Friday, July 30, 2010

Exciting Things Happening

I'm of the belief that everyone can use some excitement in their lives now and then and we have some exciting things happening in our lives. At least I think they are exciting!

My last blog post was pictures of Lili modeling for me. I posted about my frustration regarding the speed in which my camera takes pictures. I've been wanting to break out of the regular digital camera world into the world of D-SLR for several months and yesterday afternoon it happened. You read it correctly folks - I am moving on up the camera owner/user ladder and now own my very own Nikon D3000 SLR. Along with that comes new frustrations as I try to figure out the camera, but you won't hear me complain about he ease and speed in which this camera takes pictures. And the picture quality is awesome!!! I have no doubt that I'm going to be one happy photographer once I figure out all the settings and features this camera has to offer.

Here are a couple pictures I took this morning.

Forgot to change the setting for the picture of Naomi, so it's a little dark. Like I said, I have a lot to learn about this camera.

The other excitement in our lives is an upcoming trip we're taking. Dave has meetings in Chicago August 3rd and 4th, so the girls and I are going to Chicago with him. While he's at work we'll enjoy time at the Shedd Aquarium, Navy Pier, have lunch with my friend Meg and enjoying some quality time on Michigan Ave. Of all the major cities I've been to, Chicago is hands down my favorite, so I'm very much looking forward to a couple days in the city. And if any of my blog readers are in the Chicagoland area and want to meet up, drop me a note. Would love to see you!!!

After Dave's meeting wraps up on Wednesday, we'll check out of one hotel and move to another one out by the airport. On Thursday morning we'll board a plane bound for Portland, OR to attend the first ever Toukoul Adoptive Families Reunion (TAFRU). I've been planning and working on this reunion for over a year now and I'm so excited that it's finally going to happen. Even more exciting is the opportunity to meet other Toukoul families and to see all our kids together for a weekend of fun.

Portland isn't going to be all about TAFRU though. We are also going to visit my uncles, aunts, and all the cousins while we are there. I haven't seen many of these cousins in at least 15 years and am very excited about reconnecting with my family during the trip.

With all the excitement, it's doubtful that I'll be blogging for awhile. Be prepared for my return sometime after August 11th when I will hopefully share all the wonderful pictures I took with my new camera and share details of our trip.

Until then, I hope all of you have some exciting things happening in your lives as well.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Career in Modeling?

Lili wanted to pose while I took her picture. She gave me several different poses which was quite entertaining, but I was frustrated with the speed in which my camera takes pictures. Guess I need to do something about that. In the meantime, here is Lili doing her thing. And please ignore the toys, dog and Dave's foot in the background. Sometimes you just have to go with what you got to get the picture of the girl.

My little model in the making.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It Won't Be Long

Naomi has been cruising around holding onto the furniture for several weeks now. Tonight she was in the kitchen using one of the cupboard doors as support, let go and very deliberately took two steps and then decided that was enough and plopped down to her bottom. A little later she scooted off my lap and again took two deliberate steps and then plopped again. What's even more amazing is that she is cutting her molars and has been fussy and especially clingy since yesterday afternoon, so I was really shocked that she was interested in trying to take any steps at all considering the mood she's been in. Now, if I would only have my camera ready when she decides to let go and take off walking, all would be good :-)

Sunday, July 25, 2010


We missed a milestone in Naomi's life and I wanted to make sure it is noted that on July 3, 2010, she was with us 3 months and 17 days. What is so significant about 3 months and 17 days you ask? The longest period she was in one place prior to us getting her was 3 months and 16 days. In her short little life, we have been the most consistent and I hope she understands that we are permanent fixtures in each other's lives :-)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

First Molar

So I have a written record of the event, Naomi's first 1 year molar broke through the gum today!! She's been chewing on her fingers for a few weeks and all that hard work chewing is finally paying off.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More Pictures

Because I know most want to see pictures, here you go.

How big is Naomi?
So big!!!

