Tuesday, March 10, 2015

One Year!!

Today is the one year anniversary of Milo's gotcha
I can't even believe it! What a year it's been! Milo continues to amaze us every single day. We were watching some video from our time in China the other day and I was just so surprised at how tiny and helpless he was! You've come a long way, Mr. Milo! From a tiny little baby to a full blown toddler; we are so, so proud of you and how hard you've worked and everything you've overcome!
How YOU doin'?
 Now he's full of swagger. A regular ladies man ;) And he's ginormous. He has nearly doubled his body weight in a year! He LOVES to be standing up lately. He holds on to whatever he can and stands for a really long time. He can even push chairs around and walk behind them! I'm so excited; he'll be walking before we know it!
 Milo had a great first Valentine's Day at home. He even gave out a few valentines to friends and got a some in return <3
 These two really love each other. Such cute brothers!!
 Milo's become a real pill about taking pictures recently. He will be laughing and smiling and having a good time, but as soon as the camera comes out he stops. To get some smiley pictures, he plays with Dad and I shoot away.
His neck is beyond ticklish. It's hilarious!

 I love this boy with  my whole entire heart. He fills me with such joy! He smiles when I come into the room. He has started calling me Mama. It is the sweetest! We have no expectations that Milo has to return our love, but I'll admit it feels pretty darn wonderful when he does!
 Milo's big brother got baptized on Saturday. It was a special event for the whole family! 
 Milo was playing with his grandpa in this picture. Pops, as we call him, is pretty hilarious.
 Milo has also become quite obsessed with balloons. They hypnotize him and he can't seem to stay away!
 Shenanigans with Dad.

This year has been full of so many wonderful firsts. And through it all, Milo has continued to be happy, loving, and perfect. Our family would not be complete without him. He is amazing. I am thankful every single day we said yes to adopting. Yes to special needs. Yes to Down syndrome. Yes to Milo. He is an absolute joy. I cannot wait to continue to experience life with our Milo Man. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

In 7th Heaven!

Our dear Ewan turned seven on Monday. Seven is a lot of birthdays to go uncelebrated. We just couldn't stand the thought of him not having a party, so we sent one to him! Through a Chinese courier service (the same lady we went shopping with in Guangzhou), we ordered a birthday cake, some lollipops for the other children, and a stuffed animal for Ewan. I have been waiting patiently anxiously for pictures of the party to show up in my inbox. It's possible I've been checking my email every five minutes for days now. I just can't help it! The only pictures I have of Ewan are from his file, which is three years old, and summer camp. Summer camp was a long time ago! I can't help but wonder if he's changed and grown and if he's happy.
I was giddy as can be when suddenly these pictures showed up last night!! The whole family gathered 'round and we laughed and laughed at these darling glimpses into our soon-to-be son's life.

Notice the fingers in the frosting...
And now the frosting all over the face! He just couldn't resist eating it off his hand :) Yes, he'll fit right in around here.

His buddy from summer camp told us he really loves stuffed animals. I hope he gets to keep this panda!
I just love this happy, smiling face!!
 It sure does a mama's heart good to see her boy happy and well! It also makes me super duper anxious to get to China and hold this boy in my arms! In that vein, I have more good news! Today we are DTC!!!
For those that are unfamiliar with the Chinese adoption process, DTC stands for dossier to China. All our paperwork and months of labor have been uploaded into the Chinese computer system and the hard copies have been Fed Ex'd and are on their way to Beijing. We now are in the queue waiting for official acceptance from China. We will hopefully be traveling in about five months!
The kids picked out these hearts especially for the occasion :)
Being DTC is a big step! It means your home study is approved, USCIS has agreed that you can adopt, and all the document chasing is done! I just can't believe it! We're coming, Ewan!!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

...and a Happy New Year!

What a wonderful Christmas we had with Milo!

 Milo got to go to his sister's Christmas mini dance recital. While the girls were stretching, Milo got to show off his own flexibility and put them all to shame ;)
This is the Sunday before Christmas; my favorite Sunday of the year! Unfortunately Milo was sick and had to go to the ER the night before. His breathing was labored and his O2 saturation was low. He got a few breathing treatments, suctioned out, and given steroids. He was much better after that, but he stayed home from church this day. Dang it!
 Celebrating Christmas Eve a few days early with Grandma and Grandpa! His favorite part of the evening was the shiny wrapping paper. He could see a reflection of himself in it and spent most of the night admiring the view of himself. If I were as cute as this, I'd love looking at myself, too!

 The actual Christmas Eve. Wahoo!!
 We had such fun celebrating Milo's first Christmas Eve! Fancy dinner, talent show, acting out the nativity, and fondu!

 Milo opening his first Christmas jammies! So exciting!!

