Monday, April 23, 2012

My heart

I was away this weekend at the Empowered to Connect Conference in Denver. It was wonderful - refreshing & overwhelming (lots of good information). I have been looking forward to attending for months and it has been my hope in some dark moments during my days. I will probably discuss more at some point but it would suffice to say that I had come to a place where something needed to change regarding my parenting...what I have been doing has not been very effective for either myself or my children.

At the conference I heard from other adoptive families, listened to their stories, and was challenged regarding my parenting style. I have walked away with new techniques and am excited to parent and love my children. I am now on the 2nd day of not raising my voice to get my childrens attention and it feels so much more calm around here. My daughter is showering me with hugs & kisses, the older two are looking me in the eyes when they want to ask for something they need, and they are just in general loving the new tone we have set in our home.

While it was refreshing to "get away" for the weekend nothing beats the way my heart felt when I was greeted upon my return with hugs and smiles from my children and husband.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Mark

Happy Birthday Mark!

Lovely, snowy (yuck!) evening celebrating my husband with our family. The kids and I had fun decorating the house today, making a birthday card, and decorating a cake for DAD. Looking forward to eating some yummy meals when Mark gets his new grill (birthday present).

Love you Mark!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Happy 10 Months

Pictures are from 2/21-3/21

My dear sweet Caleb a.k.a. "bubby boo," "little brother," "little man," and "C-Dog" - You are growing up too fast. You are so mobile and go anywhere the action is...curiosity is your game and you explore everything. The newest fascinations for you are the floor vents, the toilet paper, standing up and banging on the bath tub, and emptying out the lowest drawers in the kitchen. You are crawling everywhere and climbing over obstacles in your way (pillows, toys, plastic tubs). You are pulling up on everything and have reminded me why I can't wear draw string pants anymore...Yes, you pulled them down this week when hanging on my legs. You are cruising along the furniture and walking where ever you want to go with the assistance of the close to walking, even letting go for a few seconds.

This month you have been spending lots of times on your usual activities which involve watching big brother and sister and playing with their toys. However, you are now participating more and imitating the things you see them doing. You love to jump on the trampoline by holding onto the handle and making yourself bounce. We have had nice weather so you have been enjoying the swing and sandbox.

You are a smiley little guy. I can just look at you and you grin ear-to-ear...I love it! The big kids love to play games with you to make you smile and laugh too; you really seem to mutually enjoy one another. You are very ticklish on your chest, your knees, and your neck and it is the cutest sound to hear your throaty little laugh. Peek-a-boo and patty cake are your favorites.

We are starting to read more books to you as you are able to sit still a bit longer and they don't immediately go into your mouth - we get a minute or two of reading before this happens.
You are giving high fives, kisses, and waving.

Your stomach has an amazing ability to hold more food than I would believe possible for a little boy your age. You are such a good eater and eat everything. Keep it up little dude and show Jack and Hannah how to do it! Meal times are fun, stressful, chaotic, and entertaining for your dad and I. The three of you kids laugh and play with each other. We give you lots of finger foods and you do well feeding yourself...there have been only a handful times that the big kids have given you food you are supposed to have (a peanut butter sandwich).

Wake up time is sometime between 6 and 7:30 AM --way too early! We will be working on this during the next month as we are pretty sure you are still tired but just don't know how to go back to sleep. You are taking a morning nap and an afternoon nap - they are still not very consistent in length. At night you are going to bed between 7:30 and 7:45. Your bed time routine is getting in your pj's, reading Goodnight Moon, a prayer, and then we sing you "Jesus Loves Me." You sleep with a little giraffe or monkey (whichever we find first) and you go to sleep with the sound machine on in your room, usually the sound of rain to block out the noises of the big kids who sleep in the bed room next to yours.

You smile so easily and love attention from anyone who will give it to you. You aren't talking, only saying "da-da-da-da" but I know that if you could tell me, you would say... You love us just as much we love you...You are Awesome Caleb. We love you!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Things I love

Things I appreciate my kids. Just a few of the many.

Jack and his words. He loves to talk and loves to talk to others the way it is modeled to him. We occasionally throw out big words just to hear him repeat them. He loves the word "opportuinvy" (opportunity).

