Our First Date

Thursday, May 29, 2008

6 Months Old Today

Today Muffins is 6 mos. old, I had all these great pictures planned but I woke up with fever, aches and chills. Dang it, it appears I have the flu. Soooo instead of the fun filled day I'd planned for me and my sweetie we spent it on the couch. Notice Mom's mismatched socks, all that mattered was warmth, matching was way down the list of priorities today. Hopefully by the weekend I can have the photofest I'd planned. To end on a high note, my sweetums was able to entertain her sick mommy all day. God I love that girl.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

1st Doctor's Visit

My Muffin Butt had her first doctor's appointment today and she did outstanding. The doc was very please with all aspects of her development. Of course she flashed her trademark grin and won everyone over. She weighed a whopping 14.0 lbs, up 2 lbs from when we were in ET. The doctor laughed when I told her she drinks 6oz. EVERY 3 hours. She said most kiddos are not getting nearly that much formula. Yeah she's playing me and her Dad for sure. We're still working on introducing jar food, once she has that down, she surely won't need as much formula. She's 25% on the height chart and 10% on the weight. The doctor said that was just fine, she may be a little on the petite side. I really loved the doctor. She took her time and answered all of my questions. I felt she was genuinely concerned with my baby's wellbeing. Goodie. The only downside to the whole appointment was my sweetums had to get a shot:( This shot is for the prevention of the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria which can cause meningitis and other ugly bugs. When the nurse gave her the shot for a second she didn't cry then she look liked "hey this woman stuck me" and she let out a wail, oh poor sugar, she didn't cry long though. Thank goodness Gracie had received all of her other vaccines in ET and the doctor was satisfied with that. At 9months they will draw routine bloodwork and during that time they will also check her titers to see if she has all of the appropriate immunities from her vaccines. I didn't want Gracie being re immunized unnecessarily so I was glad the doctor was of that mindset. After our doc visit we had planned to go to the mall but because of mean ole Nurse Hatchett, we decided to go home, have a lil Tylenol and a nap. Smooches

Monday, May 26, 2008

Road Trip

Gracie had her first road trip. We drove to FW to see my Mom. It was a great trip and Gracie just charmed the pants off everbody. It was so nice to have everyone together for family pics. Gracie is definately a cool weather girl. When we were outside taking pics she was a little cranky. She preferred to be inside where the cool air was but she was a trooper. I loved seeing my nephew, niece and sister in law. My niece just graduated from college and we are all very proud of her. business world look out! All of my BFFs dropped by to meet the newest Diva.

Auntie Chris got a real initiation. I pooped and threw up on her. Sorry Auntie Chris, I indeed forgot my manners! Oh well she just loved me all the more.

Uncle Byron and Auntie Karen stopped in. Uncle Byron was a little hesitant at first to hold me but quickly took to it like a fish to water. Go Uncle Byron, this is gooooood practice for you.

Auntie Na stopped by for some serious smooching. Of course I was all too glad to give it to her.

My Uncle Vic was the best. Since I already have enough clothes to last me through high school, he loaded me up with Enfamil! Thanks so much Uncle Vic and my tummy thanks you too.

Hey Cousin Vic, what are you so happy about?! Oh I know, I just bring out the joy in people, hee hee.

This is me, mommy, and Grandmomma (the original Diva). Hey Grandmomma, I just love your dress, you go girl!

This is me being silly with my ultra handsome daddy!

