Friday, December 30, 2011

Little Girl, Big Changes

My sweet Pumpkin transitioned from her crib to a big girl bed last week. I had no intention of moving her quite yet, but when I needed to move a bed out of Buddy's room to make space for bunkbeds, it seemed easiest to put the extra bed next door in baby girl's room. As soon as she saw the bed, she was excited. A huge grin covered her face and she made sure everyone (brother, sister, Daddy, & Dog) knew, "Baby sleep big bed!" The first night I had low expectations, tucking her in and assuming she would get out of bed no less than 100 times because, well, she could. But she did not emerge from her room even once. I guess she was ready.......even if this Momma was not.

And tonight, at 2am precisely, is our little girls 2nd birthday. I am so incredibly thankful for the gift of sunshine God gave us in our little Pumpkin:)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Traditions: Watson Style!

I know I missed this post in time for Christmas 2011 (oops!) but I thought I'd publish it anyway. And who knows, maybe someone out there in the blog-o-sphere will be inspired for next year:)

  Top 10 Watson Family Christmas Traditions: 

1)Pick out a REAL Christmas tree. No budging on this one. 

2) Pick out an ornament- something that represents them- to put on our tree. So far we have lots of doggies and ballerina's, an angel and a robot, Yoda, a train, a beach ball, a butterfly and a Pumpkin, to name a few. When they're grown and leave us to start their own families, we will send them off with a box of ornaments from their childhood.

3) Christmas Cookies. Of course.

4) Make Jesus a Birthday cake and sing "Happy Birthday to Jesus". Sometimes I think kids need a literal reminder of the real reason we celebrate.

5) See Santa turn on the lights in Downtown Littleton. It's usually cold and crowded, but quite amazing. A fun small-town-nestled-in-the-big-city tradition.

6) Look at lights. In our jammies. With hot chocolate. And Starbucks coffee:)

7)Advent Book. This was a new tradition we started this year. We read a chapter in "Jotham's Journey", a descriptive and inspiring story about a boy who lived during the time Jesus was born, every night before bed. GREAT way to focus on Jesus for the weeks leading up to His Birthday.

8) Unwrap and read a Christmas book every day of Advent. This idea was inspired by my friend Dana. You wrap up all your Christmas books and let the kids pick one each night to unwrap and read as a family. We did this at the same time we read "Jotham"- right before bed each night with the candles lit and snuggled on the sofa. Awesome Memory.

9) Jesse Tree. This was another new tradition this year, but one we will absolutely continue. Every day of Advent, we read a verse and placed an ornament on our tree (which I clearly made myself). The ornaments start with Creation and trace the lineage of Jesus- from Adam, to Noah, to Isaiah's prophecy, to Joseph's family line- all the way to Jesus' birth. Very meaningful.

10)Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. Sure it's crowded, and usually hard to squeeze into the busy holiday schedule, but once we get there it is always worth the trouble. There is something very reverent and inspiring about worshiping Jesus (with Christmas lights twinkling and candles glowing)the night before He came to a little baby.... and changed the world forever.

Merry Christmas!

A New Addition......

A friend at the gym asked me the other day, "Signing up for any marathons this year?"

"No", I responded. "Not planning on it."

"Oh, I bet you'll be signing up for another one before you know it! They're addictive and you LOVE to run."

He has a point, I thought. And yes,I would have already signed up for at least one marathon, a few triathlons, and a half ironman, if life wasn't taking a different turn for our family this year.

We're adopting. And after all the hours of training, wisdom of those who have gone before us, and some gentle nudging by the Holy Spirit, we've decided that 2012 needs to be dedicated to our family. We're scraping every activity, commitment, and hobby off of our plates that we can possibly live without. Instead our days will revolve around helping our new son and our biological children adjust to a new life- as a family of 6.

We've chosen to adopt out of the Denver County foster care system. And in our perfect vision for our family, he would be a 2-4 year old male(and my husband is hoping for a boy of African-American ethnicity). But honestly, we won't know until we know until we know......

I've been assured (again and again and....again) that it's going to be hard. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the main priorities of those who train prospective adopting families are:
1) Make sure they know it's not easy.
2) Help them lower their expectations.
3) Tell them it's going to be really hard.

Children who come out of foster-care, orphanages, or any less-than ideal start in life will have experienced trauma. A good rule of thumb is, the amount of time a child spent in a traumatic situation, the same amount of time will be needed to deal with the trauma. Professionals say you can expect the child to be about half the age developmentally as they are physically. So adopting a 4 year old is really like adopting a 2 year old.

But despite all the warnings and the setting aside of things (like races) that are important to me, I am beyond excited for what this next year holds for our family. The kids have been anxiously waiting for "Brother" for the last three years and I think we are all getting more excited as the "gotcha" date moves closer and closer.

So when exactly will Brother become a part of our family? That is a question that only God can answer, but my best guess is sometime this spring. We still have to do the homestudy, but we were told by Denver County that we should expect to be certified in 6-8 weeks.

The bunk beds are up and now we are all just waiting.......