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Happy New Year 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ok, I know I’m running a little behind but better late than never!

I hope everyone is having a great year so far.   Mine got off to a rough start.   I was sick in bed all day New Year's and ended up going to the E.R. the next day.   I had the beginnings of what turned out to be sore throat and my tonsils were swollen shut.   I couldn’t even swallow water without the pain being unbearable.   Needless to say, there was no champagne toasting for me!

I thought I was on the mend but about 5 days after that, I broke out in a rash.   At first, I thought it was an allergic reaction to something.   I took some Benadryl and it helped some with the itching but the rash stayed there.   I got home from work, took a shower and the rash was still there.   I had a miserable night of itching and then went to the doctor the next morning.   He informed me that I had a scarlatina rash.   Fortunately, I got some more antibiotics and calamine lotion for the itching and all is well now and by some miracle, neither Rob or Liam got sick.

The year has been off to a rocky start but hopefully we’re back on track now.   We took the first step on one of our New Year’s resolutions last week to start going to church.   It was our first time with Liam at church and he seemed to really enjoy it.   Here’s a picture of us all dressed up and ready to go to church:

Dede & Liam

How about you?   How’re your New Year’s resolutions going?


posted by Dede at 7:32 AM 2 comments

More Christmas Photos

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Whew...I’m finally getting around to posting the rest of our Christmas Day photos. We had a wonderful Christmas this year and felt so blessed to have Liam here with us on Christmas morning. He is the best present in the world!

I hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas too!!!

Click here to view our Christmas Day photos.


posted by Dede at 8:57 PM 10 comments

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Santa was good to Liam!

Liam horse

Liam scooter



posted by Dede at 10:27 PM 9 comments

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Liam turkey picture



posted by Dede at 7:30 AM 4 comments

Liam's First Visit With the "Big Man"

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Liam meets Santa Claus

We started our day with "Breakfast With Santa," an event that our employee activity committee does each year.   With a 150+ kids all in one room awaiting Santa’s arrival, you could literally feel the excitement in the air!

I’d been prepping Liam for the past couple of days for his meet & greet with the "Big Man" so his first picture with Santa wouldn’t be one of those Bad Santa photos you see on TV.   Liam in Santa hatI think I started the prep work a little too soon because he’s been looking and asking for Santa for a couple of days now so we were both happy for today to finally arrive.

Ol’ St. Nick made his entrance "rock star" style (through the back door of the building) with a build-up that you’d normally only see at a concert.   All the kids cheered wildly when they saw Santa making his way to the stage.

Liam wasn’t too happy about having to stand in line to wait his turn but he managed to amuse himself running back & forth to us in the line.   When his turn did finally come, he didn’t seem as interested in Santa as much as he was the candy and toy they gave on the way out.   As you’ll see in the video below, he went straight for those first!

Even though Liam is 2½ years old, we think of this as his first real Christmas so we’re trying to do everything we can to make it a special one without going too overboard.   (Of course, just having him makes it incredibly special for us!)   We’re also looking forward to Starbright Village at our McKinney Park this December.

What events do you have planned to make this holiday special for your new little one?

Click here if the embedded video above doesn’t play properly in your browser.

(Big thanks go out to Shawna for taking the great video!)


posted by Dede at 10:10 PM 7 comments

First Halloween

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Liam had a great time monkeying around on his first Halloween. He loved wearing the costume even though it was kind of heavy for our 70+ temp. When I first pulled his costume out of the closet, he got so excited and said "Halloween" and couldn’t wait to get in it. The whole time I was dressing him, he was saying "I’m excited."

The Halloween activities were centered more around jumpers and riding choo-choo trains than trick-or-treating but he did manage to get a few goodies. We would practice the whole trick-or-treat thing on the way up to a door but by the time they opened the door and he saw them, the excitement of the candy overtook him and he would forget his lines.

There was a tearful ending to the evening’s festivities; which is always a sign that he had a great time and didn’t want it to end.

