Tonight, while we sleep here in America, a family will be born in Ethiopia. My brother and sister-in-law, Matt and Nikki, will meet their son for the first time. They have named him Kai, and he is about 9 and a half months old. I can't show his picture here quite yet, but he is just about the cutest little thing you've ever seen. I love my first nephew so much already.
Kai had a rough beginning. He was found by a policeman in his little village when he was about 2 weeks old. He had been abandoned. Many would think this a heartless thing for a mother or father to do, but I choose to think it a brave thing. Maybe they knew it was necessary and were given hope that their sweet boy would find a better life. And indeed he has. In a few short hours, the prayers of so many - possibly even Kai's birth parents - will be answered as Matt and Nikki hold their baby for the first time. I can't imagine what that will be like for Matt and Nikki. And for Kai - to finally lay eyes on his parents who have loved him before he was even born.
Your prayers are welcome, too, as their journey to bring Kai home continues. Because of the laws in Ethiopia and the timing of court dates and such, it will most likely be mid-January when they are finally able to bring Kai back to America.
I love you so much, KaiKai. I'm not sure when I'll get to meet you, but I am more than ready! You are so very loved.
Boys inherently know how to play with cars, and I guess it's the same with girls and Barbies. And this was after she told me that Barbie was "going to the mall with her friends". Guess she needed to tell Ken bye before she left for the mall!
Merit Fey is growing up. I remember the baby girl in the first picture and video, but it takes looking at pictures and watching sweet videos to remember her well. These days she is "reading" and telling stories, remembering things that happened months ago, and pretending to be someone else most of the time.
So that I can remember 2.5-year-old Merit well, here are some of my favorite Merit conversations and moments from the past few weeks:
Standing in line at Subway, she saw an orange Fanta drink in the cooler. Merit: Mama, you had that in the hospital! Me: Had what? Merit: That orange drink. Daddy and PaPa gave it to you!
I never drink orange Fanta, but the afternoon of August's birth I was dying of thirst, so Kevan and my dad went and got me a drink and that is what they brought back. On that day 3 months ago is the only time Merit has ever seen me with a Fanta, and I had totally forgotten about it until she reminded me.
One day last week she found a Nickel Creek song on my phone and was listening to it. (She knows how to do just about anything on our phones!) She remembered that we had listened to that song in the car in April on our camping trip. Merit: We listen that song and I play the cup guitar! And we slept in the tent. And we saw deer!
True on all accounts! And it all happened over 6 months ago.
Merit is very much like me in that she likes to go - she doesn't want to stay home too much. As I've been adjusting to having two kids, we have stayed home more than she is used to, and I also don't get all the way "ready" most days. One day I had decided to actually put real clothes on and do my hair. She came into the bathroom and saw what I was doing. Merit, excitedly: Mama, where we goin'? Me: Oh, nowhere. Merit, disappointed: No, I wanna go YES where!
Not only do I not get ready most days, but I haven't cleaned a ton either. Two kids - it's an adjustment, k? So, the other day Kevan and I were determined to get the house clean and organize some things. Merit came into the kitchen to see that I was sweeping. Merit: Mama, who's comin' over?
Ha! She thinks cleaning the house = company. Sadly, most of the time she would be right!
She is really into naming her toys lately. Anytime you ask her what she has named something, she quickly thinks of a random word to use as a name. The name rarely sticks because she has a hard time remembering the word she used first. For example, she has a plastic dinosaur that has had several names since she got her (she told me the dinosaur was a girl) :) including, but not limited to: Nole, Lum, Bump, and Chelly.
She also pretends a lot that she and anyone else who may be around are other people/characters. For example, if she is Ariel, then I am Flounder. If she is a kitty cat, then I am a mama kitty cat. Yesterday she wasn't a character, but just had a new name: Buncha. Which meant that I was Mama Buncha, Kevan was Daddy Buncha, and August was Baby Buncha. When she is pretending like this, she will say your name at the beginning and the end of what she has to say. "Hi, Flounder, what you doin', Flounder?" If you respond without saying her pretend name, she wants you to repeat it again, beginning with her pretend name. And she always lets us know when she is Merit again.
I will most likely come back here and add more as I remember them. Kevan and I are amazed daily at the things she says and does. It's a very surreal experience to witness someone grow up from day one. I am so very thankful for Merit Fey!
You are three months old! I dropped the ball last month and neglected to get your 2 month letter written. We did, however, take pictures...
As I remember, your second month was full of good times. You made your Texas debut, which included me leaving you for the first time to go to my high school reunion, meeting lots of family, your first trip to the farm, and the Texas State Fair. You handled the 15 hour car trip like a champ, which is a good thing, because it's a trip we take often. I'm pretty sure you loved Texas, which came as no surprise to me.
in Nina and PaPa's backyard, wearing my baby dress
Your two month doctor appointment brought more praise from Dr. Davis, but it also brought your first shots. Your daddy and I just knew that you wouldn't handle them well (you're a little more sensitive than your big sister), but you only cried for a second or two - until you heard your Daddy's voice - and then you were fine. At this appointment you weighed 12 pounds, 3 ounces (81%) and were 23.5 inches long (85%).
