Sunday, December 6, 2009

Season's Greetings

I remember when Devin was born thinking "Wow, he won't be the age that Lily was when we adopted her until CHRISTMAS!" I wondered, those first few weeks, how we would ever survive that long. Then I blinked. Now, it's almost Christmas and my baby boy is almost 10 months old! The first 6 weeks or so were really tough, but I can honestly say that after that, the time has flown by, and he is just the greatest baby EVER. Lily is still really great with him, and declares her love for him (and his head) daily. Although he still isn't crawling, he is definitely interested in moving. He will roll to where he wants to get, and he is so very happy if you let him stand up against a piece of furniture. Oh, and he loves to bounce (and bounce, and bounce)! He is growing sooo fast. Thank God for gifts and hand-me-downs, cuz Dev doesn't stay in the same size for long. The doctor said at his last visit that he is the size of an average 13 month old. He is 21 pounds, 28 inches, and wears 18 month clothes.
Oh, and he's teething. again. still? Anyway, I think he is working on number 8! So, ANYTHING I give him goes directly in his mouth. If I don't give him something then he improvises by sucking on his own thumb (or toe).

We are happily getting ready for Christmas. We are keeping it very low-key in the gift department...but have lots of family festivities planned. I attempted to have a family picture taken for our Christmas cards, but none of them turned out to my it's just the kids this year...they're who everyone wants to see anyway!

After a month (November) of illness after illness, we are so glad to be into December! Lily loves everything about Christmas and is just a wonderful ball of happy energy. Devin is cute as a button, and we're thrilled to be celebrating our first Christmas as a family of four. He won't understand what all the fuss is about, but he will certainly enjoy eating the wrapping paper!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Updates from a slacker mom

Another picture, mom?!? Seriously!?!
My Cutie Crocodile
My beautiful princess

Sweet siblings

I can't believe how bad I've gotten at updating this blog! My Aunt scolded me yesterday, and reminded me that I will soon forget all these special moments if I don't record them somewhere. So, this one's for Gee Gee!

Lily: Still very much enjoying school. She is beginning to read, and is getting pretty good at sounding out unfamiliar words. I love it when she will ask me what a specific word means, and then I'll see her using it in a sentence. To hear her say she is "famished" cracks me up. She is a great conversationalist and says she really enjoys "chit-chat". She can also speak more Spanish that I can, which is a trip. Kindergarten is not the same as it was when I was 5. She already has math homework, for crying out loud! She is the smallest one in her class, and the kids kind-of treat her like the baby...which she absolutely eats up. She is happy to declare that she is "ba-tite" (petite). Her little BFF will squeeze Lily and say "Oh, you are just my little pumpkin, aren't you!?" It's hilarious. When Lily is at home, she is very interested in her 100 piece puzzles. She can do them without much help from me...she's wanting some 2 and 300 piece-ers for Christmas. She still loves to dance, but I've noticed that she is singing all of the time now. The other day, she went into my bedroom and shut the door behind her. When I asked what she was doing she replied "I am singing praises to Jesus, and I couldn't hear myself out there." She is still a mixture of sassy and sweet. (just a bit more sassy, and a bit less sweet than before). She has told me that she "wants a different mom" or that she wants to go "live with Aunt Jody"...Usually when I am telling her she can't have something she wants. But, she is pretty quick to apologize and declare her love for me again. She loves her brother to pieces, and is incredible with him. She does tell me that she misses getting all of the attention sometimes, but she never takes it out on Devin. She still says that God gave us the best baby in the whole world. (and I agree that He did. twice.)

Devin: He currently has a double ear infection, so we are just trying to get him better right now. Luckily, he is still eating and sleeping really well. This baby will take 2 to 3 good naps during the day and STILL sleep 12 hours at night. It is amazing! He now sits up by himself, and loves to stand (with assistance). He has absolutely no interest in crawling. He loves his exer-saucer and his "Praise Baby" DVD's, just like Lily did. He babbles and laughs, and is just now starting to wave. It is about the cutest thing I've ever seen. He loves sucking his thumb while holding on to his super soft blanket - they are the reasons he is such a great sleeper. He is a solid 21 pounds, and I have an achin' back to testify to that fact. But, he truly is a fabulous, sweet, funny, beautiful, easy going baby and he is a joy to parent. The time is flying by, I can hardly believe he will be 9 months old in just a few days! Soon he will be enjoying his first Christmas! Yikes!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Another lesson in letting go

