Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not so much sledding fun

It snowed a couple of weeks ago on a Monday (my day off), and my dad was nice enough to come over to take Jake sled riding on the hill right up the street from our house. My dad enthusiastically took all of us sled riding when we were growing up, and just loved it. Brian and I happened to buy a home a couple of houses away from one of the best sled riding hills in the area. So, I naturally thought that Jake would love to sled ride whenever it snowed a lot. He must have been cold and was therefore unhappy when my dad was out with him. They went down once, and my dad was finished when he had to carry an unhappy Jake and the sled back up the large hill. I think it might take a couple more years before he can appreciate it more.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Florida fun!

The week after Thanksgiving, my mom and I took Jake on a visit to Orlando to go the beach and visit the theme parks. I had really wanted to take him before he has his heart surgery this summer, and had some extra vacation time that I had to use. Brian couldn't come because he didn't have any vacation time to use, so luckily my mom agreed to come because she loves Florida! We had a great time, and I think that Jake really enjoyed himself. Here we are at Daytona Beach.
Jake could have stayed in the ocean all day. He loved, loved, loved it! After about 1/2 hour, I had to drag him back to shore.
He will probably kill me later for posting this!
Having lunch with cousin Rachel, who goes to college in Dayton Beach.
I think Jake is going to be a swimmer, because he LOVES being in any kind of water. Here he is with Grandma in the hotel pool.
Dumbo ride with Grandma at Disney World.

Carousel at Disney World.
Here is Jake and Grandma with Donald Duck. We taught him who all the characters were before we went and he could identify all of them. He liked him from afar, but got pretty nervous as we got close.
Watching a show in front of the castle at the Magic Kingdom. One of his favorites things was watching the shows.
Pretty much the only picture I could get of him at Sea World. We did Sea World on the last day, and he was getting tired of pictures by that day. At least I have a photo that says that we were there.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Picture Month

This November was picture month for our family. We (well, I) took lots of different family photos. Photos of Jake, our immediate family, the whole Taylor family at Thanksgiving, and then the whole Patton family.

Our immediate Taylor family
The whole Patton family and Gigi Meier
The Patton "kids"
The whole Taylor family

Mama Taylor and Daddy
Jake and his Mama and Papa Taylor

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thinking about the baby

We're officially on the waiting list for a baby in Korea, and we think about him or her a lot. Baby is probably an infant right now, and I think about baby when I go drop Jake off at the babysitters. There is a little girl named Reagan that is 3 months old that I hold sometimes, and probably about the age of our baby. I hope and pray that their foster family is taking good care of baby. Jake and I pray for baby every night. We just put up our Christmas decorations, and put up a stocking for baby. Brian is starting to learn Korean, and is trying to find websites to show Jake a few words. He even picked up a big feast of Korean food on the way home from work this week. It was really good! We love you baby and can't wait until you become a part of our family! You are already a part of our hearts.

Candy Monster

I was away for a day last weekend in Indianapolis to shoot the Bengals-Colts game, and Brian sent me this picture. It definitely gave me a laugh. Brian had gone upstairs to get something, and when he came back a minute or 2 later, Jake was eating a lollipop on the dining room table. Apparently he climbed on a chair, then climbed on the table and had grabbed it from a dish of the Halloween candy. He was so determined to eat the candy that he even ate through the wrapper. Like myself, Jake definitely has a sweet tooth! How can you get mad at that sweet little face?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween 2010

Jake with Grandma and Grandpa Patton

Clarke hanging out with next-door neighbors Teddy and Maddy.

Daddy with Jake and next-door neighbor Johnny and his dad (who doesn't usually sport that hair)

Aunt Dani and Jake

cousins in the wagon

Uncle Dale, Aunt Becky, and Clarke

Mommy, Daddy and Jake

We had a lot going on this Halloween weekend, and it was a lot of fun! Grandma and Grandpa Taylor and Becky, Dale and Clarke came up from Somerset for a visit. They came on Friday evening, and then we went to Kings Island on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday afternoon, we visited the Children's Museum and played in the water and in the treehouse. Jake loved the balls there, of course. We went home in the early afternoon so Jake could get a good nap. I had to wake him up so we could go to a pre-trick-or-treating party at a neighbor's house. Then is was home to meet Grandma and Grandpa Patton and Aunt Dani before trick-or-treating. Clarke dressed up as Spiderman, while Jake was a dinosaur (costume courtesy of a neighbor down the street). Grandma Patton, Becky and I took Jake and Clarke around the neighborhood while the others passed out candy at the house. Teddy and Johnny and their mom Michelle joined us on the route too. Clarke and Teddy are 6, so they were pros at running from house to house to get candy, and Jake quickly caught on. He wasn't as fast as them, obviously, but he loved walking up to the houses and picking out candy from their bowls. He would actually get upset if I tried to skip one to catch up with the bigger boys. He could keep on taking candy from the people if I let him, and he actually would try to grab a whole handful of candy. By the end of the night, we had to pull Clarke and Jake back to our street in the wagon because they were so tired. I didn't take my camera along the trick-or-treat route, but here are some pictures from the night.