Whew being adored is hard work. I loved seeing everyone but I was worn out. Well until next time, Smooches.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Splish Splash

Ms. Gracie loves her bathtime. Sometimes we stay in so long that her lil feet look like prunes. She also just loves her body massage by Mom that she gets afterwards. Ahhhh Lil Diva in training I tell you.
Soooo today we got all snazzy and went to visit the grandparents (Hubby's parents). Of course everyone made a big fuss over our Muffin Butt as they should. The visit was.....ok. Now let me just give those of you who have loved ones who have adopted, are in the process, or even thinking about it. The child's birth history is NOT public information and the fact that you are related to us doesn't give you the right to it. Whatever we, the parents, want you to know we will tell you. Please take the subtle hints we try to give you to relay this fact. Try not to insist that we become more forceful in getting the point over to you. Let's keep it nice. Ok. Love you guys.... Smooches.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Children of Ethiopia

These are some of the beautiful children we met while in Hosanna, a little town approximately 4 hours south of Addis Ababa. Please remember these precious babies in your prayers.

Poppa, Poop & Piercings

Well, well, well Brother B. finally did it, he changed a poopy diaper! Yippee you go boy. He did quite well I might add and the fair Ms. Gracie giggled and cooed all the way through. I think she was tickled by her dad giving it his all. There were a lot of firsts for our little family today.
Ms. Gracie had her first trip of many to the mall. Of course she took to it like the shopping pro she will soon be. Dad got a little frustrated initially because he couldn't open our super cool stroller. Patience daddy, patience. But after we got that going it was alllll good until..... Mom decided I should get my ears pierced. Say what Mom?!

Oooh my poor baby realllyy screamed. If I had known that beforehand I probably would have chickened out. She looked like, I can't believe this, who are you Atilla the Hun? But alls well that ends well. After a bottle and lots of cuddling, she gave me her award winning smile and went to sleep. She looks so stinkin cute with those earrings it was almost worth it.
I'll end with missy in her brand new pink dream machine exersaucer. I just wasn't gonna rest or let hubby rest until we got it for her. As you can see, she loves it. Ciao Bella

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sweet Tators

Ms. Gracie had her first taste of sweet potatoes today, I think she liked em. She's been doing well with the cereal so we're branching out. Her little belly is just not full enough with the formula. We've been home 3 days and I still feel like I'm dreaming. She's doing so well. Still has a little cold though. We're seeing the doctor next Wednesday for a thorough check up. She's such a happy baby and mommy does all kinds of silly stunts to get that sweet lil grin. She loves her new activity mat, she just cooed and babbled when I lay her on it. Excuse her lil runny nose, I had to take advantage of the cute photo op. Smooches

Sunday, May 18, 2008

We're Home!!!

We made it home! God is so good. It's hard to believe that she is really here with us. It was a long and arduous trip without a doubt. Muffin butt did well. She only had one minor blow out necessitating an outfit change. She slept in her little airline bassinet and only woke up for feedings and changings. Of course at times she did opt to let ALL of economy class know that she was onboard (heehee) but she was quite a trooper overall. We had a looonnngg 8hr layover in Dubai which we spent in the airport. Not fun but we made it. Poor hubby was starting to unravel but Gracie and I soldiered on. I was so shocked at the Emirates stewardesses, they were just awful. On the trip over, they were all just great, I was so impressed. But on the trip home they were borderline hateful on both flights. I had to beg for a puppet for my muffin butt. Don't know what to make of that. I would still recommend them, I guess. We made it to Houston and got through customs fairly quickly considering the long line. Boy did it feel good to walk through our front door. Ms. Gracie looked around and seemed to say not to shabby momma:) As soon as we got home I got her some rice cereal and she slept 5 hrs. last night!!!! That was awesome. She's such a good baby, totally content when she's dry and full. I am sooo humbled by God's grace. He chose me to raise this little miracle. Incredible.
I want to give a shout out to my wonderful travel group. Hey guys I hope you all made it home safely and the little bundles are doing well. Take care all. Smooches

PS I know that's a ruff pic of me but hey it's hard to be Diva after travelling for 2 days. Of course Muffins remains a star at all times.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sick Sweetums