Liam's Halloween costume

Liam trick-or-treat

For many of those of you who read this blog, this was probably your first Halloween as a parent too; was it everything you thought it would be? Did you learn things that will make next year go smoother?


posted by Dede at 1:12 PM 10 comments

Labor Day Weekend Adventures

Thursday, September 4, 2008

We put Liam’s traveling skills to the test again last weekend and he did GREAT!   We drove to the Austin area to do some extensive shopping. The drive was about 7 hours each way and he decided that sleep was optional so needless to say, we are very familiar with the ABC song now!

We traveled in a caravan with our friends Brenda & Barney and Clems & Sophie.   With each of us having small kids along on the trip — Siena being the youngest, at just 4 months old — there were lots of stops for diaper changes & feedings.

Our first shopping stop after arrival on Saturday was at the Round Rock location of our favorite store Ikea.   We didn’t have major purchases to make there this time but we did manage to find a lot of little things. Among them was another suction bowl/cup/bib/spoon set for Liam like the one we bought at the Moscow Ikea.   He had long since tore up the bib from that trip.

On Sunday, we headed out to the Outlet Mall for what was supposed to be a 4 hour shopping event but turned into an 8 hour event.   We found lots of clothes for Liam on sale and he got 2 more pairs of Chuck’s.   He loves those shoes and calls them his Alex shoes because one of the little boys at daycare (Alex) wears them all the time.

We tried to limit our time at the Outlet Mall so we’d have the whole afternoon at the lake to visit with Susan, Randy and Artem.   Since the shopping got in the way, we didn’t get to the lake until about 6:30 P.M.

We had a wonderful time at the lake with Susan & Randy and it is was so nice to finally meet Artem in person.   He is a precious little boy with so much expression in his face and he looks just like his daddy.   As Susan mentioned on her blog, getting the boys to sit still and both look at the camera for a picture at the same time was tough but with us both doing double-time shooting we were able to capture a few shots.

Liam & Artem on steps

Randy’s mother played a fun game with the kids having them feel how cold the watermelon was and then touch their face.   Here’s a picture of Artem really getting into it:

Artem & Liam watermelon

After the watermelon eating, it was time for a swim to clean up the mess!

Artem & Liam swim

I think the boys had a good time with each other and it was wonderful to reconnect with Susan & Randy again.   Thanks for the invite!

We headed back home on Monday but not without stopping off for some more last minute shopping along the way.   I found the perfect Halloween costume for Liam but you are going to have to stay tuned to find out what it is; I’m not ready to reveal yet.   Liam was the perfect little traveler again on the way home but I think he had enough.   We didn’t get home until 9:30 P.M. Monday night and as we were turning off the interstate towards our house, he said all done with the car now, ready for home.   ;-)


posted by Dede at 7:25 PM 9 comments

Happy Birthday, Momma!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Liam helped me celebrate my 29th birthday again today!   Here we are getting ready to blow out the candle.

Dede’s Birthday

Spending my birthday with my 2 favorite boys is the best present I could ever wish for!


posted by Dede at 9:42 PM 14 comments

July 4th Fireworks

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

We were a bit hesitant about taking Liam to the fireworks because we were not sure if he would enjoy them or be scared by them but he had a blast!   We met up with Candy, Marlee, Vicki, & Jimmy (a.k.a. "Pops") to share the celebration.   Here’s a picture of Liam when the fireworks first started and he was trying to figure out what was going on:

Rob & Liam watching fireworks fireworks

This was the closest we’ve ever been to the location where they actually shoot the fireworks.   It was an awesome view but we got peppered by some of the ashes.

Although the fireworks didn’t start until 10:00 P.M., which is way past Liam’s bedtime, he stayed awake for the whole show!   But he was sound asleep as soon as he got in the car for the trip back home.

