Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen

Friday, February 26, 2010

Toddler Practice 101

As we get closer to bringing Nadia home to our family, it has occurred to us that we haven't really had much practice with the "toddler" stage in a long time. Our youngest is turning 10 and other than some babysitting here and there, we're kind of out of that phase completely...but not for long. So, it's time to brush up on some activities that keep busy little 2yr. olds out of trouble. :) Thankfully, we got to spend the afternoon with our goddaughter, Isabella who is now 19 months old. She was delightful to have around and probably too easy for a practice run at this, but nonetheless, each Ferguson Child had a chance to see what it was like to entertain a toddler.

First up, Allen tried reading Bella a book. After all, that's a nice calm activity where the toddler in question should easily be entertained through the completion of all the pages right? Wrong! I think Bella made it through 2 pages before she was off the couch and ready to explore some more. (Allen even tried to hold Bella's baby to try to keep her interested longer).

Josi, on the other hand realized that some good old Play-doh might do the trick for keeping a little person occupied for more than 5 minutes. OK, so we had to keep a close eye out for Play-doh consumption but other than that, this activity was a winner!!! We'll tuck that one away for sure. Anything to keep little hands busy will be remembered for our new one coming home!
Michael enjoyed some floor time with Bella playing with the Sesame Street House that I got at a church yard sale when Allen was about 2. This is a tried and true playtime activity that all of our kids have enjoyed. Bella did too! This is always a hit!!!

My youngest (who thinks he's a child) is the only one I'm worried about having transition issues when Nadia arrives on the scene. A.J. was not at all happy when I picked up, held, or basically gave any attention to Bella. He's not unhappy in an aggressive way, just kind of confused and following me around more than usual. He sat in the middle of the toy area as if to say, "Hey, what about me? Can I play too???" Poor guy. He doesn't know what's coming!!

So, in order to cope with his up and coming reduced rank in the pecking order, A.J. decided to do what most dogs (and some people) do when they're a little stressed. He climbed up on top of the couch and settled in for a nap!!!

While we know life is going to change dramatically around our household, we're very excited to chase after, entertain, change diapers (did I really say that?), and basically go through "that toddler phase" all over again with Nadia. She is sooo worth it and we feel blessed to be given a chance to bring her into our family.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


With each pregnancy, I had different types of cravings. Nothing like in the movies where I sent Jim out in the middle of the night for pickles or Chinese food or anything like that, but I definitely had moments of, "Wow, I'd really love to have _________right now." So, as I'm working through this paperwork pregnancy, I decided to look back and try to remember each pregnancy's "special thing" that I looked forward to. I have distinct memories of my pregnancy with this guy, our first born. I was never a salad eater until I got pregnant with Allen. I craved salads with LOTS and lots of vinegar...couldn't get enough those 9 months.

I got pregnant with Josi when Allen was only 9 months old so I'm not sure I was even aware of any differences in my eating preferences since I was already eating way more than usual to keep up with nursing the 9 month old. I do remember devouring an entire tray of Valentine's cookies the night before Josi's emergency C-section delivery. So, I'm thinking that sweet foods were more my forte for pregnancy #2.

When I got pregnant with Michael, I had a 2 1/2yr. old and an 18month old to keep up with so I'm thinking I probably craved whatever I had time to stuff into my mouth between changing diapers, running to therapy appointments, and answering a million questions from my unusually inquisitive and verbal preschooler. Life was a blur and was about to get even blurrier. Guess I should have written more in that darn pregnancy journal I meant to keep for each child. ha ha

So, care to guess what my craving is for this 4th "pregnancy"? Come on, if you've been reading my blog even for a short time you can make a pretty good guess at this one. If you guessed STARBUCKS then you're dead-on right!!! More specifically, a Grande White Mocha, half caf., skinny, no whip, substitute 2 pumps with sugar free vanilla, latte! Is it any wonder Jim still has to get me to write it down when he wants to "surprise" me with an early morning coffee? :) My sister, Nicole, asked if they have Starbucks in Ukraine. I googled it and found out that it's in the works but alas, there probably won't be one up and running when we get there!!! gasp!
Yes, Nadia will be known as my Starbucks Baby. So, in honor of that distinction, I bought her this adorable "Bearista Bear" when I was satisfying my daily craving (actually, it usually precedes a trip downtown to drop off or pick up another adoption form). Isn't it sweet?
So, to my wonderful friends and family members who faithfully comment on my blog. What were some of your cravings...either through pregnancies or adoptions??? I'd love to hear about them!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

While The Boys Are Away...The Girls Will Shop!!!

Jim took the boys and some friends to Sugar Mountain for some skiing today. They're not home yet but when we talked at lunchtime everyone was having a blast!!! Good for them!

