Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year and Aidan's first taste of rice cereal

Happy New Year to everyone. Clinton and I decided to have a quiet New Years at home. Since Aidan is 5 months old now I decided to give him a taste of Rice Cereal for the first time. The results are in the video below. I don't know if he actually swallowed any of it because he would spit it out as soon as I put it in his mouth. Too funny.

Christmas in Tennessee

Well we finally arrived home from Tennessee. Due to weather in the north we got delayed in Atlanta for 24 hours with no luggage. Thankfully my Aunt Becky and Uncle Frank saved the day. They picked us up from the airport, ran out and got diapers and formula, and even tracked down a car seat for Aidan. I don't know what we would have done without them! Delta flew us home first class which was sweet! It was nice having the extra room for Aidan and Annabelle. They both were real troopers throughout the whole ordeal. Aidan stayed smiling and Annabelle never complained once.

On the way to Tennessee we were 10 minutes from landing in Knoxville when the Captain had to turn the plane around due to a maintenance light. We had to fly back to Atlanta where they found us another plane. We finally arrived in Knoxville at 2 A.M. Thankfully, I had made rental car reservations and they were still there waiting for us! I am going to write a letter thanking Avis! Again, I don't know what we would have done without a car and car seat. I felt like God was watching over us during our trip.

With all of the travel drama put aside, we had a wonderful Christmas. It was nice having the chance to spend Christmas with so many family members. This is a rare occasion since moving to California. We rented a 7 bedroom 7 bathroom "cabin" outside of Gatlinburg that was complete with a hot tub and a game room with a pool table and Ms. Pacman. It was not a white Christmas like I hoped, but there were mountains all around and it was beautiful. It felt like we were in the middle of nowhere, yet just 5 minutes from the closest shopping mall and Walmart.

Aidan's first Christmas was very special. It was so fun watching him. My mom babysat him a lot and Clinton and I got a chance to go to the movies with the rest of our family. We also got the chance just to "hang out" with family, spend a little time in the hot tub, and play Trivial Pursuit.

At the Orange County airport. Packed up and ready to go!

Because there were 12 of us there were sooo many packages! The presents spilled out a good 10 feet from the tree.

Mr. A.K. in his Christmas pajamas.

"What? You mean Santa is really coming tonight!"

"Put me down Nana, I have to go to bed so Santa can come"

Aidans first stocking. My Aunt Sue makes beautiful needlepoint stockings for everyone in the family. Aidan doesn't have one yet, so it just says "Baby's first Christmas 2007 " with a picture of Pooh and Piglet. I wanted to get a picture of all of the stockings hanging from the mantel, but several people forgot to bring theirs along. Aidan's was the only one hanging from the mantel and the rest were sitting on the edge of the fireplace.

Aidan was a very good boy, so Santa came to see him.

Christmas morning. Aidan is "talking" on his new cell phone.

Nana watching everyone open up gifts. In the corner you can see some of the stockings.

My cousin Sabrina and her daughter Cassie and her husband Colin opening up gifts.

Not only did we have 12 family members there but 4 dogs and a bird. This is Echo my Cousin David's African Grey. He is still a baby. David says it is a race to see who talks first, Echo or Aidan.

My Aunt Becky and Uncle Frank ( who saved us in Atlanta) with their newly adopted dog Chico. My mom calls him "Dingo Dog". She said that he was going to carry off her baby Aidan. He didn't have the best personality at first. I think he has a "small dog complex" because he even tried pushing around the next dog.......

Heidi my cousin Joey's dog. It took Chico a couple of days to settle in and then he became much sweeter.

This is Annabelle's sister Zoey. She went to live with my Aunt Becky and Uncle Frank when Clinton and I moved to California 6 years ago. Actually, Chico is Zoey's dog. They got Chico for Zoey after their dog Oreo passed away.

and finally Princess Annabelle sporting her new pink leopard print harness from Santa. Annabelle had a hard time relating to the other "commoners" there and ignored them the entire time. She just couldn't understand why they were acting like such "dogs".

a back view of Annabelles harness. It is complete with Swarovski crystals in the 4 corners.

Clinton and I got to hang out in Gatlinburg with Annabelle and Aidan our last day there. Everyone else had already gone home. We drove to my moms house that night and to the airport the next day. We had a great time having Christmas in Tennessee!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday

I love this photo of Aidan and and Annabelle. She seems to be saying - "I love you baby brother". Annabelle is so good with Aidan. He pulled her ear for the first time the other day and she just yelped until I pried his hands loose. She has to be one of the easiest going dogs I have ever met. Whenever I am sitting in the rocking chair with Aidan she insists on sitting with us. She is a mamas girl.
Tomorrow we leave for Tennesee. Everyone have a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Aidan Bear

I forgot that I bought this outfit for Aidan. I found it in the closet. I must have bought it for him when he was around 1 month old. I decided to put it on him when we walked Annabelle yesterday morning to keep him toasty warm. It should really come in handy when we go to Tennessee for Christmas.

