Sunday, April 29, 2012

Henry's Willy Wonka Birthday Party

All of our boys are BIG into Willy Wonka right now, thanks to David's play.  Originally, Henry wanted to have a pottery painting party.  He let me know five days before his birthday, as we were in New York ready to board a plane home, that he wanted a Willy Wonka party at our house.  Okaaaaaay.  Well we had one, and it was fantastic.

I ordered his invitations on Etsy from CuttiPutti - she has lots of cute stuff.  I just printed the invitations at Walgreens.

Henry was determined he was going to dress like Willy Wonka.  We got his jacket at Goodwill, and his hat at Party City.  He. Was. Thrilled.

He wore this outfit pretty much all day.  And put it on at 7 a.m.  The party was at 1:00.

Our neighbors came over before the party to play on the bounce house.  David and Ava had a long chat on the tables.  I'm quite certain he has a bit of a crush on Miss A.

We hung this sign on our back door.

We set up a little buffet on the patio.  If I put cheese balls near apple slices, it's almost like being healthy, right?

We had a candy cart, which was everyone's favorite.  The kids filled bags with candy when they left.  They didn't take nearly enough, because we have a ton left, and I've had to hide it from the boys.

I made Henry's cake.  It was vanilla on the top, with strawberry filling and chocolate on the bottom.  And lots of candy.  I wrote "Happy Birthday Henry" on a chocolate bar, which was oddly his favorite part.

The bounce obstacle course was a hit.  Do you see Flat Stanley in that picture??  We have him visiting from Massachusetts.  I have big plans for Flat Stanley - he's going to Europe with me!

Even Flat Stanley ate too much candy.

We ate cake.

We opened gifts.

We had a great day.  The weather was perfect, we had just the right number of guests, and Henry said it was his best weekend ever.  What more could we want?!

Catching Up

I have been very lax with my blog since we came back from our last trip.  We have been busy!  This time of year is crazy for us - we have baseball, boy scouts, two birthdays, Easter, and the end of school.  Throw an international adoption and three trips to Eastern Europe in there, and we're running around like crazy.

We've played some baseball.  And gone undefeated, I might add.  Likely not due to the stellar playing of these two. . . we're definitely in it for the fun.  The other boys on our team are far more experienced and skilled than David and Henry.  However, they really enjoy it.  And we haven't cried once at practice!  And David stays in the dugout for the entire game!  These are big wins for us.

They've both gotten some good hits and have scored some runs.

And may or may not still be afraid of the ball......

Henry had a fantastic birthday.  And thinking of him being seven years old makes me seriously want to take to my bed.

We had a small family celebration on his actual birthday.

He picked pizza for dinner.

And we had a small, store bought cake on his actual day.  We had a great Willy Wonka birthday party over the weekend, which will get its own post.

We hit the Lego store during his birthday weekend.  They also made bears at Build-A-Bear, which Henry has seriously been asking to do for three years.

We have done a lot of giggling and laughing.  Can you stand how cute this face is?  You should hear the giggle that comes out of it.

We've built some Hero Factory Lego creations.

I've packed Katie Ruth's suitcase.

I got a fabulous gift for Administrative Professionals Day.  Who knew that was even a holiday?!  It's a date night gift basket with a movie gift certificate and dinner gift certificate so Chris and I can have a night out before Katie comes home.

Today we went to my parents' house.  David spent some time watching the chickens with Gigi.

The boys did some swimming.

It was a bit chilly for me at 74 degrees.  Which is ironic, because that's probably as warm as the water EVER gets in Massachusetts (where I grew up) but now I would never get in it at that temperature!

David climbed into the coop and became one with the chickens.

Jack swam, ate, and tried to finagle ways to get out of wearing his brace on his arm.  I am so hopeful that we will be done with that in two weeks at his follow up appointment.

We ate ice creams, rode bikes, and played in the beautiful weather we had.  What a life we've got.  We are so lucky.

Henry got a sewing machine and a sewing book for his birthday.  When we came home, the big boys and I started working on a project from Henry's book.

They are both making a small drawstring bag.  They are off to a great start!  They were so careful with the pins and the needle, and they followed directions very well.  They were patient and thorough, which is tough to be when you're a seven or eight year old boy.

I cannot believe I leave to pick up this little pumpkin in 14 days.  I cannot wait for her to get home and be a part of all of the fun we're having.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pack Those Bags!

Guess I better get packing.  

Our girl will be home May 22nd!  

Our tickets are booked, and we will be home with her in less than a month!!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kelly's Birthday Wish

Sunday is my friend Kelly's birthday.