What a great day for celebrating Liam’s new American independence!


posted by Dede at 6:23 PM 3 comments

First Road Trip

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

We took Liam on his first extended road trip over Memorial Day weekend and he did great!   We left Friday after work and drove to Brady, TX to visit friends.   It’s about a 3½ hour drive and Liam stayed awake for the entire drive and never complained.   On the way there, we passed several fields with cows, sheep, & goats in them and along the way, he’d remind us of the sounds they make.

We stayed at our friend Glenda’s house and she spoiled him rotten all weekend.   He got to eat & drink all sorts of sugary items that we would never give him at home, but since it was a mini-vacation for him and gave Glenda such pleasure, we let him be spoiled.   She has a swimming pool at her house and unlike our last swimming adventure, the water there was warm and the temp outside hovered around 100° all weekend.   We started him off in a tube floaty that has a seat in the middle but he didn’t like that at all because he was too far removed from the water.   Next, we put arm floaty’s on him and he did pretty well with those but never felt confident enough to try to swim on his own.   The next day I bought him a swim vest that clipped on to his swim trunks and that worked out perfect for him!   Rob taught him how to kick & dog paddle and he let go and swam from one side of the pool to the other on his own and would get in and out of the pool by himself.   He’s definitely going to be a swimmer!

Liam & Mom swim in Brady

After mastering the pool, Liam was very interested in Sladyn’s Razor so he convinced him to take him for a ride on it around the pool:

Slaydn and Liam on Razor

On Saturday, we took Liam to Georgina (GiGi) & Joey’s farm in Calf Creek, TX to visit the cows and sheep.   Joey’s dad, "Pappy," is 88 years old and still lives on the farm.   He was thrilled to have Liam come visit the animals.   GiGi rode in the back of the farm truck and held Liam while we drove out to the pasture.   When we got out to the pasture, Joey blew the horn and cows came running in to the truck from every direction.   Joey put out feed for the cows and then took Liam and walked in the middle of all the cows so he could pet them.   Rob & I felt like really city-slickers at that moment not knowing anything about cows or farms and asking stupid questions like, "Can you milk these cows?"   We were quickly educated that cattle are either raised as dairy cows (for milking) or free range cows.   The cattle we were looking at were the latter variety — or in other words... steak.   Either way, they all say "moo" and Liam was so excited to hear them:

Joey and Liam visit the cows

After leaving the cows, we drove through the pastures hunting the sheep.   I’m sure glad Joey knows his way around those pastures because there was nothing in sight but trees and I had no sense of direction out there.   He finally spotted the sheep in one of the three pastures they hang out and took Liam up to see them.   The sheep were much more skittish than the cows so Liam was not able to pet them but he did get close to them and hear them say their "baa’s."

After that, we headed back to the farm house and thanked "Pappy" for letting us visit the animals and Liam blew kisses goodbye to him & Joey:

Pappy, Joey and Liam

On Sunday, we drove to Brownwood and ate at Underwood’s; which is the best BBQ place in the world!   Liam loved the cherry & apple cobbler and the fresh hot rolls.   After lunch, we did some shopping and then it was back to the swimming pool for the rest of the day!

We drove home yesterday and Liam stayed awake for most of the ride, but was exhausted by the time we got home.   He ate a late lunch and then went down for a long nap.   He learned a new word in Brady which pretty much sums up the whole exciting weekend... Wow!

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posted by Dede at 7:09 AM 10 comments

My First Mother's Day

Monday, May 12, 2008

I hope all the new moms and about-to-be moms out here in blogger land had a happy Mother’s Day.

It was a very special day for me.   I’d like to say thanks to all those who took the time to send me email, e-cards, and mentioned me on their blogs passing on their congrats for my first Mother’s Day.   (Thanks again, Eric!)

We took my Mom out to eat at her favorite place, Furr’s Cafeteria.   It was Liam’s first time to experience a cafeteria-style meal and he didn’t seem pleased about passing by all the food without getting to sample it.   Once we were seated though, he dove in and tried a little bit of everything.   The fish, okra and of course mac & cheese seemed to be his favorites.

