Sunday, May 31, 2009

First Taste of Cheese Sticks!

Today we went shopping for some things for our vacation. We took Lexi to Logan's for lunch and ordered cheese sticks. We decided to give her some to try. Boy did she like them. It was so much fun watching her discover the cheese. We get the most pleasure watching her do new things, even silly little things like eating cheese sticks for the first time. She continues to amaze us with her sweet personality!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

First Swim!

Oh My, what a fun day! My niece, Brittney had her 13th Birthday party today at my sister's house. It was a Luau Party and Lexi and I came to join in the fun. Lexi as far as we know has never been in a pool. She hated the bath when we got her and it took weeks to get her comfortable in water so imagine my surprise when she LOVED the pool today! It was a girls party so only me and Lexi went. I wasn't even sure if we would get in the pool but brought our suits just in case and I'm so glad we did. My only regret is that her Daddy wasn't there to see our precious daughter enjoy her first pool experience. She was smitten by the older girls and watched them like a hawk. She ate hamburgers with chips (loved the Doritos!) and from then on said "NO" to her bottle.
I was never more surprised as she kicked her feet, got dunked accidentally and still loved it and when she got splashed by the little kids there she laughed rather than shied away or get upset. I had such a GREAT time with Lexi today. Things are different for sure. I came to the party under the pretense of "helping" my sister but in the end, all we did was enjoy the fun. I was no help at all.
Lexi was worn out tonight when we put her down and quickly went to sleep. I'm now wondering if she will love the beach as much as I do! We will find out soon as we leave for Amelia Island on the 6th for a week long vacation with my sister Carolyn.
P.S. Click on the picture to get a close up view of each picture. I just love the expressions on her face. Can anyone even guess which is my favorite?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Lexi Goes to School

I'm STEALING this from my sweet friend Melissa's blog! (don't you just love the second picture of the second row!!! Kissy Face Lexi!) Lexi had to come visit FLE this week for about an hour and a half while my parents went to a neighbor's funeral. She behaved very appropriately with strangers which made me a very happy Mommy! She took a while but she really warmed up to Mrs. Danner, who has a little one close in age with LJ, and Mr. Harris who gave her a cassette tape (brand new!) to play with, and then with Melissa who has the most fabulous toys to play with (like the bean bags chairs!) in the Media Center. It was fun to have my little sweetie at school even though we were not technically supposed to have her there (but it was either I'm there with her for a few hours or I take a half a day... and given it was post-planning days, it was a no-brainer!)

I then took her to Mom's house and then when Mom took her back to our house we had motion sickness again. Yikes! I thought that was maybe, hopefully over. Not so! I guess when we travel long distances we may as well prepare as the Dr. advised. We are going to be heading to Amelia Island for a week of vacation and East Coast Panda reunion fun on the 6th. And as of TODAY, I'm off with LJ for 8 weeks! I plan to stay busy with her and bond as much more as possible! She and I will be joined at the hip for 8 weeks! By the time I go back to work she will be almost 19 months old. rushing... not going there!! LOL!

Happy last day of the 08-09 school year for me!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A few Days late... but

3 months ago this past Sunday, Lexi was placed in our arms. My what 3 months of love and care can do for a little one! Lexi weighed 16 lbs when we got her in China and was 27 inches tall. Now she is 18 lbs. and 29 inches tall. She is a bubbly happy little girl who loves to play with us! She is demanding but oh so sweet and lovable! It's hard to imagine our life without her!

I took the picture on the right today as we were trying on a new outfit that we plan for her to wear especially on our upcoming beach trip. She was so excited about the sandles and just loved the little flowers on them. She is a girly girl! And we love her so!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

16 Months Today!

Sorry, I didn't get any new picts today but do have some to post later of yesterday.

Today Lexi is 16 months old. Her gift to me was at dinner. She signed Mama (in the right place!) and said "My Mama". Oh my how that melted my heart!

Another first she had today was Mom noticed that she was engaging in imaginary play. She would act as if she were picking up something from the table and then place it in Mom's hand. After a little while, Mom cupped her hands together and then reopened them. Lexi then proceeded to "take" the imaginary thing and put it back on the table. Amazing!

Well, after supper tonight, I was watching her play with Geoff and realized that she was doing it with him. So after she handed him several imaginary things I told him to act like he was eating it. So he did and she got so excited. She kept bringing him more and more. Finally I came over and started to "eat" from his hand and she then started to "feed" me. She even ate some herself. This was fascinating to watch her so young in imaginary play!

