Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My little Fashionista!

Each morning, I get her up and she and I decide what she'll wear for the day. And then, she does the "Hallway walk ..." to her Daddy's office to show him exactly how cute she is! Then she looks at herself in the mirror for 5 minutes and then plays hide and seek in his closet.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Weekend!

This is the time of year where it all starts comin' at ya! It starts with Halloween, Thanksgiving, gift buying, taking down and putting up decorations, traveling, parties, Christmas card writing, picture taking, connecting ... I can start to feel overwhelmed all at once come mid October. Not having any family around us with David's entire family in Australia and mine in California, it simplifies things, however we don't have family here, which can feel a bit lonely. We knew this when we decided to move, but we also knew that friends and family move too, so we were never garaunteed that people we loved would stay in the same place "just for us".

The neat thing about our situation however, is that when people come to see us (or when we go see them) we get their company for more than a dinner or more than a day. They stay for the weekend or in David's sister's case, about 11 days at Christmas time. We are so thrilled that we will have 6 of his family members coming to visit us during this time of year, which happens to be my favorite time of year. We are going to absolutely have a blast cooking, sitting in front of the fireplace with a hot cocoa or glass of wine watching the snow fall over the bare birch tree that sits in front of our window ... we'll hit some fabulous restaurants here that I've been searching out, we'll have movies in the basement with popcorn and junior mints that won't cost us $4 a box! (We'll just buy them from Evan which is his new business ... selling candy). This visit will more than make up for some lost time with relatives.

They will lbe the first family members to meet our new daughter. Sue and I use to write such long letters to eachother (this was before free email, wayyyy long ago) and we use to talk for hours on the phone when I (ooops!) use to call her from work at BMG Music Publishing. Then I had kids .... and it is long spaces in between connecting with her. So I cannot wait to have Sue and her family "captive" in my living room where they cannot escape to have these fabulous long winded conversations that go on for days.

Tigist is going to be in heaven with all of these people in the house. We'll have the 3 kids bunk in our room (which they love to do). The family coming will have their own rooms and space. I think we should make this a tradition to have a bunch of people over for a week during Christmas time. So those of you who are looking for a White Christmas, give us a call and book your stay now!

The boys continue to amaze me at their level of maturity in helping out with Tigist. They are 100% on board and have even offered to put her to bed, read her books, Brandon rides her on his electric mini motorcycle around the neighborhood where she has become friends with so many kids around the neighborhood. She loves to play out front when we are cleaning the garage or Evan is skateboarding or Brandon is riding his motorcycle ... she just loves hanging out with the boys. They just love her so SOOOO much there is no doubt! She is their full fledged sister and they would do anything for her!

You all have a great weekend. And don't let the holidays take you off track from the heart and soul of what it all is really about!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Making Memories ... Tigist is Thriving!

It is so hard to not post/write as much as I want to. As you can imagine, the time that I had available before Tigist arrived has lessened quite substantially. I think that is what I'm adjusting to the most. It is tough, it is a huge change for me/us, but there is no doubt about why we chose to adopt and have our lives turned upside down for a while .... the riches we have and will gain are unbelievable, to say the least.

When I feel like it's been a tough day or question why we did this, all I have to do is grab Tigist in my arms, turn on some music and we dance ... we dance like nothing else matters and it becomes a magical moment. Truly a magical moment between she and I. When she hears music, she'll put her left hand out for me to grab it and pick her up to dance.

David took her out on Saturday with the boys so I could get some things done. Look how cute he dressed her. She loves her pink cowboy boots. When we dress her each day, she says "Konjo" (pretty) and also points to her newly pierced ears that have "diamonds" in them. She loves to look pretty. In this picture she is admiring her pink boots.

Here she is giving the "2 thumbs up" for her cuteness.

Daddy and Tiggy ... ready to go out and about.

Tiggy has new friends in the neighborhood. We heard rustling outside in the back. We turned on the backyard lights and there stood 5 huge raccoon's playing with our ball in the backyard, which they subsequently popped with their big raccoon nails. This one was the littlest of the 5 and hid most of the time.