Liam, Jinx, & Dede on Mother's Day 2008

It was also a bittersweet day since it was Rob’s first Mother’s Day without his Mom.   After lunch, we all went to the cemetary to place flowers on her grave.   After that, we took my Mom home and gave her a framed studio picture of Liam that had been taken a couple of weeks ago.   She was thrilled!   Since he’s her only grandchild, I’m sure it’ll be the beginning of a shrine-like display.   ;-)

The rest of the day was spent relaxing at home with just my 2 boys — which is the best gift I could ever ask for!


posted by Dede at 10:17 PM 11 comments

Happy 2nd Birthday Liam!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Our little man turned 2 today!

We had a small family get-together yesterday with Grandma & Uncle Whit.   Liam seemed a little confused at first when everyone was singing a song he wasn’t familiar with but he got into it by the end.   He was also a little unsure about the whole blowing out the candles thing, but with a little practice was able to get the job done.   Eating the cake on the other hand caused no confusion whatsoever!!

Here are a few pictures from his birthday:

Liam learns to blow candles

Liam eats bday cake

Liam’ birthday swimming pool

We’re hoping that he will be able to test drive his pool this coming weekend.   Also, if you look close in the last couple of photos, you can see the cut on his arm that was the reason for his first E.R. visit (which is healing up nicely) and of course just in time for his photo sitting last Saturday, he got another bump on his forehead.   That’s my boy!

I baked cupcakes and took them to Liam’s daycare class today.   They had a birthday party for him there too.   I left them a disposable camera for pictures so I’m hoping some of those turn out cute.   On the way home he was singing part of the birthday song and we could hear him making blowing noises.   I can’t imagine that they had candles for him at daycare too so I think he just figured out that it goes with the song.   Anyway, it made me happy to hear him so happy and celebrating to himself on the way home!


posted by Dede at 10:20 PM 7 comments

Liam Meets the Easter Bunny

Monday, March 17, 2008

Liam’s Aunt Karen has been here this past week to finally meet our little guy in person.   It was a great visit and actually timed out really well because Rob was tied up working at his Mom’s house so she was able to help me with Liam in the evenings and weekends.   She also stained Liam’s Ikea Svala table & chair set and got a little more West Texas sun than she bargained for...

Karen and Liam

Saturday we went to an Easter Egg Hunt at the park.   Liam did pretty well once he caught onto what he was supposed to do.   Here he is loading up his bucket:

Liam with Easter bucket

He also met up with his buddies Sasha & Dimitry and they had their picture made with the Easter Bunny.   We thought Liam might be a little scared of him but "Mr. Never Met a Stranger" had no trouble with the bunny, but was a mostly fixated on the eggs instead of having his picture taken.

Sasha, Dimitry and Liam with Easter Bunny



posted by Dede at 10:59 AM 4 comments

Happy Valentine’s Day

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What a great Valentine’s Day having Liam home with us!   He’s been doing great this week.   We took him for his first doctor visit today and he got a good report.   Our little trooper also had some bloodwork done and we’ll have the test results in a few days.

Liam on Valentine's Day



posted by Dede at 10:48 PM 12 comments

Happy New Year

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Sorry so long since the last blog post. I hope everyone had a Happy New Year! I have been keeping up with most of you on your blog posts even though I haven’t done any blogging myself.

We sold the extra baby bed and the full-size guest bed that were both in Liam’s room the day after our company left and we’ve really been busy trying to get everything in place for him. I promise I will post pictures soon! Our co-workers are hosting a shower for us on Jan. 10th so we had to get our registries finished on top of everything else.

I still can’t believe we will be leaving for Russia again in 12 days! We have all our flights booked and it was really strange buying a ticket home for Liam. We are staying in a different apartment this trip. We decided to get a little bigger one this time since Liam will be with us there the last week. We are beginning to assemble our piles of things to pack for the trip. We also decided to take a food box this time with soup and other items that we were not able to find the first trip.