Well last night was a rough one for us guys.  Ms. Gracie is truely sick.  She coughed and all night, nobody got any sleep.  My poor sweetums, she would try to drink her formula, then start coughing and throw it up.  I wanted to cry to to see her so miserable.   One of the other mom's tapped on our door (guess Ms. Gracie woke her up too) and suggested the steam shower method.  We sat in the bathroom for about 30 mins. and I think it helped to loosen it up some but that only made her cough more.  At least she got a little phlegm up.   We took her to the doctor first thing this morning.  The doc listened to her lungs and said they were clear so she didn't have pneumonia, thank God.  She stated she had an upper respiratory infection and gave us some amoxicillin.  She's already having diarrhea from it but I think she's feeling a bit better.  Not coughing as much. Last night on the computer I read about the old remedy putting Vicks on the bottom of the feet and covering with warm socks.  So after we left the doctor  Ato Garma stopped at a pharmacy and got some menthol rub for her.  I put it on her little feet in the car. Everyone here has been so helpful and concerned. Then when we got back to the guest house, one of the mom's had a whole jar of vicks baby rub and graciously gave it to us.  So I think she's gonna turn the corner.  Chile I'm really a momma now.
Mr. Banks is feeling better today, just so worried about the baby. His cough is getting better and his sinus pressure has been relieved so that's one less thing for me to worry about. 
We're almost home guys, please continue to pray for us.  Karen thanks for all your flying tips and I will adhere to them all.   Godwilling we'll be back in H-Town saturday evening.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

First Night

Okkkk tonight was our first full night with Ms. Gracie.  I think for the most part it went well.  She loves her bath, even though I was nervous trying to hold onto this little slippery body.  She didn't fall asleep after her bath and started fidgeting like she was hungry.  Q warned me that she couldn't be hungry as her last bottle was just 2 hrs ago but when she started screaming bloody murder I gave her the bottle. Welll she was happy as a clam, sucked down those 6 ozs lickety split.  I put her on my shoulder to burp her and all 6 ozs came right back to say hello to me.  Ahhhhh motherhood.  She finally went to sleep but woke 3 hrs. later screaming for that bottle.  I need to teach missy a lil patience .  Once we get home I'm going to start her on cereal, I think the milk is just not holding her.   She has a little cold that actually seems to be getting worse, she's pretty congested.  I may have the docs take a peek at her before we leave.  Poor hubby is still sick too.  If he doesn't take Motrin and Sudafed every 4 hrs. his fever goes right back up.  He is just miserable.  Should be a fun plane ride home.  Prayers please!!!
BTW being a Mom is great, I love it!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008


WARNING!!! The following pictures may cause extreme pleasure and spontaneous exclamations of ooooooooss and ahhhhhhhhhss.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Meeting

We met Gracie's birthmom today. I have to say outside of meeting Gracie it was one of the most profound days of my life.  
Our morning started at 0500, the drivers picked us up and we started the 3 hr. drive to the little town of Hosanna, that's were all of the birth families are brought for the meetings.  Hossanna is out in the countryside of Ethiopia.  The scenery was incredible and I took 100's of pics.   Anywhoo, we reach there and we are ushered into a room and each family waits to be called. At this point, hubby and I didn't even know if she'd been able to make the trip, but then they called us. 
We went into a room and there she stood, wow, this woman that because of her pain has brought me so much joy to our lives.  She reached out to shake my and which I did briefly but then I just took her into a tight embrace and she hugged me just as tight or tighter.  It was surreal. This went on for a good bit because when I went to let go she held on, so I just waited for her to stop. Then she sat down across from hubby, I and the interpreter.  After a few minutes I asked the social worker/interpreter could she come and sit next to me which she immediately did.  We held hands tightly for the rest of the visit.  Again it was just amazing.  I'd made a little photo album for her of Gracie's pictures and one of hubby & I and you could see the love in her eyes that she had for her.  Wow what an unselfish act.
Afterward, we had an Entrustment Ceremony, it was so touching. The birthparents were then ushered out and I was so sad to see her go. I wanted to protect her, she seemed so innocent, so kind.   Before she left, hubby and I got one last hug and I kissed her cheeks. I will always pray for her and hope she has a good life. 
So we began the trek back to Addis and that was another road trip adventure that I'll save for another post.

