Archive for January, 2013

Martin Luther King Weekend in Brown County

We again went to the cabin on Martin Luther King Weekend.  We had a great time.  This year Brennan, Laura, and Kal-el were able to join us which made it all the more fun.  We also had a mini birthday party for Patrick, Ariel, and I on Saturday night.  Xander and Kal-el had tons of fun playing with each other for the weekend.  It was a great family get away!

Cousin Love :)

Birthday fun

Playing with birthday hats

I get to open a few gifts

Ariel and her gifts

Patrick gets a gift to help him hear with his clogged ear.

The 3 birthday people :)

Xander's creation that night. A raised train track.

Megan and Ariel

Kal-el and Xander hug on the floor

Kal-el and Laura



We had a great Christmas this year.  It was lots of fun and in the days after we got some snow.  Xander had a blast playing in his 1st real snowfall.  My Mom & Dad came up to visit the day after Christmas and they got to play in the snow too :)

Xander helped me make cookies and eats a few too :)

Xander checks out the hot wheels track that Santa gave him on Christmas morning.

Ariel's new pink coat from Santa

Patrick plays with his new Kindle Fire HD

Kal-el and Patrick hang out at Grandma's later that day.

Ariel was very excited to get a Ukulele.

All the boys are ready for some football.

Xander playing basketball with his new indoor hoop from Grandma & Grandpa Warwick. Look at the form!

Xander's 1st snowman. He didn't last long because right after this Xander knocked him down.

Xander riding down the hill. He loved it and said he went really fast!

24 Weeks

It’s hard to believe we are at the start of the 6th month already!

Time for another belly picture :)

This is a look back at 20 weeks.

24 weeks

Between 21 and 22 weeks all of a sudden my belly seemed to pop out (along with my hips).

For the 1st time people who didn’t know I was pregnant began asking me when I was due.

It was nice to finally look pregnant :)

Florida Trip!

The marching band traveled to Florida in December to play at Disney World.  We decided to all go as a family.  Xander and I flew down early to spend some time with my parents and Patrick traveled with the band as a chaperon.   Xander and I had a great week in Florida.  Grandma and Grandpa Warwick took Xander and I to Bush Gardens for 2 days.  It was so much fun!  The park was not crowed at all and we never waited on line for anything.  In fact there were times when Xander was the only kid on the ride.  Xander also really enjoyed swimming in the pool and riding the golf cart while at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

Riding on the train at Bush Gardens with Grandma

Xander is the Engineer of the train!

Xander gets a ride on Grandpa :)

Xander LOVED playing in the water at Bush Gardens

Xander playing with his new Jeep at Grandpa and Grandma's house.

Xander LOVED going over all the "bumps" in the pool with Grandpa.

Later in the week we went up to Disney World to meet up with Patrick, Ariel, the band, and Grandma and Grandpa McCoy.  Xander and I spent 2 days at the Magic Kingdom and Xander had a great time.  The 1st day there we spent some time with Grandma and Grandpa McCoy and Patrick and Ariel joined us the next day.  It was so much fun seeing the band march right before the Light Parade at night.  It was a great few days at the Magic Kingdom.

Baba and Xander swimming at our hotel

Xander is very excited to share this ice cream sunday with Mama at Downtown Disney.

Xander and Mama at the entrance of the Magic Kingdom

Xander & Baba ride the Merry Go Round

Xander & Baba in front of the Castle as we wait for the parade to begin.

The Light Parade is AWESOME!

But Xander falls asleep after the 1st few floats go by.

Here is the video of the band marching at the Magic Kingdom and then some of the parade that followed.  Enjoy!

Brown County Cabin

The weekend after Thanksgiving we headed out to the cabin in Brown County with Patrick’s family.  It was a great weekend full of relaxation and it was also when we found out we were having a baby girl!

On Saturday morning there are always some surprises in our stockings!

Kal-el checking out what is in his stocking.

Ariel watching everyone open their stockings.

Saturday night we find out we are having a girl!!!

Xander and Mama

Family Picture

November Fun!

The marching band again was a part of the big celebration that brought Santa to the Mall.  This year Santa came by a horse drawn carriage.  It was lots of fun to see Santa arrive and the band play.  Afterwards Xander really wanted to ride in the train that was set up in the mall and there was no line so we let him ride.  It was the longest train ride ever!  I think because no one wanted to get on they just let the kids ride forever; Xander LOVED it.

Santa arrives at the mall.

Ariel marching with the band. It was sad this was the last time she'd do this :(

Hi Santa!

Xander & Owen ride the train.

This year we stayed in Cincinnati for Thanksgiving so we decided to run the Thanksgiving Day 10K Race with Xander.  He had seen us do so many races this year and we thought he’d have fun being in one.  Leading up to the race he was so excited but then when we got there it was very crowed and I think it overwhelmed him.  He barely made it across the starting line before he fell asleep.  He slept through the entire race and all the after race party.  We had to wake him up to get into the van to go home.  It was a beautiful day and Patrick and I had fun running together.  Patrick pushed the sleeping Xander in the jogging stroller.

Before the race Patrick and Xander check out the Bengal Football field.

Waiting to cross the starting line.

Almost done... the finish line is just ahead!

All of us after we crossed the finish line.

What Xander did for the entire race :)

Fall Highlights

OK, so a lot has gone on and I’m going to try and hit the highlights here in a few posts to catch us all up!

In October Ariel was in the Homecoming Court and Patrick got to drive her in the  parade.  It was lots of fun even though the weather was cold and raining.

