Sunday, June 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sweet Alemitu

We had a Wiggles Birthday Party!! My little baby girl just turned 2. On one hand it feels like she has been with us forever. On the other hand, I can't believe almost 1 1/2 years has already gone by since we brought her home. It feels like we were in Ethiopia just a few months ago. Here is a snapshot of Allie at age 2:

Measurement - 16th percentile for height/weight, but growing at the appropriate pace for her size

Attitude - Bossy; diva; completely runs our house; sweet; belly laugher; funny; cuddly

Favorite Things to Do - Play with her brothers; Watch/Dance to the Wiggles or Care Bears ("She-She")

Speech - She just started talking more in full sentences (i.e. "No Mommy, I don't want to sit down. No Mommy, I don't want to eat" -- at least she's polite about it). She also calls her grandmas and great-grandmas "Papaw". All grandparents are "Papaw". I was a little sad when an Ethiopian man recently spoke Amharic to her and her face didn't show any recognition.

Dare Devil - Don't throw her up in the air, but she loves going on theme park rides. Her favorite thing to "ride" is a swing. She loves to swing, and HATES to get off the swing.

Water - She is a little fish. She loves to jump in and try to swim back to me. She loves the pool ("Wa-Wa"), and she stays underwater most of the time she is in it.

Brothers - She adores her brothers and tries so hard to keep up with them. For the longest time, she called both boys "Wes". Then she started calling Calvin "Dough-Kah". And now she calls them "Wessy" and "Cal". Occasionally, she will yell at them in a bossy manner saying "BOYS!" or "GUYS!"
Result of head butting Wes
In the tornado ride with her brothers.

Sleeping - She is still an amazing sleeper. She sleeps about 12-14 hours a night and takes a good 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon. We've let her sleep in our room a handful of times, but it doesn't always go well. She stays up for hours, laying quietly, and playing with our faces while we try to sleep.

She has to have her baby to sleep.

Diva - Her bio mommy must have been a girly-girl because that describes Alemitu perfectly. She loves wearing jewelry ("Gee-Gee"), high heels, sunglasses, and sparkly shoes. She is very particular about her shoes.

Naked, but in her high heels

Food - She doesn't eat much, but her doctor is okay with it since she is still growing at a good pace. Sometimes she will devour her food, but mostly she picks at it. She will attempt to eat anything you put in front of her. Recently, she almost ate 2 cheeseburger patties for dinner while we were in Indiana. She loves to dip everything in ketchup ("bucket") or ranch.

Hair - She has gotten really good at sitting still to get her hair done. On occasion she will cry through it, but most of the time she sits calmly and watches The Wiggles while I braid her hair. (30 minutes - 2 hours) As soon as I tell her "All Done", she has to find her daddy and brothers to show them her new hair. I received the biggest compliment while we were in Nashville recently. An Ethiopian man was shocked that I was the one who had braided her hair. He was amazed at what a good job I did, and told me that my style was just like the girls wear their hair in Ethiopia.

Games - Alemitu loves to play little games like stealing your spot or stealing your blanket (thanks to my mom). She'll tell you to do or say something, and then she'll yell at you after you do/say it. She has a great belly laugh and sparkle in her eye as she tries to trick you with something or other.

Trouble - Alemitu definitely succeeds in running this house most of the time, but sometimes we have to be the parent and put her in time-out. Just like her brothers, she goes in time-out quietly and waits until she is released. Even though she can be demanding and bossy (i.e. yelling at people to "sit down!"), she is really a good girl.

We love her so much, and Adam and I often talk about how we can't imagine not having her in our family. She brings us so much joy and love. Here's to another great year!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Blessings from Wes & Calvin

I've had a rough couple of weeks. In the last 8 days, I was diagnosed with a bladder infection, kidney stone, and then kidney infection. We had to cancel our San Diego vacation with our friends because of this (planned for months). My old dog had a seizure with vertigo last night (emergency vet assumes), and I thought she was dying. And. Insert big sigh. My sister moved away - something I still can't discuss without breaking down. It has been a crummy, crummy week. I've been feeling sorry for myself. And that's okay . . . a little.

So each day I've been counting my blessings. I have so, so many blessings. Each day something so cute or funny happens with my kids that I want to tell everyone about. I always talk about Alemitu, so I thought I'd share a few of my blessings from Wes and Calvin:

A few nights ago, the boys were pretending to be Mario and Luigi. Of course, Alemitu wanted to play. The boys always make sure she gets some of their toys, but this time they went further. They dressed her up to be the Princess on Mario Bros. (They also said our dog was Yoshi.) To walk into my bedroom, and see all three kids dancing on the bed, pretending to be Mario and Luigi, and singing with pretend microphones in their hands --- aaahh. Life just doesn't get better than those moments. I love those moments.

This week, I also caught Calvin saying "Dammin" and Wes saying "What the hell". They had no clue that they were saying anything bad, and so we talked about words that just aren't very nice to use. Moments like these where I can sit and discuss with my kids about being "respectable young men" (per Coach Justin), are moments where I realize that life just doesn't get any better than this.

This week, I also sat down and played Mario Brothers on the Wii with the boys. I have been working with my boys to defeat one of the games. We take turns playing, and there is so much encouragement and laughter in these moments (slight frustration too if you were to ask Adam). Everytime we pass a hard level, my boys give me a huge hug and tell me how much they love me, and then they dance around the room. I'm their hero in that moment. What a great feeling. Life is good in those moments.

A few days ago, I took the boys to the splash park to meet some of their friends. When we got home, Wes turned to Calvin and said, "This was the best day ever, right bud?" Calvin agreed. Wes has a ton of "best days ever". It makes me laugh every time I hear him say that, but how amazing is that -- to have a life filled with "best days ever". 

This week, I saw the boys get a little sneaky. Aunt Jenna's birthday presents for them were shipped to our house. I opened the box from Amazon and saw the gifts inside. Nosy Wes walks around the corner and says "Mom, what's that?" I told him that it was gifts from Aunt Jenna and to keep his grubby hands out of the box. I put the box up high on our 3/4 wall between the family room and kitchen. Five minutes later, I walk into the room again. Wes has a guilty look on his face. I turn to see where Calvin is, and he is trying to climb the wall to get to the presents. My sneaky little boys.

Even though I'm sad, my life is filled with happiness and I feel it daily. Life is good. So ready for my upcoming vacation though. :-)