Monday, July 30, 2007

Scenes From a Birthday Party

Saturday afternoon, we celebrated Josie's first birthday. We just invited family and a few friends over. It was great and a pretty laid back affair.

Josie was not so sure about the tiara headband. It was actually a bit tight on her head which only eased my worries that her head seems small. We don't all strip down to eat cake on our birthdays, but we weren't sure how messy J would get.

Here's her birthday cake. I ordered it from a local place called Candy Haven and, although their name doesn't scream it, they have fantastic cakes.

Candy Haven also threw in a free "smash cake" for the birthday girl to have all to herself.

Turns out, we didn't really need to worry about J getting messy. She wasn't sure about the whole thing.

The big kids encouraged her.

Dad encouraged her, too. But it just didn't happen. She managed to get some icing on her lips, and that was about it.

Since J is, of course, only one, Mom got to open all the gifts. It kinda felt like the baby shower all over again, because all the men and kids had left the room after having cake. This onesie came from my friend Sue, and made me laugh out loud.
My baby turning one, cake, friends, family and laughing out loud - it was a good day.

Friday, July 27, 2007

What Does A One Year Old Look Like?

We took these pictures last night to document J's actual birthday (versus the pics we'll take Saturday at her party).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Can It Be True?!?!

Today, my sweet little Josie, turns one.

Oddly, I have to keep reminding myself of that. Isn't that strange?

I guess it's because we've been home just 2 months with her. I haven't had a baby around for a year for it to feel like she should be one year old? Is it because I know, logically, that we truly don't know for sure that today IS her birthday?

I don't know. We're celebrating on Saturday. I ordered the cake today. Maybe with friends and family around celebrating, and J's face covered in cake, it will seem more real. The place that I ordered the cake is giving us a free 6" round "smash cake" with a big number 1 on it just for Jo. That ought to be fun.

She's made such strides since she's been home.

She came to us only drinking from a bottle with no interest in us putting anything else in her mouth, and now she's eating table food. Lately she has seemed bored with baby food, and has been favoring Cheerios and cereal bars. So while we were at my mom's for a week, I tried out some actual food. She loved it. Some mac n cheese, green peas, green beans, purple hull peas. She liked them all. Next step - her putting the food into her OWN mouth.

She came to us crawling on her belly, pushing with her toes and dragging herself along with her forearms. Now she's crawling on her hands and knees, pulling up and starting to cruise. She has even kept her balance unassisted while standing. Walking may be here soon. P didn't really start walking until she was 14 or 15 months old, so for J to walk now would be early for me.

She has really bonded with our family. After being gone from Dad for a week, she was so excited to see him when we got back yesterday. She laughs out loud, especially when P does her gorilla dance. She has her moments when she only has eyes for mom. I have to remind myself that that is phenomenal - especially when I'm feeling exhausted from it.

She has been such a blessing to our family. I'm still in survival mode for the most part, but I think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel where things may get a little easier or at least become "the new normal".

I can't believe Josie's one today. What a great day.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Thanksgiving Last Sunday

During the service at church on Sunday, we had a small service found in the Book of Common Prayer called A Thanksgiving for the Adoption of a Child. It was a nice service, just before passing the Peace. It was great because it allowed our church family to participate with us in thanking God for Josephine.

The service began like this:

Dear Friends, It has pleased God our heavenly Father to answer the earnest prayers of Cynde and Allen, members of this Christian family, for the gift of a child. I bid you join with them and with Phoebe, who now has a new sister, in the responsibility which is theirs by the coming of Josephine Jiayin to be a member of their family.

Of course, only those reading along at the service knew that's what Father D was saying, because J was NOT happy about being held by him. She only had eyes for mama. Luckily, only moments later Fr. D handed her over, and she was instantly quiet.

Later, there was this prayer:

O God, you have taught us through your blessed Son that whoever receives a little child in the name of Christ receives Christ himself. We give you thanks for the blessing you have bestowed upon this family in giving them a child. Confirm their joy by a lively sense of your presence with them, and give them calm strength and patient wisdom as they seek to bring this child to love all that is true and noble, just and pure, lovable and gracious, excellent and admirable, following the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen

Let me say, during this prayer several things occurred. That first sentence, well it just hit me over the head. The part about a "lively sense of your presence" made me smile. The part about "calm strength and patient wisdom" actually made me laugh out loud. I should probably apologize to Fr. D for that. Then the list at the end of all that we should "seek to bring this child to love" just kinda seemed daunting, to say the least. I'm glad we did this service. I went into it grateful, as I said, that our church family could participate with us. I came out truly thankful and feeling charged with a huge task.

