Saturday, May 31, 2008

I Love Our Neighbors

So, last night was supposed to be a "neighborhood BBQ." Some neighbors down the street (all our kids are in kindergarten together) organized it and we were all supposed to bring our own meat to grill, bring a side dish, etc...typical BBQ stuff, right? was a surprise baby shower for Miranda!! Deep down I have always desired some kind of surprise party in my life, but have never one...well, last night I was totally surprised! I can't believe that the secret didn't get out!! We had a lot of fun--we all get a long great--and we got a few more cute things for Miranda!

Miranda was the center of attention with all the little girls in the neighborhood. She was very content for the night...lots of attention. She stayed up until 8pm, I fed her, then she slept all night until 7am!! Yay!

church shower

Last Wednesday night was our church shower for Miranda. It was a lot of fun, with over 35 women from church coming to the shower. Miranda came for the first 45 minutes, but then got pretty tired, so Matt came to pick her up. I enjoyed spending time with women from our church family and I was so grateful for all of their generosity. Here are a few photos from the shower.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New Pics

We had a good weekend with Matt's family and some church friends out in Augusta. It was very relaxing. Unfortunately, it rained a lot, but it cleared up yesterday afternoon and Matt and our friend Ken took the kids out on the canoe.

On Saturday, our church had an event at a local place with go-karts. The kids had a great time and Mitchell was disapointed that he wasn't tall enough to drive the big karts by himself.

Last week my grandma came to visit. She said she just couldn't wait to see Miranda...which made me really happy! We had a nice visit.

Our friend Gloria gave Miranda this cute outfit, so I had to take a picture!

Miranda has her appointment on Wednesday at the International Adopton Clinic at St. Louis Children's Hospital. I'm dreading her having to get blood drawn!! Even though I do it all the time at work to kids, it's different when it is your own child. I'll report back after the appointment.

Wednesday night is also the shower at the church for Miranda. I'll try to get lots of pictures!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

6 month pictures

Took Miranda to a photo studio today for her 6 month pictures. We have 8x10's of the kids on the walls in the living room and we needed an 8x10 of Miranda! The photo shoot went really well and we got some really good pictures. Looking forward to a photo shoot with Uncle Greg sometime soon when it is nice enough to go outside. Enjoy the pictures!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

New Pictures

(Yes--I can sit up all by myself now!!)

Hi everyone. I'm finally taking the time to sit down and create a new post! Miranda is doing great. Went to the pediatrician's office on Friday and Dr. Irvine said she looks great. She's sitting up really well on her own now and doing really well eating from a spoon. So far, she's had rice cereal, oatmeal, squash, carrots, and sweet potatos! She is taking an hour nap in the mornings and a 1.5-2 hour nap in the afternoons. She takes a bath and goes to bed around 7pm and has been waking up to eat between 3 and 4am. Obviously, this is something I'm hoping she'll grow out of soon!

Miranda is a very happy little girl. Lots of smiles and laughs. I think that she is bonding to Matt and I--she seems to have a brighter smile for us and for Mitchell and Max than for others. Though, really, at this point, she'll laugh and smile with almost anyone. Being home has been good for her developmentally, because with the carpeted floor that I vacuum at least once a day, I can let her explore the floor without hesitation. Our hotel in Antigua didn't have carpet, so I would just put her on the floor on a blanket--this didn't give her much room to roll! So, here she is rolling all over the floor and doing GREAT sitting up.

Here are a few photos for you. Papa John came to visit yesterday (didn't get any pictures) and Grandma and Grandpa Herndon and Uncle Greg came today. Matt's mom always makes a quilt for each grandchild and she brought Miranda's today. It is GORGEOUS---I love it! The picture above is Miranda sitting on her new quilt.
Some new pictures of the room. The small square pictures below each have a picture from Antigua, where we lived for 2 weeks. The larger photos above her crib are Miranda with me, Matt, Mitchell, and Max. Matt also put the shelf up with the stuffed animals and bought the totally cool lamp that I just love! Great job Matt!! The room is almost complete...we're just waiting for curtains and the cushions for the rocking chair!
When we were taking pictures of Miranda and her new quilt, we had to get out the boys' quilts that their Grandma made them and take a picture of everyone! Their quilts are a bit more tattered...or should I say "well-loved" (and washed lots and lots of times!)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

We're home!

