18 months

Wow...18 months...Kylie is 18 months old today!  She has come such a long way from this...
...to this...
We don't have official numbers, that will come in a few weeks with her dr. appointment, but Kylie has finally gained a few pounds...probably about 4 or 5, taking her up to about 22-23lbs.  She can say hello (although it really doesn't sound like it) and Mamamamama....when the phone rings, she puts her hand up to her ear.  She can tell you she's one by holding up one finger.  She signs milk/drink, cookie, out, please and her favorite...MORE. 

She can get up and down stairs, although we don't let her do that alone!  She's walking everywhere now but she's still a little unstable sometimes.  She loves to dance and she is pretty hilarious when she does it.
Kylie's favorite face to make (and another one that makes me laugh hysterically) is what we affectionately call "Squinty eyes"...
As far as sleeping, she goes to bed about 8 and I rock her for 20-30 minutes and put her to bed.  Most nights she sleeps through the night and we never hear a peep.  Occasionally, she'll wake up and have to be held in the middle of the night and sometimes putting her down takes longer or several tries.  I'm not sure what causes this as there doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to it, but it sure is hard on a body that gets up at 5:30am to get ready for work.

Kylie loves stuffed animals now, just like her Jie Jie and Mama (when I was younger, of course!).  She has learned how to give a "baby" a bottle and burp it.  She has started playing a little more now, but lots of times at home she just wanders around.  I think she really likes to walk now that she's doing it.

She can be a picky eater at times, but generally eats what is put in front of her.  She loves milk and will drink water, but we don't give her much juice anymore because we love that she loves milk because that is what is helping her to grow.  She has about 10 teeth and of those at least 2-3 are molars and they all seem to have come in about the same time.  Kylie really likes to feed herself and because she can't quite do it all by herself yet, that is a huge point of contention for us.  There are some things, like oatmeal, that she just can't do herself because she doesn't yet have the coordination to keep the food on the spoon.  But we are working hard on that since it gives her more control.

Kylie has been going to the church nursery for both hours for the last few weeks and seems to love it.  I am thrilled and think she is learning so much from being around other kids.  And her teachers are the best and it makes me so happy that they are there with her.

In general, Kylie has turned into a pretty happy baby.  I don't want to wish these early days away since we've lost so much time with her already, but I am so anxious to see what she is going to be like as a toddler.

So that's Kylie at 18 months...I can't wait to see what the next few months bring in terms of her speech and development!


Do I?

It's been a rough week here at the Taylor household.  At the risk of sounding like I'm complaining about my little problems when there are those out there struggling with way worse things, I'll make it quick (or not).

Before that, let me give you a little background...when we brought Kylie home, the only place she would sleep was ON us.  Those were some dark days trying to figure out what would work.  You'd think sleeping on the couch or in a recliner with her would have come to our minds pretty quickly, but no, not so much.  Finally after what seemed like an eternity, we started taking turns sleeping downstairs with her on us while the other slept peacefully and quietly in the upstairs bedroom.

After a while of that, we moved her to the pack n play in the living room while we alternated sleeping on the couch.  As she acclimated to that, we moved the pack n play to our bedroom.  That was fine, but boy it was hard to get up in the morning and tiptoe around.  I use the bathroom during the night pretty frequently and I was always afraid of waking her up.

It wasn't too long before we moved her to her crib in her room and took turns sleeping on the portable mattress on the floor in her room.  Finally, after seriously what seemed like forever, we were back in the bed together and Kylie sleeping in the crib in her room.  She would still awaken multiple times a night, crying out.  We took turns going to her bedroom, patting her for maybe 30 seconds to a minute and she'd ease off back to sleep.  These times because less and less until we were getting up maybe once or twice a night and for about 30 seconds and that was it.  By this time, I was back to work, so Steve would take the weekday night shift and I'd take the weekend night shift.

Then she started sleeping through the night and might cry out briefly once or twice, but we wouldn't have to get up and go to her anymore.  That progressed into sleeping without making a noise.  Then, miracle of all miracles, she started sleeping until like 9 or 10am and taking 2-3 hour naps.  GLORY!  And yes, I thought something was wrong.  :)  That slowly wore off (growth spurt over) and she began waking earlier and earlier in the morning.  The last 3 days she has been up multiple times a night, not just crying out, but crying, standing in her crib and having to be removed, held and rocked for 20-30 minutes before going back to sleep. 

