• Posted by Meghan on 03 Oct 2012

Grace is 8 months old and she is becoming such a little person! She is very active, crawling everywhere and pulling up on things. She has crawled up to the second step and climbed onto the kitchen stool. She chases Eden and Andy all around the house and has started pulling up by the backdoor to peek outside. Grace can flip herself from a crawling position to a sitting up position without a wobble although she still can’t crawl very far on her hands and knees and resorts to an army crawl after a few minutes.

Grace got her first tooth this past month. It poked through on the 16th and her second tooth came through the next day. She chews on everything and really prefers eating yogurt bites to baby food.

Poor Grace has had nonstop colds since the beginning of September and while she has been pretty pleasant, she hasn’t been sleeping or eating well. Grace and I get a lot of time together from 3-6am because her cough keeps her up, but she takes a great morning nap!

  • Posted by Meghan on 18 Sep 2012

Whew! We’re behind, but tonight is the first night that we’ve had internet at the new house, so I’m playing catch-up.

Andy is now 2 1/2! He’s as busy as ever but is much more articulate and opinionated! It’s been so fun to listen to Andy’s speech develop over the last several months. He loves to talk and is quite good at expressing himself now. He is still plays pretty rough, even when he’s trying to be gentle and he’s always on the move. He could spend hours driving his cars, trucks and trains around and is very happy with his new rug that has streets and buildings on it in the basement. He recently decided he likes to read books as well and is constantly pulling books off of the shelf to read.

The hardest part of Andy’s life is that Eden is going to school and he isn’t. Every day that we drop Eden off is a struggle. He throws himself on the floor of the church and cries when we’re trying to leave because he wants to stay. I look like superwoman dragging Andy out under one arm and Grace in her car seat on the other.

Grace is getting more and more mobile. She army crawls everywhere and is fast! She is getting better at crawling on her hands and knees, but her arms can’t support her for very long. She started chatting a few weeks ago, although the most common sound from her is screaming. That’s pretty much the only way she can be heard above her siblings.

Last week, Eden and I were sitting on her bed talking and Grace was sitting on the floor. Suddenly, Grace’s cute little face popped up over the edge of the bed! She had crawled over to the bed and pulled herself into a standing position.

The kids are keeping us busy but it’s fun (most of the time!).

  • Posted by Meghan on 28 Jul 2012

You may have noticed the new ‘auction’ tab on our blog. This morning, we opened an auction to help raise money for Eden’s adoption. If you’re interested, we would love for you to participate! You can click here to register. After you register with your email address and create a password, you are then able to bid on items. The auction will end on August 3 at 8pm. The highest bidder for each item is the winner!

We will have a reception on August 25 where you will be able to pick up your items. Otherwise we will be happy to make arrangements to ship it to you for $5.

The items in the auction are all from Kenya and were purchased in Eldoret, where we first met Eden. If you have any questions, please leave a comment on this post and we will be happy to help!

  • Posted by Meghan on 26 Jul 2012

Today Grace is 6 months old! I can’t believe how much she has changed in just the last couple of weeks. We have to keep everything out of her reach because she is grabbing and swatting everything! She can roll from back to tummy and tummy to back and travels great distances in this way. I’m constantly reminding Eden and Andy not to leave anything small on the floor because it’s no longer out of Gracie’s reach. Sitting is old hat now, and the new challenge is pulling her knees up under her. Fortunately, she still doesn’t have the arm strength to support herself in a crawling position, but I know it won’t be long.

At her check up yesterday, Grace weighed 14 lbs, 4 oz and was 26 1/4 inches long. She dropped off her curve a little bit on weight, but she grew 2 1/4 inches in the past two months. She loves eating baby food and eats rice cereal for breakfast and baby food for lunch and dinner every day, on top of nursing. We’re using up the last of our 1st foods and are anxious for her to try the food blends in 2nd foods.

Grace goes to bed at 8pm, wakes up around 5:45 to eat and then goes back to sleep until around 7:30. Occasionally, she wakes up during the night for her paci. Normally she’s laying on top of it and just can’t find it herself. During the day she sleeps from 9-11, 1-3 and 5-6:30. We do our best to keep her on a schedule because it makes her much more pleasant!

Today, we went to the park and Gracie sat in a swing by herself for the first time. She’s still way to small to swing, but it gave me a chance to push Eden and Andy and she seemed quite happy to be doing what the big kids were doing. She spent most of her time watching them and laughing.

  • Posted by Meghan on 26 Jul 2012

We’ve had a fun and busy summer so far! Eden has been taking ballet and gymnastics classes and Andy has been taking a gymnastics class. There have been a lot of trips to the park, time spent in the sprinkler and visits to the zoo. We’ve loved time with the Keipers, Carey and many others!

Our first adventure of the summer was to go ride on Thomas the train. Andy LOVES all vehicles and is particularly fond of Thomas and Friends. Thomas came to Connersville, IN, so we went there, too! It was a very hot day, but the kids liked all of the activities that were available before the train ride and they had a great time on the train. They still announce loudly and proudly that they RODE on Thomas, anytime someone mentions that useful engine!

We had a very fun weekend visiting the Cooks in Evansville several weeks ago. It seems like not long ago that it was just the four of us but this trip we totaled six kids ages 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and 5 months! The kids had a lot of fun together and we loved watching them play and entertain each other. We went swimming, visited, saw Madagascar 3 and laughed a lot. It was a wonderful time with wonderful friends and the suburban was a very sad place on the drive home.

Heidi has been home this summer, which has been really fun, and she got to experience a wild road trip with us when we all went to Cleveland to visit Uncle Colin. We went to the beach, to the market, to the swimming pool, to church, and ruined the quiet atmosphere at a lovely Indian restaurant. We definitely wore Colin out! It was great to have Heidi in the car with us (although she might disagree… :-)) and Ben and I decided we never want to travel without her again!

Most recently we went to a fabulous state park outside of Columbus, OH for a Smiley reunion. It was great to see everyone and the kids loved having so many playmates! Ben and I were really on vacation! There was always someone else eager to do a potty run or change a diaper (go figure!) and the “lodge” where we stayed was really nice. We got to go on a boat ride and grilled out near a playground, as well as spent a lot of time at the pool.

And to top off our summer, we bought a house! We’re looking forward to moving to the Brownsburg area at the beginning of September. Ben is anxious to cut his commute in half and we will all be glad for a shorter trip to church. But, we’re very sad to leave Deda and Papa, and it’s going to be quite an adjustment to handle the three kids on our own! We’ve been spoiled by having all of their help and have loved being with them. We’re so thankful that they’ve let us invade their home for the last nine months.

With lots of traveling and time with family and friends, we are enjoying our summer and hope that you are as well!

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