Flower Party!

This year Little Bug had a flower party for her 2nd birthday.

I didn’t want to do anything complicated, but I wanted to do something special for her.

She loves flowers and she loves going to the park so we had a Flower Party at the park!

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I bought a bush of yellow flowers and cut off stems of flowers to put in the vases on the tables.

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Here is the centerpiece of the tables up close. The decorations were also the “party favors"! Before leaving, boys caught a bug and girls picked a flower to take home!

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The bugs and confetti on the tables.

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One half of the food table!

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The adorable cupcake flowers made by Aunt Wendi. (She also made Little Bug’s cute lady bug cake last year!)

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Singing “Happy Birthday” to the Birthday Girl!

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I love this picture that my friend Jennifer took! (The rest of the pictures and the one just above were all taken by her! Thanks, Jen!)

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Yes, Little Bug ate some cupcake! There are exceptions to my “no sweets” rule! However, I must say… Little Bug ate some of her cupcake and then put it down on the table. I asked her if she wanted more and she said, “Want grapes!”

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Little Bug’s friends gave her some awesome toys, puzzles, books and outfits!

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The Birthday Girl

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Happy 2nd Birthday, Little Bug!

24 Months!

LITTLE BUG IS TWO!

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It has been absolutely amazing to watch Little Bug grow from a teeny tiny five pound newborn to the little girl she is today. From the moment she became aware that there is a world out there, she has not stopped! She loves to be on-the-go exploring and learning anything new, she loves to be around people and she adores the family and friends who have showered her with love over the past two years.

Little Bug has fulfilled every single desire I ever had about being a mother. Where there was once an empty void, it is now completely full.

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As sad as it sometimes is to see that my baby is no longer a baby, I am thrilled to see the plans God has for this precious little girl. There is just a special spunk about Little Bug. She captures the heart of everyone she meets. She is one special girl and I am honored to be her mother.

This month has been one of those “smooth sailing” months.

Now that it is full blown summer, Little Bug wants to live outside. She can still play and entertain herself for quite a while outside. She is a magnet to dirt, yet also enjoys “girly” activities such as wearing high heels.

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Little Bug loves to read books. We typically spend an hour reading books most every day. That is one of my favorite activities to do with Little Bug. It is amazing how much she has learned simply from reading books. Through the past two years I have built up quite a large home library by purchasing books at the second hand children’s store. The most I spend on one book is typically $1.50 but most books are within the 50 cents to $1 range!

Independent Playtime is back to normal after a phase of it not going so well. All I needed to do was be consistent. Little Bug does IP right after breakfast (to make sure we get it in) and that seems to have helped too. She plays independently in her room for an hour. This hour allows me to have an hour to get my duties around the house started (or finished). I also use that hour to take some time to be still before the Lord and/or write a blog post!

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Little Bug has started to expand her prayer life. Little Bug’s prayer for a while now has always been “Dear God, food, Amen!” When her Mimi and Papaw’s cat, Tiger, passed away unexpectedly and I told her Mimi and Papaw were sad and we needed to pray for them, she started expanding her prayers. She would say, “Dear God, Help Mimi and Papaw, sad. Amen!” Upon her uncle’s request she has now started praying this prayer for her uncle: “Dear God, help Uh-Note find wife! Amen!”

Little Bug has never really been into playing with toys, as odd as that may seem. She has toys and she does play with them, but she doesn’t have a “favorite toy”. She does really enjoy playing with her baby dolls. She has a stroller that she pushes them around in. One day I saw her laying the baby dolls side by side on the floor. Their hands were touching and Little Bug said, “Look, Mommy! Baby dolls praying!”

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Little Bug is two and she is still in the crib and still in diapers! I plan to keep her in the crib until I feel she is developmentally ready to completely understand the concept of staying in bed. (I am thinking this will happen closer to her 3rd birthday.) After the incident of her climbing out of her crib at my parents’ house I did go ahead and buy a crib tent. I have not put it up because she has not attempted that stunt again. Her crib is way deeper at home and I don’t think she is able to climb out of it yet. But should that day come sooner than I want her out of the crib, I am prepared!

As far as potty training goes, I may potty train her in June. That is a BIG may, though. Life hasn’t slowed down to be able to train her since she really started showing signs at 22 months old and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon, so we will see. I want to do it and be done with diapers. I don’t want to start, get frustrated or have something interrupt the training (such as a trip) and then have to revert back to diapers and start over another time. So, I am still trying to think this one out.

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Little Bug still drinks 16 ounces of whole organic milk every day. And yes, I still rock and hold her while she drinks! It’s the last thing I have “baby” of her to hold on to and we enjoy that snuggle time every day! Plus, if I didn’t hold her during those 5 minutes it takes for her to down her milk, I wouldn’t hold her because, like I said, this is girl is ON THE GO!

Little Bug sleeps 11 hours at night and takes a 2 hour nap.