So, with the boys away, Josi and I decided to do some shopping for Nadia. First we cleaned out Josi's closet and drawers to make room for our shopping spree. Next, we stopped by Starbucks (of course)--what shopping trip is complete without coffee and hot chocolate? Then we went to our favorite store--Goodwill!! These are just a few of the fabulous outfits we got for Nadia for about $1.00/piece. Can't beat that!!! She is going to look just yummy in these outfits!!

OK, so we don't really know what size Nadia is but since she's a little over 2 I just kind of stayed in the 24 month/2T range for summer stuff. We purposely shopped in the Goodwill bargain bin in case none of these outfits fit at all. When we get more information on Nadia's sizes, then all bets are off...we're shopping off the RACKS at Goodwill then!!! ha ha ha Good for us!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It Ain't Over Til... Well, Will It Ever Be Over???

I woke up this morning with the excitement and anticipation of heading to downtown Raleigh to turn in my LAST 4 adoption forms to be apostilled. The pure joy of being able to cross those final four forms off of my "to-do" list gave me a lift in my step and a song in my heart. I even found a parking spot after only having to circle the block 3 times! Life was peachy!!!

I proudly passed my forms through the too high window slot (their counter was not made for those of us under 5'4"), and smiled as I counted out my cash (you need exact change remember) and handed it to the teller. Life was chocolately!!! (better than peachy any day).

Well, that peachy/chocolately disposition quickly turned sour (think rotten asparagus here) when I was told that 3 of the 4 documents were being rejected and needed to be re-done.

No! It couldn't be! Today was my goal date to get this accomplished!! Don't mess with us list-makers!!! We can turn ugly really fast when our lists NOT ONLY can't be checked-off but have stuff ADDED TO THEM??? Are you kidding me???

I'M READY TO MOVE ON TO THE FUN STUFF like planning the new look for Josi and Nadia's shared room, shopping for toddler toys and clothes, making a family photo album to take with us to Ukraine...NOT RE-DO MORE FORMS!!!

But, then I remembered (again) WHO is really in control of this process (forms and all) and I was able to stop and remember my "Thankful List" I've been compiling through the paperwork chase. So, here are some of the things on my list:

I'm thankful that we start every day in PRAYER for Nadia and for the peace that comes with knowing that God is taking care of His girl while she's waiting for her family to come and get her. We also make sure to pray for the other orphans who are still waiting for their families to come get them. (Is one of them for your family?) Just had to ask. :)

I'm so thankful for my neighbor KAREN who is not only extremely generous with her time and resources but is also a NOTARY!!! She's allowed me to come over at 10:00 at night or at 8:00 in the morning to have forms notarized and re-notarized until we get them right. She even runs forms downtown for me when I'm busy with homeschooling. Thank you Karen! Isn't it so cool of God to put a notary RIGHT NEXT DOOR to me???

I'm also thankful that the baristas at my neighborhood STARBUCKS see me walk in and have my drink going before I even get up to the counter. It's great having an acceptable addiction and being able to go somewhere where "everybody knows your name" (insert Cheers music here).

And last but certainly not least, I'm ever thankful for the MAN God chose for me in His infinite wisdom. Jim supports me in my weaknesses, praises me in my strengths, loves me even through adoption paperwork setbacks(insert tantrums here), and even brings me flowers "just because"--which is my favorite reason to receive flowers!!!

Yes, I'll be driving all over town tomorrow picking up "re-done" forms to try to submit them before offices close downtown tomorrow...but for tonight, I'm remembering all I have to be thankful for and giving praise to the ONE who provides it all!!! "It is well, it is well with my soul."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Passports, Powder, and a Pizza Party!!

PASSPORTS: We took the kids to the post office on Friday to apply for their passports. We don't know if we'll take 1, 2, all or none of the kids with us to pick up Nadia but we wanted to be prepared just in case. The postal worker is laughing at Josi's response to her question, "What is your daddy's name?" Josi replied, "Daddy!" (Ask a silly question, get a silly answer I always say.) :)

POWDER: Yes, we got snow again--in Raleigh, NC!!! OK, so it was only 3 inches but it was enough to make this giant Carolina Hurricanes' Snowman--pretty impressive huh?
So the only way to make this large of a snowman was to roll the ball COMPLETELY around the entire yard to accumulate enough snow. I know all our family and friends in the PA/MD area are laughing right now since they have enough snow to build 100 snowmen!!! We take what we can get down here below the Mason/Dixon Line.

PIZZA PARTY: Josi had some of her closest girlfriends over for her birthday. They played lots of games. Dog Bingo is one of Josi's all-time favorites which turned out to be a party favorite as well.

