite feel Owen was completely ours just yet. The court had made Owen part of our family in this life but we needed to have him bound to our family for the life hereafter.

We took Emma to the temple to be sealed to our eternal family last week.
I can't express with words the relief and joy I feel knowing Emma is ours forever in this life and the next. I feel so blessed to have yet another day to add to the best days of my life. Truly it was a wonderful experience and having so many of our family there made it even better. For those who don't know we wear all white in the temple for many reasons, one being is it helps us focus on spiritual things and reminds us that we are equal in the God's eyes.

During the ordinance, Emma was so very good and didn't fuss until it was over. I was really worried about Owen. I tried to prepare him a little showing him pictures of a sealing room from the church website and explaining what would happen. But I wasn't surprised when he got upset since he had to sit and watch instead of participating with Mommy, Daddy, and Emma. He buried his face on the chair and missed the whole thing. At least something stuck because Owen has cheerfully told us a couple times how we went to the temple and now Emma is sealed to our family.

After the temple, we met up with our family again at the church house that Barry's parents attend to have Barry give her a blessing. Owen didn't want to sit and listen during Emma's blessing either. (Oh well.) We ended the day with some lunch for everyone. I wanted to thank Barry's family for the work they put in setting up and taking down tables/chairs and cooking and preparing all the food. And I am very thankful for all our family that came and made the day even more special.

Emma in her sealing and blessing gown. It's not required that babies wear white but most parents choose to do so as white represents purity.

She has a bit of her tongue sticking out as usual! Lol! Emma sticks her tongue in and out a lot. Her dr says it has to do with the nasty taste of the refluxed formula.

The Mary Jane booties I made Emma. They wouldn't stay on for her special day. After further inspection I figured out that I didn't put the buttons, that fasten the straps, back far enough given baby yarn is softer giving it more stretch than worsen weight. I fixed them for her pictures.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Turning 5

Owen is a year older and Barry is getting more gray hair. Coincidence? I say not! I won't admit I had any part in it. Lol.

Owen turned 5 almost two weeks ago. As some of you know birthdays are a big deal in our family. I like to make them extra special for the birthday boy and decorate with his favorite character(s) or show. A couple months ago Owen wanted a Phineas and Ferb birthday. I had his cake all planned out and I was going to step up my cake decorating skills and try using fondant.

Well, with our little surprise addition and then Owen changing his mind and wanting an Angry Birds theme instead, I decided to simplify by serving glazed donuts instead of cake. We put a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the center and had caramel and chocolate syrup toppings for the choosing. I must say keeping it simple made it much less stressful and I got to enjoy the party more.

I did keep with the mini-cake tradition. Owen had his very own donut cake! I was going to use his Angry Bird figures to decorate it but he wouldn't let me borrow them. We discovered that Owen really loves donuts. He had four donuts that day and two more each day for two days following since we had extra left over.

Of course Owen had a blast with his cousins. It is sure wonderful his boy cousins live close by and are the same age. The best part is that have become the best of friends. Just before his birthday he wanted to invite his best friends from school to his party. Being that it was a little too late I promised him next year we would do a friend party.

Owen really loves graphic t-shirts. Aunt Alicia and Uncle Josh sure scored big points with him. They gave him an Angry Birds in Space shirt! Owen wouldn't take it off for days. And Uncle David and Aunt Jen got him a Avengers shirt that he loves too.

The Tuesday after Grandpa and Grandma Vest took Owen to Toys R Us to pick out his present. He got a Mario remote control car and a play toolbox with tools. Then took him to dinner to a 50s themed diner. Owen really chowed down. He had an waffle, pancake, and a piece of bacon! Grandma said she had never seen Owen eat that much.

I wanted to show off my Angry Bird themed decorations. I usually order a banner and table cover but I couldn't find Angry Birds ones. I got an idea off a blog on how to make a banner and I had Owen help me glue it together. He was sure excited when he woke up the next morning to find it all finished and hanging up.

Instead of printing out things as shown on the blog, I decided it would be way easier just to use the Cricut with my Sure Cuts A Lot software. I cut out the letters in the Angry Birds font and I found the Angry Bird and Pig from this blog..

I think everything turned out pretty awesome! When I took down the banner, I put the Angry Bird and the Pig on Owen's bedroom wall. He loves them! I'm thinking about downloading and making the rest of the birds and the mustache pig to put up in his room. (Yeah right with all my free time. Lol!) Oh and if anyone local wants the eggs with the letters for a birthday party, I'm more than happy to give them to you.

Anyway, Happy Birthday My Owen! We love you so much and so grateful you are part of our family.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It's Final

Our little and now official family with our attorney and the judge.

All of our family at the hearing.

Last Wednesday afternoon we had our adoption finalization hearing for Emma. Many people have mentioned about how fast things have gone this time. It feels fast to us too. When we received Owen, the state required 6 post placement visits by our caseworker before we could finalize. So Owen was 6 months old when we finalized his adoption.

A couple years ago they changed the requirement for non-special need adoptions. We had one visit by our caseworker and then he gave us the go ahead to get our attorney. Just prior to finalization we had just one more visit.

Despite having gone through an adoption hearing before, I was nervous. Of course I wasn't on trial for some crime but I did know there would be a judge, bailiff, and court reporter and we would be both give testimony concerning our petition to adopt, being capable parents, and if the adoption was in Emma's best interests.

Obviously the hearing went well and our petition was granted. As solumn as the atmosphere was there were some exciting and memorable parts. Owen insisted he had to sit with us so the judge decided to ask him a couple questions about being a big brother. His last question was whether Owen had anything else to say about Emma. Owen said that he loved Emma and he also loved his Angry Bird toys. That made all of us including the judge laugh.

Then at the very end of the hearing, the court reporter's computer shut down on its own. She wasn't sure how much of the hearing it recorded so we might need to redo some parts. While we were waiting for her to listen through the recording the judge started up a conversation with Owen. He asked what Owen like to do and then said, "Oh wait, you like playing Angry Birds." To that Owen said, "Whatever!" That made the judge laugh (good thing he's a grandpa as well as a judge). What an attitude! Anyway, we gave a huge sigh of relief when the court reporter said it recorded the whole thing.

We feel overwhelmingly blessed to have Emma part of our family (officially). It was definitely a day to celebrate and we did with some late lunch at Gator Jacks and followed by some yummy Gs Dairy ice cream.