Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Favorites

I'm not gonna lie. This past year has been a bit rough in places. But it's also the year we brought a new member into our family, who I can't imagine not having in our lives. So, in honor of the new year, here's a look back at some of my favorite moments of 2009.

1. January 15-22 2009. Vacation to Disney World!!! Mateo, Dave, and I traveled by airplane (first time for Mateo) to Orlando for a one week vacation to Disney with our best friends, Devan and Scott. We stayed all together in a rented condo. We visited all 4 parks plus Sea World. My favorite part of the trip was watching Mateo show his new Disney bus to all the characters and giving Mickey Mouse a hug. I almost started crying. It was like a commercial. I'm just so thankful we are in a position to give these moments to our children. I grew up poor so it makes me proud to be able to provide wonderful things for my kids.

2. April 8th, 2009. Picking up our baby daughter, Maya. I remember the chills and excitement when we found out she was being discharged from the hospital and we could pick her up. I also remember the anger and frustration to get to that point. But it was all worth it in the end. Maya was more beautiful than I could ever imagine. The moment she looked at me, I was hooked. I would not give her up. We had an unbreakable bond already. And thankfully, her bio-mom agreed to terminate her rights so we could adopt Maya without a fight.

3. December 2009. Buying a new house! Actually, we are still in this process and probably won't be moving until March. It's a huge house. I mean huge. But it's old and need a lot of renovating. So, we have some projects. Which should be interesting in our current life situation. But we're a tough family and I think we can handle it. I'm just excited for more space! We are literally going from 850 sq.ft. to 4,000 sq.ft.

Tomorrow I'm going to post things I'm most looking forward to in 2010.

Have a happy and safe New Years Eve!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Highlights 2009

Best Gifts 2009:

Geo-trax train set

New Moon Calendar

Pink bus with sounds

Umm...I think you can see for yourself

This Raggety-Anne doll was hand-made for Maya by Dave's mom. So sweet.

Best Holiday Moments 2009:

The calm before the storm. Maya has her evening bottle before bed with Daddy snuggled up next to the lighted tree. A beautiful moment I wish I could pause for longer.

This is not Christmas, it's Thanksgiving, but I could have taken the same picture at Christmas. Every single holiday event my husband falls asleep on a couch.

Luca, our dog, enjoys the wrapping paper just as much as the kids.

Hanging out with my brother Jay. He's just fun.

Watching the kids "help" decorate and wrap. (That's Maya's head peeking out)

Teaching Mateo the value of giving as well as receiving with gratitude.
(P.S. he did a great job!)

Favorite Holiday Shots 2009:

Like father, like son.

Christmas train

Maya's first Christmas! We're so blessed to have her!
Truly a reason to be thankful this year.

Well, that about sums up our holiday. Happy New Year!

P.S. My mom gets major props for some cute outfits she got for Maya. But unfortunately the pictures I have of her in them show too much of her face so I'll have to post them on the hangers when I get a chance.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone has a very happy holiday and enjoy the time spent with family and friends!

The J-momma Family
Justice, Dave, Mateo, Maya, and Luca (the dog)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snow Day!

I'm in the northeast so we got our first big storm this weekend. Here are some pictures of my snow-loving boy. If I didn't dislike the cold so much I would move to Alaska because Mateo never wears a coat, doesn't seem to get cold, and loves the snow. Hmm...maybe he's part Eskimo?

The snow gear is all hand-me-down so it's rather large. I think he looks hysterical.

So....the pink glove. Dave would like me to tell you he normally prefers not to wear bright pink girlie gloves but since I "misplaced" his manly black gloves (so he says) he didn't have a choice. Now, I would like to just clear this up right now, I am not in charge of his gloves. I am not his mother. I only have two children. Maybe someone should grow-up and start keeping track of his own gloves. Or maybe just man-up and rock the pink gloves like they're going out of style (which they are right? I've heard purple is the new pink).

***The gloves were found later that day***

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hey! Jesus Wasn't White!