She is our gift! Our precious gift from God!

And on another topic.... our family got a stunning surprise yesterday. I am not sure I have mentioned before that my parents were foster parents for 25 years. Many children have touched our lives over the years but some more than others. Some left their "mark" on our family. Well, the last one they had came to visit Dad yesterday (mom was here with Lexi). It's amazing to me to realize she could remember the way when it has been about 10 years since she was last over. She was with us all for about 4 years. She appeared yesterday to invite us all to her graduation! I can't give all the intimate details of our relationship with her out of respect for her privacy but let it suffice to say, we were ALL thrilled to hear from her. So tomorrow, most of us locally in our family will be attending her high school graduation and her after-grad party. This is such a blessing for us all. I can't wait to see her again. She was a beautiful precious child that we all loved very much!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Field Day 2009!

Is it really May of 2009? Today was our school's field day and it was COLD here in South GA! By cold I mean what would normally be 90 degree or more temperatures began in the 50's and peaked in the high 60's with the winds at 20 - 30 degrees. I was helping with the 5th grade and froze! By the time we were finished, my feet were sooooo COLD! I was what we call "cold to the bone!". It took me over 2 hours being indoors with the heat on to warm me up! This southern girl can take the heat but she sure can't take the cold! Tonight I'm sneezing and wearing winter pj's! Thankfully, we have 3 more days of kids at school! Soon... summer vacation is upon us and then I get more time with LJ! (who by the way, is close to being in the top 3 Cutest Kid in our area!... so keep voting!!!)

Today I left work and went to get Lexi. This was unusual as Mom comes to us every morning and I come straight home most days to get to Lexi. But today Mom had an appointment so she took her to her house and was going to let Daddy and Richard watch her until I got there. Because it was Field Day we got to leave as much as 30 minutes early so I go there before Mom left. Lexi was sitting in my Mom's lap when I arrived. Apparently though before I arrived, she ran to my dad saying "Papa, Papa!!!" and let him just eat her up! Then Richard came home and she shared her "sugars" with him too. She is all of a sudden letting Richard play and hold and love her! It's fun to watch! Lexi... creates her own rules.

Let's see, Lexi is the 7th Grandchild and the 6th Great-Grandchild and all of them until NOW have called my mother Granny. But little LJ has a plan... my mom's new name is Nanny, Nanny, Nanny! I think it is hilarious and soooo cute!!! Her "Nanny" sounds more like "Nonny, Nonny" but it is so clear.

She is exploding with new things right now and so amazing to watch. Just today as we played with her kitchen pots and pans, I said, "Lexi, are you cooking?" and she signed to me "eat". She just started signing "eat" on Sunday morning. She now signs, "mama", "dada", "eat", "drink", "bed", "more", "milk", "ball" and "cat". We watch the "Sprout" channel every night and the last thing she sees before bedtime is the "sign" for the night. Last night as soon as the part came on with the new sign came on, she began to make the sign for "bed". Our little girl is great at mimicking! We better keep all bad influences away!

We are 5 days away from 3 months from Gottcha Day! And we can't even begin to imagine life without our little LJ!

A Day in the life...

of Lexi Jayne...
(this afternoon's photo shoot... not so successful!)

Lexi: Mommy!!! You are taking my picture AGAIN???

Lexi: Hummm.... Mommy, let me see that fancy camera!

Lexi: Mommmmyyyy!!! Let me play with it pleeaaasssseeeee!!!

Lexi: Mommy... you are NO fun!! And just for that I'm NOT smiling for that silly camera!

Playing With PSE

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another Busy Sunday

This post is backwards! It starts with one tired little Lexi after a change in our daily routine. This is what we got after taking her to church and then to my Mom's after church! The difficult thing about church is that it's around the time of her morning nap and then if we do anything like LUNCH afterwards, we really push her behind schedule!

