Giving Thanks

12/10/2014

I’m playing a little blog catch up. I meant to share this photo on Thanksgiving. Every day in November leading up to the holiday we would think of something we were thankful for and write it on the chalkboard wall. It was fun to hear what Ali would come up with. She answered “trees and leaves” or “leaves” at least three times. I think it’s safe to say she had fun playing in crunchy, colorful leaves this fall. My favorite, though, was when she’d say “Mommy-Daddy-Ali love” or “Mommy-Daddy love” or any combination of our names. I’m not really sure if it’s our love for her that she was thinking of, or if it was each unique relationship dynamic. Either way, it melted my heart. She also listed “baby brother or sister” and “messy [fried] eggs.”

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Here’s my little heart melter on Thanksgiving. We hosted at our house but I failed to take any photos once the gathering began.

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I snapped this selfie (bumpie?) of my baby belly and a grapefruit because at 19-20 weeks, the baby was supposedly about this size. I thought that seemed crazy until I looked at the photo. OK, I guess a grapefruit would fit in there.

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Phone Photo Friday

12/05/2014

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20 Week Froggie Update

12/04/2014

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Twenty weeks. 4.5 months. Halfway to my due date. Baby’s kicks are harder and more obvious this week, which is nothing but amazing at this stage. I love the interaction. It was so fun seeing all that action on the big ultrasound screen Tuesday…rubbing an eye, touching toes to forehead, yawning, talking or chewing, kicking legs, wiggling fingers. Now I’m even more excited for the little one’s debut in April.

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Big sister is also quite excited. She likes to pretend there is a baby sister in her belly too. She thinks it’s a baby sister but is quick to add that we won’t find out until Christmas. We had the ultrasound technician write the gender and seal it in an envelope and we’re going to have a friend or two help us with the reveal on Christmas day. She also knows that the baby isn’t coming out until April, though I’m not sure she has much of a concept of what April means.

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Look at that cutie! In the one below, baby’s toes were all the way up by his or her forehead. I love that she captioned it “TOE HEAD.”

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I love baby feet! (The one on the right is one foot plus some umbilical cord.)

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Ali and Jason came with me to the big 20 week ultrasound, which was fun and sweet. I’ve been feeling lots of movement this week, hard enough now that Jason can finally feel it with his hands against my belly. The feedback is so neat – baby kicks, we push back, baby kicks, we push back, etc. It was really special to see all of the movement on the giant ultrasound screen because it gives me a visual for all the bumps and pops I’ve been feeling this week. I feel good in general but tired (which is why I’m so behind on blogging…and my to do list in general.)

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Phone Photo Friday

11/21/2014

I haven’t been able to get my act together to finish a post since Monday so I’m using Phone Photo Friday to share two Instagram posts from earlier this week from past of the #knittogetherbyadoption Photo-a-Day.

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#knittogetherbyadoption Day 16: Quote. I have a file with lots of favorite quotes and this one caught my eye today because we keep hearing so many ignorant comments now that we’re expecting “one of our own.” We’ve had the honor of being mom and dad to six children and each one has been loved as our own and as a full member of our family. When we adopted Alianna she forever and ever became ours, fully our daughter just as if I gave birth to her. I know people don’t mean to be offensive but they need to realize their choice of words disrespects our daughter and our family and diminishes her status as our daughter, our real daughter, our own daughter.

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#knittogetherbyadoption Day 17: If you really knew me… You would know that I would be just as excited about adopting again as I am about the baby in my belly. My excitement stems from the fact that we’re adding another permanent family member. And while I am enjoying my first pregnancy I also have a deep desire to adopt again. If you really knew me, you’d know that adoption wasn’t our back up plan. We chose to become foster parents as soon as God opened our eyes to the need and we made that our first path into parenthood. If you really knew me, you’d know that the temptation to step away from foster parenting is real. It would be easy to take a break, and we might. But the truth is, we don’t feel released yet. Just yesterday we heard of a child abuse incident that happened close to home and now I can’t fathom going off the call list. Until more people step up to take care of these kids in our community or until people stop hurting children, I just don’t know how I could walk away and still sleep at night.

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Brother-Sister-Friends Forever

11/17/2014

After living for three months as (foster) brother and sister in the summer of 2013, Termain and Alianna will always think of each other as brother-sister-friends it seems, and I hope it stays that way. (He was originally nicknamed Buzz Lightyear here.) I’m beyond grateful to his mom allowing us to stay a part of their lives as friends (that still feel a lot like family) over a year after they were officially reunified. A couple Saturdays ago we had the privilege of babysitting Termain for several hours. We get together every few months but this is the first time he was with us without his mom. We were all a little nervous about how he’d do, since being at our house stirs up a lot of traumatic memories from the time he was separated from his mom. Thankfully, he did great! He and Ali play so well together and their love for each other is obvious.

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I just realized I never shared the photos from our last visit with them at Baby Vegas (AKA Chuck E Cheese) for his 4th birthday back in September. They wanted to do every game together.

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Phone Photo Friday

11/14/2014

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God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

11/12/2014

Jason’s acoustic guitar album Christmas Classics has been on rotation in my iTunes for a couple weeks already. I haven’t decorated the house yet or taken a photo for our Christmas cards, but Christmas music? Yes. I started playing it in October. Jason’s album came out last October and this year he made a couple of videos to go along with it. Here’s the first one for the song “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

I love it so much! If you like it even just a little bit, we hope you’ll consider getting the whole album through JasonAhlbrandt.com or iTunes. And please share this video with everyone you know! ;)

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