Friday, December 30, 2011

Blake's Perspective...Part 6

I have officially been at my new home a month now.  Honestly, it seems like it's been a lot longer than that.  I met my mommy and daddy for the first time, October 19th.  Then they went to court for me to be their son, officially, Nov. 4th.  Then mommy and my grandma busted me out of my new home, Nov. 20th.  And we arrived here Nov. 23.  Whew! 

This past month has been a busy one.  I met my roommate...I have started calling her Queenie, because that's what she thinks she is--she just screams and mommy comes running, big sissy plugs her ears, and daddy pretends like nothing is going on. Because crying and screaming is so effective for her, I've started adding it to my tactics.  I see that crazy-haired Queenie coming toward me and I yell.  She tries to pinch me and bite now...yeah, bite!  Sometimes it really hurts and it does make me cry.  I realized that I can get really loud with my crying now, these wet things even run down my cheeks...they taste kind of salty.  Mommy always comes and kisses me and makes me feel better.  Now I know why Queenie cries so much, I could get used to mommy carrying me around all the time and kissing and hugging on me. All I have to do is cry.  It works great at nighttime and during naptime too.  Mommy rocks me to sleep, I close my eyes and rest a little while.  Then I wake up and she's I just let loose a loud yell and cry.  Mommy or daddy usually comes and rubs my back or rocks me back to sleep.  This works great at any hour of the night, they always show up.  Plus it's a great way to pay back oh chubby girl for all the nights she has woken me up with her hollering and carrying on.  I don't know how to describe this feeling that makes me cry.  My body gets kind of heavy, my throat gets lumpy, and my face scrunches up, then I raise my little hands to my face and duck down really low and just yell.  Sometimes it just comes over me before I realize it.  Like when I'm hungry, when I want to keep eating and mommy takes my plate away, when I want a toy Queenie has, right before naptime or bedtime at night, when something hurts like Queenie's teeth crunching down on my foot, or when they sit me down outside in the scratchy grass. 

This past week, I also realized that I don't like riding in a car for very long periods of time.  Mommy buckles me into this seat really tightly and I hate it!  Queenie and I had a competition to see who could cry and yell the loudest the whole way to Oklahoma and back.  It worked, mommy finally broke down and fed us all the snacks she had packed in her bag.  Raisins, crackers, Puffs, cookies, suckers, YUM!  She told daddy that the car ride stops when we run out of food...we made it to grandma and grandpas just as I finished off my last cookie!  When we got to grandma and grandpa Wood's house, I got to open presents...the tissue paper tastes SO good!  I even threw around some boxes, pulled a few ornaments off the tree, and played with wrapping paper ribbon.  I don't know why they put stuff inside the boxes, it just makes it harder to play with the box. I met my great grandpa Sonny for the first time.  I also met some of grandma's friends who helped mommy and daddy bring me home.  I was doing good until I had to sleep in a new bed.  I got scared and worried that mommy and daddy were going to leave me, I had just gotten used to my new house and bedroom, and now I had to try to sleep somewhere else with new smells and sights.  I got tired enough that I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer, I think I slept a while.  Then I woke to what sounded like a screeching hoot owl....Queenie was on one of her rampages.  The clock said 1 am...I knew it wasn't time to get up yet because it was really dark in the room.  She cried, cried, cried, screamed, cried, screamed....Mommy rocked her to sleep for a while and as soon as her head hit the crib...she cried, cried, screamed, cried...pooped.  This went on for hours...I started crying too because I was so scared and TIRED.  Why does she do this to me every time?  I couldn't go back to sleep very well because she kept whimpering and because I remembered I wasn't in my own bed at my new house.  I started scratching the side of the playpen because it made this really cool sound...uuuuuuup      doooooown, scratch-scratch-scratch....uuuuuuuuup      dooooooown, scratch-scratch-scratch.  I started growling to the scratching sound...and I must have eventually fallen back asleep because the next time I woke up the sun was shining in.  Mommy and daddy were sleeping in a big bed next to my crib...haha, I didn't realize that!  I might have slept longer had I known they were in the room the entire time!  Oh crazy, screaming, chubby girl was wrapped up tightly in her blanket in her crib sawing did she stink, though, I could see her crazy hair sticking out of the side of the playpen (must have been a rough night for her)! 