Well, last Tuesday my sweet girl began her new life as a full-day kindergartener. She woke up that morning with a huge smile and an enthusiastic "Well mom, today is the day!" To say the transition was easy for her would be an understatement...Lily was READY! I however, had a tougher time with the whole thing. We walked to school as a family, and I fought back the tears the entire way. I would've been a blubbering mess, but I had cried so much the day before that I think I was a bit dried up. As she walked beyond the doors of her school, out of my sight, and out of my care, I whispered the same prayer that I had offered up so many years ago. While we waited to travel to China to get our angel girl, I used to pray to God that He watch over her while I couldn't...and I found myself asking Him to do that for me again. I trust that He will, just as He did before, but my heart has a hard time letting go. I worry about her tiny little self getting lost in the shuffle with so many kids, and so few teachers. But, as the days progressed, I found myself liking this new adventure. Lily had so many fun stories to share after her day, and I was confident that she was going to be just fine. She was in class with her buddies Nnamdi and Ben from pre-school, and even Wyatt from across the street was with all of them. It really couldn't have been more perfect. Her teacher sent home a note after her first day saying how great Lily had been, and commented on how friendly she is. I beamed with pride. She made a new friend named Sadie, and when I asked her what she looked like her reply was the following run-on sentence:"She has curly hair, today she wore a pink shirt, and when we stood in line she rubbed my hair very gently and it felt good." What more could a momma ask for? I breathed a big sigh of relief and began to enjoy my quiet days with Devin. (who, by the way, is the best baby on the face of the earth.) Then yesterday I got a phone call from the principal of Lily's school saying that due to the over populated classrooms, they were pulling 8 students from the kindergarten class and putting them in a K-First split. Now, because Lily scored so well on her evaluation, she was one of the students chosen to make this change. Just when we had all settled in, there was yet another transition to be made. The switch is taking place tomorrow, and when I told Lily about it, there were many tears. (from both of us). But, she quickly regained her composure and assured me that she was fine, and would give it her best shot. I'm more proud of her than I can even explain. Not just for being bright, confident, and friendly, but for coming SUCH a long way in the area of "going with the flow". Anyone who knew my daughter as a baby/toddler knows that she was not at all good in this area, so to see her rolling with the punches like a champ just makes me so happy. Jay and I truly feel like we are blessed with the most amazing kids ever. We don't take them for granted for a minute...we actually still walk around pinching ourselves most days. So, although it is hard for me to let go as Lily develops into this independent little girl, I know that she is becoming the person that God has created her to be...and with her help, I am becoming the woman that He has created ME to be.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Shame on me!

Dear Diary, it's been almost 2 months since my last entry...

Yikes! I was warned that once that second baby joined the family, my journaling would suffer greatly. And, it obviously has...but I am promising myself to do better -starting now!

And, I am also going to give my blog a much-needed makeover. Life with Lily Lin doesn't cut it anymore - Devin would certainly have something to say about that. Or, he would if he could talk anyway. Don't worry baby boy, I'll get you in the title here soon.

Speaking of Devin, he will be six months old on Friday. Time is flying by at a speed that scares me and takes my breath away. I really didn't think I was a "baby person", but Devin has taught me otherwise. I love every moment with this squishy, squirmy, burpy, little thing. I am already getting so sad, knowing that he is quickly exiting his baby-ness and getting big on me. He is eating baby food from a spoon, rolling over (and over and over), smiling, laughing, babbling, trying to crawl, sitting up with help, standing up with help. Stop the madness already! But seriously, he is a JOY. He's content in just about every situation. Only cries when something is really wrong. Smiles almost constantly. Eats like a champ. Sleeps like a dream. (7 pm to 7 am most nights). Jay and I are walking around pinching ourselves that God blessed us with not ONE but TWO of the most amazing kiddos in the world!

Lily is doing really well also. She is, however, starting to show some signs of jealousy of her brother. But, she is good about verbalizing it so I am working hard to reassure her that our love for her has not, and will not ever change. It can't be easy to have to share your parents all of a sudden - when you've had them all to yourself for 4 years. Other than that, she is just up to her usual tricks. Crafts, ballet, computer time, cards, games, dressing up, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, playdates, etc. We are also getting ready for kindergarten in less than a month. HELP ME! We've been practicing our math, sight-reading, writing, and such. She is so excited and ready to begin...I'm excited for her. It's gonna be hard on me, though. I'll miss my girl.

(picture taken at soccer camp last month)

That's all for now...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday to my sweet angel!

Lily Lin, You are 5 years old today. My eyes well up with tears as I type these strange words. Wasn't it just yesterday that we brought you home from China? You, a tiny little thing, scared and timid!?! Look at you now: My shining star. A friend to everyone. A performer who loves being in the spotlight. I remember wondering what you might be like when you grew. Wondered what kind of conversations we might have. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the person you have become. You are my kind-hearted, beautiful, smart, talented child. You are my hilarious, witty, companion. My days are bright and interesting because of you. Grocery shopping used to be my most dreaded chore. Now, with you in tow, I find it to be so much fun. I love how you'll remind me to get stamps, or thank the cashier for giving us the "buy one get one free deal" on potato chips. Your enthusiasm for life is contagious. You are happy to do just about anything, and are thankful for all things given to you. If we have a picnic you will certainly declare it the "best picnic ever" and you'll mean it. every time. You are my dancer. You loved it from the very first class you took when you were 3, and your passion for it just continues to grow. You are so excited to take ballet in the fall - as you are "through with tap". Ready to take flight as a ballerina. I watch you with such pride and admiration - I can't even imagine where your dancing feet will take you...but I feel so blessed to be along for the ride, and I'll always be your biggest fan. This past year has introduced some big changes for our family with the arrival of your baby brother. Watching you embrace the role of big sister has been a delight. You are SO SO SO good with Devin...there was never an uncomfortable transition for you. You loved him with your whole heart right from the start and continue to call him "the best baby in the whole world" and thank God for him on a regular basis. He feels the same way about you. Sometimes if mommy can't get him to stop crying, I'll ask you to help and it almost always works. He adores you - he is mesmerized by your every move. We all are.

