Nine years ago your Dada and I had some time between other events in our calendar, so we decided to go on a quick date for ice cream. It was our first date as a married couple. I don't remember what I ate for dinner, I could look it up, but I won't. I know we had awesome cake, but I don't remember eating it. What I remember about the day is holding your Dada's hand during our vows and not being able to get them out. I remember wiping tears once our vows were done.

I do remember getting ice cream, it might be because there is photographic evidence of the event. What I loved about getting ice cream between the ceremony and reception was its significance. (So I say now. Who knows what I was thinking back in 2003.) This Whitey's location is across the street from the one I walked to growing up with my Nana and Papa. (BTW- It is the same one you will walk to with Grammie and your Papa, once you decide to start walking.) We had Whitey's the first time your Dada met both of my parents. So it is special. (Also BTW- There is nothing wrong with eating ice cream year round. A hockey game is a great time to have ice cream.)

Now we would have to drive a bit to get Whitey's (I don't think I could convince him to drive 2+ hours to have ice cream. You know your Dada doesn't eat a lot of ice cream, unlike your Mama.) So we did the next best thing, we went to Carl's. Even better, we finally got you to eat frozen yogurt!!! (It probably helped it is the hottest day of the year, so far. . .) This was also after you ate a cheese quesadilla, fries, chips/salsa, and milk at dinner. (I don't know why the local Mexican restaurant put fries with the quesadilla, but you liked them.)

Charlie, I love I got to eat ice cream with you today. I love we got to eat ice cream, as a family, on the day your Dada and I became family.





Breakfast this morning wasn't pretty. Granted, you do look cute. 




Right now you are napping and I had some difficulty getting someone out of your room. . . (this picture isn't from today, but maybe last Thursday)

Joey, or Ja-Ja, as you are currently calling him, loves to be in your room. Generally he is about where he is in the picture, right next to your bed, or in front of the vent. Joey does have to be removed from your room since he tends to like to paw at your bed (you are supposed to be playing with him, not sleeping). My favorite part is how Joey insists upon being the first one in your room when you wake up. It is pretty cute.

Squash has been replaced as your favorite food. Your new favorite food is. . .  CRACKERS!!!!! To be more specific, you like Town House multi-grain club crackers. If you see the box, you sign the word and say what you call crackers. (Right now it sounds like "acker.") Besides signing and saying crackers, you get really excited and flap your arms and smile. 

More on the food front. . . Last night you ate about a 1/4 of a waffle! You loved it.

I am not sure what you are eating here, but I can tell you the picture is from yesterday. Maybe it was snack time, so apple sauce. . .

So what else are we working on?

a) Saying the "B" sound. We work on this while we play in your bean box, roll the ball, play with baby, and sort blocks.

b) Walking.

c) Feeding yourself. As you can see, you have crackers down, but the spoon needs some help. BTW- You prefer eating your grilled cheese off of a spoon.

d) Sippy cup.



the past week. . .


This past week has once again been filled with firsts. I love seeing you achieve these little milestones which are in fact so HUGE.

Monday- Last Monday we did your 18 mos check-up with your doctor here in town. We began the process of getting you caught up on your vaccines. When you first joined the family, you didn't cry with tears, unless you were in extreme pain. (I really think you only cried once from our Gotcha Day until we had been home a month.) Well, we saw tears after the four shots. I shouldn't write this, but you are so cute when you cry. You scrunch up your little nose, open your mouth, and let the tears fall. You have learned to cry when you are uncomfortable. You have learned to whine. I know it is weird, but previously there was no point to these skills. What is so great about your crying, as soon as we walked into the waiting room from the back, you wiped your tears and started to smile. Yep. By the time we were at the car, you were laughing at Dada.

Papa and Grammie came and took us to lunch on Monday. While at Avanti's, you ate a grilled cheese sandwich (itty bitty pieces) and apple sauce avec red crayon. Apparently apple sauce tastes better with crayon dipped in it. Even more importantly. . . You sat in their Mustang. Here I like to think you are saying, "Keys please, Papa!" It is important you learn about cars Charlie. L watches MotorWeek with Papa, so you are gonna have to learn as well. Granted, you and Papa were making excellent car noises together while playing with your Little People. I am also thinking Chuggington will only get you so far with Papa's love of trains. 