See?  New boots.  The next pic she'll have on pink Converse tennis shoes, tomorrow, black slippers...and on and on.
I was really hoping we would be playing with more boxes that day.  Hopefully some without clothes in them!  Mommy was excited about all the clothes and shoes, but really?  They don't make much noise when they hit the floor or wall.  The big red head girl seemed to love all her new clothes, not sure what the excitement was all about, but she has worn a different outfit every hour since we arrived home.  

Fighting over our new riding toys at Great Grandpa Sonny's

Really, this red tissue paper is delish!

Sitting on the boxes is a blast!

This is Queenie trying to copy my move.

 We played with more boxes that day at my great grandpa's house, yiiipppeee!  Then we had to get back in that stupid ol' van (that's what mommy calls it, anyway) and headed back home....ugh.  I am glad mommy restocked the snack bag, because we were going to need it!  Queenie and I threw all our crumbs on the floor and rubbed them on the side of the seats, while daddy grimaced in the front seat.  But we eventually made it, I think all the people of the town I live in could hear us coming...let's just say we made a loud entrance.  But boy was I glad to be home!  Familiar smells, sounds, and my comfy bed.  I saw more big people together in one place, this past weekend, than I ever have.  It made me a little bit nervous, everyone just wanted to hug and squeeze me and kiss me.  (and mommy wonders why my cheeks are's from all those pinches and kisses, if you ask me!)  Now I'm back to the daily routine that I had gotten used too and it makes me feel more at ease.  I'm just so sleepy from the crazy week and change of routine.  Mommy and daddy look a little tired too.
Of all the toys, sitting in my new high chair at Grandma's was the most fun! (and letting the elephant blow air on my face)

Although I will tell you, I did enjoy grandma's yummy frosting covered sugar cookies, they just melted in my mouth.  And her mashed potatoes were tasty too.  I can't wait to go back and eat her yummy treats, again. And maybe tear apart some more tissue paper.

For now, I am off to play with my new boxes, I'll tell you more about my other box and wrapping paper encounters another day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

For those Considering Adoption: It is for the Weak

I have had a month, now, to think through the whirlwind this past fall has been.  Sometimes it doesn't even seem like we were in Ukraine, or that we adopted Blake.  It seems like he has been here all along.  My only reminders are when people ask me about specific things that happened here at home while we were gone, and I have NO clue about them!  But as I have let me mind wander back to what has happened in my life the past 6 months, I realize how much I have been changed by this experience.

If you have even a slight inkling that adoption might be a possibility for your family, or even if you are completely denying any possibility at this point, then continue reading.  I just want to share some of my experience and my reflection on it.

For starter's, I realize that I had to be "made weak, so God could be strong."  Before we committed to adopt, I felt called to let go of my fitness studio uptown, no reason to give, really, just let it go.  I only had it up and running for 1 year, so to let go of all that I had put myself and my work into, go...?  Talk about a huge ego hit.  People would ask why I was closing up shop, and I had no other answer but..."God has called me to do this."  After that time, I felt this heaviness that I could not describe.  A heaviness on my heart that would not go.  I turned to Scripture and prayer.  I sought out Scripture to lift my Spirit and renew my soul. Looking back, I believe I was going through a mourning period, as well as a fearful time of going through the 'unknown' for what was ahead.  I kept feeling God prompting me and leading me to something bigger, but wasn't sure what it was.
This was the time I felt closest to the Holy Spirit and His lead on my heart...I was down and hurting, and that was when my spirit was sensitive enough to hear God's still, small, voice.
SO my reflection point #1:  Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's leading.  It is okay to be weak, so He can be strong.  Feeling down and fearful of the unknown isn't always a bad thing.

