Introducing Pepper...

Ok, we finally caved! Alex has been wanting a kitten for quite some time. She is such an animal lover. So we gave her a choice of going to the dinner of her choosing or to Lollypop to look at kittens. We knew full well what "looking" would lead to. And that it did. We came home with this adorable little gal. We spent most of the evening vetoing names Alex came up with, but she finally suggested Pepper and it sounded like a good choice....so Peppr it is!

She is such a lovey! Rode the whole way home on Alex's lap, just purring away...

Happy Birthday, Princess!

Where has the time gone! Four years have past in what seems like the blink of an eye. As I look back on old photos I am reminded of the joy this little girl has brought into our lives. I am so fortunate to have been blessed enough to be her mom. Gosh I love that girl!

I am so glad I was able to capture all those moments the first few years. Although we cannot keep our children little forever, photos help preserve those precious moments. I have compiled a slideshow of older photos. I hope it works...

...if not, the username is AlliesMama and Password is reardon


A Few Party Pics

Today we celebrated Alex's 4th birthday by having friends and family over. Here's a peek at her day...

Breakfast in Bed

Ever since I mentioned breakfast in bed for Father's Day, Alex has thought that was a neat idea....so knowing today is the kick-off of her birthday week, that's what she requested.


That Little Stinker

You know how every child goes through stages. Stages where they won't eat. Won't listen. Or won't sleep. It seems that Alex is going through one of those "won't sleep" phases. With the doing away of naps and all the fresh air and outdoor play, you'd think by the end of the day, she'd be whipped. Nope. Not by a long shot. Lately going to bed has been a two and sometimes three hour project. We hear every excuse including: I need to go potty, I need a drink, it's morning, I'm sick and need to throw up, I need zyrtec for my allergies, these jammies are scratchy, I'm not sleepy, etc... And not only has she been not falling asleep, but I wake to find her breathing over me or wandering the house in the middle of the night.

Well last night at 11:15 and after putting her to bed for the umpteenth time, I decided to check on her again only to find her room a bit stinky. She proudly and with a smile announced that she peed her bed and it looked like she was going to have to sleep in my bed after all. That little rat! She thought she outsmarted me, but had forgotten that underneath her bed lies a trundle to which I promptly placed her in. Grrrrr...that child!

I have to admit though, she is the queen of forethought. As a toddler she would hide things like make-up and nailpolish in her bed. Later at night I would go into to check on her only to find that she had painted her nails (and sheets) in the dark.

So please God let her sleep tonight....I'm so tired and almost fell asleep at work today. This Momma needs some uninterrupted shut-eye!


My Fearless Thrill Seeker

Sorry I missed everyone at the zoo today, but we had a fantastic day! Spent the whole day at SeaBreeze. The weather could not have been more perfect and the kids could not have had more fun. But something has been confirmed. My child is completely fearless! You would have thought I realized it when she was the only two year old in gymnastics class to brave (and LOVE) the trapeeze or when she was the only child in her preschool class to dare touch the live lobster (and then ask if she could eat it and touch its eyes).

Well, today she was a crazed person. Definite adreneline junkie! All the rides we couldn't coax her on last year, she couldn't get enough of this year. The higher, the better. The faster, the better. That kid just blows my mind!

Watch out Canada's Wonderland...here she comes!!!!!!!!!!


It's all about the dress...

...Or at least it is when you are the mom of the Flower Girl!

Yes, we will be graced with Alex's encore performance as flower girl. My cousin Jason and his fiance Brittany asked Alex to be in their wedding this December. Alex was overjoyed as she thinks the world of both of them! Although it is not pink, as she initially requested....we did manage to find one without buttons (bottons are a mortal sin in her book). So this is what we chose. She is going to look so grown up in it!

She is also excited that it is an out-of-town wedding and that we will be traveling for it. She LOVES taking trips! She was thrilled about staying where there was a pool and hot tub until she found out it wasn't a normal hotel, but rather a Bed and Breakfast and did not have either a pool or hot tub. Somehow, I think she will manage to survive!


Dear Birthmother Letter

OK, I think I finally did it. I "may" have completed our letter. For me this is one of the most difficult pieces of the homestudy/profiling process. How do you put into words everything you would want to say? Where do you begin to start? So I have been agonizing over this for months now. I think I have analyzed it to death at this point.

For starters, how do you address it? "Dear Birthmother" ...what about the father? "Dear Birthfamily"? Should the term "birth" even be used since technically they are still very much the only parents? Oh the decisions. Which I know my decisions pale in comparison to theirs, so dare I even have the right to stress out over this. But I can't help it.....it is one of my many faults.

So, I did my best. I wrote about our lives, the things that are important to us, and the hopes for this unborn child. I guess that is all I can do.

Now off to think about the following pages. But since I am a picture fanatic, the rest shouldn't be so bad. Hopefully.


New Link

After further reflecting on yesterday, I thought I would pull out a piece I wrote last year on "openness". It was neat to go back and read. And it is true, today I have a sense that our lives are more complete...that a missing piece has been located. If that is also the realization that Alex experiences one day, then it is all worth it!

I added a link over to the left under Sue's Writings.


Amazing Day with Alex's Birthfather

Through a bizarre string of circumstances and a little divine intervention, today we met Alex's birthfather. And I cannot begin to put into words how wonderful the experience was. But I will try....

It could not have been more perfect. I really mean that. I couldn't have scripted a better afternoon. It was amazing, incredible, fun, enlightening, and fulfilling. The "talking" was easy even though we discussed some really tough issues. He was very open and we were all able to ask questions and speak candidly.

Alex did very well with him. I was worried because she is normally so shy with new people. It was strange, although I don't think she understood exactly who he was, she definitely knew there was something important and special about him. We talked, ate lunch, played a lot of games and took a few pictures of the two of them together. He also gave her a pink stuffed dog. He had spent a lot of time going through my blog and our shutterfly pictures and could tell that she loved the color pink and loved dogs. I thought that was so thoughtful! And Alex loved it too. She carried it around the arcade and fell asleep with it on the way home.

The venue was great. We sat at the tables outside and talked for awhile before even going in. Alex showed him an album we had brought for him and told him about some of the pictures. It was all very comfortable and felt surprisingly natural. After that we went in to eat. Lunch was nice, though we spent so much time talking that no one ate much. Afterwards, we spent another hour talking and watching Alex play games. This is when he requested a picture with her, which we were so happy to take. She bought him a little plastic shot glass like trinket with some of the tickets she won. It is just a junky little piece of plastic, but to him I'm sure it was priceless! And upon leaving, Alex leaned forward to hug him good-bye. He may not have thought much of it, but that was huge for Alex. She doesn't usually give hugs that freely, even to people she knows well. Just ask Teri, who usually has to steal them.

We learned many things about him and a few additional pieces of Alex's adoption story. And it was nice to hear things from him directly instead of through a third party. His main concern lies with Alex and what the implications of contact mean for her both now and in the future (just another testament to his selflessness). Though none of us know exactly where this will all lead, I do believe it is the beginning of something quite special.

I guess a part of me worried that it was an event in his life that he had put behind him and no longer thought about her. But that doesn't appear to be the case. He obviously loves her deeply, as it was apparent in his eyes.

I could go on and on about the whole experience, but for the most part I am still trying to digest it all. I am just so happy! I can finally sleep easy tonight.