Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wild Child

Lately whenever anybody holds Cecie, they always seem to ask if she wants her mommy. They ask this because she Won't. Stop. Moving. She will grab onto you, pull herself up to a stand, sit back down, try to lay down and roll over, leans forward to try to grab anything and repeats this process over and over. I tell them that while I might be able to get her to sit slightly more still, in general this is just Cecie. She wants to be on the move.

And today she put her immobile days behind her once and for all.

Thanks to the lure of the remote control, Cecilia has learned how to use her arms to propel her little body forward via what is known as The Army Crawl. And in the few short hours since revealing this new skill, she has become quite adept at it and gets from A to B in no time at all and is already trying to use her legs to help her along.

So tomorrow I will be baby proofing and figuring out how to manage a baby who presents very different challenges today than she did yesterday!

Notice...she has two little teeth!

She got bored of just sitting there so she decided to start chewing on the pillow.

I think Simon was more excited about Cecie learning to crawl than anyone.

Love having two!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hysterical Baby Giggles, How I Love Thee

As little miss Cecie gets older, it is getting easier and easier to get big laughs out of her. Peek-a-boo is definitely a favorite and one that almost always results in a giggle. There is nothing that can get her to laugh as hard as Simon playing peek-a-boo with her, though. She laughs so hard she sounds almost like a crazy old smoker and usually winds up choking because she is so into it.

Saying I love it doesn't even come close to how I feel about her laugh, and especially those that arise because her big brother is trying to make her happy. These two just kill me...

{The real fun begins after the first 50 seconds or so...and Simon quietly telling Cecie that he loves her makes this just about the best video we could ever capture.}

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dance Party USA

The other night we had a little dance party up in here...Simon has some pretty slick moves. Okay, so his moves probably aren't too different from the likes of any other 4 year old across the country, but he adds a little Simon flair by kicking a ball around and smacking one of Cecie's toys, just 'cause.

I was chatting with a mother at her son's wedding this past weekend and she reminded me to TAKE LOTS OF VIDEOS. I have a video camera on my person quite literally at all times, so I should really be able to take more quite easily. I do, but just not as often as I will wish I would have 20 years from now...

Anyway, enjoy a glimpse into our dance party:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Attempt Number 1: Puff Ponytails

I've tried to put a few puffs in Cecie's hair already, but I never attempted her whole head and never really did it right in the first place. This time, I did it right I think but by the time our first wrestling match came around (aka a diaper change) the puffs in the back were gonners. If nothing else, it was good practice for both of us and she looked so freaking cute while it lasted!

One of these days I'll have to figure out a style that has some longevity because that fro of hers is getting bigger by the day! :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Can't forget about the boy!

Lately I've been posting a lot of pictures of Cecilia, both here and on Facebook. This one got a lotta love on the ol' wall yesterday (thanks friends):

I don't care who knows it - I think this baby is effing gorgeous. C'mon. Look at that face, that hair, that skin, that smile, AHH! And she loves the camera. Or rather, she loves her mama and will smile for me if I so much as say hello to her. Hence, we seem get lots of happy, cute baby pictures.

On the other hand, Simon (who is equally as breathtaking in my eyes) loves to thwart the camera. My camera does have a lot of photos of Simon on it, but most of the time the second he sees me pointing it in his direction he tucks into a ball, runs away, puts his hands up or just starts making a crazy "I'm not going to permit a decent picture" face. So it's not that I don't try to get photos of him, it's that he tries to not let me.

Super fun stage.

The other day he was playing outside and I wanted to capture some candid shots. He spotted me instantly, grabbed his pretend sword and went to attack. The fact that I have not figured out the fine art of taking clear action shots is evident whenever I try to get this energetic little human on film (or rather on my sd card I guess, but that doesn't have as nice of a ring to it). I won't give up, though. I'll keep trying to learn more about my camera and more about how to get a 4 year old to cooperate...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Crazy Lady

Yesterday we were busy....

Between running errands and taking Simon to and from school and gymnastics, there wasn't a good time to attempt a solid nap with the little one. But I still tried. All day. And I still failed. All day.

Finally by 5pm I had to put Cecie in her crib (again) because I just could not hold her anymore. While in my arms she was half asleep and half FIGHTING sleep and it was driving me batty (which is admittedly an understatement). So in her crib to fight sleep she went and outside I went to take a deep breath in the warm, quiet air (my mom said she used to do this for a minute when she needed a mental break and I thought it was a fine idea just then).

I went outside barefoot and remembered the new dress and shoes I bought while running the aforementioned errands. I walked to my car and decided to throw the shoes on since I have a gravel driveway and barefoot on it is just not smart. I heeled it back to the door and was just not ready to go back in so I plopped on the swing set to enjoy my surroundings for just another minute. Next thing I know Bryan gets home from work and sees his wife sitting on a swing in black heels, bright blue cotton shorts, an old t-shirt and unruly Pippi Longstocking inspired pigtails with no kids in sight. He laughed saying that I looked like a "crazy mother" and that was enough to make me laugh too and get back to reality with (somewhat) renewed patience.