This weakness feeling carries on throughout the whole process, actually.  After you make the commitment, you then make a sacrifice of your time and energy to do paperwork.  Many people discuss the financials being a sacrifice, of giving up conveniences to help save money...but many people forget about the sacrifice of time and family.  The paperwork requires acute attention.  Honestly, this part wasn't too difficult for us.  I imagined it being worse.  You spend nights up with your spouse signing papers, answering questions about why you want to adopt, viewing webinars for education of children raised in orphanages, meeting with notaries, etc.  But even more, you then have to relinquish control of everything.  This is a weakness of mine.  You then send your paperwork off and you are living on someone else's timeline, priorities, and concerns.  I had to become even more submissive during this time.  (If you are not a person of faith, I would be curious where you would draw hope from during times where you are not in control.) Then, you get in-country, and you have a driver, a translator, a facilitator, another government, another timeline, and NOTHING is in your control.  If you admit to your weakness ahead of time, like I mentioned above, and let Christ be your strength and guide, then you will breeze through this part.  I had to constantly surrender myself, my time, and my situation, every minute in prayer.  Again and again, the ongoing theme of "when I am weak, then I am strong" piece is played out.  I am just now realizing how all of what I went through leading up to this adoption, helped me to recognize the need for this weakness of myself, so I could immediately surrender this to Christ and let Him lead...otherwise I'd probably have no hair left on my head due to pulling it out.  When we are weak, we are vulnerable, and able to hear and be sensitive to things we may not otherwise be.  And then we experience a freedom and a heaviness lifted that is indescribable.  Much like floating.

I will continue to share my reflections as they are brought to my attention. And I will also continue Blake's perspective on things too, he had some pretty good observations during Christmas.   

Here are a few snapshots:

Monday, December 26, 2011

ABC World News Story

Just in case you didn't get to see this story air Monday night on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer.  Watch it here.  This could have been Blake's fate as well.  Seeing those girl's in the institution just makes my gut churn, as I'm sure it will yours as well.  This is why we need to act, advocate, and pray for these children to find families.  In fact, Reece's Rainbow website nearly crashed after the airing of this clip!  I LOVE to hear news like this.  I'm anxious to see the My Family Found Me page explode with newly committed families saving these children.

Go check it out here:
Hidden Angels: Two Sister's, One Bright Future

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Blake's Perspective on Christmas

Blake says: 

'Twas the week of Christmas and all through the house, 
Everything was stirring, probably scared off the mouse!
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
But now 1 is under my crib, 2 are missing, and 2 of them Leah likes to wear,
All I know is I hope Santa's coming soon, and that he didn't get Autum's letter of despair.

We all were supposed to be snuggled in our beds, 
Leah and I were asleep, Autum was crying, and mom and dad had visions of a beach vacation in their heads.
Mama was in her sweatpants, daddy having a night cap...
They just wished they could settle in for a long winter's nap.

When out on the lawn arose such a clatter,
I jumped up in my crib to see what was the matter.
I chucked my pacifier across the room in a flash,
Ripped off my socks and hid them in my stash.

The moon on the breast of a dirty, grass-filled snow.
Gave the lustre of mud pies to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes did appear...
I still do not know because chubby girl's crying was all I could hear.

There looked to be a little old driver, so lively and quick.
I am guessing from what I've heard, it's a man named St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his furry, antlered animals came,
The chubby girl started to quiet down, which was good, I was about to call her a bad name.
"Now Dasher, now Dancer, now Prancer, and Vixen..
On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner, and on Blitzen!
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall..."
   --Wait Santa don't hit the gutters, we didn't get them fixed this fall!

Phew! In a twinkling, he made it safely to the roof.
I heard prancing and pawing of each reindeer's hoof.
I drew in my head and was turning around,
Because if they make too much noise, the chubby girl will scream out a sound.

