Okay, I love your hands. LOVE. They were one of the many things your Dada and I got to talk about as we looked at pictures, like this one, before we even met you. The sweet B Family took this when they were at HH in October of 2011. I like to think you were waving at us.

When we met you that December, we knew your hands we special. From the time you first gripped my hand, we knew.
They were part of your personality. You would clap with them, flap them, use them in dance, clinched them into fists, and rhythmically conduct with them. Moving your hands in different ways had been the only type of stimulation you had for 7 months at Edget, this is part of who you are. Waas told us he thought you would become a conductor based upon the rhythmic patterns you did with them at HH.
With these hands, you:
-play ball
-feed yourself
-sign for different things (milk, cookie, and more being the favorites)
-make music (drums, cymbals, maracas, egg shaker, etc)
-blow kisses
-reach for items
-reach for Mama when she picks you up from the sitter
-reach for a hand when we go from one room of the house to another
-want to hold both Mama and Dada's hands when we go from one room to another
-have a cookie in each (you learned that from Dada)
-hold my hand when you a tired and we cuddle
-do so much more!!!!
{tugging on Dada, eating at Meatheads, insisting on reading The Cat in the Hat while getting your diaper changed, and playing video games with Dada}
On our first trip we saw how the special mothers and other works at HH would kiss your hands. We have kissed those hands everyday since walking out of HH's gates. It is a promise to remember. It is a promise to tell you your story, as best we can. It is a prayer to remember those still waiting for their families and the families waiting to see their children. It is a promise to love you. It is a prayer to bring you up the best we can.





Mama has pretty much been smiling ALL day. Why? Because of you. So here we go. . .

As you know, we have a sliding mirrored door to the bath/shower. You LOVE looking at yourself in this mirror. As you take off your clothes to throw down the laundry chute, you have to see yourself the whole time. After your bath, you and I always make faces in the mirror. We started out, almost as soon as you got home, just imitating each other's facial expressions. I have since started naming the expressions and most of the time you will do the expression I name. We also work on nodding and shaking our heads to yes or no during this time. One of the things we do is name family members who love you. "Charlie, does Mama love you?" You nod your head, smile, and shout, "Mama!" And we do this for the family and then go backwards, "Charlie, do you love Mama?" Again, nodding your head and saying, "Love!" or "Mama!". But we always end with the word "family."

This morning we went out for breakfast, ran to Target, Toys R Us, and Kohl's (and got home by 10:30). While at Kohl's, waiting to check out, I was in front of you and Dada. You patted my arm, reached like you were going to hug me, so I moved closer, and also wrapped an arm around Dada. As you hugged us, on your own you said, "Family." (First time you have initiated this word.)

Yes, Charlie, we are your family. Smiling. ALL. DAY.



this is what love looks like


You do some pretty cute things. If Dada or I whisper, "I love you," to you, you will whisper it back. But, if it is said in a normal voice, you just smile at us. Pretty cute.

You have another cute mannerism that has developed over the past couple of months. I LOVE it. It starts after the bedtime story. You will lean to whomever read to you for a kiss, then towards the one holding you for another kiss. You go back and forth getting kisses from both of us. A couple of weeks ago, you added a new move. After getting several kisses, you then spread your arms to try to get them around us and pull us in for a hug and a kiss on each cheek, while saying, "UUGGG!." LOVE. IT! 

{The best self pic I could do with the phone from tonight's super hug.}



not quite an update


Cutie, so this isn't quiet a full update, but I just wanted to post the picture I took of how you fell asleep tonight. It was a tough day and long day for you. You work up before 7 (Dada asked for you to sleep until 7). When he came in to get you around 6:30 and told you it wasn't 7, you said, "It's 9 Dada!" Then you proceeded to count to 14 for him. He made you eat pancakes for breakfast (and muffins thanks to your friend W), go to the park, play outside in the yard, speech therapy, play with bubbles, go to the doctor's, and get blood work. Okay, those last two were harder. When the doctor told you about the blood work you told him, "No" and "Done." Yep. The blood work didn't go so well. Two tries/needles later, you left with a tear stained face, a smile, and a handful of stickers.BTW- You asked for pizza for dinner afterwards.

Okay, so I didn't just post the picture. But here it is. . .
 {In this picture, you can just see Jake's bandana next to your elbow. You always sleep with Yoda, Elmo (big one), and Jake. Little Elmo generally fits with the rest of the Street Crew on the ledge of your crib.}

 {Just love this.}

So I didn't realize how long it had been since using the "big" camera until I uploaded the two above pictures. So the picture below was taken back on January 6th. They had just announced the hockey season would happen. So. . . We needed to see how your hockey sweater fit.

Last year, back on March 13, 2012 this is how you looked in it. (you look so small)
January 6, 2013. So the sleeves are really rolled, but you can walk in it. :)
What a year ago today looked like. . .
 {The one I selected.}
{The one Dada selected.}

So in the world of catch-up, we will need to discuss:
-kisses and hugs at bed time
-re-evaluations at ES
-faces in the mirror
-I am sure other stuff