Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blogging has nearly ceased to happen. If I'm gonna give it a try...its got to be short. So straight to the point here. We have 3 very active and beautiful children, zero time for much else, and we are so happy! Cecily started school and loves it! She is doing great. I want to say her English is great but I don't really have any non-English speaker to compare her to. She speaks in full, dramatic, descriptive sentences and has complete conversations with us about any and everything. She started another session of gymnastics and will start soccer in a week. She loves to ride her bike, scooter, play with friends...all the usual little girl things. She loves to paint her nails, fix her hair and play dress-up too! I have some really cute pictures on facebook of her dressing up in princess clothes (Ian too, which is super cute and funny)! She loves to do all of the little girl things. I sometimes forget that she missed out on years of playing and we try to let her play like a 5 year old even as 10 approaches!

Ian, where do I start. He is one funny little clown. He is typical two I am gathering and he keeps us on the move. We are not making much progress on potty training, as he has decided only to go to the potty when and where he wants to and at no other time! He does make quite the habit however out of undressing himself, going in the floor, and telling us about his accomplishment. We are working on the meantime, we clean the carpet frequently. He LOVES to play outside. We would stay outside from daylight till dark 7 days a week, rain/snow/sleet or shine. He loves the water and getting dirty..all the little boy things! As he continues to assert his independence, he still clings fiercely to his momma! I love it at night when he hugs my neck and says in his cutest toddler voice, "I love you momma, you love me?". Melts me. God makes them so cute, funny, and sweet to make up for the times when they pour a whole box of goldfish out in the floor or wake you up by hitting the toilet brush against the bed. Or maybe the times they screech in horror at the entrance of Walmart and beg for someone to help them making you look just like a big ole kidnapper. Precious.

Pyper is a sweet little thing! We all are adjusting to her sleep schedule. Ian's love for her is growing. He loves to hit, I mean pat her head, and jab, I mean gently offer her pacifier to her! If he's quiet..she won't be for long! Cecily is wonderful with Pyper. She is the best big sister. Cecily told me the other day that she wished Pyper was brown like her and Ian. I asked why, expecting something about wanting to look alike or another adoption issue. Nope. She said she wished Pyper was brown so she didn't turn red in the sun like me. Ha.

I would love to post the million pictures that I have of my beautiful, wonderful, amazing kids but I HATE blogger's upload tool. It annoys me terribly. So I will post a link of the most beautiful slideshow of our recent pics. The beginning ones are all of Pyper (her first photos), stay tuned to the end for pics of my Ethiopian beauties. You will see that it is totally worth the wait =)

Zoombug Photos

Click and enjoy!

Friday, July 17, 2009

And Pyper makes 5

It has been a very busy few months for us at the Clevinger house. The kids are doing great, Cecily is AMAZING. Her English is coming along nicely. She has her stubborn streak but don't we all?? She is looking forward to going back to school in the fall. She did an ESL program in summer school that gave her some time out of the house. She loves the interaction with other kids. We are thinking that it may be best to repeat the 3rd grade. She seems to think that is a good idea too and we are hopeful that she will have the same teacher.

Ian is hilarious! He is starting to pick up on the "2 year old" fits and we have had some embarrassing moments in public =) All a day in the life of a toddler!

Did I mention we added another child to the mix??? Pyper Anslee joined the family July 12, weighing in at 8 lbs. 7oz., 21 inches long! Cecily and Ian are so happy to have her here. Ian's enthusiasm waxes and wanes depending on how much of my time she consumes! Cecily is the greatest big sister in the world. Everyone said that she would be helpful but she goes far beyond that. Yesterday she did the laundry. Switched it, folded it, put it away. I nearly fainted. She rocks, pats, walks, consoles Pyper as well as Cortney or me. She distracts Ian, keeps him alive, gets him juice cups, gives him bites of name it, she does it. Just like a little mommy. I am amazed, thankful, and blessed. She is the most compassionate, precious little girl.
Some days I can't believe that our family has grown from just the two of us to a whopping 5 people in just 19 short months. Each child adds a new dynamic to the house and binds us all just a little closer together. Each child came into our family in a different way giving us rich experiences as parents and tapping on skills and emotions that have shaped us as people. My husband, my high school sweetheart, avid golfer, video game savant, perpetual child; does school pick ups, gymnastics, homework, bedtimes, toddler wrangling, diaper changing, nose wiping, and the millions of other fatherly duties just the way my dad used to do. We are there in our lives, parents, the one thing our hearts so desired. It is truly funny how drastically different the seasons of our lives are and how we transform into different people to accommodate those changes. Life is good. God has provided.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Happy Birthday 2 year old!