We've tried everything we know to do to get her back to sleeping decently again and nothing has worked.  And quite frankly, even though we have come miles from those first days and weeks home, we are OVER IT.  We are exhausted.  Steve mainly because he's the one taking the brunt of it.  But of course, I lay awake while he's with her, trying desperately to put her back to bed without her screaming, and feel guilty that I have to get up and work the next day.  We've really been struggling this week.

Today, on my way to work, I was thinking about why this is happening.  I do feel like my church, collectively and individually, has been under spiritual attack.  So many young, hurting families.  Senseless things they are having to face and go through.  And while I'm thankful and blessed both my girls and husband are not in the hospital fighting for their very lives, this is OUR battle and it's hard.

And we have prayed harder than ever before.  Not just about the sleeping/exhaustion issues, but about other hard things we are currently facing.  And this is the realization I came to.  The more I pray, the more God is going to draw me closer to Him.  And the closer to Him I get, the harder Satan is going to fight to pull me away.  Therefore, the more I pray, the harder things are going to get.

So, here is where the rubber meets the road.

I either keep praying, knowing Satan isn't going to give up easily and it's possible things are going to get worse, maybe WAY worse, before they get better.  Or I stop praying, give up on the whole God thing and live a different life.

And it all comes down to whether I trust God. 

Trust Him wholeheartedly.  Trust him with the sleepless nights.  With 3 years of unemployment.  With feeling like we are lost.  With having to tell my daughter we have no money to go school shopping.  With wondering why I have to do more with less.

And so it is.  The decision is mine to make.  Strap in and hold on?  Or turn my back and walk away?

Do I trust Him?


Buckle up.


Photo shoot 18 months

This past weekend, I tried to do a quick little photo shoot of Kylie.  The problem is that she is ALWAYS on the move, so it's nearly impossible to do.

But I got a couple cute shots and since I'm a little short on blog worthy material....
Yes, she has discovered the cabinets.  Usually she just opens and shuts the doors and then looks at us to applaud!

This could possibly be my favorite.

Um yeah, she was done with the picture taking by this point!


Friends Forever

Last weekend (yes, I'm behind), we had a very special treat!  One of the sweet friends I met online during our adoption process, Stacia, and her family were passing through on their way to Alabama.  Stacia is special to me because her son, Liam, lived in the same orphanage with Kylie!  Liam is only a few months older than Kylie and they traveled just a few weeks before us to get him.

The decision was made to meet at Opry Mills mall for dinner at the Rainforest Cafe.  We were hoping the kids would recognize each other. 
Bless him, Liam was trying real hard, but I don't think they recognized each other!!!  Let me stop just a minute and talk about how stinking cute Liam is with his sweet glasses!  I can't hardly stand it.  He's so sweet and quiet...

We enjoyed dinner and conversation, but all too soon it was time for them to depart since the next day was going to be full of more traveling.  But not before taking more pictures!

It was so good to finally meet them in real life!  We fully intend to keep the kids a part of each others' lives from here on out.  What a blessing to be able to have a network of friends during the adoption journey, not to mention for Kylie to have as a connection to her life in China.

We definitely can't wait to see them again...and I plan to be down in the area later this fall, so hopefully we can see them again then.



I was just checking out my blog stats.  I've been blogging since 2006.  I originally started over on Myspace (remember that?!) and when I realized   I liked it, I moved over to blogger.  If you are interested, you can read my first post here.  Ironically, this very same subject has come up yet again in my life.  Funny how life seems to come full circle.

Anyway, it's not quite been 6 years...that will be in September. But we are just a mere 55 hits away from 100,000!  That's a lot of hits. 

I have recently considered taking a blog hiatus or going private, but then I look back and I think how much I enjoy blogging.

So, hopefully with the next blog post we'll have passed our 100,000 mark.  And as long as you are coming here to read, I'll keep on blogging.

Thanks for your continued readership and support!


Growing Up....

Well, it's official...my big girl is growing up.  Last Thursday was Jenna's annual visit to the doctor.  She was not looking forward to it because there were 2 shots in her future, but I was looking forward to it, mostly to see how much she'd grown.