After the service, my friend Amy, J's Godmother-to-be, gave Josie a little gifty. It is framed text by Jane E Dasher, modified to fit us. It added to my sense of thanks and monumental responsibility. Here it is (thanks A - it made me tear up):

For This Child I Prayed

Hearts cried out in the darkness for you.
They have asked you of the Lord.
The voiceless prayer offered from Hannah's moving lips has again been remembered by the Lord.

"For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to the Lord."
You are a daughter to a mother, daughter to a father, sister to a sister.
Just as Jesus said from the cross,
"Woman, here is your child. Child, here is your mother."
You are adopted by those who did not bear you.
And from that hour they were in the same home. And so are you.

"For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to the Lord."
You are more than a child adopted into one family.
You are a sister to those who have no sister, those who have sisters.
You are a child to those who have no children, those who have children.
You are loved by those that you may only know as memories from someone's lips.
You are loved by those you have not yet met.

But a greater gift than all human love is yours.
You are a child of God.
We shout from voiceless moving lips, "See what God has given us,
that we should be called children of God; and so we are."
And so you are, Josephine Jiayin Lineberry
And so you are a child of God.
For this child we prayed.
For this, Child, we prayed.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


OK, STILL not of Allen driving a race car, BUT it's been a while since I've posted pics of the girls - aside from the hard to see pictures of P in the race car

Mama's girls


J had to get her foot in the shot.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Future Racer

OK, so I still haven't posted pics of Allen for everyone to behold and it's been 24 hours. I promise I will.

In the mean time, these will just have to do:

Allen took these pictures, but if I had to guess, I'd say she chose the red car because it looks like Michael Schumacher's car.

I think she's ready, what do you think?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Allen's 40th Birthday Present

For Allen's 40th birthday 2 weeks ago, I gave him 6 laps driving an Indy car around the Texas Motor Speedway. We just got home. It was great. I will post more details, pictures and possibly even video later, but if you'd like to see some pics now, you can go here.

Thanks Doug, for bringing out the big guns.

Monday, July 09, 2007

July Referrals Have Arrived

I'm a little late with this. Referrals arrived on Friday and included people logged in through November 14, 2005. Enjoy!

Meimei Maia
Getting our Girls
The Quest for Cadence
Sara Eaker baby’s name = Sara Eaker password = ladybug
Waiting for Kailee
Baby Girl Olivia
Molly’s Homecoming
Welcome home, little one
Baby Krupek
Eleanor Keener baby’s name = Eleanor Keener
The Three Whos
Waiting for you
Our Journey to Mei Mei
Gracie Sweet Name: Gracie Sweet
Our Journey to Aubrey
Journey to Eliana Grace

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

How Things Are Going

Since somehow a week has passed since I've posted, I thought I'd post a few updates.

Josie is still working on that fourth tooth. Any day now. Yeah, any day now.

Sweet potatoes are SO last week. Well, she does still love them, but she's started eating squash, a squash and corn combo, and "mixed vegetables" which, according to the label are peas, carrots and potatoes. Yesterday I mashed up an actual banana and she seemed to like it ok, but I guess it wasn't quite as smooth as the baby food ones.

Josie is now, for the most part, crawling on her hands and knees instead of her tummy. Every now and then, she goes back to her tummy, but she is on her hands and knees more and more.

Phoebe has now joined the world of Webkinz pet owners. Apparently, actually selecting an animal and, a week later, selecting a name for that animal was quite traumatic.

I think P is still recovering from us leaving her for 2 weeks. I know she had fun with her grandparents, but it's been a pretty interesting time here for the last month. I know part of it is having a new sibling, and part of it is being 6 as well. Up until the last 2 nights, P has been coming into our room every night or calling from hers saying that she's having bad dreams. I think this is because she knows I have a soft spot for having bad dreams. Two nights ago, I told P that I was really sorry we'd had to leave her for 2 weeks to get her sister. The last 2 nights when I've put her to bed, I've told her that she doesn't have to worry about us leaving her that long again. I've also told her that she doesn't have to come check on us every night to make sure we're here...we are here and we're not going anywhere. I've also told her that if she does come to our room, there's a comfy blanket and pillow on the floor for her to sleep on. Magically, she hasn't come in.

The days? Well, those are completely different. Baby steps. One thing at a time.

Last but not least in the update department, my friend S had her baby yesterday. I'm sure pictures and a name will be posted soon. She looks a lot like her big sister did when she was born.