I can't believe another year has passed. I can't believe how many changes our family has seen. I can't believe how blessed I am.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Life's Just Happening

Almost 3 months have passed since we brought sweet Cecily home. Sometimes I look at pictures from those first few weeks and I am in disbelief at how much she has changed. She is not the same little girl that came home shy, scared, timid, quiet, and agreeable. Thank goodness! We love her strength (most times) and her voice about how she feels and what she wants. Her English skills are getting so much better with each day. School helped that tremendously. We still get caught up in the communication barriers sometimes but now she just huffs and thinks of another way to say it. I could go on and on about how smart and funny she is but that seems a bit boastful!
We have had so many families ask us about issues that we had or are having since Cecily is older. I think communication in the beginning was the most frustrating part. She withdrew tremendously in the first few weeks and said little to nothing. English that we were certain she knew, she wouldn't use. She tells me now that she was sad and scared then. Now she enlightens us daily with crazy stories. She knows we love to hear about her and she has helped us understand so much about her life. We never ask specific questions, I have just always asked her to tell me something funny or to tell me a story that made her happy. She is amazing. I love hearing her talk about Ethiopia and her time there. She has a great love for Ethiopia. She wants to hold onto her heritage often fearing that she is forgetting something. Our children are truly remarkable.
Ian is turning 2 this Friday =( I'm a little sad to see this next milestone (very thankful to be celebrating it) come and go. His little personality is just so endearing. He is so funny and intuitive that he catches me off guard most times. He is a great little brother. I'm not so sure what kind of big brother he will be in a few weeks...should be interesting. He's still our little baby and he will tell you that!
Wish I had more to update about. Life is good, too fast, and exhausting. The kids are beautiful, funny and smart beyond belief. Some days I can't believe this is my life, I a very blessed woman. As I hit the big 2-7 next week I will look back and thank God for the infinite blessings I have received.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

almost at the 2 month mark

I have been a horrible blogger these past 8 weeks. Life has exploded all over me like cake in the face. Wonderful, delicious, messy cake in the face. We have had the ups and downs that I did and didn't expect. Our transition to a family of four has been scary, amazing, and ever changing. Cecily, our quiet and reserved little girl who used to whisper and just smile when spoken to has turned into the little diva we all knew she was! We went for several weeks begging her to speak. We even had to limit her most favorite activity, television, because she wouldn't respond when spoken to. We weren't sure if it was shyness or stubbornness but she stopped using even the words she initially said freely. So, after an evening of limited tv, the vocab usage improved. There is nothing like asking someone a series of yes/no questions and having them roll their eyes at you for 2 weeks straight!! In the past 3-4 weeks we have seen such changes that I can't even grasp until I think back on how things were in the first weeks. She can express most any thought in English as well as tell us MANY odd stories from her time in Ethiopia. You have to wonder how much is true and if all is true...yikes. She seems to understand nearly everything we say. We still have the occasional language barrier...mostly when you are asking her to go to bed or turn off the tv! Typical 9 year old I hear! She LOVES Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody! Anything Disney channel or black and white shows. We have to limit tv and that is our most difficult task. In the evening we play outside until nearly dark then she gets her tv time before/after bath. That usually results in an ultra short bathtime!!!!

School is going great. Her teacher said that she has made a few friends and does well socializing. Her ESL teacher raves about her determination and how quickly she is picking things up. We are very pleased with school and she loves going. It is so scary taking her there and just leaving her not knowing what she is dealing with all day. I know that is normal but I worried about if she would tell them that she needs to go to the bathroom or if she would understand what was expected. I guess she is doing just fine.

She does really well with Ian. She gets a little frustrated with him at times and we have to intervene in their sibling fights. We try to make her room hers and keep him out as much as possible. Ian wants whatever she has, wants to be where she is, and do whatever she does. It can grow tiresome on a 9 year old.