Since Christmas, every time we see someone who we haven't seen in a while, I hear, "Look how tall she's getting!!!".  Of course, I don't notice because I'm with her every day, but I did notice how much taller she'd gotten in comparison to her cousin who used to be about the same height.  Luckily, I'd made a note in my phone from last year's visit that in July of last year she was 53.5 inches tall (that's 4 ft. 5 inches) and 72 lbs.  At that time she was 50%ile in height and weight.  So perfectly average.

This year, she was 57.5 inches (4ft 9 inches) and 82 lbs!!  My girls grew 4 inches and gained 12 lbs!  The doctor confirmed it was indeed a growth spurt.  She's grown in other areas as well...such as her feet.  Currently the doctor said she was 50th%ile for height and 25th %ile for weight.  But by all my calculations, it appears she's actually closer to 50th on both.  Either way, she's perfect!

The doctor said she will probably continue on this growth spurt for another year and then taper off.  She expects she'll gain another 4 inches in the coming year, which would put her about my height...5ft 2in.  Based strictly off mine and Steve's height, I'd say it will be more like 5-3.  Based on her growth (found some online charts), maybe as much as 5ft 5 inch.  I sure hope she gets taller than me.  My mother was 5ft nothing.  I gained 2 inches on her and I'm hoping Jenna gains 2 inches on me.

Either way, she's got some big changes coming down the pike and I can't believe we are already staring the teen years in the face...It's a bit scary for this Mama.  But I am oh so proud of this girl!  She's had multiple math study sessions this year with a middle school math teacher just so she can keep fresh.  I hope it pays off next year because goodness knows I understand what it's like to be behind in math and feel like you'll never catch up. 

I can't wait to see what 5th grade brings!!


A Delicious Treat (or two!)

I was in somewhat of a baking mood this past weekend, which hasn't happened since I've been home from China.  We had a relatively slow weekend and so I had time to do it and just got a bee in my bonnet to make some yums for the family to eat.

We used to have an overabundance of bananas because I always bought too many and they'd ripen before we could eat them.  I learned from my friend Leigh Ann that you can freeze bananas and use them in banana bread!  WHAT?  This happens a lot to me...I learn little tips and tricks I didn't know because that's what happens when you lose your mom when you are on the brink of adulthood!  So I have a freezer full of bananas just waiting to be used.  This time, I used fresh bananas that were ripe. 

I do love my banana bread!  It's so easy to make and I always have the ingredients on hand (which is a big plus).  Without further ado...

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened (not melted)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Nuts to taste (I use pecans, but you can use walnuts too) OPTIONAL

  • Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan. I used to grease and flour, but greasing seems to work fine.
    2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.  In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and mashed bananas. Finally, mix in flour, baking soda and salt combination. Pour into loaf pan.
    3. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Depending on your oven, I start with 45 minutes and then check for done-ness in the middle.  You can tell when it's getting there when the top begins to brown and crack.  If it gets done on the top too quickly, decrease heat slightly.  

    Now, the second thing I made this weekend was a throw back to my childhood days.  My mom used to fix Fruit Pizza and I loved it.  The combination of the cream cheese and sugar mixture with the sugar cookie crust.  Yes, please!

    I pulled out the yellowed recipe card and all I had to do was send Steve to the store for some kiwi.  I already had the other fruit.
    This one is super easy.

  • 8oz of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 large roll of refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Bananas
  • Kiwi
  • Strawberries
  • Other Fruit (my mom's recipe only calls for those three fruits, but you can use grapes, blueberries, or any other fruit that strikes your fancy).

  • Instructions

    1. Press cookie down into round pizza shape and cook as instructed on package.  Let cool completely.
    2. Mix together sugar, vanilla and cream cheese.  Pour or spread over crust.
    3. Slice fruit and arrange on top.
    4. Refrigerate when not in use.

    Yummy!  There's nothing like it!  It truly takes me back to my childhood!  It's good stuff y'all!  Enjoy!