This morning, I could have skipped the makeup because I cried it all off at church. Both me and Lexi seem to be getting separation anxiety. She cried when we left her this morning. This does make us see that she is bonding with us. But breaks my heart every time! This morning there happened to be a woman walk in the door in front of us tugging a 7-8 year old child behind her scolding him so hatefully! She went over to change a baby and as she was doing it continued to be grumpy and loud! Geoff and I took one look at each other and started to walk backwards away from the door. Just as we were having the do we leave her in the same room with her conversation, a man peaked over and asked us if we were leaving Lexi. We reluctantly said yes... and then Lexi cried, followed by Me. I made sure to tell the man that we have not had Lexi very long and that we did not want her crying and to page us if she did for longer than a few minutes. I also mentioned that no one should change her diaper and to page us for that as well. He looked at me like I was nuts and then asked, "is she adopted?" I so bit my tongue to not say, "well, no I gave birth to a 15 month old two months ago". Then he wanted to know where she was from. I made sure he knew that she would know what he was saying. I walked next door to the woman who was in there with her last time and through my tears told her that I know I'm protective but I did not want Lexi in the room with the mean woman and to please page me if she continued to cry. As soon as we got to the door, Geoff said "where are we going" and then answered for me "to your Mama". See Mom is doing the children's church this month with some of her friends. I went in and got all of their support. They promised they would sneak over and check on her and if she was crying Mama would get her. So we went on to church. We had been in there about 5 minutes and Geoff leaned over and said, "want me to go check on her", followed by my "YES!". He came back and said she was fine and was playing with some kids.

Then as the beautiful choir musical began I teared up just realizing how much more we are bonding. Every day our love for Lexi grows deeper and we can feel her doing better with us as well. Then there was a break in the musical that showed video of a family that had lost their daughter on the eve of her 14th birthday. There was no holding the tears. That musical was so touching that I cried 3 times during the 50 minute presentation. And then every time I thought of Lexi, I was at it again. As soon as it was over Geoff leaned over and asked "do you want me to go get her" followed quickly by my "YES!".

Turns out Mom and her friends checked on Lexi three times. The last time, Lexi was crying and mom took her and she stayed with them until Geoff came. Also, we learned that the mean woman was not in there the whole time. She was there to change her own child and apparently has two mentally challenged children and says that she has to be strict with them like that to get their attention. I just don't get how parents can be that way especially with handicapped children. I really don't know what we will do with Lexi from now on. We apparently are not ready to leave her with anyone but my Mom and Dad. Maybe next week, we'll keep her with us and go to the cry room WHEN she gets restless.

Lexi wore a little 3-6 month Baby Gap dress that we bought on clearance for $12! It was adorable on her! We loved watching our little lady in red. After we went to Mom's we changed her into some Old Navy bermuda shorts and top ... size 12-18 months. How's that for a gap in sizes?! I'v heard that Old Navy runs really small and I guess it's true. We've learned that we can't say for certainty what size she wears. But after her pediatrian visit last week, we know that she now weighs 18 lbs. (up .8 from last month) and is 29 inches tall (up 2 inches since China).

We had a fun dinner with Mom, Dad and Richard with Lexi the star of the show. We took her outside to Mom's back yard and let her walk in the grass. She really is NOT a fan of grass, especially really good grass like Mom and Dad's. We finally had to take our little angel home and put her to bed.

Worn out after church and dinner at Granny's.

Playing in backyard.

Taking time to smell the flowers before church.

Little Lady in Red.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rally People!!!

I've been talking about the local cutest kid contest in the last two posts. We were doing good until the family and friends of curly hair and dimples boy got going and now we are losing to him.

We must let our little Lexi win! Please go vote! You have to register but it only takes a minute! And then you have to confirm an email in your email account but then you can vote 3 times a day (even all at the same time!) You have to submit the vote at the bottom of the screen. If you have more than one email account, use them ALL for different logins! Heck! Send us your login and password and we will vote for you every day! LOL! I know, we've lost all control!

So go vote people... I promise this is as bad as I get... not beauty contests and forcing stuff on her. I just want YOU to vote that she is the cutest kid! She is along with her competition (Brennen!)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ahhh... Parenthood!

I know I still need pictures because that is what most people want regardless of anything else. But I still have not downloaded yesterdays pictures.

