Monday, November 28, 2011

State of the Union

We've had a lot going on the past 3 months that I thought I would take some time to share where we are at right now.

Adam has moved his business from a studio in our house to a studio in Scottsdale. He is at a place that houses several video production companies. While this was a scary move, it was definitely worth it. He has already seen such a huge benefit to working at the Scottsdale studio. Adam's business is booming, and we are so very grateful for that. At home he has been working with the boys on rollerblading and skateboarding. The weather is great and we enjoy the time outside.

Because Adam no longer needed a studio at home, we decided to move out of our big house and into a house that was much more practical for this. We love it! At school the boys, especially Wes, will write about it in their journal. They are so happy that we are closer to "each uddy" (each other). Allie loves the new house because she can walk anywhere without having to worry about gates and stairs. I love it because it is so much easier for me to maintain. I love being able to open the back patio door while I cook dinner and let the boys play outside on the trampoline and not having to worry about them falling into a pool. (But I also love that we have a community pool we can go to anytime.) I love how the yard and the inside are so much easier to maintain. Adam loves the house because he doesn't feel like he lives where he works anymore. We share an office and the office opens up into our family room, so even when he does do work at home we are still together. We also love that the house is right across the street from our city park. We are at the park all the time whether it is to picnic, play on the playground, ride bikes, or let the boys go into the skate park. We love, love, love this house!
Picture of Adam's office space in September when it was still under construction.

Like Adam, I just moved my business too. I have always been a contractor and just rented my space at different salons. A month ago, I was presented with an opportunity to have my own salon suite. A great friend of mine and I teamed up and opened our own place called The Chair. Our salon is in a building that houses several small, individual salons. I love it there! I love working with Bridget so much, and I love having my own place. My clients love the salon, and that just makes it so much easier. Leaving my last salon turned out to be very dramatic, and so I am so grateful to have gotten the opportunity to go elsewhere.

As for me personally, I am really happy just being with my family. We just spent Thanksgiving weekend in Flagstaff for a little family getaway. It was so very nice to just spend time with Adam and the kids. When Adam showed me the photo that we took in Flagstaff, I just got this warm and fuzzy feeling about how we are a family of five now. Seems silly, but it was just shocking for me to realize that. We are a family of five. On the drive home from Flagstaff, Adam and I talked about how one of the social workers told us that we were a very close knit family of 4. There was such a tight bond -- would we be able to allow a 5th person into our family? I'm a worry wart, and that honestly worried me. I love my boys so much, and I didn't want to have to take away some of my love for them to pass it on to someone else. However, Adam was right when he told me that my heart would grow bigger. Could we allow a 5th person into our family? YES! I can't imagine life without all THREE of my kids. We are now a tight group of FIVE. Life is just wonderful. Whether it is riding my bike to the grocery store with Allie, going to the park with the boys, or watching a late night movie with Adam -- life is wonderful. I cherish these moments and often think about how blessed we are.

Picture of 1/2 of my salon suite. Bridget's station and chair are behind me.

Calvin is doing great. He still loves school and Mrs. VanDeCar. He has a bunch of friends that he runs around with on the playground. Calvin plays football and just enjoys being on the team and able to hang out with this friends. He has taken a big interest into skateboarding, and he will be getting some professional lessons soon. Calvin is so patient and doesn't get frustrated easy, so this type of sport is perfect for him. He still loves to play with his brother or by himself. And most importantly, he still dresses up in costumes EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Wes is just as fast paced as always. The kid just goes and goes and goes and well you get the idea. He loves school too. He always wants to play on the trampoline, wrestle with Calvin or Allie, or play the Wii. I don't need to set an alarm in the morning, but Wes will come in an tell me that it is 7:02 -- and I'm late getting up! Wes is always worried about the time (like his mom), and he also worries about everything else (i.e. putting his folder back into his school back, turning in his homework, etc.) Even though he is super fast paced, he is such a little cuddle bug and full of compliments for people. He is very competitive, and loves trash talking his Grandma Allen when they play games. He keeps track of how many Uno "wins" each person has during each visit.

Alemitu is almost 18 months and is also always on the go. She loves wrestling with Wes or watching Wes try to beat up Adam, but cries when Adam wrestles with Wes. She is still a GREAT sleeper, and I am so very grateful for this! Her two favorite words are happily yelling "No!" or saying "Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy" and on and on and on. We thought our 2 1/2 hour trip to Flagstaff would be filled with her constantly saying "mommy". Whenever I look at her as she says it over and over and over again, she just smiles and waves, and then keeps saying "mommy". I forgot to mention, her third favorite word "Pizza!" She thinks all food is pizza, so every breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack she keeps yelling "Pizza!" with excitement as we prepare her food. She says lots of other words too, but these three seem to be her favorite. She recently went to the doctor and she has completely caught up developmentally. The only issue left is her growth. The doctor wants to see her again in a month to do some more measurements. Her bones are showing a delayed growth, but it isn't something to worry about. She IS growing, but it just shows that she had quite a bit of malnutrition when she was little. She'll catch up, but I think she will always be petite. Alemi loves to smile and cuddle, and we are so lucky to have her in our family.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Celebration Day!