We are on our first vacation as a family this week. This is the vacation that I dreamed of for years while we were growing our family. Last year we didn't really have vacation since we were in limbo about her travel date. This year we decided on Cancun for our first getaway, but due to many issues including passports and swine flu we decided Florida may be the better option. It has been amazing. Watching their little faces when they saw the ocean for the first time and played in the sand. We went to Busch Gardens and my fearless little girl rode the most daunting of roller coasters without any hesitation! It is perfection...everything I had hoped.

Life is continuing to change for us in many ways. We will welcome a third child into our home sometime in July! last little Clevinger!

Friday, March 20, 2009

the new normal is very busy

We are settling in here at the Clevinger house. Cecily aka Mekdes has decided she wants to be called Cecily now. That was a middle name that she liked but has since informed me that she is Cecily not Mekdes. We are trying it out for now. We won't do her official name change for a month or two so we have some time to decide which name will be first officially. We are so excited that she got an IR3 visa this time. I was complaining to our friends about filing for her citizenship certificate and they told me that it will just come in the mail!!! You mean I don't have to pay 500 dollars and agonize over the paperwork??? I thought we just got out of the re-adoption but this is excellent!
We have spent a good part of everyday at the doctors office getting bloodwork, checkups, skin tests, shots...the normal stuff. Our pediatrician is awsome and has been super cool with her not rushing into anything before he is fully informed. We have dentist and eye drs next week and throw in the rest of our appointments and she is soon going to be convinced that we go to the dr everyday!
She has really come out of her shell. Ian has made that happen almost all by himself. She loves on us and laughs with us but she really cuts loose with him and acts like the wild and crazy kid I know she is!!! He is the best little brother and she is the best big sister. They were meant to be together. Everyone is sleeping pretty well. I fall over usually after the last one goes to bed ;) They exhaust each other and me on most days. But everyone has been sleeping through the night for the past few days. Ian got back on his schedule 2 nights after we came home. He was an amazing traveler. For someone who asked, the only reason I wouldn't have taken him is if I hadn't had so much help. I had three women with me who helped tremendously as I transitioned with Mekdes. Also, the day I got sick they took over with both kids and let me lay in bed in a Phenergan induced stooper! Without them...having Ian wouldn't have been so easy.
So here we a somewhat normal life with our two kids. No fits or anxieties to speak of yet. Overall everyone laughs more than they cry and loves more than they hit so we are considering week one a success.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Home Finally =)

Home finally with our sweet girl! I am so excited to be blogging from Mekdes' bedroom while she plays a matching game on the other computer! It is early and we are all a bit jet lagged but slept pretty well last night. We were greeted at the airport by many excited family members and she was a bit overwhelmed. She came home, showered, and was ready for bed. I have tons of pictures that I haven't uploaded all of our pictures yet but I will very soon. If I had to sum up our week with two words they would be humbling and hilarious! I was in awe of my daughter who moved through the week graciously accepting me and Ian and my friends into her life forever. I was amazed at her strength and courage, her beautiful spirit, and her diva-ish style! Staying in a guest house with Laura, Andrea, Amy, Jamie, Mekdes and Ian....hilarious! We loved Ayat house very much. It is the true Ethiopian experience..yes indeedy (LOL for the crew). We have so many ridiculous stories to tell that would have you in stitches. Many involve asking someone to move so that someone could vomit or being asked to not vomit in that spot! Either way, we had so much fun and I wouldn't have changed a thing. As far as Ian goes... knowing what I know now...I would never have not taken him! He was a joy on the flight. He made the layovers seems short and slept a ton on the flights. It was love at first sight when he met Mekdes. I will post the video sometime. It was like he had waited his whole life to meet her and he wanted her undivided attention. He spent the whole week making sure she never got out of his sight and she cared for him and kissed on him as a big sister from the beginning. It was so nice to have both of my children with me, starting their bonding process as well. He made it easier for her to act like a child with all of us. He ran around like a little crazy man and so she followed playing too. It was perfect (except for the travelers sickness).
I have so much more to tell, so many more people to thank and a ton of pictures to post. I love my family and friends and thank the Bakers for keeping Cortney sane during the week.
I leave you with a few pictures...