Happy Birthday to the best daughter a mom could ever ask for. I love you the biggest, the best, and the most. Forever and always, Mommy

Monday, May 4, 2009

Lil tidbits...and Dev bits too!

Lily is still my pretty, pretty princess...which also happens to be the name of her new favorite game. She has enjoyed preschool a ton, and learned so much, but is ready for summer fun now. Her last day of school is next Thursday - and we're both looking forward to it. We have a special Mother's Day Tea this week, and then a bowling party next week to end with a bang. She has always been a bit "quirky", and now that she's getting older it is showing up in different (and interesting) ways. She is SO detail oriented. She wants to know everything about everything. She is mesmorized by infomercials and will tell me things like "we need that mommy, it kills 99 percent of germs" and "they'll give us one for free if we order now." She insists I read the labels on her lotions and soaps over and over (and over) again...and is just as interested the 100th time I read them to her as she was the first. She is very enthusiastic about the "green" way of life - reminding me when I am wasting energy or water...or when I am throwing something in the garbage can that SHOULD be going in a recycling bin. Her favorite book is "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" and she has memorized every last word. She not only reads it, but SINGS it daily. Detests movies - all of 'em. She is convinced they all have a scary part or character (which is kinda true), and she wants no part of it. She still adores her baby brother, and he comes alive when she talks to him...the feeling is apparently mutual.
Speaking of Dev...
He is doing SOOOOO great! He has changed dramatically over the past few weeks, and I thank God every day for the sweet, happy-go-lucky boy he is right now. I also know that babies are unpredictable and subject to change at any given moment, so I'm just livin' in the moment. He is on a pretty regular schedule these days, and his sleeping spans at night have gone from 3 hours to 4 or 5 hours, which is nice. He loves being "sweet talked" to. He smiles, coos, and even laughs. He still loves his swing, and now enjoys his bouncy seat and his "Baby Mozart" video. He likes to hang out on the ottoman, just kickin' his legs and staring at his fist. He likes his crib and sleeps well there. Loves his formula - eats like a champ. Honestly, the only thing he really doesn't like is being held. I usually only hold him after feedings, to burp him, and sometimes to rock him to sleep.

Those are all the bits I can muster up right now...until next time!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thank God for smiling faces!

Hmmm...I nested, I prayed, I waited, I cried, I read, I stressed, I wondered, I ached, I nested some more...but nothing could have prepared me for this. Life with a newborn baby. My life. Please do not think for one moment that I have lost sight of the GIFT that Devin is to our family. I am well aware. And I am thankful. I love him. However, the past two months have been more exhausting and draining than I had ever dreamed possible. I knew I would lose sleep, but I didn't understand how much more I would lose. I pictured him sleeping peacefully in his carrier while I went about my business. I never dreamed that going to the bank with him would be a risky adventure. I would have laughed at you if you had told me I would be too scared to take both my kids to the grocery store! Gimme a break! But, it's true. I've yet to take on that task with my sweet screamer in tow. I am proud of myself when I get Lily to preschool without incident. How pathetic am I? I have been assured and reassured that he is a typical baby, and that things should get much easier in a couple months. And, things are already looking up. He screams a lot less than he used to and he is now SMILING ALL THE TIME! And he has the cutest stinkin' smile. He also coos and laughs, which is doing my heart a lot of good. Thank God for the these sweet smiles! Lily, of course, is still my smilin' angel. She absolutely loves Devin and is the best sis ever. She is totally immune to his screaming - it's like she doesn't even hear it. (I wish I knew her secret!)

Holding hands.

Devin looking at Lily while she gives him some love. ("petting" his head)


sweet, chubby smile!

My angel babies.
Also, at Devin's 2 month appointment today my doc raved about how well he is doing. He now weighs 13 lb 4 oz, and is 24 and 1/2 inches. At the end of the day, I am so glad I have been blessed with healthy (and generally happy) babies.
I know I will eventually return to "myself". Just need some time (and some sleep).
Thanks to my friends who still check in on me. I do check on you from time to time, I just don't usually leave a comment. (oh, and some of you have gone private and I'm "locked out!) Kathy, you left me your new blog addy and I have misplaced it - I'd love for you to leave it for me again.