He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot, 
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
Looks like he didn't get the chubby girl's letter, haha, must be at the bottom of the stack.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I yelled when I saw him, and scared myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Not sure what he wanted me to do, so I pointed my finger at him instead.
He spoke not a word, and went straight to his work,
Looking for the missing stockings, stepping on noisy toys, and mumbling something about a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
I thought he was going to let out a farmer's blow.

He sprang to his sleigh, to give his team a whistle,
And away they all flew out of here like a missile!
And I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight,
Merry Christmas to all, give your mom a break, and sleep through the night!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Ukrainian Diet to being Skinny

One thing that I always heard from other people, before we left for Ukraine, was how beautiful, made up, skinny and fancy the women that lived there were.  Part of this is due to the Slavic culture, high cheek bones, defined facial features, light skin. . . and part of it is due to the lifestyle.  Fashion is the mecca of the Ukrainian culture, as it probably is for most of Eastern Europe.  In fact, people say that fashion is more important than family there--which explains why I never saw any family with more than one child in tow...and children were rarely seen out and about.  And why the orphanages are overflowing with children...but that's another story for another time.

Anyway, being a personal trainer, my perspective of the women of this culture and their beauty is attributed to other things as well.  I won't lie, they wear lots of make-up and their hair is sprayed tight!  But...also, :

1) The Ukrainian women walk everywhere.  Not only do they walk everywhere, but they walk everywhere in high heels.  I never saw anything under at least 3 inches.  I asked someone and most people average 3-5 miles of walking a day to and from work, to and from picking their kids up from school, to and from the grocery store, etc.  Therefore, their legs are firm and tight--as are their arms from pushing strollers, carrying groceries, carrying briefcases or bags, and coats.  And there are no after walking 3-5 miles they then walk up 5-10 flights of stairs to their flats. 

2) The Ukrainian women go to the grocery nearly everyday.  People rarely push a cart around the store, they carry the arm baskets and buy enough food to get them through the evening's meal and possibly lunch the next day.  This means there is rarely food lying around to snack on between meals.  I'll explain a few reasons why they do this next...

3)  The Ukrainian food does not contain preservatives and added chemicals (for the most part).  People do NOT buy processed food in Ukraine, and it is not readily available.  Bread lasts 2 days tops before it molds or becomes stale.  Wheat is not enriched and processed, it is sold 'as is' in bulk.  All vegetables, grains, oats, fruits, fish, poultry, pork, beef, etc. is sold in bulk.  You actually choose the fish you want swimming in the gigantic fish tank and the lady behind the counter fishes it out and chops its head off right in front of that's fresh!  (if you like carp)  All food is locally grown, or grown nearby.  This is why people have to shop so often and probably why people there do not have food allergies, AND why food is so cheap. They eat real food, not chemicals and added fillers.
**On a sidenote, my mom is allergic to gluten/wheat, and she ate pizza and bread while we were in Ukraine and was able to tolerate it.  Now this was either because of the grace of God or because the preservatives were not in it...what does that tell you about what we eat??

4) Ukrainian women rarely eat red meat.  It is just not readily available for purchase or to eat.  And if you do buy red meat at the open air market, you buy the cow's head and all...that would be enough to deter me from buying a side of beef.

5) They use real sugar in their drinks, not zero calorie chemicals and artificial sweeteners.  The juice and Coke/Sprite available in Ukraine tasted so different.  I am not a pop drinker, I cannot even finish a can of pop here in the US because it burns my throat and just doesn't taste 'good.'  Well, I tried Coke while in Ukraine, and I normally hate the taste of it, but did not have the acidic taste on my mouth afterward.  And the juice was SO good.  Again, it would only last a few days before it had to be thrown preservatives...and SO tasty!

6) People eat large breakfasts and light lunch and supper.  We would go out to eat in the evenings or at lunch and people were nowhere to be seen.  If they were, they were just having drinks or a light salad. We asked someone finally, and they told us that people don't eat much for lunch and dinner there.  They have 'strong breakfasts' according to a local person.  We always felt like fat slobs eating our large pizzas at meals for lunch and dinner while everyone else poked at their lettuce salads. 