Jack to me: "I am so proud of you for walking."
"I am so proud of the way your earrings don't fall off."
Jack to Hannah: "Awww, I love you sweetie. Good racing on your bike."
Jack to Dad: "Thank you Dad for buying me more Rice Krispies. That was so thoughtful."

Me to Jack: "Why don't you see if you can find any (Easter) eggs."
Jack to me: "Hold on, let me pull out my binoculars."

Yup, my little diva has some style. Just look at her...
Sometimes interesting, but it definitely makes me smile. This day it was a mini skirt hiked up, leg warmers, zebra striped fur jacket, and pink snow boots. The best was later in the day wearing the same get-up she zoomed around the neighborhood on her bike.
Last week I let her go to the grocery store in her white sparkle tutu - I had already made her take off the white wedding veil.

This kids smile is instant and he smiles not only with his mouth but with his eyes too. He loves to make me laugh. He often sits at the table in his little chair, sticks out his tongue and just blows raspberries until everyone is smiling and laughing with him. Future class clown? Perhaps.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter!

The Lord came to earth with a life to give, so each one of us may continue to live.

Happy Easter

Our day:
Reading of the Easter Story ~ Egg Hunt ~ Church ~ Brunch with friends ~ Candy Eating ~ Jack & Hannah made dinner (ham and cheese rolled up in crescent rolls, they were proud) ~ family movie night

...and a silly picture too!

My Little Cuties!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Embrace the camera

So, so, bad at actually being in pictures with my little ones and i want to be, so I took the challenge to embrace the camera. Love and cherish spending one-on-one time with my littlest.

Just goofing off and rolling around on the floor.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Still Dating

Mark and I went on an overnight date last weekend. It was beautifully refreshing. Last fall Mark and I made a list of things we wanted to do on some dates. A couple of months ago we went to an India culinary class together; this was of course my idea - we cooked, baked, drank wine, and then feasted with the other students in the class. This time we did something on Mark's list - car racing.

We left late Friday afternoon and headed down to Denver. Mark's parents were in town and were gracious enough to accept the Hubbard children challenge - I hear they were great for them. We first stopped at Starbucks to give me a little pick me up.

Next stop was the race track.

We did a brief training and then headed to the indoor track for some high speed go-karts. They were fast. Mark killed it and even though I talked a lot of game I came in dead last. However I should add that I was racing with all men, most of whom seem to do this as their hobby.

Next, we headed to the hotel in downtown denver and checked in to our upgraded room on the 22nd floor - thanks Mark for schmoozing with the nice man at the front desk.

Then, we headed off to Sam's No. 3 a place that was featured on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. There are no pictures because we were too busy inhaling our cheeseburger, black bean burger and fries. It was very tasty and I would definitely go there again.

We enjoyed a peaceful nights sleep with no kid interruptions and no one to help use the bathroom the next morning. A quick breakfast the next morning and we headed back up the hill to see our precious angels again.

What a great date. I loved goofing off, racing, and stuffing our faces full of diner food! Now, just to see what pops up next on our Dating Bucket List.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Gotcha Day

We recently celebrated Hannah's Gotcha Day a.k.a. the day we met Hannah for the first time 2 years ago. (Wow, 2 years!) She is a sweet, energetic, loving, curious daughter/sister and we can't imagine our family without her. We thank God for her and the way he brought us together as family.

The morning began with Donuts - chocolate milk, 1/2 a sprinkled donut, and 1/2 a chocolate donut. We also gave her a laminated map of the world that she can use to point to Ethiopia and Colorado. There are pictures on the map and Ethiopia is marked by the coffee cup - she already has it down.

We also gave Hannah her a laminated photo of Mark and I with Hannah's birth mom. We have a very worn and well loved photo hanging on the refrigerator but wanted our little Ethiopian princess to have one of her very own. We talked a lot (more than usual) about how Hannah came to be a part of our family and told her how about our journey to meet her. Jack actually plays a big part in the telling and I hear him telling her the story several times a week as they are laying in their beds before they get up in the mornings. It is very cute.

Needless to say ... Happy 2 years Hannah! We love you!