    Speech Therapy

    Kylie had her speech therapy evaluation today.  It was no big surprise that the evaluation showed a pretty severe delay.  But the therapist was very pleased with the sounds she was making and signs she is doing.  We need to add "please" and maybe "thank you" and I'm trying to incorporate "help" too.  She said her fine motor skills are excellent and Kylie really had a good time.

    The pic is blurry, but I thought she looked SO cute in her outfit (thanks to my friend Leslie who has given us some SUPER cute clothes!)
    Our speech therapist is named Joy and she is truly a joy!  She is so nice and Kylie warmed up to her really fast.  Of course, it helped that she had bubbles!

    After all the paperwork is filled out (lots to do since this is all through Tennessee Early Intervention), we'll start speech therapy twice a week and it will likely continue until well after her palate surgery in August.

    If you don't believe me that she really enjoyed the bubbles, just watch her in action!  And don't miss her signing "more" right at the end.


    The EYES Have It...

    Kylie had to have an eye evaluation on the 3rd.  Tennessee Early Intervention's eye test showed an astigmatism in her right eye and since we are fairly certain she had not had one as a newborn, the pediatrician thought it would be a good idea for us to see if anything is going on that might need to be corrected.
    Here she is waiting for her eyes to dilate.  I don't know how they could see if they were dilated since her eyes are black anyway, but they could.  This was an office of the Vanderbilt Eye Institute and they were SO awesome!  The front desk and tech people were so awesome and just made over how sweet and pretty Kylie was.

    And they were QUICK.  We were in and out in 45 minutes and that includes filling out new patient paperwork.  And the best part of the entire visit???

    KYLIE'S EYES ARE FINE!  We had some concerns which is why we went, and he said there were slight astigmatisms in both eyes, but nothing he'd correct even if we'd brought her in at 5 years of age.  So, we just wait and see and hope they don't get any worse.  At best, she'll have to have glasses later in life, but we can deal with that.

    Another blessing...now for the palate surgery....


    Welcome 'Hi From Colorado' readers!

    Today you will find me guest blogging over on Katelyn's blog.  She asked me to blog about my favorite vacation spot.  You can read more about it over there, but it was hard to choose because I do love me some vacay!

    But welcome to those who might have popped over from her blog and for my regular readers, please go and read my post there and give Katelyn a little bloggy love.

    I'll be back tomorrow with a regular post, so y'all come back now!



    Last Friday night, the 29th, we went to the VBS family night celebration at church.  I might have mentioned a time or two how much I love my church.  This night proved over again, why.
    Shout out to my friend Rachel who actually made this awesome logo!
    The kids sang all the songs they'd learned and the littles were even on stage doing their thing.  Jenna and some of the older girls led music on stage every day during the week.  They were on the risers for family night though and I just didn't get a good photo of them (I was behind a pole making it hard to see clearly...not to mention wrestling Kylie half the time).
    Look at all those kids!  I think there were upwards of 300 kids that week at VBS.  For a young, start-up church (south campus), I think that's excellent!  And there were so many helpers...even working moms and dads in our congregation took the week off to assist.  I'm totally doing that next year...I don't want to miss another year of something this wonderful!


    Happy Birthday...TO ME!

    I'm way late on this, but I couldn't let it go by without mentioning it...

    My birthday was Tuesday the 26th of June.  I worked that day much to Jenna's chagrin.  She didn't understand why I didn't get the day off since it was my "special day".  I tried to explain to her that when you get older, your birthday isn't as special to you...more like just another day.  But Jenna didn't see it like that.

    I got off work and had decided I might be able to go to Tuesday night Bible study that night, but I hadn't laid anything out for dinner, so was going to grab some cereal or something and go.

    Look what I came home to...
    Does this look a little like something you might have seen before? Yes, that's right...my girl made her own table cloth and decorated with the leftover decorations from her birthday.  I mean, how SWEET is that?  She was standing there so proud with my camera waiting for my arrival!
    It was so sweet.  There was pizza waiting so I didn't have to have cereal and there were yummy cupcakes with candles.  I love my sweet girl!  There was a bag full of presents she'd picked out herself from the dollar bin at Target.  Steve lovingly got my adoption bracelet fixed.  If you don't know about this very special bracelet, you can find out about it here.
    Not sure why the picture won't turn...but you get the point.  I wore this bracelet to China, but on the plane to Chicago, it broke.  I was SO disappointed, I almost cried.  Luckily, it brought in my lap, so I was able to salvage the entire thing, beads, charms and all.  It traveled ON me (in my purse) all over China.  I checked several places to see if I could get it fixed while there, but no one was able to do it.  It has sat in it's plastic baggie and for my birthday I asked for it to be fixed.    And now that it is, I wear it nearly every day.  It reminds me...and I love it.

