Sunday, December 16, 2007

Our Stars

The boys are enjoying the holiday season and all that it entails. Zachary was so excited to get our tree with Alex this year, and loved climbing on the trucks at the Boght Road Firehouse. His Santa list gets longer by the day, and he was very sweet finding items in the Sunday papers to buy for loved ones. Zach's guitar lessons are going very well and he has added Jingle Bells to his growing song list. Last week we went to Zachary's first night time Christmas concert and it was wonderful. His group sang so well and Zachary seemed like he had a great time performing for the crowd. Though he was nervous, Zachary is definitely not shy;) Zachary was also named Star of the Week. We are all very excited about this and are happy that he is putting such effort into school.

Alex continues to thrive and seems unfazed by all of the holiday craziness. He is growing by leaps and bounds and thankfully we are almost up to date with all of his shots. The poor little guy is getting 4-5 shots a doctor visit! Alex's vocabulary is growing and the pediatrician reports that his speech is advanced for his age. Not bad for a boy who never heard English before May!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Another Day of Firsts

Thanksgiving has come and gone; leaving us thankful and sick as well. It was a wonderful day for us to enjoy each other and be thankful that our family found each other. We all had a good day though Alex got sick that night. It's unfortunate that Alex seems ill frequently like Zach was in his first year home, though I know it will get better as he build antibodies.
Alex is doing so well. He loves going to day care and Emily is there to make sure that everyone is nice to her cousin. Of couse they all love Alex, he smiles and they are putty in his hands;) Alex looks at Zach like he is the sun, moon, and stars all rolled into one. It's so neat to see him run after Zach and try to imitate something that he has done or said. Zach continues to be Zach and makes me laugh daily with his imagination and sense of humor. He loves taking his guitar lessons and has given us many concerts (who knew there were so many variations of Mary Had a Little Lamb).
Now the Christmas season is upon us and we look forward to showing Alex the wonder and craziness of it all.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Trick or Treat!

Look it's Yoda!
The gang's all here.
Kisses for Alex:)
Daddy and his boys.

The Brown's Halloween Party

Even Clone Troopers need to have fun!
Yoda is planning his next move.
Taking a rest from the festivities.

Catching up

How time flies! Alex has been home for almost 4 months and it feels like forever. He has cut teeth (finally!), talked, walked, had an operation and what seems like a million shots, been baptized, and celebrated his first Halloween. Whew! I don't know about Alex but I am tired. Alex has taken it all in stride, and amazes us every day with his smiles, ever present laugh (he is his mother's son), and determination. If you have not seen Alex since he came home you may not recognize him. He is growing a lot and LOVES his food. Alex is beginning to get ham hocks for legs (in addition to the big belly) and they are soooooo cute! He is healing well from his surgery and the surgical site does not bother him at all. The umbilical hernia is still there but we have been assured that it will resolve itself.
Alex's christening was a wonderful day. Aunt TT, Uncle Corey, and Aunt Melissa are Alex's godparents and Alex looked adorable walking around his party, possibly becoming overwhelmed with how much family he now has;) After that Alex and Zachary celebrated Eastern European day with all of our friends whose lives are touched by adoption. Everyone had a great time making crafts, learning new words and listening to a local teacher tell us a story in Russian. Zach and Alex were especially attentive, I could tell that Alex still remembered the cadence of the language; he was mesmerized as the woman spoke.
The Baldwin family attended the annual Brown family Halloween party and we had a great time. Somehow Zachary had convinced us to dress up Alex as Yoda and Zach complimented him by wearing a Clone Trooper costume. Both boys had a great day, and we all went home exhausted. Halloween was another great night. Zach, Alex, Kara, and Emily had a ball and our posse had a ball cruising the neighborhood for sugar.
Zachary is doing well and is so excited to begin his guitar lessons next week. I am afraid that we have a budding Jon Bon Jovi on our hands. He is great with Alex, and seems to have all of daycare/before care putty in his hands. We are blessed to have such wonderful boys.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The surgery was successful!