Hi Nana, your Aidan Bear is coming to see you soon!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Guatemalan Adoption in the news

I just found this on MSN. It has adoptive parents talking about what is happening with adoptions from Guatemala. There is a piece called "When adoptions go wrong" , but there is a video on the side - Bring Them Home. Check it out. Here is the link

Annabelle Leigh the Diva Dog!

Here are a few photos that Lori the Pet Photographer took. There are several other really cute ones but I am saving them as a surprise for Clinton. If you look closely in the first one Annabelle is actually flying! Her feet are not touching the ground.

Annabelle is such a funny dog! While I was visiting my mom I got not 1 but 2 phone calls that Annabelle had been "found". When Clinton has an event he always takes Annabelle with him. He has some of the staff look after her since he can't because he is presenting. There is one particular game played on Saturday night that is very loud. Annabelle has very sensitive hearing ( a trait of Lhasa Apso's) so I told Clinton just to have someone put her in his car with the windows cracked. Well obviously they put the windows down a little to far and Annabelle escaped. She decided that she would attend a wedding! ( at least she has good taste). She then went back to the training room without anyone noticing. They just thought she came straight from the car to the training room and did not realize that she took a detour via a wedding! I am just thankful that she did not actually attend the wedding , but the reception . I have visions of her walking down the aisle while the bride and groom are taking their vowels! I got a message the next morning from someone at the wedding ( I was asleep due to a 3 hour time difference). When I called Clinton about it he has very confused. We then pieced together what happened. Oh the antics of Annabelle!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

correction from last post

Aidans c.d. can be found at

Bedtime struggles

About 3 weeks ago I decided that Aidan needed a nighttime routine. I have seen so many kids that have issues at bedtime and I don't want Aidan to be one of them. This is where all my problems began. His routine is as follows...

Between 8:30 and 9:30 I put on his pajamas. I then read him Goodnight Moon and I rock him while we listen to his personalized Aidan Lullaby C.D. ( this is the coolest thing -to listen to it go to click on listen to music, click on angel c.d., type in Aidans name or your own childs name and click on listen) I then put him in his bed during the 3rd song. He is always drowsy not fully asleep at this point. I then walk out of the room.

This seems to work great, however about 20 to 30 minutes after I put him down he begins to cry. I always go in and reassure him, put his passie back in his mouth, etc... He keeps fussing and I go in every 5 minutes until I get tired of walking up the 2 or 3 flights of stairs. I then usually end up just laying down in our bed ( his crib is still in our room and will be until we move). Sometimes this is enough to reassure him and he will fall asleep , but there are other times like last night when he will continue to cry. So last night when he continued to cry I put him in the bed with me. He immediately flipped over to his belly ( a skill he just learned) and went to sleep. The doctor said that once he learned to roll over that he could become a belly sleeper if he wanted. The thought of him sleeping on his stomach just makes me uncomfortable but it seemed to work last night. I picked him up and put him in his crib on his stomach and he stayed asleep. I kept checking on him every couple of minutes just to make sure he was o.k. and not suffocating ( again the thought of him on his stomach gives me the willies). He stayed asleep until he was ready to eat at 2am.

We never had any problems until I decided to implement a routine. In the past he would just lay on a blanket and play until he began doing his "mom I am ready to go to sleep please rock me" fuss. He would fall asleep within minutes and I would put him in his crib and he stayed asleep. I remember one of my child psychology professors telling us one time that you could actually train a newborn from the first night they were at home from the hospital to sleep through the night. I remember thinking at the time that this was ridiculous and my professor admitted that he did not do this with his kids but it was possible. Sure enough research has been done and this is possible but it teaches babies that they can not rely on you and needless to say can make for some screwed up kids.

I am just wondering if he is still to little for a night time routine or if he is just getting a little spoiled. My head is telling me that he is just becoming a little spoiled and to stick with the routine. He will always fall asleep if I put him in the bed with me.

I would appreciate any comments from moms out there about what works with their kids at bedtime. Do you have a bedtime routine and if so at what age did you begin to implement it? Hopefully I can nip this in the bud and not end up with a toddler or preschooler that takes hours to go to sleep.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Aidan rolls over!

Aidan surprised me last night by rolling over for the first time while I was working on the computer. We have been practicing for awhile now. Here he is in action. I know it is dark because mama needs some more practice with the camera.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday

This is the picture that we put on our Christmas cards this year. Aidan could not have been a better sport with the snowman outfit on! I hope everyone's Christmas and New Years is full of JOY!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

All I want for Christmas

All I want for Christmas is a wet slobbery kiss from this super sweet baby! I feel so happy and content this Christmas season to have this precious miracle in our lives. This time last year we were praying that we would have a baby girl home from Guatemala by this Holiday Season. God had his own plan and led us to Aidan Kai instead. What a blessing he is! While going through the journey of adoption I felt like it was taking forever and some days would wonder if we would end up with a child at all. Looking back now it actually happened so fast! When we finally made the heart wrenching decision to change our plans and postpone our adoption from Guatemala and adopt domestically, Aidan came into our lives within 4 months! I still feel in my heart that Ella Rose is somewhere out there in the universe and we will meet her when the time is right. To all those parents out there who are in process and are waiting to bring home their little ones, have faith because it will happen before you know it. Look closely and you can see the drool coming from his mouth to the blanket!