I took them to work to do but got had to work (imagine that!). We learned today that one of the local TV stations are coming to our school tomorrow and guess what??? I'll be one of the ones spotlighted. Of course, I am the computer lab teacher and resident gardener but what they want to show are the gardens that we have been working on. We've planted the summer garden now and are working on the butterfly garden and the pumpkin patch. So I have been coming up with things that I'll have the kids doing during the interview. That was not hard since I already had things planned. But this afternoon, after Lexi's 2nd nap I got her ready and just drove up to school to drop off some milkweed plants that I have been growing at home. I noticed on the way there that Lexi was not talking or making any noises. She was happy and chattering and talking to her mirror when I put her in the carseat and then less than 1/8th of a mile, nothing. My drive to work is about 10 minutes. I got there, dropped off the stuff and checked on LJ. She was fine. I adjusted the mirror so I could see her. On the way home, she was still quiet. So when I got home and opened the door found out why. She had gotten car sick again. This is the 4th time. The 3rd time in the last week! I think our daughter has developed motion sickness! We have a doctor's appointment on Thursday and I'll be asking him to check her ears just in case! I certainly need some advice. If we can't make it to the grocery store, or on a 20 minute ride back and forth to my work, how will we ever get anywhere else?? I thought at first it was because she had recently eaten but today it had been about 2 hours since she had had anything.

I read that carsickness in toddlers could be brought on by the rear facing carseat and them not being able to see out. Basically, not being able to see out confuses the brain. Lexi does not pass the criteria for a foward facing carseat (20 lbs. AND 1 year). I can't wait to see what the Dr. says. We really are baffled. I know from now on when we go anywhere a BIG bib will be around her neck!!

And again.... Help us WIN the Cutest Kid Contest... you can vote up to 3 votes everyday! Go vote!! She's winning so far!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

This message will be edited later to include some pictures...

Today was really nice. We took Lexi to church and were part of a group of 4 parents taking part in the Baby Dedication ceremony. I was worried that I would cry as I usually do at events that really touch my heart but that was not much of a problem! Once we went to the pulpit and the preacher starting introducing the babies and their families, Lexi came alive! She really put on a show for the congregation. She wanted down and then started playing the "throw my stuffed animal down and you pick it up game". She waved at the choir. It was a short ceremony but seemed to last forever! We got a nice certificate and she got a pink bible from the church. It was really sweet. Afterwards we took her to the nursery and she played with Emma (the birthday girl from a few weeks ago). Then we went to eat with my parents and Sara and her family. Lexi was really great. She did well in the restaurant even though she was way off her schedule.

Honestly, this was the least stressful weekend we have had since we returned. It is a nice feeling. I got my Mother's Day present on Friday ... a Pajama Gram and it included a pair of pj's for Lexi that say "I love Mom" on them. She also got a toy puppy in a little dog house. She was pretty much unimpressed. LOL!

Today also begins a local contest called Cutest Kid Contest. I need all of our readers to go vote for Lexi! I have no idea what the prizes are but of course, we think we have the cutest kid... the hard part is she is in the same category with Brennen. It's all good though. It's fun. The url is

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Way over due... Happy Birthday to Me!

I know.. it's been at least 2 weeks since I posted. I even let my own birthday go by without posting. Geoff took this picture of me and Lexi before church that day. You know as an adult birthdays become just another day but this year I found myself more giddy about it. I was just so excited to have my first birthday with Lexi home. We enjoy all the "firsts" with Lexi. The first time she does something like points to her nose or the first time she says "kitty Kat"... so this year with her home made my usual not a fuss birthday more special. She is the best birthday "present" ever!

We took her to church and for the first time let her stay in the nursery. I made them promise to beep us if she cried.... It was me crying as I left her there though. Lexi was fine. But then when we went to pick her up, I looked in doorway to see Lexi crying and the woman taking care of her distressed saying "she JUST started crying when I tried to change her". I remember when I used to teach Sunday School and how they want you to change all the babies at least once during the hour so that no mom picks up a wet baby. What I didn't think of was that since February 24th no one but me, Geoff or Mom has changed Lexi. I'm just guessing that it scared her. Next time which will be tomorrow, if we leave her, we will tell them to beep us if she needs a diaper change OR cries.

Tomorrow is our first Mother's Day with Lexi and we are going to be dedicating her at church tomorrow. It's not a baptism but rather a dedication by US to raise her according to the teachings in the bible. We are Baptist so we believe that Lexi will make her own spiritual decisons as she grows up in the church. This is really a 5 minute ceremony but so huge to me. I remember dedicating Sara and how special it was and after all these years of waiting and fighting back tears on Mother's Day as we waited for her and most of the time losing the battle, we finally have Lexi home. Tomorrow will be an extra special day.