We'll keep an eye on dinner for you mom.
Let me clean this drawer out for you mommy.
And it really did need to be cleaned out.

Mom, take a picture me coloring.
Seriously, that is what she said right before I took this picture. And yes, our breakfast bar typically looks like this. Lili's artwork spread every where. The girl loves to create!

Monday, July 19, 2010

So, So Tired

Apparently too tired to get that last bite of food in her mouth.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Not Much More Than Photos

Seriously, are these not two of the cutest pool babies you've ever seen?!
And then there is this adorable little girl.
Who loves blowing bubbles.

And climb on rocks.
I'd have to say that I have two beautiful little girls and nephew who is definitely a cutie patootie!

Friday, July 16, 2010

4 Months

Four months ago yesterday, we met Naomi for the first time. Four months ago today, we went back to the orphanage and left with her in our arms.
Our wide-eyed beauty is even more beautiful today. She's full of spunk and curiosity. She has a smile that will knock your socks off. She is everything and more than we could have hoped for.

Happy 4 month anniversary Naomi!

Monday, July 12, 2010

First Attempt

I knew Naomi's hair was now long enough on the top and sides that I could do something with it and this morning I got brave enough to try.

I obviously need a lot more practice, but considering my client was not holding still and it was my first attempt, I don't think it turned out too bad. At least Naomi appears to be happy with it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Time Away

We have returned home from our trip to Dallas. This was Naomi's first road trip and while she wasn't a terrible traveler, she isn't up to Lili's travel standards quite yet. We'll keep working on it though :-)

Our trip to Dallas was via Memphis where we stopped for the night. In the past, we've driven straight through. It's only about a 13-14 hour trip, but we weren't sure how well Naomi would handle the travel. Let's just say that stopping was a good idea.

We had Gus's Fried Chicken for dinner (yummy) and Naomi was quite the hit there. We decided to get our dinner to go and parked ourselves outside for the wait while Dave stayed inside waiting on our chicken. A woman and her mom came out of the restaurant and said hi to Naomi. She flashed her world winning smile at them and they went crazy. Lili, introduced them to Naomi (which she typically does) so they now knew her name and every time the woman would say, "Hi Naomi" she would flash that smile again sending them over the edge with admiration. After a few minutes they went back into the restaurant and the woman approached Dave telling him how beautiful his girls were. He was caught totally off guard and having absolutely no idea what had happened outside. Several minutes later the woman and her entire family left the restaurant and she had each of them stop to say, "Hi Naomi" so they could see her smile. She was the Belle of the Ball.

After some chicken, we took the girls to the pool for a short swim before Dave headed to Corkey's to pick up ribs for a 4th of July cookout.

While in Dallas we visited the aquarium. I would suggest that you not visit the aquarium on a holiday. It was very difficult maneuvering through all the people, especially with a double stroller. Even though it was extremely crowded, it is a nice aquarium. We also did some swimming, shopping, and tried some new restaurants. One of the restaurants we tried was Addis Abeba. In case you can't tell by the name, it is an Ethiopian restaurant and was very good. After we finished dinner, two of the employees came over to our table and were informed that Naomi and Tsegaw are from Ethiopia. They took turns holding the babies and asked where they were from. They were so gracious and interested in our babies.

My water princess.
Naomi relaxing in the pool.
She was very relaxed.

Of course the highlight of our trip was meeting Tsegaw. He is a cutie patootie!! I did my best to get pictures of the kids, but had some trouble getting all of them in one shot looking at the camera. I have great respect for photographers.

The cousins first play date.

We tried to get pictures of the kids at various times throughout the visit and I managed to get them all turned toward the camera, but that was all I got.
This one was cute.
Somehow I got the two little ones to give me a cute photo moment.

On the way home from Dallas we stopped in Springfield, MO and had dinner with my high school BFF. We reconnected back in November after being apart for 30 years and it was wonderful to meet her hubby and to do a little more catching up.

Now we're home and back to reality for a little while before heading out to Portland for the Toukoul Adoptive Families Reunion in August.