Little Bug still eats 3 hearty, square meals every day. And the mess she makes while eating has not gotten any better! It is seriously amazing the mess she makes while eating. She had a grilled cheese sandwich last night for dinner and even Dave mentioned how amazing it was that she could get so messy from just a cheese sandwich! I just tell myself that this is something else she will outgrown and at least she eats well!

At Little Bug’s 2 year check up she weighed 27 pounds!

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Little Bug is now 35 inches tall!

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And, here is the final Pooh Bear Picture:

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Happy 2nd Birthday, Little Bug!

May 27, 2009

Two years ago today, I watched my daughter enter this world.

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I was not the one laying in the bed giving birth, but through the graciousness of Tracy, I was there. I heard Little Bug’s first cry and, after she was held by her birth mother and birth grandmother, Little Bug was place in my arms.

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And I was instantly in love.

Although, it is funny to me to now think about the love I felt for Little Bug on the day of her birth.

It is funny to me, because now, 730 days later, my love for Little Bug has only grown deeper and stronger in ways that I never dreamed were possible as I stood in that delivery room holding her for the first time.

As I stood in that delivery room realizing my dream of motherhood was right within my reach.

I loved Little Bug on that day, but I was not naive to the events that had to still occur for me to officially become her mother.

If there is one thread of pregnancy and giving birth that I still hold on to, it would be the forty-eight hours after birth.

I do not know what it is like to give birth to a baby knowing they are wholly completely mine from the moment they draw their first breath. I do not know what it is like to lay in the hospital bed with my tiny newborn cradled in my arms knowing this tiny miracle is all mine.

Instead, for forty-eight hours (that eventually turned into eighty-one hours) I battled emotions in my head that are totally not natural. I loved Little Bug from the moment I first laid eyes on her, but it was a cautious love, a reserved love, because ultimately I knew in order for Little Bug to be my daughter, her birth mother had to make a sacrificial decision to sever her rights as Little Bug’s mother and pass those along to me.

Those 81 hours were the longest hours of my life thus far!

But…back to the delivery room and the events of May 27, 2009.

I held Little Bug and then passed her to Dave. He held her but I was itching to get her back in my arms so Dave gave her back to me. Dave was wanting to hold her too, so back to Dave she went until the hospital had to take her away to do all they do to newborns after birth.

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Little Bug was born at 7:11am and by 9am (I think) Dave and I were camped out at the nursery window, eyes glued on Little Bug. And this is where we stayed for HOURS until one of the nurses closed the blinds on the curtain window.

As I think back on it, we stood there for hours and they were probably concerned of a possible kidnapping in the works? Who knows. But they eventually closed the curtains and that was the end of watching Little Bug through the nursery window.

It wasn’t long and we were invited to Tracy’s hospital room where we spent the remainder of the day holding and caring for Little Bug.

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I’m not going to lie and say it wasn’t awkward, though. Here we were in Tracy’s room, holding this baby we so desired to become our daughter. I had changed a million diapers before changing my first diaper on Little Bug, but I was a ball of nerves having Tracy staring at me as I changed Little Bug!

Tracy was very gracious to allow us this time with Little Bug, but again I was reminded that it was not just me, my husband and our baby in that hospital room.

There was an element of oddness, and yet an element of miracle. An element of serenity and an element of nerves.

Tracy changed her mind about me spending that first night with her and Little Bug in the hospital room. I still chuckle at the way Tracy told me to leave. As interesting as my relationship is with Tracy, this is no exception. Tracy had the lawyer call me on my cell because she just didn’t have the heart to tell me to my face that she wanted me to leave.

I, of course, left in tears (as any adoptive mother would) with thoughts of Tracy changing her mind on the forefront of my mind.

Right before I left Little Bug, not knowing if I would ever see her again or really become her mother, I shot this video:

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And that was the end of Little Bug’s first day.

Even though I say how nice it would be to actually give birth to my children for the simple fact that I would avoid those first forty-eight hours of living in limbo, I would not choose pregnancy over adoption any day.

I set out four years ago to build my family the typical way. My journey has become anything but typical and I would not change it for anything.

This girl is not flesh of my flesh or bone of my bone, but she is my daughter.

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And although I never thought it possible, I love her more than I did on the day of her birth two years ago.

And I know, tomorrow I will love her just a little bit more than I do today.

May 26, 2009

Two years ago tonight, Dave and I got home from my parents’ house on a Tuesday night. Just as we pulled into the driveway the cell phone rang. I remember a surge of panic and excitement radiated through my entire body during the time it took me to rummage through my purse, find the phone and say “Hello?!?!”

I knew she was in labor. She asked me, “Are you ready for this because I think my water just broke!” I said, “Yes!” She told me she was going to the hospital and she would call once she got checked to make sure this was it.

Dave and I went inside and I remember not being able to sit still. I was beyond excited, scared, happy and nervous! All at once!

Tonight I rocked and held my one-year-old for one last time…and savored every minute of it as I do every night.

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Tomorrow, Little Bug turns 2!