7) People do not drink cold drinks.  There is no ice to be found in that country.  Everything is room temperature, even most beer.  The body has to work harder to digest cold/frozen food or drinks, so if the drink is already warm or at room temperature it doesn't have to work so hard to warm it up before breaking it down to digest and be used for energy.

8) People drink filtered water.  People cannot even brush their teeth with the water that comes from the faucet in Ukraine.  People carry around glass or plastic jugs they fill with water at their local grocery store to drink from.  They do not use faucet water, it is very contaminated.  People only drink filtered, fresh, clean water.

9) People rarely use antibiotics.  Prescriptions are hardly written in that country.  There are pharmacies on every street corner, and people can just walk in and get what they want without any prescription or FDA regulations.  Homeopathic, nutritional remedies, and herbs are most commonly used to treat common illnesses and ailments.

10) People drink a lot of wine, beer, champagne, and liquor.  Not sure if this is a completely healthy habit, but it does help people wind down of an evening.  And less stress.

11) People everywhere, of any age, smoke.  By the looks of the fancy cigarettes most women smoke, it is definitely a 'fashion' statement.  And it contributes largely to the slim figures of most women (not that I'm recommending it)...but people's taste buds are shot from smoking as is their sense of smell--2 contributors to hunger and eating for enjoyment, their digestive systems are shot because of all the nicotine, and people use their lunch breaks to smoke, not eat.  They also use their money to buy cigarettes (which are VERY cheap by the US standards) instead of food.

12)  People have social get together's to drink alcohol, not as an excuse to eat.  Celebrations, etc. are not centered around a feast in Ukraine.  People don't celebrate food and eating nearly as much as Americans.  Again, it's all about appearance, slim figures, and fashion.

13)  People rarely eat out.  Fast food is not an option in Ukraine.  McDonald's are around but not as easily accessible as here in the US...and if people go there, they walk to and from the restaurant.  Most people are poor and eating out is expensive, so they stay home and cook fresh meals.  

14)  Most chocolate is made with real sugar and cocoa.  Chocolate is usually found in percentages of cocoa, or dark.  It is very tasty but hard to overeat because of the bitter dark chocolatey taste.

So I'm not recommending all of these points as suggestions to a healthier lifestyle, but I do think there are some things we could learn from how Ukrainians do life that could better improve our American lifestyle and health.  Walking more, eating less processed foods, eating our largest meal in the morning...are probably the biggest ones.  Anyway, just wanted to share my observations of the Ukrainian diet to better health!  (minus all the smoking!)  And a few key pointers to help you lose weight and be skinny like the Ukrainian women...all I know is I have a lot of practice before I make walking around in 4" high heels a daily occurrence!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Rain On Sergey

Do you remember when Blake and Autum were telling you about a shower?  That we were going to "rain on Sergey" and the Farley family?  If not, read here.

Well, instead of gifts for Blake and us, we decided to have people bring donations in honor of another boy with Down Syndrome that lives in Eastern Europe who needs a Forever Family--his name is Sergey.  And his Forever Family is the Farley's.  They have been working since February of last year to get all the paperwork collected, etc. to bring their boy home.  Well, they are getting really close!  So we wanted to help out with the financial burden they still are facing.  We asked you all to pray and to donate in honor of Blake for his buddy Sergey.  And you did just that...

We got to see old friends who chose to stop in and surprise us!  We got to thank everyone who came, personally for supporting and encouraging our adoption.

We got to sip on some great drinks: apple cider, hot chocolate, and coffee.  YUMMY!

We got to swap mom stories with local friends.

We learned about Sergey and the Farley family through a beautiful display and pictures.

We opened a few gifts.

We cried when we didn't get anymore snacks.  Thank goodness Aunt Kate (my sis, if you couldn't tell..and no we are not twins) was there to help entertain.

We showed off our new walking skills to everyone.

