Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Virus Among Us

It began its life as a little sniffle on Tuesday afternoon and quickly blossomed into a full blown cold later that evening. Ivy has a nasty cold and none of us got very much sleep last night. We're all lying low today and are trying to keep Ivy as cozy as possible. We plan on having lots of quiet time today and intend to spend our day wrapped in blankets:

and reading some favorite books:

Drink your orange juice! Get lots of rest! Don't put your hands in your mouth after you play with the Lego table at your public library!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yay! It's Saturday!

Yippeeeee!!! It's the weekend! Let's all jump up and down!

Earlier today we met up with Markie and her grandchildren (who are some of Ivy's best friends) for Rock Star Gomeroke, in which kids sing their favorite songs and they're backed up by a great Madison band, The Gomers. All of our kids had a great afternoon and a highlight of the day was when the adults in the audience gave a standing ovation to an eight-year-old boy, whose awesome rendition of Livin' on a Prayer tore the place APART. Bon Jovi, you better watch your backs, Cole from Madison has memorized your song and has a hunger for fame. We want Cousin Finnian to join us for the next concert so he can finally debut some of his favorite Tom Waits songs.

Ivy's got rhythm and loves to rock out to all kinds of music, especially when Daddy is her backup singer.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Another anniversary

September is a month full of anniversaries, birthdays and special celebrations.

Ten years ago - September 12, 1999:
on the shores of Seneca Lake, New York - that's our dear friend, Kirk, serenading us minutes after we exchanged our marriage vows.

One year ago - September 12, 2008
our first family portrait.

Today - September 12, 2009:

walnut burgers, a grilled cheese sandwich and Spotted Cow (for the adults) at the Harmony Tavern in the middle of the afternoon. I can't imagine a better way to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Referral anniversary

One year ago today we received the phone call that changed our lives. On September 8, 2008, we received our referral for our baby girl and the past year has been a glorious one. We actually didn't have photos of Ivy until September 11 and, when the pictures finally arrived at our adoption agency, this is the first image we saw of our daughter:

I remember simultaneously laughing and crying as I studied each precious referral photo for the first time; these photos became our only link to our daughter during those months of waiting and we memorized every detail of Ivy's face and every fold of her yummy baby legs; we inferred her moods and dreamed of how it would feel to hold her in our arms.

Ivy has grown so much since these referral pictures were taken. We now know how it feels to hold her in our arms, we know the sound of her voice, and we know what makes her feel happy and content.

Our little girl is happy and silly and full of love. She is our light.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Thank you, Half-Pint sale planners!

For the past couple of years two Madison moms have organized a semi-annual consignment sale of gently used children's clothing and other essentials for kids. This year the Half-Pint sale will be held in our own neighborhood the weekend of September 18 - 19.

In mid-August I read some publicity on the Half-Pint sale's blog that caught my attention. Expectant parents were encouraged to enter their names in a drawing and the winner receives a free maternity shirt. No big whoop. . . but. . . what if one is expecting through adoption? I wrote an e-mail to the planners and described the joys of expecting through adoption and asked them to include expecting adoptive parents in future promotions. Within hours I received a very kind e-mail in which a lovely woman named Ellen told me that they simply had a bunch of black maternity shirts that they were trying to distribute and that they certainly want to celebrate all families and our celebrations & expectations!

I'm pleased to announce that a few days ago I received updated publicity about a contest for adoptive parents (enter your name in a drawing and win a onesie for a baby or a t-shirt for an older child). I'm thrilled that my message was well-received and I hope that this is a positive example for other organizations that work with families. Winning a t-shirt isn't a big deal, but recognizing the many ways in which families are created is.

I know that many families read our blog. Please let all expectant parents know about the Half-Pint Sale and the fun events that the hard-working planners have in store for everyone.

Hooray for all of us!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

18 Months Old

Ivy turns 18 months old today. She continually amazes us with new words and insights and I learn so much from her. She teaches me to be patient and, above all, happy and joyful

We've been celebrating Ivy's 18 months for the past few days. One of the best ways to celebrate is by getting up early on Sunday mornings and swinging like a big girl on the swings at the Yahara Place Park. A year ago Ivy's Tia Lisa was here and we walked through this very same park on a foggy September night; mounted police officers silently emerged from the mist, exercising their horses and setting the tone for a magical weekend that we shared with a beloved friend. And, BTW, Lisa gave Ivy the sweet striped dress, er, tunic, that she's wearing in these photos.

Ivy and I spent the afternoon with crackers and crayons. We have luscious beeswax block crayons and I must admit that we were more interested in smelling these crayons than creating masterpieces with them.

Our girl is getting so big. I often have to look at photos from last winter to see how much she's grown and to realize how far we've come as a family.