Patrick drives Ariel in the Homecoming Parade in the rain :)

Ariel all dressed up for the dance the next night and having fun taking some pictures!

After we saw Ariel off to the big dance Patrick, Xander, and I headed up to Columbus, OH so I could run the Columbus 1/2 Marathon the next morning.  It was a really fun race and I had been training for it with a running group for 4 months.  Training got a little difficult once I got pregnant and was dealing with morning sickness but luckily that disappeared the week of the race and on race day I felt great.

All done and very happy :)

Xander and Kal-el celebrated their birthdays together this year at Chuck E Cheese.  The boys had a great time and it was so much fun.  It was also nice because I didn’t have to do anything!  We got Xander a Bengals Football uniform for his birthday and he loves it.  I think he would wear it everyday if I let him :)

Kal-el and Xander with Chuck E Cheese!

Xander the Bengal Football Player

For Halloween this year we went with a football theme for our costumes, except for Ariel.  Xander had lots of fun trick or treating with Baba while I stayed home to hand out candy.

The "Football" gang all ready for Haloween & Schubie

Ariel & Cody the Queen & King of Hearts :)

And that brings us to the end of October :)

A Baby Girl!

In the words of Patrick… Apparently “inconceivable” does not mean what we think it means.  In September Patrick and I were stunned to learn that we were expecting a baby.  This was something that we thought we would never be blessed with and were totally surprised to learn that I was pregnant.  It was very surreal and it took a little while to sink in.   With our 1st trip to the doctor a week later we learned that I was already 8 weeks along and our due date is May 12th (Mothers Day).  We also got to see our 1st glimpse of our new child.   I was expecting to see a little bean like thing… I never thought I would actually see a little head, heartbeat, and body already.  All of a sudden this became much more real.

8 weeks 2 days

We had another ultrasound when I was 16 weeks and 2 days along.  We again got some nice pictures of our baby and we also learned the gender… although Patrick and I did not find out that day.  Xander was with us at the ultrasound and he was all over the place!  The funnest thing was he thought the gel on my tummy was lemonade and he kept pointing to it saying, “Mama, lemonade!”

Our girl at 16 weeks!

She's got her feet crossed :)

We had the ultrasound tech write the gender of the baby down and seal it in a envelope for us.  I brought the envelope to a bakery and had a cake made that would either be pink or blue inside depending on the gender of the baby.  That weekend we were at a cabin in Brown County with Patrick’s family and we cut into the cake to learn we were having a GIRL!  It was really fun to all find out together.  Before we cut the cake Ariel and Laura looked up a bunch of “tests” we could do to determine the gender.  The funny thing is most of the tests came back girl and it was a girl.

The cake- Welcome Sweet Pea!

It's Pink!

We are having a Girl :)

Here is the video of us cutting into the cake and learning we’re having a girl.

At 21 weeks, on New Years Eve, we had another ultrasound.  This time it was a 3D ultrasound and it was VERY detailed.  It was fun to get to see her again and awesome to hear that everything looked great and she is doing really well.  She did not like us messing with her space and was constantly moving around.  It was funny feeling her move and seeing her move at the same time.  Here are her close ups…

Check out that face!

At both 16 weeks and 21 weeks she had her hands by her face. But today she also had her feet up there. We didn't think it looked too comfortable but she was like that most of the time we were watching :)

And finally, here is the 1st belly shot.  We decided to start documenting the growth of my belly at 20 weeks and will do so every 4 weeks until she arrives.  Now I’ve felt big for weeks now but most people up to a week or so ago still didn’t even realize I was pregnant.  Needless to say, I’m not that big yet but this tummy seems to be growing a lot faster now so we’ll see how it changes over the coming weeks.  Patrick had me pick out one of my smallest shirts pre-pregnancy and well see how it fits as the weeks go by.

20 weeks

Adoption Timeline
  • Summer 2010 - started talking about adoption
  • Aug 19, 2010 - participated in webinar
  • Sep 22, 2010 - mailed in adoption application
  • Sep 28, 2010 - adoption application accepted
  • Oct 8, 2010 - fingerprints for home study
  • Oct 14, 2010 - fire inspection done
  • Oct 25, 2010 - Patrick & Kimberly complete physicals for the adoption
  • Nov 4, 2010 - finished Heart of the Matters Parent Education
  • Nov 9, 2010 - Ariel's physical is completed
  • Nov 15, 2010 - 1st Home Study Visit
  • Dec 10, 2010 - Kimberly's Individual Interview with Social Worker
  • Dec 16, 2010 - Patrick & Ariel's Individual Interview with Social Worker
  • Dec 19, 2010 - Received rough draft of Home Study to review
  • Jan 7, 2011 - Received Final Home Study
  • Jan 7, 2011 - Sent I800A form into USCIS
  • Jan 18, 2011 - We see our son's face for the 1st time!
  • Jan 21, 2011 - Submit Letter of Intent to China
  • Jan 27, 2011 - Receive Pre-Approval from China
  • March 7, 2011 - I800a approval
  • March 24, 2011 - Dossier to China
  • April 2, 2011 - Log In Date
  • May 16, 2011 - LOA
  • June 2, 2011 - I800 Approval
  • June 10, 2011 - Cable sent by National Visa Center
  • June 13, 2011 - NVC Letter & final paper work sent to Agency!!!!
  • June 23, 2011 - Article 5 papers dropped off
  • July 8, 2011 - Article 5 pick up
  • July 19, 2011 - Travel Approval!!!!!!
  • August 15, 2011 - Forever Family Day!!!!!!
  • August 25, 2011 - Arrive home; Xander becomes a US citizen :)