    So all in all, it was a great day!  I got to spend some of it with my family and some of it with my sweet church friends at Bible study.  You can't top that!!


    Happy Birthday America!!!

    As promised, here is our post about our July 4 activities.  There are going to be a lot of photos and a little writing, so yay for that.

    As I mentioned in my blog post here, we spent the night with Deanne on Tuesday night so we could be there bright and early on July 4.  The little town they live in has great Fourth of July activities...starting with a pancake breakfast down at the local church, then a parade and all day activities at the park.  It's total Americana at it's best.  Small town America.  And nearly every year we are there celebrating with family.  The coolest thing about it is that Deanne lives across the street from the park, so we come and go all day which is nice when it's over 100 degrees out (like it has been the last 2 weeks!). 

    Jenna's BFF, Gracie, spent the day (and night) with us and that was wonderful because it kept Jenna from getting bored and they just thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  Again, that's part of what I love about Steve's family is it doesn't matter who traipses in randomly, they are always welcome.  I remember how I felt the first time I was with the family when Steve and I first started dating...I was so nervous, but after the first few minutes, it's like I was already family.  But I digress.  I guess the best way to tell you about the 4th is through photos, so here we go...
    Kylie was SO cute in her patriotic dress.  I wanted to get a good photo of her, but now that she's walking, that's virtually impossible.
    See what I mean?  Always on the go.  Amazingly, this one didn't turn out blurry like all the others.
    Still a little blurry, but you get the idea.  She was cute.
    This was pre-parade.  The clown was in a car in front of us.  You can see Kylie wasn't all to sure about him.
    My BIL is running for Alderman so he had a float and Steve pulled it.  And yes, Steve, Kylie, Katie and I were in the air conditioned cab!!!  :)
    One of the activities was a hula hoop contest.  My girl can hula hoop for HOURS.  And that talent DID. NOT. COME. FROM. ME.  She kept saying she was going to win it and I believed she could.
    And lookie there...she DID win!  First Place!  And she could have kept on going...
    Here are the two BFFs!  Gracie was a trooper.  Did everything Jenna did and placed about 5th I think with the Hula Hooping.  The girl has got some moves too!
    Next up was the pageant.  We entered Jenna our first year with her (she was 3 weeks old) and she won first place!  I think year 2 she got 2nd place and after that quit placing so we stopped entering her.  Kylie didn't win anything this time either, but she was the cutest kid on stage.  :)
    Jenna entered herself in the pageant this year.  She and Gracie decided to do it and I think having Gracie there gave Jenna the confidence.  Here's my girl with her own put together outfit.  That skirt was Target clearance for $8.  There were 24 girls in her division, so I warned her not to get her hopes up.  There were clearly girls who did pageants before...makeup and all.  But I would not let Jenna wear any.  I told her if she couldn't win with a natural look, then she didnt' need to be in the pageant.
    And there she is!!!!  2nd runner up!!!!  She is so proud of herself!  And I'm stoked too!  I've always known my girl was beautiful and this just lets her know that others think so too!!!
     As soon as the big girls were done with their pageant, we headed back to the house to pack up.  It had been a long day for Kylie and she had done SO well I didn't want to push my luck.  After packing, we drove the 45 minutes back home.  The big girls and Steve dropped by our friends, the Canadas, who were having a big ole party, and to pick up the pizza.  While they were gone, I fed Kylie who nearly fell asleep while eating, and put her to bed.  I even managed a shower before they got back.  We ate, watched part of a movie and just had a great evening together, but I was beat!  I did not want to get up and go to work the next morning, but I did it anyway.

    I'll have to say, it was probably one of the best 4th of July celebrations I've had.  The notion that this was Kylie's first day in a country which is FREE was not lost on me.  This is the first of many holidays she is bound to enjoy.  Next year we'll enter that pageant and we'll sweep the competition.  :)  Stay tuned.