We stayed near the drinks and snacks the entire time, to sneak a few more sips and bites of goodies when I wasn't looking.

We played with tissue paper.

We crawled between everyone's feet and all the chairs, minding our own business.

We put all the gifts back in the bags after we opened them.

We hugged on brother's teddy bear, and refused to give it back.

 But I think what I was most excited about was several, to see all the faces of the people who followed our journey and were touched by how God used Blake's story to bring glory to Himself.  And two, to be able to bless someone else through the very generous people we know.  I don't have a final count because I'm still receiving donations in the mail and some have been made online that I am unaware of...

But I am excited to be able to donate approximately $600 (in checks and cash I have been given) to the Farley family to help bring Sergey home!!!! (as of Friday)
So thank you friends, for your kindness and your generosity.  Thank you for being the hands and feet of God in defending the cause of the orphans.  And thank you dear friends, who hosted this shower in Blake's honor.  Everything was beautiful.  The drinks and food was great.  The atmosphere was exciting and God-honoring.  And my heart was filled with gratitude and joy.  I pray God blesses you all ten times as much for your willingness to give of your time, resources, money, and gifts.  
God Bless!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Day in My Life

I often get asked what my day is like now that I have 3 children under my roof.  Well, I decided to try to photograph as many aspects of my day yesterday to help you visualize the craziness!
So here are snapshots of a day in the life!

5:00 am--Wake up to Autum crying in her room.  Change her diaper, plug her with a pacifier. (hoping she goes back to sleep without waking Blake)

5:30 am--Head out for a morning run with Carisa.  It's the only 'me' time I get in my day right now, and it's VERY important for my sanity.

6:15 am--Arrive home, Autum's awake and rearing to I quickly hop in the shower to rinse off...and get out to find this...

6:30 am--Quickly read through this devotion and matching Scripture in an attempt to get some spiritual nourishment for the prayers often consist of this "Oh God, give me grace!!"

After jumping out of the shower, I quickly folded a load of clean laundry.
6:50 am--Autum decided to poop her pants so I had to change her clothes.  Thank God the diaper bag was still out so I could get her a change of clothes and a diaper out of there without having to tip-toe into her and Blake's room to get fresh clothes, wipes, and a diaper.

7:15 am--Leah woke up while I was getting breakfast ready, and Blake started yelling soon after, so the girl's went in to greet him for the morning.

 7:30 am--Got everyone in their seats and breakfast served.  Eggs and fruit today!

...then for clean-up.  What a mess!! 

8:00-9:30 am--The kids usually play and entertain themselves during this time while I try to get a few 'things' done.  Balancing the checkbook, working on some end-of-year paperwork, starting/sorting laundry, sweeping and vacuuming, wiping down counters....etc.  The kid's pretend to be Mary, sort through my cookbooks, play dress-up, make messes...

Then about 10-11 am everyone starts getting fussy and bored being in the out we go!  Rain or is needed!
Lunch time!!
 ...then nap time.

Yesterday I made some gluten-free/wheat-free pumpkin bread for breakfast/snacks.  We currently have Blake on a wheat-free, gluten-free diet to see if the redness on his cheeks will lessen.  And Autum has been fighting a cough for a few weeks now, so we are eliminating cow's milk from her diet to help lessen the mucus in her I am having to do a lot more baking these days. 

 Then when naptime is over, we usually head back outside.  Today we decided to take the kid's to the city park.  This was Blake's first time there...needless to say he was not thrilled.

5:15 pm--Bath time, dinner time.

Clean-up from dinner time...and begin to wind down for the evening.

7:30-8:30 pm--Get baby's jammies on, diaper's changed,  teeth brushed, beds ready, clothes laid out for school the next day, bottles made, paper's signed for school, gone potty, water glass filled to place on headboard in case of night-thirst, books read (all other elements of stalling on Leah's part are addressed)....Blake rocked and put to sleep in crib in Jerad and I's room...Autum given a bottle and rocked and in bed in her and Blake's room.  Leah tucked in for night...hope to walk out of there by 8:30 pm and pray she doesn't get out of bed again until morning (not usually the case).