Alex had surgery today for two of his hernias. He was such a trooper and seemed to really love the valium;) He played in some ride on cars in the PACU until it was time to go to the OR and had a ball. They let me go into the OR room with Alex until he was asleep and an hour later he was done. We were home by 12:30 and he (and Don) were alseep soon after.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Camping at Alpine Lake

Here are some pictures of us camping at Alpine Lake. Everyone had a ball, and we all enjoyed a new trailer.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

All is well

We have had a quiet couple of weeks and are enjoying the end of summer. Zach, my homebody, is loving his quiet time with mom and dad and Alex is doing great. He is gaining weight and I daresay I saw some cellulite on his newly chunky thighs. He enjoyed his first camping trip and was a wild man in the water, though we substituted smores around the campfire for rice cereal and pears:). Alex's surgery has been scheduled for September 28th and we are anxious to get it out of the way. Zach continues to be a super big brother and is helpful in so many ways. This Sunday Zach, his dad, and Uncle Corey are going to Zach's first Yankee game. He is over the moon about it and took his clothes out on Monday in anticipation of the big day. Toodles! I will post some pics next week as I left my camera in my in-laws vehicle. Oops!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Alex turns 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Alex was the life of the party tonight. He tore into his own personal cake like it was his business! Our boy will definitely love baked goods, he could not get enough. Alex had a great birthday and was so tired he went to bed without a peep.

Today we went to the surgeon and are planning when Alex will have surgery for his multiple hernias. He has three but only two need to be operated on. Otherwise he is doing great and still sleeping like a champ.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Settling in

After a couple nights of great sleep, Alex went on a bit of a strike. The 3am wake up call was a little rough, but he is on a much better schedule now. Alex is the same smiley baby that we fell in love with in Karaganda. He is babbling all the time, and is pulling himself up constantly. We definitely will be seeing him walk soon.

Spitting up also seems to be Alex's favorite thing to do, so we've changed his feeding schedule to see if the reflux improves. Luckily the spitting up doesn't bother him, but we still want to make sure he puts on weight. The doctor did find a hernia so we will be meeting with the pediatric surgeon to see when it needs to be taken care of. The doctor is very pleased with how Alex is doing, and feels that he's right where he needs to be.

Zachary is turning out to be a super big brother. He loves to pick Alex up and talks to him in the cutest voice. Zachary is willingly sharing his tv time and even gave Alex a Star Wars figure to play with (that is true love to Zach). I have been trying to convince him to go out with me for some one on one time but he doesn't want to leave his little brother.

Have a good weekend!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Alex is home! Corey pulled in with my boys this afternoon and we had a wonderful reunion. However I do know how celebrities feel in regards to the papperazzi:) Alex was great and kept up with all of the commotion. He looks great, though even my Irish skin looks tan next to him! After everyone left he had a bottle and fell asleep fairly well. Let's see if it lasts all night, but we'll take it as it comes. Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate Alex's homecoming, we are touched that you wanted to share such a special day with us.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Sunday's the day!

Don and Alex will be coming home Sunday afternoon! They had a great embassy appointment and the wait begins for their departure. Everyone is doing well, Don is just chomping at the bit to get going. Pray for a sleepy ride:)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

They found the mother ship!

Dunkin Donuts! Though it doesn't taste the same, Don was in heaven. Alex slept well last night and seems to like the formula and baby food that I packed for Don. You can hear in his voice that Don is enjoying himself with Alex, and is getting lots of cuddle time in. Alex is crawling everywhere, and smiled when Zach talked to him on the phone. They are all hanging out, waiting until their embassy appointment tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed that it goes well.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Don has our boy!

Don called! Everyone is great, just a little tired. Don was reunited with a sleeping Alex at 1:00 am, and our baby boy had a great night sleep. When he called, Lola had just left with paperwork to be filed at the embassy, and Don was getting ready to feed Alex a snack. Alex is crawling all over the place, but still no teeth in sight. He didn't make a peep when Don put him on the phone, but boy did he yell when Don finished feeding him:) Don seems much more relaxed now, and I dare say happy. Their embassy appointment is on Friday afternoon and we should know that night if they can come home a day early. :)

He's finally on his way!