We arrived home last night at around 9:30pm after a very long day! The flights went ok, except for Miranda having diarrhea twice! Ugh. That was no fun. Had to throw away an outfit and a blanket, but otherwise no major problems. She seemed fine and didn't act out of sorts at all. She slept most of both of the flights.

Matt's parents picked us up at the airport and when we got home there were so many surprises! Beautiful, colorful signs in the yard and in our living room, flowers and food at our doorstep, food in our freezer, cute gifts from friends...It was all such a great welcome home! Matt did a great job on Miranda's room--I'll try to post some pictures later today.

Miranda slept all night and woke up happy around 7:30am. The boys are going to go to school this afternoon and I'll be here unpacking and doing laundry! Back to real life.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Home tomorrow!

I'm using Matt's computer, so pictures. Today was a relaxing day. We just hung out at the pool and then I went to the U.S. Embassy with our facilitator to pick up Miranda's visa. There is a big huge envelope that is sealed that we are NOT SUPPOSED TO OPEN!!! We have to carry it with us and give it to the person at customs. Hopefully, immigration will go smoothly in Houston.

Tonight, we went to dinner with our facilitator and attorney at a nice steak restaurant close to the hotel. I was a bit worried about Miranda being off schedule, but she did well and seems to have gone to sleep (for now).

Looking forward to seeing everyone!! Please call us once we are home. We'd love visitors, though probably not a lot at once. We don't want to overwhelm Miranda too much. And please don't be offended if we don't let a lot of people hold Miranda for a while. We want to do whatever we can to help her adjust to a new environment as well as bond with us. This means that we probably won't let anyone besides close family hold her and that Matt and/or I will be doing most of her feeding, bathing, etc for the first few weeks home.
See you all soon!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Back in Guatemala City

We made it to the Westin this afternoon. After some swimming, we are just relaxing in the room and will probably go to bed early! We have to meet our attorney in the lobby tomorrow morning at 7:30am to go to the U.S. embassy. No cameras are allowed (you even get in trouble if you take a picture of the outside of the building!!), so I won't be posting any pictures from the embassy. Basically, I've heard it is like waiting at the DMV for a few hours. We go up to a few different windows, answer some questions, solemnly swear some stuff, then we're done.

Some of you have been asking about meeting us at the airport when we arrive on Wednesday. While we really, really appreciate your enthusiasm and excitement, we would prefer to see all of you at a later date. Our plane gets in really late and after a long day of travelling, we're pretty sure we'll all be a bit crabby. Plus, we don't want to overwhelm Miranda with lots of new faces too quickly. She's just getting to know us. Please call us during our first few days home and we'd love to see you!

We're off to bed! Will post about the embassy tomorrow!

Leaving Antigua

Today we are leaving Antigua at 12:00 to head to the Westin in Guatemala City. We had a good day yesterday, going to different markets and having lunch with our friends Jimmy and Emily Armstrong and their son, Samuel.
Mitchell and Matt had a nice morning reading on the roof of the hotel.
Miranda loves looking at herself in the mirror.

One of the markets we went to in Antigua. Just imagine...lots of people yelling, "Hey lady, good price, you like? you buy?" and me constantly saying, "No, Gracias" over and over. Our last ride in a Tuk-Tuk. For 10 quetzales (about $1.30) these drivers will take you all over Antigua. Very helpful when coming back from the grocery store or when the boys are especially whiny.
This is us with Maya, the daughter of another guest in the hotel. She and her mom, Susan, have been here for over 2 weeks. They are hoping to have their embassy appointment in the next few weeks.
Here are our new friends, Neena and Shreesh, packing up their car. The whole time we've been in Guatemala, Matt has been searching for a new hat. Right as Neena and Shreesh were packing up, Shreesh asked, "Do you wear hats?" (Those of you who know Matt well know what a funny question that is!!) Then, Shreesh gave Matt one of their "A Long Drive" hats!! Rooftoppers....I imagine you'll be seeing this hat soon