Monday, June 30, 2008

Big fish, little pond

Not included in the budget for our recent backyard project was the installation of a swimming pool. So poor Joseph has to make due with this little plastic tub unless we find a best friend with a real pool.

He can do about a hundred laps in 60 seconds flat, and conveniently he can add any of the surrounding grass and dirt whenever he feels like it just to mix things up.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Don't know much about history

Last weekend my parents and their friends came to visit and take in some more of the sights in the DC area - coincidentally the exact same people we were with the exact same weekend last year when we found out about Joseph (see the last post). This time Mt. Vernon was on the to-do list, and since we hadn't been in a while, we tagged along. It was blistering hot and super crowded, and Joseph was most interested in checking out the "bowling green."

And as with most of our other historical outings, he generally sleeps through half of it (as I might like to do sometimes too!):

Mean Dad makes his kid be goofy:

One of the most lovely things about the weekend was that it actually cooled down in the evening, and we were able to eat dinner outside every night. AND, one night, after Joseph went off to sleep, Brent and I dashed out to Georgetown and saw a movie while Grammy, Grandpa, Roe, and Joe listened out for him - the FIRST movie we've seen at the theater since he was born!! We saw "Sex and the City," which was really cute, and Joseph never knew we were gone!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What a difference a year makes!

Flash back to exactly one year ago today, when our lives were about to change forever:

My parents and their friends were in town for a visit, and we had all gone out to dinner at a local Italian restaurant. At 9:20pm, my cell phone rang, and for some reason, I just had this sense that something was different. No one ever really called my cell phone much. I stepped away from the table and glanced at the caller ID, which just said "Maryland." On the line was Aimee, a birth parent counselor at our adoption agency, who asked me how I was. My response was "Good, but I'm kinda freaking our right now that you're calling me so late on a Friday night. What's going on?" And then it happened, the moment Brent and I had been waiting for for over 2 years (2 1/2 if you count the whole application process too) - we were told that we had been chosen by a birthfamily to adopt their baby! A lot of the rest of that conversation turned out to be a blur, but less than 4 weeks later, our Joseph was born, and we believed that fairy tales and dreams really do come true. (It's still so emotional that I'm crying as I type this!)

Jump back to the present day, and here we all are, with Aimee, at The Barker Foundation annual family picnic just a few weeks ago. What a difference a year makes: This time last year, I had just tortured the new director of the agency, Sandra, by bursting into tears and sobbing pathetically for 45 minutes after she simply asked "So how are you doing?" the day I went to meet her, because I was so desperate to be a parent, but had no hope left in me anymore that it was ever going to happen.

And a year later, I'm still crying, but only tears of joy.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

got sand?

Another great playdate with Jack this past week! Justing seeing him and Aunt Missy is fun enough, but Jack has some great toys, and they say variety is the spice of life. For Jack's 1st birthday he got this cool sand and water table, and a pool too. So far he seems pretty good with sharing.

Now, I've heard of a milk mustache, but a sand goatee?

Nothing a quick dip in the pool couldn't wash off.

Yet another wonderful thing about Joseph is that, like Dad, he can sleep just about anywhere. And since Jack was occupying his crib, well, he had to sleep somewhere.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Joseph at 11 months

What an adorable age! With almost every day comes something new, exciting, or just darned cute. Taking these pictures is getting more and more challenging, since there just seems to be no point in sitting for more than a few seconds anymore. Joe Joe is on the go, even if it's just standing up and then sitting back down over and over and over again, or cruising along short distances, which he started a few weeks ago.

Joseph was always a good sleeper, but sometimes pretty tough just to get down into the crib. A little "sleep training" fixed that very quickly. Just 45 minutes of crying it out one night (during which Brent nearly caved 20 times, but I trained him at the same time too), and now it's bottle, book, and good night kiss, and he's off to sleep in a few minutes, alone.

On the bathroom scale Joseph clocks in at about 28 1/2 pounds - and that's been the same for almost a month, so he still fits well into his 18-24 month wardrobe. He's such a good eater, and we have yet to find a food he refuses. His favorite is still green beans (why?) and ham, but his new love is blueberries. He's pretty much all on cups too!

His personality is just TOO adorable, and it's so easy to make him smile or laugh. Still loves music. Still loves playing in the water. Still loves to destroy anything in his path and then giggle. His newest interest is trying to make us laugh by doing the same things that we've used to make him laugh, like play peek-a-boo, wave, or pretend to just eat you up (although his 7 (and a half) teeth can really hurt!). Here's one thing I could personally do without:

Yeah, that's not just a bad picture, that's the new goofy face he came up with that winds up in at least 1/2 of all pictures. I think he might be saying"cheeeeeese?" But we still love every little thing about him!!