Friday, May 9, 2008

There's Been a Gracie Sighting!

We saw our child today.  It was the most magical experience of my life.  She is perfection. I don't think, despite all the daydreaming I did, that I was prepared to see her. They take us into a little holding room, where we wait our turn to be called. Then when it's time, and all this is being videotaped, they take you into the room, oh wait you have to wash your hands and step out of your shoes first.  Then you walk into a room with about 8 gorgeous babies and we look around and spot Ms. Gracie.  We walk over to her crib and look at the most beautiful being I've ever seen, her pics do not do her justice.  Of course I go into my silly baby voice and she smiles soooo BIG, that was it we were done! Hubby and held,hugged, kissed, squeezed and loved on her for about 2 hours.  I fed her her bottle, which she gulped down in just a couple of minutes, burped her and it was a wrap. Throughout our entire visit she would just stare into my eyes and then Quinn's, just incredible.  Sorry no pics yet guys.  They won't let you take pictures in the care center, that's why they video tape everything.  I'll get you some pics as soon as I can.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Moving Right Along

Ok, so the flight to Dubai was.....nice so to speak. The service was great, food excellent, the plane itself was just awesome with over the top entertainment and movie selection. The ONLY bad part were the seats. We were in economy and baby had I known I would have taken out a 2nd mortgage on my home to upgrade to business class. Those little seats were like being in a torture chamber. At about hour 8, I turned to hubby with tears in my eyes and said I was sorry, I didn't know it would be this bad, (starting to lose it a bit there T) he just smiled and said it's ok honey we'll get there. Anywhoo, we made it, got to the hotel, had a fitful night sleep and we're back at the airport this am. Now, I have to give a BIG shout out to one of the docs I work with. Dr. Pedd I will be forever grateful for you telling me about the Emirates lounge. It said for business and first class but hubby and I strolled right in with our economy class selves. Hee Hee and it's awesome. Breakfast, hot coffee, FREE wireless internet and big comfy seats, ahhhhhh this is the life. Next stop ET babeeeeee!!!!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

To My Baby

So right now it's around 0800 in ET. I wonder what your doing. You have no idea that on the other side of the world, 2 people are just hours away from making the trip of a lifetime. The reason for that trip, why it's all for you little one. Your Mom & Dad are by no means world travelers. As a matter of fact, flying makes us quite uneasy. But from the moment we laid eyes on you, we knew we would endure anything to bring you home to us. Anything to see you smile. We are so in love with you and cannot wait to touch your sweet face, tickle your little round tummy. Oh the dreams we have for you, for us. I know it wont' be easy for you to leave your birth country and all those that have loved and cared for you. For sure you are the nannie's favorite:) No doubt they will hate to see you go but will rejoice in your journey to your new family, country, life. Everyone is so excited to see you here. There are many who are praying for our little family's safe journey home. I've tried to pack everything you may need. I'm a new mommy so I may not have gotten it just right. But do know, I will spend my life trying to show God how grateful I am for the supreme Blessing that is you. We'll see you soon my baby.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


It is hard to believe that I'll be looking into that beautiful face in one week. Next Thursday, Hubby and I will be on the other side of the world. Amazing. We still have so much to do. My head continues to spin. Gracie has been blessed with so many things that I'm sharing some of her bounty with the other precious children. There is such a great need for everything in Ethiopia. Hopefully,we will be delivering our donations to AHope which is an orphanage for HIV+ children. Hubby and I recently began sponsoring a 7yr. old little boy. We may get a chance to meet him while we are there. For anyone interested in sponsoring a child at AHope or just donating to them, please click on the Ahope link on the right side of the page. It doesn't take much to make BIG difference in these kiddos life.