Tuesday- You will finally walk while holding onto only one hand. This finally happened while we walked the waiting room of the car place while waiting on an oil change and tire rotation. Luckily this place has a HUGE waiting room, since we walked the whole time.

Wednesday- You decided it was time to start holding your own bottle as well as finally getting food into your own mouth. This last one isn't consistent, plus you tend to need a hand-to-wrist prompt, but it is a step.

Thursday- You bit into a cracker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! During feeding therapy you bit into a cracker with Miss Abbey. She was very impressed. The mohawk picture is from Thursday's bath.

Friday- We had family pictures taken. You got to play with your drums from Ethiopia for the first time. I can't wait to see some of the pictures because you decided to play them at the same time. Following pictures, we got your hair cut. It looks awesome. We weren't sure how it would go, so we decided to wait until after the pictures. Terry did a very nice job.

Precut. . . I am really hoping your hair looks better in the pictures we had taken. . .

Post haircut we decided to get out your cymbals.
Saturday- For the very first time, you had Ethiopian. Weird to think about the whole time you lived in Ethiopia you didn't have any traditional food, outside of rice cereal and the potato/carrot food, but that's what happened. So we went to Ethiopian Diamond for you to have Ethiopian. You seemed to enjoy it!!!! Plus, whenever someone walked by the window or into the restaurant, you would smile, wave, and say "hi."

Eating sambussa

I am not sure what you are eating here. It is either kik alicha (peas with onion, garlic, ginger) or dinich alicha (potato and carrots with onion, garlic, ginger). You had some injera as well.  We didn't give you any of the doro watt or zil zil tibs.
Sunday- Was your Dada's first Father's Day!!!! We had dinner at Aunt Meg's for Father's Day and Grammie's birthday.  
Driving to Aunt Meg's house
With Dada

Playing in L's splash table

I can't wait for all of the "firsts" that will happen this week!!! 



getting served and Lou's


So you are now the proud owner of your very own set of. . . ear tubes!!!! I know, you have always wanted a pair, right? So you know, you are not a fan of being woken up, especially when you don't get to drink your milk right away. Although it was tough coming out of anesthesia, you were fine once Nurse Lois gave you a balloon and we left. I am also thinking the nurses and other patients at the surgery center (where we will NEVER go again) were happy to no longer hear your screaming. I found it quite funny how you started to smile and laugh as we exited the building. . .

Plus side of tubes, your Dada and I were both home for your speech session with Miss A. It went really well and I would say it was the best one yet. 

So this past week had another first. Friday was your first trip to the vet's with Joey. As you know, Joey went to the Doggie ER over Memorial Day weekend, when the lump on his ear decided to start bugging him and he decided to chew on it, so it broke open. Mama and Joey had already been to see the vet once after surgery, but the stitches were coming out and she didn't want to make another visit to the Doggie ER. While we were there, the pathology report came in from U of I on Joey's lump. Joey has cancer, but the good news is it is a contained cancer. The margins were not clean, so they will have to go back in eventually, but it was pretty good news.

Also on Friday, you got served. That's right, you were served legal papers. Your Dada and I had to take you down to the county sheriff's office to be served your re-adoption papers. Legally we are not required to, but AGCI requires us to re-adopt you within a year of coming home here in the US. By re-adopting you, we will be able to get an Illinois birth certificate for you (important since we only have 1 Ethiopian one), we can change your name (technically you are still Kibreab Lucas- yep insurance will be even more fun once this happens), and not all states recognizes foreign adoption. Illinois does, but what if we move? (We are not planning on moving out of the state.) It also makes sure you do not have to have a US passport or your certificate of citizenship on you to be able to claim you are a citizen. It isn't often a parent witnesses the serving of papers, for a good thing, so it was a photo moment. Now in about 30 days we go before a judge, again, to say we want you. Although this time it is different since you are already legally our son.

In other news:
  • You can now hold your bottle on your own!!!!! Now we just need to conquer the sippy cup.
  • You continue to be a yogurt fiend. 
  • While at the zoo today, you decided to make the "T" and "Z" sounds. I was pretty impressed.
  • You met two more cousins today. Thank you Brittany and Chris for stopping in to say hi!!!!
  •  You had Lou's for the first time today!!! Okay, not a whole slice. Not even a "real bite," but you tasted it and asked for "more." That's my boy!!!
  • Tomorrow we go for your 18 mos check up. Yep, we are late on this. They sooooooo don't tell you these things. They expect you to know this stuff. Where is the flashing light on our file that says "first time, crazy, doesn't know what she is doing, mom?"   
Love you Charlie!!!


to the lawyer we will go, to the lawyer we will go


So this morning we went to see the lawyer. That's right the lawyer. Here's what you looked like before leaving the garage, when we told you we would be seeing the lawyer.