Then...start sorting laundry, start the dishwasher, take a shower, get workout/running clothes ready for next morning, make phone calls, blog, watch TV, chat with Jerad...transfer Blake to his crib in he and Autum's room and hope he stays asleep.
BEDTIME....10 pm sharp!!!  Doesn't usually take long to fall asleep these days :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Daddy

About my Daddy:

I took a big interest in this dark-haired man upon our first meeting at my old home.  He had this interestingly deeper sounding voice than I had heard before.  Although, he never spoke much at first. And I noticed he had this scratchy stuff on his face.  There was only one other nanny at the orphanage who had a face that felt like that...her legs were the same way...But most of all I felt like this guy just 'got' me.  We had this connection right away, must be a boy thing.  I was always most excited to see him at each visit.  I wanted to get to know this guy better, he was so much fun!  I have had lots of mommy's go in and out of my life the past 2 year's, but never a daddy, so I just hoped and prayed that he would stick around. 

Well, here is what I have learned so far.  If I get up early enough, I get to see him before he goes out the back door.  For some reason, he leaves us everyday.  It makes me cry when I have to see him leave.  Mommy usually picks me up and fixes me breakfast so I forget about him leaving.  But I will go to the window throughout the day, as I think about it, and look for him.  Sometimes I will just play with his boots because they smell like him.  Plus they make the best sounds when thrown down the steps.  I'm starting to realize that he always comes back.  It's usually a race to the backdoor to greet him when he comes home.  That little chubby girl pushes me out of the way or steps on my hand so I can't crawl to him as fast.  She waddles up with her arms in the air hoping he will swoop her up first.  He usually does, but then he puts her down, much to her dismay, and scoops me up...then we wrestle!  My favorite thing to do with daddy.  He just knows how to play.  He throws me really high in the air and I yell and laugh.  Then he rolls me around on the floor and tickles my feet and my ribs, and it about sends me over the edge in laughter.  Then he puts me on his back and tells me to hang on while he tries to buck me off.  Sometimes that is scary, but I'm getting better at holding on.  All the while, the little chubby girl stands by and cries because she hates it when anyone is rough-housing....girls, I tell you...they just don't know how to have fun.  The big red-head, freckled girl always cuts in and tries to help me out, she will jump on daddy's back or pull his socks off while I'm being tickled.  I remember at my old house, that I did not like when daddy played with me like this, when he came to visit. It scared me and I would often whimper or try to push him away.  I did not know what this 'playing' was, or how it worked.  But now I know that daddy is safe so I can be myself with him.  I also now realize that playing is quite fun, it is nice to interact with someone in a way that makes me laugh and smile.  The most interaction I was used too was someone throwing a toy at me in my crib or rolling around in my walker.  There are only so many things you can do with those, and neither left me feeling happy. 

He also knows how to make the best sound effects when we play with my tractors and trucks.  He can make my tractor sound real.  He bangs them into things, and that makes an even cooler sound.  I love that!  We also learned how to roll the race cars down that chubby girl's indoor slide so they race across the kitchen floor, right under mommy's feet.  That chubby girl always messes it up, though.  She will sit on the end of the slide and clog up the race track, it makes me so mad, that I start throwing the cars at her head.  She just cries, go figure! 

The only thing I can't figure out is why he always hands me over to mommy when I poop.  He has changed my diaper 2 times now, and his eyes water and he coughs a lot...not sure why?  Mommy usually takes care of it now.  He always tells me to pull his finger when we are all wrestling...the big red-headed girl always does, and then runs away...daddy makes this horrible sound.  And then me and the chubby girl are left with a smell that makes our eyes water and our throats gag.  I am going to have to learn that trick, it could pay off when that chubby girl is really bothering me.

Well, I can't wait to share more about my daddy soon.  I might even share a few things I think about my mommy sometime soon as well...