I think my feet are the coolest things I have met since I met my hands!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pics with Santa

Last night I took Aidan to get his picture taken with Santa Claus. He told Santa what a good boy he has been this year - well at least for the four months he has been alive - tee hee. Aidan has gotten a lot more vocal in the past couple of days. I don't hear the soft cooing sounds he used to make so much anymore, but more like a screeching yell. I think he has discovered his voice and wants everyone to know it! He has also discovered his feet and other body parts that are only exposed during bath time and diaper changes - just like a boy! If he is on his back and is awake , 9 times out of 10 he will be lying there with his feet in the air looking at them. So cute.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Little Elf and Santas Helper

Since Thursday we have been going through the process of putting up our Christmas Tree. We bought the tree on Thursday but I just got around to decorating it last night. I didn't want to get a very big tree this year becuase our place is a little bit more crowded than in the past ( baby paraphenalia will definitely fill up a room fast!). Also, we are going away for Christmas this year so we will only get to enjoy it for a couple of weeks. However, I wanted to make sure Aidan had a tree for his first Christmas. So here is the process in pictures... Getting ready to go. I swear I only turned my head for a millisecond and this hat grew!

Santa's Helper went with us to pick out the tree

At the Christmas tree lot. We picked out a 6 foot tree. It was not until I got it home I discovered that it was really a Charlie Brownish Christmas Tree. There were holes everywhere in that tree.

Loading up the tree

I am usually a red bow, raffia, apple decorations, clear lights ,country type of tree girl. I have been decorating like this for years now. This year I decided that we needed a change. I went out and bought all color lights and lots of colorful balls and decorations. I collect a new keepsake ornament every year. This year we have 3 "babies first Christmas" ornaments. Helen bought one at Disney, my mom bought one, and then I bought one that I couldn't resist in Gatlinburg. I also buy a christmas ornament everywhere we travel. These were added to the tree.

Ta Da!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Dinner with the Tracy's

Yesterday Clinton, Aidan, and I went to San Diego to look at houses. We found a couple of possibilities but will probably continue to look. We ended the night with having dinner at Clinton's mentors house Brian Tracy. He fixed his world famous Cesar salad ( the recipe is on his website at .) and cedar smoked salmon. I can honestly say it was the best Cesar Salad that I have ever eaten! It was such an honor to have dinner with Brian and his wife, they are just truly gracious people. Brian has written close to 50 books on business and they have been translated into 36 languages. He has been in the seminar business for 25 years. Clinton has been studying his work for many years now and swears by his books. It is fascinating just listening to the two of them talking about everything from history , to politics, to business. I honestly think Clinton has the mind of a genius when it comes to those areas.

Brian always gives Clinton the best coaching. Part of the coaching that he gave him last night was that he needed to write his own book ( something I have been urging him to do now for years - he has been working with a ghost writer but it just hasn't gotten anywhere). To our surprise Brian offered to co write a book with him. Clinton was over the moon! How exciting to have my husband actually be a published author - co authored with Brian Tracy of all people!

I also talked with Brian's wife about how she dealt with Brian being away so often when her 4 kids were little. She said she traveled a lot with him and then when the kids hit school age she was so busy that it just all worked out. I guess Clinton and I just need to adopt 3 more kids and we will be all set! In front of the Tracy's Christmas Tree. The tree was absolutely beautiful and had to be at least 12 feet tall!
What's that Mr. Tracy? What did you say about the Law of Complexity?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday - for my dad

This weeks favorite photo(s) Friday is dedicated to my dad. He used to wear hats just like the one Aidan is wearing. I saw it in the store and could not resist. My dad passed away in 1996 at the age of 52. I always think about him, especially around this time of year.

My dad is my hero. He was not only the leader of our family but a leader in the community. He made a difference for so many people and so many people looked up to him. He was intelligent, kind, gentle, loving , compassionate and had such a great sense of humor. His strong work ethic taught me to work hard. He was such a kid at heart and had a great sense of adventure. He was never afraid to do new things. He loved fast cars , playing poker, amusement parks and being on the lake in his boat.

From my dad I have learned to live life fully and to take risks. He taught me that I could do anything or be anything that I wanted to in my life and to be independent. I don't know that I would have had the heart to go through the process of adoption without the lessons he taught me.

I know that my dad would have LOVED Aidan. He would have taught him many things including how to ride a bike, drive a car, and drive a boat. I know in my heart that dad met Aidan long before we met him. Thanks dad for continuing to teach me lessons and for being my guardian angel! I love you!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I hope you made it!

I just created this new blog and had it Stylized by Nikki for only $20.00! She is a university student and is raising money for a humanitarian trip she is taking this summer to the Dominican Republic. Pretty cool Huh! She was fast and efficient!

I hope everyone made it to this site. I know that not many people post comments, but I would love to know who is looking at this site and that you made it.