Thursday, May 21, 2009

Where has the past month gone?

Where has the time gone?!?! I only have 2 months left at home before going back to work - will someone PLEASE slow up the clocks!! I can't believe we've been home for almost a month - craziness.

Things here are going GREAT!! We LOVE being parents and Jaxson, well he is perfect. I don't know how else to say it. Simply perfect. We're getting our routine down. He's sleeping & napping great now. He takes 2 naps a day and then sleeps about 11 1/2 hrs a night and only gets up once. Woot woot!! :)

I LOOOOOVE being home with Jaxson during the day, but we miss Tim and wish he was home with us. Jaxson said "dada" for the first time on Monday night and so Tim is in heaven because Jaxson says "dadadadadadadadadada" 24 hrs a day. It's fun.

Jaxson loves to be outside and going for walks. Now that the weather is finally getting nice, we are walking everyday. He likes to walk past the zoo and look at the giraffes. We also went to the park the other day and he LOVES the swings. He's changing so much already. He can lay on his stomach which he really couldn't do before and his leg muscles are getting so strong. I swear his hair grows every night while he's sleeping because there is more and more everyday. He LOVES to talk or should I say yell. He wants you to hear him and everyone surely does because he is not quiet. His smile is contagious and his laugh is sooo funny. When he gets belly laughing, you can't help but crack up. I wish you all could meet him because he is quite the character. We just can't get enough of him!

I haven't been getting much time on the computer, but I think it'll be better now that Jaxson has decided that naps aren't that bad. And it doesn't help that my laptop went kaput. I guess when your virus software expires you shouldn't keep hitting the "ignore" button. My computer now has 150 viruses on it - oops! So, it's off getting fixed for a couple of weeks. I have to steal Tim's work laptop to check my email at night. So, if you don't hear from me - that's why. Come on Geek Squad - hurry up and fix my computer!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

jaxson in his jammies

I love love love when Jaxson gets out of the bath at night and he's all clean and lotioned up and in his jammies. Oh... he is just the best. Seriously. I love him so stinkin much it's not even funny.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The BEST Mother's Day Gift

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Some firsts...

WARNING: some major cuteness in this post!! Don't say I didn't warn you!

Jaxson had cereal for the first time on Saturday night and he LOVED it!

We also went on our first walk in the stroller today. He was in heaven in the sun today. Poor guy misses the warm weather in Ethiopia. Welcome to Wisconsin Jaxson.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tips for Traveling Families

For all of you families out there that are going to be traveling soon – this post is for YOU. I’ve had several families asking me questions for their upcoming travels, so I thought it would probably be helpful to just post a bunch of tips. If you have any other questions though, please feel free to email me at Ok, lets get started…

~ We flew Emirates and LOVED it!! They treat you VERY well and we couldn’t have been happier. With Emirates you do have an overnight in Dubai, but we found that having the overnight there was really nice. When we arrived in Ethiopia we were refreshed and not exhausted like the other families. Trust me – you will not be disappointed. Jody will tell you the same I’m sure.

~ This tip is probably not going to be popular with AGCI, but I’m going to be honest. I would highly recommend going a day or two early. We arrived Saturday at 11:30am rather than Sunday night like AGCI recommends. We are SO happy that we did this. We spent that time walking around and seeing Ethiopia and experiencing the culture and interacting with the people. After Monday morning when you have your children – you can’t really go out much unless a parent stays back. There are some really neat things you can do and if you need suggestions – just email me.

~ We struggled with how much stuff to pack for Jaxson and this is what we did (with advice from Autumn)

- 40 diapers (this was more than enough)

- We brought 1 can of formula and it was NOT enough. And fyi – airports do NOT sell formula. Does not make sense, but they don’t. So, bring 2 cans of formula.

- All of the babies are on Avent bottles. We only brought 2 bottles. We brought a regular 9 oz bottle and then one of the Avent Tempo bottles. This is the bottle that you can use the disposable liners in. Those were so nice to use – so definitely get some of those. Bring several nipples though so that you don’t have to constantly wash those. We brought mostly size 3 nipples, but Jaxson was not used to a size 3 at all, so I would recommend bringing 2’s as well. We brought the Madela wipes to help clean them with.

