the day so far in pictures


Here's your day so far in pictures.


Our crazy little driver. Very focused.

Playing with Joey.

Music time with Joey.

Vocabulary time. He was supposed to pick the ball. . .

Yep. This is the ball. 

Joey supervising the playing with the step stool. 

Rocking with Sheldon. 

Look Mama! No hands. 

Your first piece of art.  Followed by your second piece. Both today. But if you look at the dates, you do the second one tomorrow. Either that or you are so talented you made a time machine. . .

You really did enjoy the broccoli. 


pics from your time with your aunt and uncle


I now have pictures to share with you from your stay at your aunt and uncle's. There's some good ones.


I love your smile.
 I am not sure what you are thinking here. . .

 "Uncle Justin, you found my weakness. Cuddling."

So I am thinking P was more excited to get her picture taken than you.


tag-a-long friends, uncle, and the boy in the mirror


{cute pic from week}
Just to be clear, I am not talking about Tagalongs, one of the greatest Girl Scout cookies ever, but tag-a-long friends. Well, to be honest I should be calling them "friends" instead of friends. Confused? Well, we will start in Ethiopia.

Back in Ethiopia your Dad and I were shocked to not see the "classic" symptoms of these "friends." It be honest, I was super excited to learn you didn't have "friends." However, we did everything we should have done, in the event you really did have "friends." We collected samples when we got home, because that is what good parents do, and sent them off to do whatever they do. (I am assuming this involves microscopes, a petri dish, and other great tools of science.) We did this three times. We were told no news is good news. YEAH! You don't have "friends." (I know, every parent wants to say their child doesn't have "friends.")

So on Monday, the Health Department called to say you do have "friends," but only a mild case of "friendship." I have even given them nicknames.  I like to think of them as Professor G and Colonel Sal. What are their real names? Giardia and Salmonella. I know you might be upset you are loosing your "friends" (I really hope you aren't) but we are working on breaking these bonds of "friendship." I know you do not like how your "friends" are being treated (aka you really do not like the medication), but it really is for your own good. Sometimes parents just need to say some "friendships" are harmful. This one is harmful.

{with your friend Sheldon}
So because of Professor G and Colonel Sal, your Mama didn't go back to school this week as planned. (Well, I did go for half a day on Monday, but there was a phone call. . .) But, I had a really important meeting today, so I had to go. So you spent the day with your awesome Aunt Kristi, Uncle Justin, and cousin P (C made an appearance after school as well). From the pictures sent to my phone, I am thinking you had a pretty good time. You really enjoyed spending time with your Uncle and even smiled and giggled for them.

So how did we wrap up the week? Bath time! (Please note, you do take regular baths and this was not your first bath of the week. I just happened to have a camera today.) I love how excited you get over bath time. I so enjoy seeing you smile and giggle as you splash around in the tub. My personal favorite is when you touch your hair and pump your hands open and close to tell me you want more conditioner rubbed onto your head. As much as I enjoy this, today I got what I think is your favorite part captured, the boy in the mirror.  

On our tub we have a sliding mirror, which I really don't like, but it seems all children who go into the bathroom love. You are no exception. You crawl in the bathroom and stand before the mirror just smiling at yourself. You play peek-a-boo with the little boy in the mirror. It is just too cute.


Waving at Joey? You can see his reflection as he watches from the hallway.

I am adorable! Captain Adorable. 


for your Aunt Meg


So your Aunt Meg has been saying I need to update your blog, so I am. Below are some of what has happened since your last letter. 

First, you have now "played" with your cousin L. She came in the house in pure L fashion, tackled you with a hug, and then decided you had some cool toys to play with. So she went off and played in your room, while you stayed out in the living room with Mama and Aunt Meg. Eventually she came back out to the living room, so she could watch Little Einsteins with us and share Cheerios. (You two also shared with Joey. He did great in the clean-up department.)

I like to think you are looking at L and thinking, "Why is she hugging me?" L was super excited to see you (outside of an airport) and actually cried multiple times to your Aunt Meg about when she was going to play with you. She also thought you didn't like her, since you hadn't invited her over to play. So, as a peace offering, L brought you a blue hula-hoop that lights up.

For Easter we celebrated at home so you would not be overwhelmed at church or any of the places we were invited. Everyone needs an outfit in their life where they ask, "Why?". Well kiddo, this is your outfit.

Yes, that is a beak on your head.

I LOVE this picture. Your smile is just too cute in it.
Your aunt Jennie got you a duck custom to wear, since at one point our child was known as "Ducky." It is a 24 mos size, so it won't fit you come Halloween, so you were an Easter Duck. I promise you, you didn't seem to mind the outfit. Plus, we got to take pictures of you in it with your Yoda basket. For Easter you got some Little People super hero cars, books, and bubbles. The books are being used as cars, but you are picking up your cars and making "zroom-like" noises now.