Your third month has been just as exciting.
You are changing daily and newborn days are no more. Two or three weeks ago, you finally started sleeping "through the night", only to start waking up again around 3 or 4am this past week. Last night you slept until 6:15am, so hopefully you are on your way back to sleeping until 7 like before. You always quickly go back to sleep after that feeding, and sometimes I wonder if I have a three-month-old or a fifteen-year-old, because you do sleep until 10am most days, some days until almost 11. Keep that up, baby girl.
You have discovered your hands and feet. You work so hard to get your fists in your mouth, and whatever might be covering your feet fascinates you. We have started putting you in your bumbo seat, and you love to stare at your feet.
ooohhh look at Merit back there. She loves to be wherever you are.
You are trying your hardest to roll over. I took this picture with my phone one day when we were playing on my bed. You rolled from your back to your tummy, but you can only get over on your side when you're on a harder surface. I was proud of you nonetheless!
One of your new favorite things to do is sit in your bouncer and wave and kick like a crazy baby. It's hard to get a non-blurry pic of that action. You will smile at the little blue owl - one of your first toys to really "interact" with.
This past month brought your first Halloween and all the fun that goes with it. (Don't worry, you'll get it someday.)
I was a mouse for my first Halloween, as was Merit (this was the costume I made for her), so I figured I would make it an Albright baby girl tradition and let you be a mouse, too. You and Merit are tied for the cutest baby mouse I've ever seen. :)
I know that this can be said of all babies, but August, you are so sweet.
And I know I think this because you are mine, but there is just something about you that's different than most babies I've known. You seem to have a noticeably sweet and calm spirit. It brings tears to my eyes to think of it.
You already have some really great friends who are also very, very sweet. I can't wait to see you play with these girls someday.
Claire, August, and Bennet October 2010
You have had a lot of fun this past month "playing" with Merit.
We all love you so much, August Rose. Every little thing about you. The way you "talk" back to us. The way you laugh by smiling and saying "Heeeehhh. Heeehhhh." The way you stare at us - up close or from across the room. (Sometimes I'll put you in the swing in the kitchen while I cook or do dishes, and one day while washing dishes, I turned around to find you straining your neck to watch me. Melt my heart, baby girl.)
I love your chunky little thighs...
and long fingers...
...and even your balding head.
This next month will bring your first Thanksgiving, two trips to Texas - one of which will include your first flight, and the beginning of my favorite time of the year. Can't wait. You are a true joy, my little Auggie Ro Ro. Happy 3 months!
Christmas card season is in full swing over at Redbud. Be sure to check out the info on custom designs, as well as my new shop, full of premade Christmas card designs. I'm hosting a giveaway through Sunday for a premade Christmas card design. You should totally go enter. :) Thank you for all of your support of my little business!
Trick-or-treating this year was unlike anything I have ever experienced. It was so fun for so many reasons.
First and foremost, we went with the Harrisons again. This was our 3rd year in a row to go with them. Love this tradition.
2008 (aw, there's Merit the mouse!)
2010 (ohhh, August the mouse!)
Audrey and Merit stopped and stared at each other like this 2 or 3 times - so funny.
We weren't completely sure what it would be like this year. This was our first time to trick-or-treat in our neighborhood. The street we live off of has a strip of big, beautiful, and historic (aka expensive) homes. I remember asking Kev a few weeks before Halloween if he thought anyone trick-or-treated at these houses. We found out on Halloween that 1000's of people do - and it is a huge deal! All of the home owners go all out, and the sidewalks are packed with people. It was like you see in the movies. :)
The first house we went to is actually Ben Folds' house. He was sitting on the front porch with a mask on. You didn't fool us, Ben! Here is one of his daughters handing out candy.
Merit got a lot of attention as the cutest cat there ever was. One of the ladies at this house asked Kev to take her picture with Merit and asked us if it was ok if she posted it on facebook. Ha.
The houses were all decorated and everyone was dressed up. Some of them were a little too scary for our bunch, but they were amazing nonetheless. It was harder to get pics as it got dark, so I don't have a ton of great ones, but there were people making shadows in windows, jumping out of bushes, a headless horseman, and a werewolf hiding in the bushes...all in good fun.
One house chose an MTV/80's theme. We had noticed them setting this up weeks before Halloween, but didn't know that it was all for Halloween night.
The lady who lives here decorates her house for everything, so it was no surprise that her porch was amazing. You walked through the pumpkin's mouth in the background into a little haunted house and then she gave away light-up necklaces to every kid. So fun, and so generous of her.
Merit was mesmerized
Proof that not only do I exist, but I went, too. We are falling over in this pic, and my eyes are huge from the flash, but I'll take it!
Penny and I with our girls!
What a fun Halloween we had. I can't wait to do it all again next year!