 All ready for bed!
 Christmas morning!!
 Milo got some fun toys this year and really, truly loves them!
 He got a fun plush motorcycle rocking horse thing and thinks it's a blast!
Here's what Santa brought Milo! Although the trampoline is too big for him still, he sure enjoys using it to stand up all by himself, then crawling on top of it! Crazy boy! He LOVES watching the cars go down the track and grabs the cars every time he sees them!
Here's a little video of Milo at Grandma and Grandpa's on Christmas morning getting a tickle from his dad. (It appears to only work if you watch it from a computer and not a phone or iPad...)

Here he is on top of the trampoline. He got there all by himself!

This Christmas was such a wonderful time. Watching Milo enjoy himself and be surrounded by a family was truly the most magical Christmas gift we could ever receive.

Milo finally made it to church after Christmas was over. I had to have him wear his studly Christmas outfit, though! It was too cute to not wear to church!!

 We had a super fun New Year's as well! We went to a hotel with an indoor water park! The big kids and mom and dad slept over, and Nan took Milo home to sleep in his own bed after swimming, dinner, and games.

Lately this boy's personality is coming out more and more. He's seriously the FUNNIEST kid! He loves to laugh and loves it when you laugh at him laughing! Ha! That makes for some pretty hilarious moments! He'll start laughing, then we'll start laughing, then he'll start laughing even harder because we're laughing, then we'll start laughing harder because he's laughing harder! I have laughed so much I've cried on several occasions lately. Oh, this kid owns my heart!

 And those faces!? Come on!! They slay me!
Here's Milo playing peek-a-boo with his dad. They're both digging this game lately! Too cute!
 Another thing that cracks me up lately is the relationship Milo and our dog, Stella, have. They love each other so very much! Stella is fiercely protective of Milo, and Milo thinks Stella's the greatest jungle gym that ever was!
 She's the perfect height for Milo to pull himself to standing while holding her back. And Stella absolutely LOVES it when Milo plays with her! She gets the most proud look on her face. Cracks me up!
Last weekend was a four day weekend for us (the kids had no school Friday or Monday), so we headed out of town for a mini vacation. We're trying to get enough Marriott points to be gold status by the time we travel to China to get Ewan, so what better way than to go stay in a Courtyard in St. George for a few nights? We actually had such a wonderful time together!
 We went to a fun children's museum on Saturday. The photo on top is Milo and Dad in a fake airplane. The photo below is Milo dressed as a Union Soldier.
 I love this boy!!

 Milo loved playing with those beads in this "boat". Ah, the face!
 We had so much fun swimming, going to a movie, and just spending quality uninterrupted time together! One night we rented "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" on pay per view. Milo was having so much fun and just kept laughing! He loves family time as much as the rest of us!

Every day's a party when he's around!

Milo's made some great progress developmentally lately. The biggest difference is his eating!! Holy cow! He went from occasionally eating very pureed baby food to now eating anything and everything we give him in just a matter of a few days! I have no idea what the difference was, but it was drastic and immediate! I'm SO proud of him! Hopefully he'll be able to consume enough calories on his own soon so I can stop making his formula!

He is also a million times more playful than he used to be. He's always up for having fun and laughing. He has a ready smile and a curious personality. He is a joy to be with and around. He's generally always happy and content. I love this picture of Milo sleeping like a pretzel. Our treadmill training physical therapist suggested we buy a vintage 80's Fisher Price crib toy. It has the best little gadgets to engage kids and get them working on fine motor skills. I found one on Ebay, and Milo LOVES it! One day I put him down for a nap, and instead of falling asleep, he played forever with the toy. I went in to check on him and got a good laugh out of the fact that he must have been sitting contently playing with his toy one minute to folded over on himself asleep the next! Too dang cute!
Milo is also very much a toddler! The other day I was pouring him a bottle and he knocked the bottle out of my hands. Formula flew everywhere. I mean everywhere. I put Milo down in another room and was cleaning up the spilled formula. I heard splashing and laughter and came around the corner to see Milo had crawled back into the kitchen and was playing in the dog's water. He had soaked himself as well as the floor and thought it was the greatest thing ever.
 See his sopping wet pants!? Little stinker!
The funniest part of it is that I can't even feel annoyed! I'm always genuinely happy that he's causing mischief and being part of the world! I mean, do you know how hard we've worked to teach him to crawl, help him use his hands, and tried to get him engaged in what was going on around him? Months and months of therapy and work! So all I can do is laugh and change his clothes and feel happy that it's all working :)

These photos were from today. I promise, this very long post is almost over! Just a few more shots of my boy. Have I ever mentioned I'm slightly obsessed with him? Oh, well I am!
 He sure loves to give kisses!

Life is so great. Milo is absolutely adored by all of his siblings, his parents, and his extended family. A cute friend whispered to me in church today as Milo loudly snored on my shoulder, "Whit, do you realize you are the luckiest woman in the world? You get to be that cutest boy's mom!" I couldn't agree more. He is such a special spirit and we are the luckiest. We love you, Milo Man!