It's so surprising to me (although I suppose it shouldn't be at this point) how many nativity scenes, books, art, everything! features a white Jesus. People know he was born in the middle east right? The Bible does talk a lot about deserts, sun, and sand. People who live in the desert generally don't look like the pearly-white-skin-american-looking Bible characters that are marketed to us from a young age.

Just recently I saw a nativity scene where all of the characters are white except for the three wise men. What the heck? Did I miss something here? Does it say in the Bible that Mary, Joseph, and Jesus sport Eastern European features and pasty white skin despite being from the middle east, and the three wise men are the only ones who actually looked like they're supposed to be where they're from? I think there's come kind of conspiracy going on here.

Oh, by the way, thanks to Janiece and Rachel for the blog title!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Having a Very Merry (and Ethnic) Christmas

My trans-racial adoptive families tune in. It IS possible to find ethnically diverse Christmas decor for your house. It's taken me some time but here are a few great finds.

African-american angel from Hallmark

The picture is bad but it's a hispanic angel I got at a local craft fair

This tree topper I think could be African-american or Hispanic, which suits us fine since my
kids are both

This African-american Santa I found at one of those tupper-ware type parties where you feel obligated to buy something because you know your friend only had the party to earn money to get free goods from the distributor and they went through all the trouble of making hors d'oeuvres and dessert but what you really wish is that they made Margaritas and Mojitos. On a sidenote: hors d'oeuvres is a b**** of a word to spell.

This is a Peruvian nativity in a gord. I got this and the Nigerian ornament below at a local craft fair but the vendor was Ten Thousand Villages, which is a fair trade company.

Do you have any good ethnically diverse holiday theme decorations?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

We Need a Little Christmas...NOW!

FINALLY, we've acknowledged Christmas in this house. We got our tree up today. Usually I go all out decorating the house but since we're trying to sell it, I decided not to do any decorations this year other than the tree. Besides, it's less to baby proof.

It seems like every single year is the same exact story on the day we get our tree. Dave is cranky and miserable. He hates all the fuss about Christmas. Plus, he's the one who has to tie the tree to the car, saw it, bring it inside, and set it in the stand. Why? Because I have sensory issues. Yes, it's true. I HATE the feel of the little needles touching my skin. It's like nails on a chalkboard to me. I refuse to touch it except to hang the ornaments, which I do very delicately. So Dave always starts the day grumpy. Then we argue over where to get the tree, the price of the tree, and the size of the tree. Once we get it into the house, we then argue over whose ornaments go where. Because, of course, I have beloved ornaments from my childhood, and he has beloved ornaments from his childhood. So we argue over which ones go in the front of the tree. Usually I win since mine are in better condition than his.

Lately we've acquired a lot more ornaments since being married and those are taking up most of the good spots. So, here's a picture of our tree this year.

We're minimalists with our tree decor. Every year we do gold beads and white lights, then accentuate with more personal ornaments. As you may well know, I'm no Martha Stewart. So no fancy tree themes, ribbons, tinsel, or fake snow.


This is our third Christmas with Mateo.
(click to make larger)
Is it just me or does he seem to get happier each year?

Do you love his shirt? It says "is it too late to be good?"

Oh, speaking of being good, every time I ask Mateo if Santa thinks he's been good this year he tells me no, he's been bad. Ha ha! Well, at least he's not a liar. But I think he's been good enough for Santa to bring him a remote control car. Shhh....don't tell Mateo.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

High Heels for Preschoolers: Yay or Nay?

This photo was recently published in some celebrity magazine. I am not one to read celebrity gossip but I do like looking at photos of their children because they're cute and I like watching them grow up. This photo specifically drew a lot of criticism. Suri Cruise is close to the same age as Mateo, three and a half. And here she is wearing high heeled shoes, and it's not been the only time. Katie Holmes defended herself by saying they are ballroom dancing shoes for kids and that Suri likes dressing up like her mom. Before the baby was born, we didn't have to think about this kind of thing. But now I find myself wondering....what would I do if Maya asked to wear high heels at three years old?

What do you think? Is this just innocent dress-up or perpetuating an unhealthy trend of kids growing up too quickly? Let me know how you feel about it and if you'd let your daughter wear high heels before age 10.