Then it was time for each party guest to try their hand at making their own pizza from start to finish. Here's the gang forming their dough onto their pans to make the crust.

Josi has some wonderful Italian blood in her veins so most of this comes pretty natural to her.
Here's the finished product. Looks pretty yummy, don't you think?

Enjoying the fruit of their labor and some laughs at the table.

The party girl with pizza sauce still on her face, having the time of her life!!!
(Not sure what the peace signs are about--maybe she's going through a Richard Nixon
impersonation phase? ha ha)

Happy Birthday to our 12yr. old. We'll just put this year on freeze-frame. Not sure I'm
ready for you to be a teenager next year!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Because She's The Birthday Girl...

She gets lots of phone calls from family and friends...some even sing to her in Italian!!!

She gets to take the day off from school and do whatever she wants!!!

She gets to go to tap class which is one of her favorite activities of the week!!!

She gets to put on her "Mommy matching jacket" and head out for her birthday dinner!!!

She gets to go to one of her favorite restaurants and eat pizza and cinnamon rolls...yummy!!!

She gets to love on her Daddy and be loved on right back!!! What a Daddy's Girl!!!

She gets to open lots of presents while trying to keep A.J. from sniffing them all!!!

She gets to open a present from Nadia (which was Michael's idea--so sweet!!!)

And she gets to be as goofy as she wants because hey....SHE'S THE BIRTHDAY GIRL!!!

Happy 12th Birthday Josi Girl!! We love you and couldn't imagine life without you!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Someone's Missing!

I finally had a chance to put our Christmas pictures into a folder on my new computer and as I scrolled through the images of all we do as a family over this particular holiday, I couldn't help but think that someone is missing from the pictures. Now that we've committed to adopt Nadia she is already a part of our family in our hearts and in our minds...but not yet in our home. So, I posted a few pictures with a hope-filled heart that you can see (as I'm imagining as well) a sweet, little European Princess, toddling around and participating in our holiday traditions. Oh, I can hardly wait to get her home where she belongs!!!

(Will we need to put a fence around the tree next year???)

(Can't wait to see Nadia baking cookies with her brothers and sister--wonder if she'll eat as much cookie dough as we all do!!!)
(Oh, how fun it will be to see a 3yr. old opening presents for her first Christmas ever!)

(But most of all I can't wait to put Nadia's sweet little face into our family picture
right where she belongs!!!)

Yes, someone is missing and someone is MISSED by her family from far away. We love you Nadia and can't wait for you to be involved in all that we do...every day for the rest of your life!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Blog Buddies

I had the privilege while out in Colorado to meet, in person, a very special blog buddy. Of course she beat me on posting about our afternoon together on her blog http://www.nogreaterjoymom.com/ but that doesn't surprise me since she's the Blog Queen!

Adeye is adopting 2 little girls with Down syndrome from the same country we are and I originally got in touch with her before I even knew we'd be going down this path of adoption as well. I thought I could encourage her in bringing a daughter with Ds into their family since we're already 12yrs. into that journey. However, I've found that I'm receiving much needed encouragement from her blog entries as well as those of others I enjoy reading (see my blog list on the right side panel). I love how God even uses the internet to build up the Body of Christ!!

For those of you who read Adeye's blog and have never been able to listen to her in person--boy are you missing out!! She has this fabulous accent that I've been trying to imitate ever since meeting her. AND she's just as passionate about life, adoption, her family, and of course her relationship with God in person as she is on her blog. I considered our afternoon icing on this new and delicious cake we're getting to share in the adoption world.

Of course, I never would have gotten to know Adeye if it weren't for my dear friend Lisa who shares the same passions and convictions. Since she never posts pictures of herself on her blog, I'm posting one of her here as well.

And here is Adeye, in chilly Colorado. Thanks again for a great afternoon my friend!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

It's Good To Be Home!!!

After being in Colorado for a week, away from our children, we were certainly glad to be back home last night. It was a great getaway with Jim and the skiing was awesome but like Dorothy recognized..."There's No Place Like Home."

So, after seeing beautiful sights like this for a week (Isn't God's handiwork amazing?) I'll be posting more about our trip to CO--especially my lunch with Adeye which was such a treat!

It was just as amazing to me to see sights like this--snow in NC!!!, the 3 children God has already blessed us with, and a morning together as a family to start our week! Thanks God! Yes, I'm even thankful for our Beagle, AJ who loved sledding of all things. :)

But most of all I'm thankful we're mostly back together again. We can't wait for Nadia to enjoy a day of sledding someday with her new family. More on adoption stuff in another post...today is about reuniting, unpacking, washing (ugh), and filling out more forms to bring our little girl HOME!!! Because home is truly the best place to be!!!