    Steve's Birthday

    I'm hoping to talk a little bit about America's birthday in tomorrow's post, but for now, it's all about Steve (again)!

    Because Steve was born on the 4th of July, he likes to think everyone celebrates his birthday!  Actually, it's kind of nice because of all the holidays to have to share a birthday with, I think July 4 is the best one.  It's in the summer, so as a child, there's plenty of party options to choose from.  There's no other gift giving going on (like Christmas).  You aren't feeling like you are competing with Jesus (Easter, Christmas).  And you almost ALWAYS have the day off work.  Except for the big 5-0 when he was training with Katie, we've spent every birthday together which is nice.  And almost every year since we've been together, we spend some or nearly all day down in Pegram where Steve's sister and her family live.  More on that tomorrow...

    We actually spent the night with his sister on Tuesday night so we could be there early in the morning on the 4th.  I loaded up all his birthday presents to give to him.  It was kind of random, but here he is opening up some of the gifts we got him...
    He likes t-shirts and so we got him a few brightly colored ones.  In this card, there is a gift card to Buffalo Wild Wings (yes, I did just hear the "woot woot" from the men readers of my blog!).  There is a RC helicopter that just didn't arrive in time also.  I can't wait for him to play with that. 

    Here's a picture of Steve and his girls...well, minus me of course!

    We spent the majority of the day at Deanne's so we didn't get home until late.  We had bought a cake to share with the family there, but just ran out of time to do it and so we brought it home.  We ordered pizza for dinner (that's what we've had for all three of our birthdays this year!) and then lit the candles...
    This little beauty came from Sam's and yum-a-licious!  The frosting was not the whipped kind and it was super good.  Jenna's BFF from school, Gracie, spent the day with us and her birthday is today (happy birthday Gracie!) and they each had a candle!

    Steve said despite the heat and the craziness of the day, it was yet another good birthday.  We have one more birthday to go...but that's in January to start the new year and it's gonna be VERY special.  :)

    More to come on how we celebrated America's birthday, so stay tuned!



    Happy Birthday!!

    Yes I know it's America's special day but today we also celebrate the birth of the love of my life!

    I'm so blessed to have this man in my life! I love him more today than 16 years ago when we married.

    Happy birthday Steve!!


    3 Months Home!!!

    This might be a marathon post, so hang in there with me.  I didn't want this milestone to pass by without doing a blog about it.  As you've noticed, my postings have been more sporadic since Kylie has been home.  By the time she is in bed and I have a few hours to myself (more like 90 minutes), the only thing I want to do is read.  As an aside, a few years ago, I read like a book a week.  It was ridiculously crazy.  After that year, I stopped reading.  Books...magazines...newspapers.  For the first time, I was burned out.  But I'm slowly starting to get back into it and as such, at night, I spend a few minutes with the iPad, but the rest of hour before bed, I read.  So anyway, blogging has taken a back seat.  And I'm not going to apologize for that.  I have a blog remodel in the works and once that is done, I'll try to be better about blogging!

    So, back to the point of this post...Friday marked Kylie's 3 month homecoming.  Many adoptive families tell me that the 3 and 6 month marks are the biggest turning points in the adoption.  As we neared the 3 month mark, I really started to wonder if that would hold true for us.  Yes, we have definitely seen some progress in some areas, but it just didn't seem like Kylie was fully HAPPY.

    The last 2 weeks have really been encouraging though.  2 Sundays ago, we attempted to leave Kylie in the nursery during worship care.  Well...a few minutes in and they had to come get me.  Last week was our church's VBS week and it was all hands on deck!  Steve had already committed to volunteer and Jenna was already signed up.  For volunteers with littles, there was childcare.  Honestly, I wasn't sure how VBS was going to go with Steve dropping Kylie off.  I emailed my social worker for direction and she told me not to give up on VBS quite yet.  We went out and bought a new forward facing carrier so Steve could wear Kylie and still do his volunteer duties if needed.  Our SW suggested we try and drop her off every day with instructions that if she went 15 minutes upset, to come get him.