I just checked and the current temperature in Moscow is -2° F and it is currently 76° F here...we are so going to hurt when we step off that plane!


posted by Dede at 4:30 PM 12 comments

Merry Christmas to All!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I hope everyone is having a festive holiday season!

We’ve been non-stop busy since returning from Moscow Trip #1.   We finally got over our colds (thanks for all the well wishes) and now we are enjoying a few days off with our family & friends who’re in for the holidays.

No news on a court date yet but we have the baby bed up and will be moving out the guest bed right after New Year’s so we can put the finishing touches on Liam’s room.   I’ll post pictures once it is finished.

Also, I wanted to say congrats to all our friends who’re with CHI on getting their accreditation.   Hopefully things will start moving quickly now for all of you.

I’ll leave you with a picture of Rob & me enjoying the reindeer games at a Christmas party last weekend.

Rob & Dede Christmas 2007



posted by Dede at 2:41 PM 4 comments

A Week of Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanks for all the comments on the last post!   I finally have a chance to slow down for a minute and do another post.   It’s so nice to see that we’ve moved off Debbie’s Stage 1 - Waiting list to her Stage 2 - Referral list;   that only took 2 years!   ;-)

The last couple of days have been a flurry of activity and my To Do list just keeps growing longer instead of shorter.   We finalized our flight arrangements yesterday and thought we had the apartment rental settled.   I received an email this morning that the apartment that we wanted to rent was no longer available on our travel dates.   Great! We started over and ended up finding another one through the highly-recommended Peace Travel agency, so all the big stuff is out of the way.

Of course everyone is so excited for us that there’s been a non-stop stream of phone calls & well-wishing emails coming our way.   On top of this, we’re hosting the family Thanksgiving meal tomorrow.   But it’s probably a blessing though that we’re so busy because it sure makes the time fly by until we get to travel.

My advice for those nearing getting a referral is to make sure you line out your travel agency, hotel/apartment and visa plans before the call comes.   I’m so happy we had a plan in place ahead of time - it has made things much easier!

I also got some good news from the Oklahoma CIS office today on our long-overdue I-171H extension.   They emailed us and said that they were finishing it up today and we would receive it sometime next week.   Thank goodness!

We certainly have a lot to be thankful for this week.   Happy Thanksgiving!


posted by Dede at 9:18 PM 5 comments

Growing Older While I Wait

Thursday, August 16, 2007

ElvisToday is another milestone in our adoption wait.   I’ve turned another year older and today also marks 30 years since Elvis died on my birthday (I won’t say which one).

I’ll never forget the day he died.   I was at the grocery store with my mom picking out what kind of birthday cake I wanted her to bake for my birthday when they made the announcement overhead that Elvis had died.   The store got very quiet and you could feel the sadness.   I’ll never forget that moment.

So for the past 30 years, I’ve always had a bit of sadness on my birthday, not just because I’m a year older, but also because I think of the day Elvis died.   I wasn’t a huge Elvis fan at the time of his death but since we have this date connection, I’ve grown to love his music over the years.

I was really hoping that today might could be remembered as the day we heard some good news from our agency but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.   So, I guess it’s just me and Elvis, celebrating today in opposite ways.


posted by Dede at 8:27 PM 5 comments

Happy July 4th!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy July 4th

Here's hoping that we hear some good news today! Have a fun & safe holiday!


posted by Dede at 8:52 AM 0 comments

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Although we were hoping this would be our first Christmas with our little one, it has still been a fun holiday with family & friends. We even got a couple of adoption-related gifts this year. I received the Teach Yourself Russian Complete Course and Rob recieved the Adopting a Toddler book. Both gifts were from our friend Buddy who is excited for us and can't wait to be an uncle again.

The Russian government all but shuts down from mid-December 'til mid-January for the holidays (New Year's is a very big holiday in Russia and then they celebrate Orthodox Christmas on January 7th). We don't expect to hear anymore news on our accrediatation until the end of January.

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posted by Dede at 1:08 PM 0 comments