Then we made the mistake of throwing cat food outside just to get them closer to see. Evan and Tigist were sleeping as it was 11:00 pm at night, but David, Brandon and I were cracking ourselves up by watching them scavenge for food.

They kept getting closer to the door and the cat was freaking out. These guys were not afraid of us or anything we did. Brandon started throwing water balloons at them to scare them away. NOTHING! They could actually be really mean. They actually started hissing as each other for food.

Look how close they got to our back door.

We were crying by laughing ... we threw out Tigist's huge stuffed giraffe (the kind toddlers sit on ) thinking it would freak the raccoons out and they'd run away, they didn't. They actually grabbed the giraffe twice their size and pulled it away from the food so that they could get to it.

See her new "konjo" earrings! She screamed her head off. But we just got it done and over with and then cleaned up the smashed chocolate chip cookie that was in her hand while she was getting them pierced. But that face!! Isn't she just beautiful ... wow!

Our Ethiopian church we went to last week. Wow, last month when we went and stood up in front of the congregation and introduced Tigist was met with so many people being very moved, said Pastor Endeshaw. He said he never saw so many people with tears in their eyes or said to him how touched they were by our decision to adopt "one of their own". These are just some of the riches we enjoy by having made this decision to adopt from this beautiful country.

Pumpkin patch. If you click on this or any picture you can view it larger, but this is a scarecrow they are sitting next to.

Denver Botanical Gardens in Chatfield area

This is a typical way that an Ethiopian would respectfully hand or take something from you. They hold one hand under the other and offer their hand.

Tigist and Evan at an old farm house

Last Sunday, we met up with 3 other Moms and their newly adopted children. We've all used the same agency and brought our children home around the same time. Two of them I'd met as they live here in Colorado, but Leah (pictured here with her daughter Gabre) lives in Texas and was in town. I'd followed her blog since the beginning of her adoption and her daugher Gabre was one of the first girls I'd seen on the agency website. So it was wonderful to finally see her in person. She is just so cute. This is Leah's first child.

Amelia is Lori's daughter. She was so incredibly gaunt and teeny tiny when they brought her home. She is doing so well now. I know Lori had some rollercoaster moments while waiting to pick her up.

From left, Amelia, Shawn and Lidya, Gabre and her Mommy Leah and of course ... Tiggy!

Tigist is so gentle with little babies.



Amelia's toes next to her sisters toes painted so cute in pink.

Lori and Amelia

The four Mommies (Shawn, Me, Lori, Leah) and baby girls (Lidya, Tigist, Amelia & Gabre).

Lori's daughter reading to Tigist at the Library where we met. She actually met Tigist before we did when she went with her family to pick up Amelia.

Lori's 2 daughters with Tigist. They were happy to see her again because they spent some time with her in the orphanage getting to know her before we did. It was sweet to see them together.

Gabre and Lidya

Gabre and Leah

Gabre and Lidya playing

Evan started selling candy, Mrs. Field's cookies and caramel corn and has made $35 in two days of selling it in the neighborhood. He was so excited about the profit margin ... now the kids are coming to HIM asking to buy. I just love what they learn from running their own "business".

His friend Mateo helped out too.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Neighbors Throw A "Welcome Home Tigist" BBQ

We have the best neighbors ...

My friend and neighbor organized a cul-de-sac Welcome Home for sweet Tigist. There are about 11 kids in the cul-de-sac behind us and they are always including us in their get togethers. They have been the "key" to us feeling so welcomed here since the 2 years we have moved from California. We are so fortunate ...

Tigist is sitting on Debra's lap, who organized this whole thing. I love this picture. Tigist will randomly say Debra's daughter's name about once a day since she met her (Kayla, Kayla!!!)

We're sitting in front of her house eating burgers and hotdogs ... the kids played until 9pm. Tigist just roams around like she's been here forever.

Our neighbor Terry with Tigist. Terry has 2 huge "woo-woos" (dogs) that Tigist is a bit afraid of. Debra has 3 small ones that Tigist can handle.

Here she is on Grace's lap. Grace lives behind me and is just the nicest, most thoughtful neighbor. She has been just incredible since we moved in. She's my go-to-girl when I need information about the city or the happennings.