    I think Steve and I were both nervous wrecks on Monday...I waited at work for the text...and when it finally came, it was that she did GREAT!  She didn't cry at drop off and they reported back she was playing and doing fine. 


    Then Monday night, she was literally up almost all night long.  And I figured it had everything to do with her feelings of abandonment etc.  Because she wasn't just pat-you-back-to-sleep-for-30-seconds awake.  She was HOLD-ME-I'M-AWAKE awake.  ALL.  NIGHT.  LONG (off and on). I was up most of that night with her because Steve just wasn't in the frame of mind to be awake and had also had a long day (first day of VBS=CRAZY).  We prepared ourselves for Tuesday VBS drop off not to be great.  But Tuesday came and went...no problem.  Part of the great thing about VBS was what we affectionately refer to as the Bye Bye Buggy.  We used to have them at the main campus, but they are bulky and we have no room to store them here.  But we got them for VBS.  Here's  photo my friend Elizabeth took...that's her baby girl, Wylie next to Kylie (yes, Wylie and Kylie right?!  SO cute!)
    See Elizabeth hiding there to the left of the picture?  That's so Wylie didn't see her and freak out.  LOL!
    Kylie was worn the heck out every day after VBS and started actually falling asleep AT VBS towards the end of the day on Thursday and Friday.  I take that as a good sign that she felt like it was a safe place.  So yesterday, we tried to drop her off in the nursery (the room NEXT to the one I work in, which she really is better in anyway).  Steve dropped her off during first hour (while I worked next door).  She fell asleep about 20 minutes in, but then woke up before the end and was playing happily.  I knew she wouldn't nap again in church so I decided to leave her and she did wonderfully!  I got the happy privilege of picking her up and I was so happy to see her and she was so happy to see me!  All of this is huge!

    Saturday night, we spent some time playing with the Elizabeth's girls and we noticed that Kylie really enjoyed their little kitchen.  Later when we got home, I checked out our town's online buy/sell/trade FB page and there I found this awesome Step2 kitchen...the girl wanted $35 for it and it had 3 bags of food and utensils/pots/pans with it.  It had been posted back on June 11, so I was sure it was gone.  Imagine my surprise when I got an immediate response that it was still available.  I picked it up Sunday after church and it's been the best purchase yet!
    Both of the girls played with it AND it retails on Amazon for $149!  SCORE!
    Kylie has also been sleeping a little better.  She's still waking up in the night, but every other night or so, we'll hear her cry out, but she soothes herself back to sleep without us having to go in there.  Turns out, last Monday night, she was congested...had gotten somewhat choked and I think woke herself up terrified.  We, at the doctor's suggestion, gave her Benedryl (like 1/5 of a tsp!) and she cleared up in 2-3 nights not to mention slept like a LOG!  But even not on Benedryl (which she hasn't had since mid last week), she seems to be sleeping better.  Sunday morning, she woke up without crying for us...and this morning, Steve woke up with a start at 8:00 after not having heard her at all.  Turns out, Jenna heard her babbling and moving around and went to get her and took her downstairs to feed her!  I mean, I am BLESSED with some fabulous girls!
    Steve even mentioned to me last night that she just seems HAPPIER.  And I agree...she does.  I believe much of that is due to the fact that she is beginning to trust us and maybe even love us.  I know my love for her is growing.  I also think Kylie is a social girl.  She is not yet at the age where she will play WITH other kids, but she does like to be around them.  If nothing else, this past week and weekend have given me a sense of peace about Kylie ever going to daycare.

    And just to leave you with a few fun pics from the weekend...it's been SO hot that we finally forced our outside hound, Fred, inside.  He is a hound and hates being inside, but temps have been over 100 for a while now, so we put him in his crate for a while to cool off.  After a while, we let him out to roam the house and within minute, this is what we found...

    All weekend long, it's been in and out, in and out.  What is it about dog crates that kids love?

    Also, I have attempted to put Kylie's hair up in ponytails/pigtails/etc.  Steve snapped this shot and captioned it with a comment about having a bad hair day...I still think it's hilarious!

    And no, that's the way her hair STUCK after the rubber bands came out!  Something else we've noticed is Kylie is now smiling on command, which makes this photo-mama's heart HAPPY!

    Happy Monday all!!!  Stay cool!