Monday, July 28, 2008

Annalea and Ryan have a new cousin

Born July 26 at 9:49 p.m.
8 pounds
Baby Girl -- name tbd

Shown here with elated Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

She is ready!!!

My sister-inlaw Jackie, and future godmother of Annalea, is pregnant. She is due NOW, and will be surely a new mom by this weekend. Please keep her in your prayers for a speedy delivery!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tender Morning Moments

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Future Swim Team Competitor

Pincher Grasp Perfected

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I love the Ergo!!

I wore Annalea for over an hour this afternoon...even brought a full laundry basket down the stairs while wearing Annalea in the Ergo. It is so comfy, I wish I had gotten it sooner!! Here is Ergo's ad on YouTube:

Update on Carriers

I received the hip hammock today. I've decided the Ergo is worth the extra 70 bucks. It is much more comfy...although not as easy to use as the hammock.

Happy Birthday Annalea!!!

Today Annalea turned 10 months old. As promised, here is a video of her enjoying her latest new skill of clapping (and crawling).

Turbo bonding???

I haven't written much lately because I just don't seem to have the time these days.

Annalea is demanding my full attention. She has definitely bonded to me. She does not like it when I put her down. When she finally settles down on the floor, she does not want me to get up or even attempt to leave the room. So no unloading the dishwasher until she naps, kwim? I have gotten some suggestions to use a baby sling, so I am shopping for one now. I've got a couple I am trying.

The Baby Bjorn is just too uncomfortable for a baby this weight. It kills my shoulders. I even splurged and bought the active which has lumbar support, but still it is not my favorite.

The Ergo Baby is wonderful. If I had a newborn, I would buy that in a heartbeat. It is not cheap, but it is very comfortable for both mommy and baby, and the fabric is so so soft. What I like about it is that you can wear it with baby in front, back, or on your hip. I have been wearing her on my hip, and she likes it. She does not like the front because she constantly has to turn her head to see what is going on.

I also discovered a new carrier called the Playtex Hip Hammock. I ordered one from and will let you know how that is. It is only $30, so if that one works, the Ergo will go back to the store along with the Bjorn.

Well time to start my day! I will try to post more. I will also get some new pics and movies up soon. Annalea is now clapping her hands, and it is so adorable!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Still working on her technique...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A hundred and twenty five books

First of all, this post is way late. This event happened two days before we left for Armenia. Then I got busy...but I am finally writing about this very worthwhile story.

Kevin works for Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting firm. His co-workers are amazing and so supportive. They threw Kevin a surprise shower at Beth Mahan's house. It was lovely. But the best part of it was the very special and thoughtful gift they presented.

Each employee purchased a book for Annalea and Ryan. The books were picked from a list of the most highly rated and awarded children's books ever--for ages ranging from zero to teen. Glued to the inside each book was this label:

We will treasure this wonderful library for many years to come.

Thank you to everyone who purchased a book and/or who came to the party.

A special thanks to Sharon Dougherty, who orchestrated this project, Sharon Leavell, who made the labels, Beth Mahan, who hosted the lovely party, and Robin Portman, who supported this amazing endeavor.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


It has been a month since we have brought Annalea home. She has adjusted very well. As I mentioned in an earlier post, she is even sleeping through the night now...11 straight hours consistently.

Another PAP (prospective adoptive parent) recently asked me how the bonding was going. She thought the question might be too personal and added that I don't need to answer if I thought it was. Well I am willing to share this with the world because we feel so very blessed and want to let others who are going through the process learn what to expect.

Granted, every child is different, but I think this information will be valuable to anyone who will be taking custody of their little one soon. Some of the articles don't tell you this stuff, and I wish I had known what to expect so that my mind would have been more at ease.

When we first met Annalea at the orphanage on May 19, she was adorable, but not nearly as interactive as she is today. She didn't really smile much. A couple of times when I was holding her, she arched her back away from me. She also had this rocking motion when she was sitting. I read up on this and it is a form of self stimulation that is very typical of institutionalized children. Typically it dissipates with time. It was not severe, but still it did concern us a little.

This is the day we first met her on May 19:

We came back to the apartment after that first day with understandable concern. Will Annalea be a happy child? Is she going to be able to bond to us? Will she smile?

Two days later, we picked up Annalea to bring her to the apartment. Here is some footage at the orphanage of that day:

Sidenote--check out the layers of clothing on an 80 degree day.

You can see that she is much more receptive to us after three days of visits with her.

As for how she is doing today, I shot this video this morning:

Need I say more?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Good Life