Today was an AMAZING day!! All three of my children had really special events today, and everything went great!

Allie was NOT happy anytime we moved her balloon out of the way.

Alemitu's event was her final court room appearance to finalize her adoption in the State of Arizona. We have already adopted Alemitu, but by doing it again through the state then we are able to have easier access to her birth certificate, adoption records, etc. Otherwise we would have to get them from Ethiopia when they are needed. In addition, this allowed us to change her name back to her original name. When we brought her into the US, the embassy renamed her to "Alemitu ADAM Fischer". So we gave her her grandfather's name back, and she is once again "Alemitu Tagese Fischer".

Our paperwork finished just in time to be a part of National Adoption Day. There were about 300 families in Phoenix that came to the courtroom today for their adoption proceedings. There were bounce houses, free food and treats, and even Santa Claus. My mom came to visit this weekend and so she and Jenna's family were able to come to court with us. After we all enjoyed the National Adoption Day festivities, we met with our attorney and then went to our court hearing. I knew this was just a formality as she has been legally ours for 8 months now. I was surprised that we all got choked up during the hearing when the judge said "Your adoption is final." It was emotional, and when leaving the court room Adam said a prayer with Allie for her grandfather, Tagese.

After the hearing, we all rushed back to the football fields. Today was Wes & Calvin's big football tournament. We were ranked #2 in the division, and for the last 7 weeks we have been practicing solely to beat the 1st place team. They have a really good player on their team, and so Coach Justin has worked with the kids for 7 weeks on how to get past this player. We had to win two games to get to the championship, and they were tough teams. We saw the boys win the first game and then Grandma and Grandpa Fischer stayed with them through the second game while we went to the adoption hearing. The second game was intense, and very close -- but the Raiders won again.

It came down to the final game. The game we had been practicing for -- 3 times a week. The team played so hard, and they were so exhausted, but we managed to win by just a few points. At the end it was so intense and the other team was pretty much on the touchdown line and if they scored, they would win. With 2 seconds left in the game, they made a play, but time ran out. The game was incredibly tense and so very exciting. All of the parents were screaming, yelling, and cheering. The parents stormed the field at the end of the game. It was exciting, and I think all the parents have lost our voices. Coach Justin is simply amazing. He doesn't just teach the kids football, he also teaches them to be respectable young men. It was a great, great season. The entire team signed up for next season so I see a lot of football games in our future.
A lot is happening in our life right now, and I'll update in a few days. It has been a busy past couple of months, but they have been really good. I'm looking forward to some family time in Flagstaff for Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Halloween!

We had a great Halloween this year! We looked at tons of costumes, but the boys were adamant about having Captain America and Green Lantern. As for Allie, I chose a Care Bear costume because that is what she watches on television when I style her hair. I picked the Care Bear that I used to have as a kid - Cheer Bear. She loved wearing her costume.

A few days before Halloween, I took the kids to a local Halloween festival at the Goodyear Ballpark while Adam was in Mexico. We went with my sister and her family. Uncle Zach dressed up as Mickey Mouse (Chloe was Minnie Mouse), and he pulled Allie and Chloe in the wagon the whole night. The boys got to go on some rides and enter a costume contest. We had a great time.

On Halloween night, Mickey Mouse pulled Allie and Chloe in the wagon again. Allie has always been especially fond of my sister, and she just had so much to say to Jenna. We have no idea what most of it was, but every time the wagon got close to Jenna, Allie started chattering away at her. Chloe held on for dear life. She did not trust her daddy pulling that wagon and she had the tightest grip on the sides of the wagon for most of the night. Towards the end, Allie directed her conversation to Chloe and they talked a little bit.

The boys were so excited for Halloween. Wes kept writing about it at school for two weeks leading up to the holiday. There was no hesitation as they went door to door. They even learned to say "Trick or Treat. Smell my feet. Give me something good to eat." They couldn't believe how much candy they got and they were super excited. The fact that they both don't really like chocolate didn't seem to bother them. They just enjoyed collecting the candy and spending time with all of the family that came along.

It was a great night, and we ended it by drinking hot cider on the patio.

The boys pretended that super heroes were doing Calvin and Wes' homework.