And the countdown to ONE begins....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Our 1st Fathers' Day

(Yep, that's where the apostrophe goes, since Joseph has 2 fathers!)

Today started off with a bang! Joseph was so excited to wish us a happy Papa/Daddy Day that he woke up at 5:20am, something he never, ever does. He was really doing us a favor, because we had such an action packed day planned, and really needed to be up and running.

Our 1st stop was the annual Capital Pride festival. Weird that it was scheduled today, buy hey, we were proud to be fathers, so we went downtown to parade our happy family around. Naturally everyone thought he was just the cutest thing in sight. And that we had the coolest stroller they'd seen. Random people would pass us and say "Happy Fathers' Day!"

(Anybody notice his rings are in the colors of the rainbow? Yeah, we've already established I'm a dork. But I'm proud.)

Then we trekked all the way back home and had some presents. What a great little shopper he is already. And the boy can tie a bow like nobody's business!

After a very, very short nap (again, quite unusual for him, but I guess he really did want to spend every moment of this special day with us) we headed to the neighbors for a BBQ. They had this tiny little baby pool that Joe Joe was splashing his hands in while sitting at the edge. I literally turned my head for a second, and he just crawled right on in, sandals, clothes, and all. He truly loves the water! Which is good, because then we had to run him back home and bathe him quickly before our guests arrived.

Our lovely friends Mallory and Meredith decided to do something sweet to celebrate our 1st Fathers' Day, so they arranged for a bunch of friends to come over and make dinner for us. We got to hang out on our new back lawn and let the kids crawl around in the grass.

The day finally caught up with Joseph, and he had to go off to bed while the party continued, but we had to get one last family photo in, even though we already changed him into his jammies.

We had such a wonderful day, and it's amazing to think this is only the 1st of so many more to come. So many people were thinking of us today, and called or sent us cards. Thanks to everyone for all they did to make this so special! Hope all the other Daddys and Papas out there had a great day too!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

In 'n Out

We had ourselves a little heatwave here in DC a few days ago, with temperatures nearing 100 degrees every day (so in other words, like every day in Texas, I hear). All we could do is play inside, but Joseph still wanted to go out.

It finally cooled down a little, so we ventured out to the park today. Joseph seems to have gotten the hang of the swing and has a good time!

His goldilocks are getting long and super-blonde.

Since I knew it was a bath night, I decided to let JT hang in the sandpit for the 1st time. I know he's seen sand at the beach and put his feet it in, but I don't remember him actually touching it with his hands or sitting in it. I pretty much lost him after that, and he never looked up once!

He was absolutely fascinated by it:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Toys 'R Everywhere

Jack and Joseph are both sick today, so we had to cancel our regular playdate (Joseph just has a cold, but he's a total snot factory), so we had to hang at home and have a playdate of our own. We just got Joseph a new toy, which he seems to love (and so do I, since it was on clearance) - a fun wood activity center, with lots of bright colors and things to keep him interested. And it's strong enough to support him when he stands!

Yet no matter how many toys we get, he still loves to play with everything that's not actually a toy - like the phone, shoes, spoons, etc.

And when he's done playing with everything in sight, toy or otherwise, this is what the living room looks like when he goes down for a nap:

Here's a video of him with one of his favorites. I'm not sure if I would actually say he's "playing" with it, as much as beating the heck out of it! And by the way, I hear that little tune it plays in my sleep.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Jack!

Hurray for Jack, who just turned ONE! He had a rocking party at Gymboree Play & Music, and we all got to help him (and his family) celebrate.

This was our 1st time at Gymboree, and we found out they do all kinds of neat things - like singing funny songs while we sit in a circle, and blowing lots and lots of bubbles.

In between activities there's a chance for "free play," and Joseph got to check the place out to see if he wants to go back for a regular class. Doesn't he look likes he's waiting for the signal to start sprinting? I always figured he'd be an athlete, just not a track star.

Smart idea to make them wear their name tags on their backs so they don't pull them off. But then he just played with mine. Not that I minded losing it...

Here's why these places get the reputation for being germ factories - kid pile up!

We sure had a great time, and are looking forward to Joseph's 1st birthday NEXT MONTH!