- Blankets – we brought 5 with us. We didn’t need all of them though. 4 would probably be fine. Bring some thin ones and a couple thicker ones.

- I highly recommend bringing a pacifier. We were hoping it would help with Jaxson’s ears on the plane and it really did. We introduced it to Jaxson on Monday and he really loved it. It was comforting to him and seemed to help with take off and landing too.

- I often read to bring warm clothes because it gets cool there. That was not the case at ALL for us. It was HOT and I felt like Jaxson was constantly sweating in what he was in. Definitely bring short sleeves (its not inappropriate) and some lighter pants. It does get a little cool at night, but you are only out at night for the cultural dinner. We brought 8 outfits. 1 for each day and then 3 extra. Then like 8 pairs of pj’s. Bring plently of bibs. We had the Union wash some for us. Seems like a lot of the babies are at the teething stage so a lot of drooling going on.

- Pack lightly for yourselves. The Union can do laundry for you and you don’t need to waste the room in your luggage on that.

- When packing – use oversized duffle bags. We found that the average piece of luggage weighed about 15-20 lbs without anything even in it. The duffles worked great. Then when you come back you can fold up the bags and not check as many bags. We were able to bring lots more donations this way.

- Donations: I think their biggest need is diapers. Almaz told me that they have plenty of clothes, so I wouldn’t bring too many of those. There never seemed to be enough soccer balls. The kids were always running for them and fighting for them. We brought 2 balls and deflated them for packing purposes and then brought a pump & needles for them too. The boys LOVE LOVE LOVE spiderman. Anything spiderman you can bring – they will love. Tim bought spiderman masks in the party section at Walmart and the boys went crazy over them. Tisha gave us a Bumbo seat to bring and they really loved getting that. If you can squeeze a Bumbo seat – bring one. That means less babies laying in bouncy seats, which is always a good thing.

- Gifts: I know AGCI tells you that you can bring a gift for Danny & Johannes at HH, but we found that there are more than just those 2 guys there. There is a guy that sits at the gate and also plays with the children a lot. I wish we would have brought more than just 2 tshirts. I would recommend bringing 3 of whatever you bring. For the special mothers we brought each of them a small photo album filled with pictures of Jaxson. They LOVED it. They opened it and kissed each and every pictures. It brought tears to my eyes. I would definitely recommend doing this.

- There is a little boy named Danny that lives across the street from the Union. You will see him sitting on a rock all the time just waiting for someone to walk out of the Union. He loves to just walk with you and talk with you. He’s not looking for $ or anything like that. He just loves to walk and talk. He is a VERY sweet boy and you will fall in love with him. We gave him a soccer ball, some books & dolls for his little sisters and some candy to share with his friends. Pat & Jody gave him a shirt on Saturday when we got there and he wore it every single day until we left. If you wanted to bring a little something – I would recommend some clothes – around size 10. Oh and if you talk with him - please tell him that Tim & Dawn say hi!

- One thing we regretted was not bringing some small gifts for the staff at the Union. They are AMAZING. They want to serve you 24/7. They are just a wonderful bunch of people and we wished we would have brought stuff for them.

- When you go on the shopping trip – if you see something you like – buy it. You only have a short amount of time and if you don’t buy it you might regret it. Just buy it.

- AGCI told us that Jaxson was on Similac formula, he was actually on Target brand formula. Kinda the same.. but a little different. So, don’t be surprised if it’s a little different than what you were told.

- Jaxson weighs 14.25 lbs and he’s wearing 3-6 mos size. 3-6 mos pj’s seem to be too small though. His feet are kinda smooshed, so the Carters 6 mos pj’s are perfect. Everything else is 3-6 mos. Pants can kinda be long on him and the waist is a tad big.

Alright, well that’s all I can think of right now. But, like I said – if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email me.

And since I can’t do a post without a picture of mr. you know who… here you go.