Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Rest of July...

July was a crazy first month home.  We enjoyed lots of sunshine (the first of the year, really) and spent as much time outside as possible.  Daddy got a very generous paternity break which allowed us to spend a TON of time together as a family of four!!!

After just week one, we got out of the house for the first time.  My family was camping at Deception Pass, an annual tradition.  Not only did my little brother have yet to meet her, but the rest of my immediate family had only met her once.  Some extended family was there as well, but we kept her hidden for the most part to keep her from getting overwhelmed.  We allowed a few people at a time to come "oooo" and "ahhh" over her cuteness =)

My mom in all her sweetness took some family photos of us on the beach.  So these are our first shots as a family of four (well, besides the awful airport ones where my hair is frizzy and I have no makeup and I had just been thrown up all over).

The framed family photo =)

As you can see from this, Monkey was NOT in the mood.
The rest of the pics consist of us consoling him or trying to force a smile.
Not good.

My fave =)

So handsome...if only he had smiled!

First beach

First steps in the ocean =)

So glad I got this one of her baby chubs...I know its not much but its all she had =)

As fun as our little get-away was...we paid for it long term.  Our Lil' Lady got only a teensy nap on the beach and this was really the start of her waking up 6x a night.  But look at that smile, right?!?  How were we to know it was a coping technique!?!  Only from months of knowing her can we look back and realize that it was NOT our brightest idea.  

Now why am I sharing this?  I hate to admit we made mistakes.  Really, it would be sooo much easier to tell you the highlights and leave out the hard stuff.  But I have adoptive moms on the wait list or preparing to bring home their little ones wanting to know the TRUTH.  The good, the bad, the yucky.  They don't want it sugar-coated.  And THAT, my why you are getting the hard stuff too.  So others can learn from our mistakes.  

Like we said before...Monkey had a transition in this too.  He never once was mean-spirited towards his little sister, but he often ignored her and pretend she wasn't there.  He didn't like being asked to wait because she needed a nap.  But who does at that age, right?  So as you can see...when he asked to pull his little sister in a wagon...this was a HUGE deal!!!  Now this is our little private drive, so no haters telling me this is dangerous!!  We were present the entire time =)

One of my favorite EVER photos of Cocoa Puff!! =)

Adoption ROCKS!  Period.

Obviously part of this transition was learning how to juggle two kids...even reading books was a challenge some days with an over-tired babe, jet-lagged parents, and a wanting-things-to-be-back-to-normal little boy!

And yes, potty training had now become a big part of our life!
Did you know TWO kids in diapers is expensive?  =)
We felt very blessed during this transition time from our community and friends.  Since our family lives a good distance from us, we often rely on our friends a bit more during times like this.  Our church arranged meals for us for a couple weeks, and even beyond that we had some friends bless us by bringing us groceries, coming to entertain Monkey, doing laundry, and surprise meals.  We were completely overwhelmed with our jet lag and sleep deprivation and every little thing was such a huge blessing to us.

Cocoa Puff got her first taste of solids after just a couple weeks of being home.  By this point we had visited her International Pediatrician and got the okay.  As became her norm anytime she tried something new...she gave us the stink face and smacked her lips a couple times before deciding she was good to go.  But once she got that yumminess in her mouth...she didn't turn back!!!  She was a FAN!

We had precious, bonding moments where Miss Cocoa really began to show her true colors -- in a good way, of course!  We just can't say enough about our little rockstar...what a JOY she is!!!

Occasionally we had sweet moments like this...

...but sitting a good distance from his sister was Monkey's norm.

See what I mean?

And a close up of sleeping beauty! =)
We had great weather for about the month of July only (don't mistakenly think I'm's a sad reality in this part of the country) so we took advantage of it by being outdoors almost ALL day every day!!  We broke out the swimming pool -- complete with slides, boats, cars, you name it.  The big umbrella was a constant supply of shade for the huge blanket and toys we laid out for the kiddos.  A new baby...who supposedly still has easily burnable skin despite her gorgeous dark complexion (although I have yet to experience that) and a pale white toddler who requires a constant 2 inch barrier of sunscreen.  Slightly exaggerating, of course...but only slightly.  

Most mornings =)

Trying out the swaddle blanket...didn't stick with it.  Don't worry -- the sweatiness was normal!

Improvement, huh??

Absolutely adore this -- have yet to frame it!

After bath -- what a beauty!

Pool, umbrella, blanket...see what I mean?

One of the only times she has EVER done this.  Remember it forever =)

Love my little blue eyed cutie!

Molten chocolate = her eyes! =)

First real HUG!!!  And HE ASKED FOR IT!!!

Again -- Monkey sat down by HER!  Baby steps!!!

We had one fabulously sunny day that Uncle Matt and Auntie Ji Hyun and cousin Caleb drove to Seattle to come meet Miss Cocoa Puff!!  We dressed her up the gorgeous dress they had gifted us.  Monkey had a great time playing with his cousin (who he spent a ton of time with while we were in Ethiopia and missed dearly).  

We MAY have had a photo shoot or two!!!  :-)  It really was too early to put Cocoa Puff in front of a I had to make do with my fancy schmancy camera (which yes, I am still LEARNING to use).  I have many MANY many more....but I'll try not to overwhelm you since this post is already so long!! =)

Something I love about this picture -- kinda sums up those first few months
 holding a wiggly little lady while chasing after Monkey boy

FAVE summer pic of this lil man!

Love the way this little kid naps!

I love the way she adores him!!! =)

That smile melts me!

Oh no -- mommy's in a bikini...glad you can't see that much =)
And then came MONKEY'S favorite part of our ENTIRE SUMMER!!!!  Daddy built a PLAYHOUSE for him!!!  It's the most amazing thing -- daddy was looking for some wood on craigslist of all things to fix this section of our fence and stumbled across a dis-assembled playground that would work PERFECTLY for our yard.  Here's the best part -- $150!  We jumped ALL over that!  Daddy ran over to see if he could borrow our neighbor's truck and he said YES...AND offered to go along and help load it!  SCORE!  So about an hour later they were back and loading it into our yard!  We let it sit overnight and daddy (with Monkey's generous help) got started right away after breakfast the next morning.

Remember: potty training =)

He MAY have had bare buns =)

Love this one

My silly boy


Happiest little boy EVER!

Hope you enjoyed the recap of the best July EVER!!!!  I know it was a bit of a picture overload...I'll see if I can get the collage thing down for next month's =)  See you soon...or, you a few months! =)