You did great at the lawyer's!!! You also seemed excited to learn you would have to be "served" when the papers are ready for your re-adoption. That will be a great photo moment. This is what you looked like after going to the lawyer.
You had actually been smiling and laughing right before this was taken, but the small camera is slower and didn't get it. But here a random picture, from I don't know when, but I really liked your facial expression in it.



3 months


You have been with your Dada and I for 3 months. That's right, 3 months!!!!!!!!  Three months ago you screamed for pretty much the whole first day. Tonight, you laughed throughout dinner as we serenaded you throughout the meal. We sang the great hits, the hits an 18 month boy loves. Old McDonald, The Wheels on the Bus, Little Bunny Foofoo, hummed Chelsea Dagger, and probably some more. 

This is also a huge difference compared to the weekend. We dealt with low-grade fevers in Ethiopia, but this weekend was 102+ readings. Not a lot of fun.

Today, while standing, you shifted weight on your legs. I am thinking you are almost ready for your first step. It was also great because twice today you initiated the hugs and your form of a kiss. I love it when you initiate the hugs and kisses

Such a difference 3 months make. 

Charlie here you are sleeping in your favorite sleeping position. Three months ago, you were still being swaddled for sleep. If you are not sleeping like this, you are taking up as much room as you can in the crib. 




We have a lot of firsts around here, so let's talk about some of our new firsts. . .

1) Yesterday you "played" with play-doh for the first time during therapy. You are not a fan of holding it in your hand, but you enjoy smashing it (with some help). We played with it again today after snack. You would smash it with less of a prompt, as in not needing hand-over-hand, but your favorite was dropping it on the floor for Joey. Like so many things, you wanted to share with Joey. I am so glad we do not have to teach you how to share.
 2) You actually let me put a spoon in your hand yesterday and then put it into your mouth!!! We did this with Cheerios, so there is no picture of the actual spoon moment. By the time I grabbed the camera, you had shared the Cheerios, but I did get to take these pictures of the moments following.

Luckily, Joey is great at clean up duty.

3) Yesterday you had your first hearing test. Yep. You didn't fully pass it. Let's be honest, your parents were not shocked. Cutie, it would have been great if you fully passed, but the fact you react to sound is a HUGE blessing. You have come soooooo far since December when you didn't react to any sound. (Yes I know you have almost been home for 3 months and are just now testing your hearing. We knew it would be traumatic and were hoping more trust in us would help.) You were a champ though as we sat in the booth. It was so interesting to witness you screaming, yet laughing at the bunny playing a drum. So today we went back to the doctor's office and due to the fluid in your ears we are trying tubes and will go from there. So your surgery is Wednesday.

4) Today you said your first phrases. That right, phrases. Plural. During lunch you signed, "more" and said, "mo mama" for "more mama." I like to think you said this because I had paused in my singing and you wanted me to sing some more, but you were probably asking for more food. At the same time, you said it again while we were playing if your blocks this afternoon. You scored major points because you did it for Dada when he got home from work. Dada decided he needed to rock you tonight because you wanted more of him.

5) You slept last night for 12 hours straight. 12 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am thinking it is because we finally decided to give you music all night. The past three nights you have slept through the night while rocking out to The Beatles lullaby CD on repeat. Your Dada keeps waking up to "Dear Prudence."

 6) So your first drum is no longer a drum. It is a shape sorter. Your first drum we have allowed you to play with was a formula can, because we didn't want to give you your drums from Ethiopia yet. You loved it. It was a good size for you, but we were having problems with you learning "in" so a sacrifice had to be made yesterday during therapy. You screamed and cried when you realized Miss K had cut a hole in your drum, but you put your blocks into the square hole she cut, so it worked. So Mama realized we needed to get you another drum. Since you are on whole milk, we no longer have formula cans sitting around, so I went and bought you a drum. (Again Dada and I decided you are still a bit too young for your Ethiopian drums.) Being a good mom, I let you play with the drum sticks for a bit, but then took them away. You weren't so happy about that. . .

Love, Mama