I spoke to Don a few times yesterday and he was doing well. He has determined that German food is not for him, but the beer was not so bad (especially under the circumstances). I was his wake up call this morning (his not ours) and Lufthansa shows that his plane is in the air and ahead of schedule. He should be in Almaty by 2pm our time and hopefully will be with Alex by 3:30pm. I don't expect to hear from him today as it will be 1am his time before he gets to the apartment. Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

When it rains it pours!

Zachary's adoption was so easy that I guess we were due for a rough haul from beginning to end with Alex's. Don's flight was delayed three hours in JFK so he missed his connecting flight in Frankfurt. On top of that, the airline lost his luggage. The airline shuttled him to a hotel and he got a hot meal and is hopefully now sleeping for a while. In the meantime I have logged in countless hours with the airline, agency and pretty much anyone I could get information from. Don will leave Germany around 7:05 am our time on the 4th and should be in Almaty in the afternoon. Arrangements have been made regarding childcare for Alex until Don gets there. Hopefully this should not delay the appointment or them getting home. Please say a prayer for them, I think they could use all they can get.

Friday, June 29, 2007

He's outta here revised!

The travel agent had some new tickets open up today so now Don is leaving on Monday. It is much better for Don since he would have been in country for over a day before Alex came to Almaty. Now he lands in Almaty at 1:45pm our time on the 3rd and only has to wait a little while before seeing Alex.

He's outta here!

Don is leaving on Sunday to begin the long trek back to get Alex! He is leaving from JFK and will layover in London. After arriving the morning of the 3rd, Don will sleep the day away before meeting Alex's train at 6:30 am on the 4th (that's 8:30 pm on the 3rd out time). After a medical and embassy apoointment, father and son will leave on the 8th and due to time changes, they will arrive home on the 8th as well. Say a prayer that the trip is uneventful and that Don and Alex will get home no worse for the wear.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

We made it!

After lots of delays on the road, and a trip to Dick's for Zach's Heelies, we are finally home. Thanks to you all for your love and support, we totally appreciate it.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

We're leaving on a jet plane....

It's only fitting that we name our last Karaganda post the same as how we started the trip. We had our morning visit with Alex and it was a short but good one. After walking in his outer room, we learned that he and the rest of his posse were still asleep. We all went to peek in on Alex, and after a few minutes we went back to the playroom to wait. After he got up, I fed him (he spit up on me three times after that feeding) and we went to the playroom. It was a quiet visit, and Alex seemed content to get lots of loving. We are leaving at 7:30 tonight to fly to Almaty and will not be in communication until we're home. We hope you enjoyed the blog, and we'll see you on your side of the ocean soon.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Zachary and his new friend Olga

Alexander looking ahead to a bright future with his new family

All together now--NEIGHHHH!!

The Tea Party--do I see the Mad Hatter?

Where it all happened--the courtroom

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to home we go

We enjoyed our last full night in Karaganda. Olga came with us to dinner, and tomorrow we say goodbye to Alex and begin the long trek home. The caretakers got their gift this afternoon, and were very appreciative. We tried to express thank you to them as well for all of the love they have given to Alex these last nine months. We be, gan packing, and have it under control. It will be even better after we get ready tomorrow morning and can pack even more. Tomorrow afternoon will be our last email/communication with family until we get home on Saturday. We will update the blog when we are at home. Pah-kah!

We are parents... again!

We went to court this morning, and it went well. Zach was with us for part of the appointment, and Pops was even called in to answer a few questions. The judge was very funny and kept cracking jokes to others. They were very touched that Pops was willing to come so far to be here for Zachary and the rest of us. After a favorable determination in court, we went to the orphanage for a celebration with Beth and Phil, the director, the doctors, Larissa and Olga. We had smoked meat, cheeses, bread, juices and tea. There was even a cake from Assorti to celebrate the occasion. The director and doctor were so happy to spend time with Zach, and we gave out them gifts to show our appreciation. Larissa commented on what nice and easy families we were, and that they hope our new children grow up to be just like Zachary. The biggest shocker was Zachary who entered the NEEEIIIIGGGGGHHH club with Don and James. (Mrs. Bonesteel, don't tell the other kids please; Zachary is afraid that Sierra will be mad at him for eating horse). He ate eight pieces of it, and was sad when they took it away. It was all I had not to gag when he ate it ON MY LAP! We will blog again tonight and send pics. Bye!