Some days are just like that I suppose. And seeing as it's 7am and I've been up long enough to blog, today might be "just like that" too...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Round of Applause

The other day when Simon was whining about who knows what, I decided on a whim to try something. As luck should have it, he stopped whining and started laughing instead. The whining spell was broken! He asked for what he wanted like a normal human being and all was well in the world. This was nothing short of a miracle, I tell you.

Want my secret? My guess is you might.

Well...I clapped at him. Like smacked my hands together over and over until he stopped whining and started smiling, which took all of 3 seconds. It's sounds (and looks) ridiculous, but it's ridiculously effective so I'm going to stick with it for as long as it produces a smile and eliminates a frown. Who knows, maybe he'll stop whining altogether?! Or maybe it'll backfire and he'll whine just to get clapped at since he seems to think it's so funny.

Either way, I'll keep you posted on its long term effectiveness...and if you try it let me know if it works for you too! :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


In the world of adoption, the word Mother has all kinds of derivatives and meanings. You have birth mother, adoptive mother, mom, mommy, momma, or as Simon likes to say, mumma.

When it comes to Cecilia Rose, I am fiercely protective of every last one of those outside of birth mother. When someone asks me about her "mother" I have to bite my tongue and refrain from correcting them because I know what they mean; I know they mean birth mother. So instead of being confrontational and awkward, I just use the phrase birth mother diligently and hope they get the hint.

And if not, I do understand even if I don't love it.

We heard from C's birth mother again today via mail. In the letter to Bryan and me she signed her name; in the card for Cecie, however, she signed it "Mommy." As much as I wish this didn't bother me, it does. It reminds me that Cecilia has more than one kind of mother and I want that perfect little peanut all to myself.

The more I get to know her, the less I want to share her. 

This is what adoption is all about, I suppose. Nobody ever said it would be free of messiness and complications. Everybody just said we would love our baby no matter how she came to us and right they were. What I need to remember today is that Cecie is all that matters...not my emotions or insecurities and not E's either. What is right for Cecie is to maintain some level of contact with her birth mother so that is what we will continue to do, even if it is a little uncomfortable sometimes (I'm playing this on repeat in my head until I really believe it).

Besides, for all I know E is just as uncomfortable using Mommy but doesn't know what else to use right now. This is uncharted territory for all of us and we'll just have to figure it out in time.

{As a side note, thank God for Bryan. I cannot imagine going through any of this without him. There's really only room for one emotional being in every relationship.}

Seven Eleven -- Super Simon

Aside from generally always liking the date of Seven Eleven (you know, it rhymes, it's a gas station...), it has extra meaning these days.

Seven Eleven is the official date that our portfolio was "out there" for birth mothers to look at (I'll do the math for took 6 months and 5 days to get picked). Also, on this day last year we decided to try eating vegetarian for a week. Seven days has turned into 365 of no cows, pigs, fish, chicken, etc. I think the only reason I remember the date of the latter is because of the former, but I'm glad I tucked the date away in my mind just for the fun of it.

So the last year has lead to a baby and healthy cholesterol numbers. I wonder what the next year will bring? But let's be serious, what could possibly top a positive change in cholesterol? :)


Some friends asked me last week what Simon does all day, as in, how does he play? I explained that he likes to jump off the couch and the coffee table (it makes his feet "sparkle"). He likes to do flips on the rings on the play set. He likes to chase the dog. He likes to pretend he's a superhero. He just kind of runs and climbs and jumps all day. Sometimes he'll go in his toy room and just play with random toys, but he spends less and less time in there the older he gets. He sounds kind of wild when I write it down, but to me he just seems like a boy doing his thing. I intervene if I think he is going to get hurt (like when he was swatting at bees to see if they would sting him), but otherwise I just let him be creative and expend his energy however he can.

This picture seriously makes me look like a bad mom, I know. Judgement aside, it'd be a cool picture if only it were clear! :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Finger Coils, Attempt Number 2

Yesterday I decided to try finger coils on Cecie's hair again. I can't remember if I've talked about this specifically on here before, but finger coils are basically when you take several small curls and twirl them into your fingers to make one larger curl.

Since Cecie is so young I don't want to use too many products in her hair, but I found a couple of natural ones to try. I don't think the strongest gel on the market could keep this kind of style in her hair, though. About 90% of the coils didn't even come close to surviving the night!

Even with an assistant (thanks, D), it took forever to get all the coils done because she won't keep her head still. She looks all over the place and is constantly trying to grab anything to put in her mouth. That factor alone keeps me from attempting anything more complicated.

The day is looming though. We can only walk out of the house with hair like this for so long...

If that didn't make you smile, I don't know what would! After a bath and a detangling session (which is thankfully still very easy), her fro is in FULL force. It soon relaxes, but can you see why I have hair on the brain all the time?!