Kelly and her husband Kyle brought this little tiny bit of deliciousness they call Charlotte home last month.  

Charlotte was adopted from Katie's country.

Kelly and I have gotten to know each other through the adoption process, and I'm so thankful we have. She is funny, smart, intentional, determined, and has a heart as big as Charlotte's cheesy grin.

Kelly wrote in a post on her blog, Love Brings You Home, about a few of Charlotte's friends who have been left behind at the orphanage.  You see, at Charlotte's orphanage Kelly and her husband met other children.  We did not do that really at Katie's orphanage; we saw other children, but met only one.  And we met that little girl at my request, as she is being adopted by another family I have gotten to know.  The children Kelly met?  They left an impression on her.  As Kelly wrote on her blog: 

"I hear their laughter in my dreams sometimes.  I hear their cries, too.  And I wake up feeling completely powerless.  They are the ones we are leaving behind when we bring Charlotte home."

She originally posted about three children:

and Kacey.

Since Kelly's original post, both Diane and Vitaliy have had families commit to adopt them!  Little Kacey, however, still waits.  Kelly described meeting Kacey:

"Kacey initially observed us from the safety of the child size chairs across the room.  She was clearly skeptical of these new people watching her lesson.  She watched carefully as Charlotte eagerly climbed up into my lap and snuggled in for some hugs from Momma before participating in her lesson.  Her curiosity seemed to overrule her initial fear, and she shyly sidled up next to me.  She extended her scarred arms and hands and looked up into my face, waiting to see what my reaction would be.  When I smiled and traced her scars with my fingers, she relaxed.  She put her hand on my leg and questioned, “Mama?”  I don't think I could ever forget the look on her face when my answer was 'nyet'."

These children are Kelly's sweet Charlotte's friends.  They are her first family.  And Kelly can't leave them behind.  She can't be their mama, but she can help them find one.  

Kacey has Apert Syndrome.  She also has a grant available through Reece's Rainbow with a small amount of money ready to help a family who is willing to adopt her and love her.  Kelly would like to see that money grow.  I would like to see Kelly have a happy birthday.  It costs a. lot. of money to adopt a child.  While I certainly don't anticipate everyone can adopt, maybe you have $5 to share with Kacey to help celebrate my friend Kelly's birthday?  All donations made through Reece's Rainbow are 100% tax deductible.  And 100% guaranteed to change the life of a sweet child.

Happy Birthday Kelly.  I hope your birthday is full of promise my friend, for you and for Kacey.  Thank you for your selflessness and generosity.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Happy 7th Birthday Henry!

Today is my sweet Henry's seventh birthday.

Thinking about this special boy being seven years old - SEVEN - literally makes me want to cry.

I wish every parent could have a child like Henry.
Since the day he was born, he has been a complete joy.
He came out fat and happy.  
As long as he was with his mama and had a full belly, life was all good for my love.  And that's pretty much stayed the same.

Henry never cried when he was a baby.  This could likely be because I carried him in a Baby Bjorn for the first year of his life.  He slept with me because Chris worked third shift and Henry ate every two hours for a year.  He was my little snuggle bug.  He was born just barely twelve months after David, and I was terrified of him at first.  Terrified that I wasn't enough for two babies, that I wouldn't love him as much as I loved David, and that we were going to be in way over our heads with two tiny little humans to take care of.  

Henry was everything I needed.  

He has always been the sweetest boy.  He's so happy to do pretty much anything.  He's a good listener, curious, smart, and good at pretty much everything he tries.  He is a total love.

The thought of him getting older and older makes me so sad.  I wish I had some way to freeze time and keep all of my boys exactly where they are right now.

Henry, at seven years old, loves Legos, making movies with his camcorder, playing Brickbuilder on the computer, Lego Ninjago, riding his bike, playing outside, swimming, jumping on the trampoline, arts and crafts, writing stories, drawing pictures, Harry Potter, Willy Wonka, and reading.  He's a Cub Scout, in the science club, and on the baseball team.  He's been on honor roll every semester since he started school and he loves every minute of every day.

His favorite foods are pizza, turkey sandwiches, cheeseburgers, smoothies, waffles, ice cream, Clementines, string cheese . . . let's be honest.  He's not real picky.  

He's considerate, sweet, generous, and thoughtful.  He's sensitive and has an enormous heart.  He wants to help people, and I know he will do big things in his life.  

Henry has been a complete delight since the day he was born.  Please don't be mistaken - he can crank it up and have a fit like every other child.  However, ninety-nine percent of the time he is the easiest child ever.  He is an amazing little person, and I am so proud and lucky to be his mama.

Happy birthday my sweet boy!