2012 may just be called the "Year of Abraham" for us. It started with wanting a child, then waiting for a birthmom to pick us, then waiting on Abraham's arrival, then the anguish of watching his health spiral, and finally the continued road to health for him. So here is a photographic look back at our year.
Much love. See you in the new year with my three crazy rascals.
Your dad and I laid in bed last night talking about you. We were like two little kids on Christmas morning trying to explain our excitement about having you in our lives.
Our hearts are so full. You are just such an amazing little person.
We celebrated your first Christmas last weekend. You seem thrilled to have new things to chew on. Everything goes right into your mouth now.
You jabber and screech all day long. Always something to say.
You are most definitely mobile. I'm constantly finding you stuck underneath tables, couches, and chairs. You move backward, so you aren't able to avoid obstacles yet.
Your sister, Evelyn, and you are best buddies. You make each other laugh and smile. Whenever she sees me taking your picture, she wants in on the posing with you.
You still are a little peanut weighing in at 14 lbs. 5 ounces. Your GI doctor is not pleased with your current growth curve, so we are continuing to try new things to help you get on track. You are on reflux medication and we're starting some solids. You get excited when you see the spoon, so I think you are ok with this. If you don't start picking up the pace a little bit you doctor wants to do a GI scope to check for inflammation. Mommy wants to avoid this though, so grow baby, grow!
We are hoping to finalize your adoption next month, but it may not be until February. I can't wait to stand before a judge and tell him that we want you to be ours forever and ever.
We are attempting to build more meaning into Christmas and shift the focus away from just opening presents. I over-buy for my kids, so don't come here looking for advice on how to tone that part down. But even with the abundance of giving we do to one another in the family, I believe there is opportunity to spread that abundant giving spirit to others.
This year I involved the girls in project Love Thy Neighbor. I made that up. There's no real project Love Thy Neighbor running around Pinterest or something. Well there probably is, but that's not what we did.
We kept things simple.
We made caramel popcorn and candied pecans. Super simple recipes. The girls did most of the work for the pecans which they thought was great. I finished off the leftover caramel with apples at nap time. Wins all around.
I found these great little boxes at Hobby Lobby for cheap and they were perfect to house our goodies.
Evelyn decided that a shopping cart was the perfect mode of delivery. This also meant that every bump we hit toppled all the boxes out of the cart, but you just can't win them all. There is one box hidden behind baby because Annie wanted in on the delivery action as well.
In a moment of bravery, Evelyn decided to take on the role of ringing the door bell and telling everyone "Happy Christmas". Annie also would go up to the door and hand the person answering it a rock or leaf and tell them "Trick-or'Treat". Festive.
The reality is though, that I wasn't really planning on putting this little endeavor on the blog. I am though for one reason. As we were walking by houses in our neighborhood where we were not delivering treats, this little conversation happened.
Me: (as Evelyn was headed up to a neighbor's door) Honey, we aren't delivering any there.
Evelyn: Why not?
Me: Well, um. (Major loss for words here.) We don't know the people who live there.
Evelyn: (very confused look) Can I give them one anyway?
Me: No, we didn't make enough babe.
Next year operation Love Thy Neighbor will have to grow to actually include all our neighbors. I don't want her to think that we can only do kind things to people in our neighborhood that we know. I also felt a little bad that this house was only one block from our home. We've lived here for a year. And I have no idea who lives there. Boo.
It's mid-December and those of you making a new Christmas tradition with Elf on a Shelf and probably starting to scour the internet for idea of what to have Buddy do in the night to surprise and delight your children. Well, I'm here to help. Or really, Evelyn is.
Evelyn plays Elf on a Shelf without the elf all year long at our house. So here are some ideas, courtesy of her.
1) Get creative with food. A block of cheese with giant bite marks out of it says, "I'm naughty, but in a healthy diet sort of way."
2) Paint isn't just for paper. It's for hands, arms, legs, tables, carpet...
3) Mud can be made anywhere dirt can be found. Get creative. Stir it up.
3b) Cover your hands in it.
3c) Heck, cover your whole self in it and drag a friend into your antics.
4) Find some streamers or raffia and have a party.
5) Clean laundry is made to be dumped. Your elf would surely love to hide in a giant pile of clean clothes.
6) Are you one of those who put your laundry away right away? No problem. Drawers can be emptied out too and have the same effect.
7) Makeup is fabulously fun to paint with. It covers clothes, carpets, and walls with ease.
7b) Lipstick especially will give you a fun, festive, Christmas look with it's lovely red color.
8) Don't underestimate the mess that something as simple as water can make. Sometimes the fun happens outside, but it's even more fun to dump cups of water all over the house. Make a moat around the kitchen table, a lake in the living room, the options are really endless.
9) Find all the hair accessories in the house and hoard them. Wear them all at once.
10) Here's a combo of two previous options. Paint and mud. Combine them and see where your elf's creativity can go.
11) Have your little elf dress your sons up like girls. Hair bows, tiaras, and dresses are all viable options.
12) Don't limit your elf's coloring surfaces to paper. Other options for your elf to decorate include tables, the play kitchen set, floor, benches, chairs, cabinets, and toys.
13) Fun with scissors. Whether your elf decides to cut his own hair, his sister's hair, or play horse's hair: all will make an impression.
14) Kleenex looks so much like snow, it will make any indoor surface more wintery. Cover floors, couches, and fake trees in it to get your kids in the winter spirit. Extra points for wetting the kleenex down first.
15) Naughty, naughty elves don't like to eat their peas. Go ahead and have Buddy hide them in the bathroom sink.
There you have it. 15 options to carry you through the end of December. Enjoy!