Anyway, that was before. And this was after...

Smile again? I know I smile every time I look at the before and after here :)

I don't know what style's coming up next, but I know it's coming soon enough. Somehow I have to learn how to do two strand twists, flat rope twists, cornrows, bandu knots, yarn extensions, twist outs, etc., etc.

Might just stick with headbands for a while...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Brother and Sister

Simon was pushing Cecie on the baby swing and if you take a few seconds to watch this, you will see whether she enjoyed it. I love when Simon looks at me and asks if we're done yet, because while he started pushing her without my asking he continued doing it for the camera at my request and was apparently over it. Love having two :)

Monday, July 2, 2012


Chica is five months old already. Five months! You know what this means, don't you? This means that in one month she will be OURS. She is already ours of course, but the great state of Wisconsin will officially recognize her as such in early August. She'll get issued a new birth certificate and will forever bear our last name until she finds someone with (hopefully...haha) a cooler last name that she wants to take on.

In case you aren't picking up what I'm putting down, this is kind of a big deal! We should really have a party....


Five months. What is Baby Cecie like at five months?

-She smiles easily and has a beautiful giggle, but she's not going to giggle at just anything. You have to actually put a little effort into it. That just means that when you do get it, it's all the sweeter! {This has been a constant in her little personality for awhile now.}

Giant, squinty-eyed, tongue out smile.

-She will occasionally nap for a couple of hours once a day. The rest of the day she is a lil' cat.

-She rolls around and into things often. She tries to roll while I'm changing her, while I'm holding her (yes, literally), while she's in her high chair, while she's in her car seat, while she's in her crib, while she's in her exersaucer, etc. Today she rolled in to a few of Simon's things...he did not love that.

Love this picture. It reminds me that our new camera was totally worth it :)

-She loves to go for walks, but doesn't want to be laying down anymore. She wants to sit upright so she can see the world.

-She can tripod for a while before toppling (sitting using her hands for balance). I look forward to the sitting-up-and-playing-with-toys stage. I think it's cute. Right now she will either sit OR play with toys...multitasking is currently not an option unless she wants to face plant.

-Her hair is about as long as my middle finger when you pull it straight. It's about a third of that when you let it go. Her hair is still super soft and is getting curlier by the day it seems. I'm obsessed with learning about African American haircare and I'm both nervous and excited for that adventure to really begin. {Honestly, have you ever seen a mop like that on a 5 month old?!}

-She has started eating rice cereal and seems to enjoy it. She does a pretty good job with it and I wonder how she will do when her spoon is full of flavor.

-Her nails grow entirely too fast.

-Right now I'm guessing she is about an 18 pounder? A couple of weeks ago, at 4 months (and 18 days) we got some stats from her doctor. She was 17 pounds and 6 ounces (95th%) and 27 inches long (99th%) with a 44 centimeter head (96th%). The size of an 8 month old according to her doctor. That sounds about right as she is easily fitting into 9 month clothing already.

Big and happy! :)

Taylor Weekend Number 8

We returned home from our 8th Taylor Weekend today. This is the one time of the year when the people we grew into adulthood with all get together to just have fun, relax, play games and talk about all kinds of things that would seem inappropriate without that beautiful lake as our backdrop.

As always, every Taylor Weekend has a few moments that are extra memorable....

One: Andy was there. He is a great friend who lives too far away and surprised everyone with his presence. We got there on Friday and there he was in the lake. SUCH a great surprise. Taylor Weekend just isn't the same without him, but we got him this year! 

Two: There were a handful of us gals up in the cabin chatting. For the sake of anonymity, we will call one of them Sally. Sally is level-headed and brings a sense of calm to a room, but Sally had to use the restroom. She left for about 60 seconds and by the time she got back two people were in tears (nothing to worry about). We couldn't stop laughing about how the system broke down as soon as she walked out of the room. Next thing you know, one of the guys opened the door to the cabin, looked at the tears with "oh shit" written so clearly on his face and without skipping a beat he backed out and shut the door. This was exactly the comic relief that was needed just then!

Three: Taylor Weekend 2012 had some great pillow talk. There were 11 of us sleeping in the cabin and after the lights went out the commentary began and uncontrollable laughter ensued. I was literally in pain from laughing so hard and I guess another girl was too because she had a coughing fit from it.

I was laying there laughing, thinking about how much I love this group of people. It feels like the dynamic is slowly changing as we (and our children) get older, but it was moments like this that remind me of how we have stayed so close for over 10 years. Even if things aren't exactly how they once were, Taylor Weekend brings us right back to the beginning. We always wonder how long we can keep this tradition up...nobody knows that answer, but I hope we find our way back for years to come.


Last year I posted some highlights about Taylor Weekend and only had a photo from the previous year. So in the spirit of tradition (and because nobody has emailed me the pic yet), here is last year's group picture. Sadly, Tiffany was sick so she and Danielle were absent, but we gained Andy, Nick and his girlfriend Julia. And of course Adia :)