(The picture at right is to show you, you were not a duck all day.)

So although your favorite type of car is a book, you are now looking at books correctly!!!! We have mainly been working on this using your board books. Your favorite board books, where you actually look at them, instead of drive them, are It's a Small World: Furry Friends and I Like Bugs.

On this day we had tried reading books, without DaDa, where you didn't grab the book from me. So we did the "classic" Aliens Love Underpants. How can you not enjoy a book about aliens coming to Earth just to take underwear? Well, you decided to actually hold the book, correctly! It didn't last long, but I was able to get a picture of the milestone.

Yes, it was a milestone. Cutie, you are going to love books. At this point, it isn't an option. :)

You and Joey continue to develop your friendship. He has become very protective of you. He decided the barking from the dog on the CD during "Old McDonald" was a little too real and put himself between you and the CD player one day. It took a bit to convince him it was not a real dog, but it ended music time for the day.

Charlie, you are now willing to initiate going up to Joey to pet him. Joey doesn't always like this, but you two have come a long way. When Joey gets tired of you, he just gets up and walks away. You don't always like him leaving, but right now you can be easily distracted. At the same time, Joey will come to where we are on the floor and joins us in play. He even brings you his toys and doesn't get upset when you don't throw them, not even with the green ball. 

Right now, my favorite Charlie and Joey moment is when you start to make noise at the end of your crib nap. Joey races into your room, tail wagging, to greet you. He can make it very difficult to get you up and out of the crib. He then joins us in the living room, since you will sleep another hour, or more, if we hold you the whole time. So we sit and rock while Mama catches up on her TV and you continue to nap.

Finally, you got a very special letter in the mail. After getting home from your second appointment with Dr. Gray, you got your certificate of citizenship in the mail!!!!!!



1 month


One month ago you were placed into our arms at Hannah's Hope.  We had the honor of walking through the black gates one last time with four other families, three of them also there to pick up their child. You were placed into my arms by your favorite special mother. There was so much fear in those eyes. So much sadness.

Charlie, you lost so much that day. Your amazing care givers, smells, sounds, language, and so much more. You have grieved this lose. You are still grieving this lose at times, but each day seems to be better.

One month ago was our "Gotcha Day" and we walked out of the gates of Hannah's Hope as a family. Before leaving so much that had been part of your life, your favorite special mother rocked you to sleep one last time. We left with you sleeping in my arms.

In this past month, you have been with at least one of us at all times. We have walked, bounced, rocked, sang, clapped, and held you close to comfort you as you grieve. We have rejoiced in your "Ta-Da" moments, which have been many, and applauded your many attempts to get to a "Ta-Da."

Although they are just our names, and not who we are yet, you call us "MaMa" and "DaDa." You sometimes respond to Charlie, which to be fair, you don't always respond to our voices yet. You sign when you want more leave in conditioner during your bath by raising your hands and opening and closing them. You do this multiple times during your bath, even when you don't get more conditioner. Today, for the first time, you initiated the real "more" sign during lunch, snack, and dinner. You even said "moe," which I took for "more" during lunch and snack.

Charlie, you have come so far from the screaming boy we held at Hannah's Hope and the hotel that first day. You seem to enjoy your "daw-gaw" Joey and have been petting him nicely. Together you eat at your high chair and he lays outside your door when you sleep. (Even though he really is timid, he likes to think he is a guard dog.)

You have improved in your sleeping and it no longer takes two, or more, hours to get you to fall asleep. You enjoy rocking with one of us in the recliner. You love to snuggle in the nook of an arm as you fall asleep. 

You want everything to be a car. You push items across the floor and make "car-like" noises. Yet, you don't like playing with your toy cars. . .

You make the best monster faces. (Okay, we started "monster faces" to get you to open your mouth. You have a horrible gag reflex when you eat, but you don't always open your mouth. Now, when you are eating your puffs, you will do the monster face. Yes, we do practice getting you to open your mouth with food in it. But please don't do this in public, unless you are choking, or with your Uncle Spencer.)

You love to dance and listen to music. We clap, a lot, throughout the day. We play instruments. When you use your maracas, pictured or the sea horse one, you like to spin around in a circle on the floor. We sing songs and make weird noises. You have become awesome at making the motorboat sound.You enjoy music that is fast paced and loud.

You smile. You have many different smiles, but you now smile. At times it can be difficult to bring it out, but your eyes light up when you do. Your dimples come out and the hurt and pain so often on your face disappears. I love it when you smile.

You love it when your Dad tells you, "Best in the world!" Cutie, we love you so much and truly feel you are the best son.

MaMa and DaDa




Just wanted to show you today's cuteness of yourself. . .

You have decided Mom's cell phone makes a great toy. I think you even called someone on speed dial. 

While Mom did errands today, you watched the Bulls game with your Dad. Okay, really you played while it happened to be on TV. But you wore your jersey. . .