Our Adoption Journey (up to now)

We've been in the process of adopting a baby girl or boy from South Korea for over a year now. We just got our last approval in the mail on Friday and are thrilled! We started talking about adoption when Jake was 5 months old (he's now almost 2). We loved having him, and knew we wanted another child. I had always wanted to adopt a child since I visited an orphanage in India when I was in college, and Brian was very comfortable with the idea because his sister Becky and her husband Dale adopted their son Clarke. Brian actually traveled with Becky and Dale to pick up Clarke in Guatemala over 6 years ago. Once we made the decision to add to our family via adoption, we started our research and had to decide which country to adopt from and what agency to go through. We considered adopting domestically, but it can get complicated with the rights of the birth mother and all. I then set up a meeting with a social worker my mom told about, and she really recommended going with South Korea because the process is *relatively* quick, the children need good homes, they are usually healthy and good information is given about their parental and medical history, they live in foster homes as opposed to orphanages, and you get them when they are pretty young (9 to 12 months old). We liked her and liked the small agency, which is called Family Adoption Consultants. They are based in Macedonia, Ohio and adopt to families that live in Ohio and Michigan. There are several large adoption agencies that adopt to families all over the country and we looked into those, but liked the feel of the small agency better. So, in July of 2009, Brian and I put in a preliminary application to adopt a child from South Korea. In January of 2010, we received our formal application, a large packet of papers. We spent the next 4 weeks filling out loads of paperwork, going to multiple doctors for both ourselves and Jake, getting fingerprinted, getting letters of recommendations from friends, and writing our personal biographies. Whoever said that the application was detailed was not lying! However, they need to examine every aspect of your life to ensure that the babies they place are going to good homes. We completed the formal application in about a month, and sent the big old packet back to Macedonia. We then got a call from the lady I talked to over the summer, Sandy. She is our social worker, and is very sweet. She came out to the house for the first time, and I remember rushing home from work that day to make sure the house was perfectly clean. She met with us 3 times together, and then also interviewed us individually. Sandy made it painless, and it was just like talking about your life with a friend. Part of the application included a description of the house you live in, and getting it inspected for safety by firemen. Well, right as our home study was being concluded, we decided to put our home in Loveland on the market and see what happened. In April, we had to go to Macedonia for a weekend to have training on how to raise an adopted child. The Wednesday before the training, we formally put the house on the market. That weekend, we had a flurry of activity on the home, and actually got 2 offers on the house. It was crazy because we were in training, and kept on getting texts from our real estate agent about the negotiations on the house. When we left training that Sunday afternoon, we drove back to sign a very good contract on the house. Chaos is how I describe the next few weeks because we had agreed to be out of the house in 2 1/2 weeks. Because we were moving, that put a hold on getting formally approved for the adoption. We ended up moving into my parents house for a lot of the summer, and finally got formally approved in August, when we moved into our new house in Hyde Park. We were very excited, and I could finally tell people at work and make plans to take time off next year when the baby came. We then had to go downtown the Federal building and get fingerprinted for our approval by the Department of Homeland Security (we got that approval on Friday). Now we are officially on the waiting list to receive a baby! It's been a long journey (and will be even longer), but totally worth it in the end. We are told that we will get our referral in February or March. In the referral, we find out whether the baby is a boy or girl, get a picture of the baby, their history, etc. The baby is then flown to Detroit (because we're dealing with a smaller agency, they escort the baby to the US), and we meet him or her at the airport! That should be in late spring or early summer. I will update the blog and take many, many pictures!

Monday, November 1, 2010

More Kings Island fun

Clarke had fun posing.

I posted these in the wrong order, but this is the photo I took after he wasn't having as much fun on this ride. He was liking it, but I think it went a little long and he was been swung around too much.

This was the beginning of the ride, when he was liking it.

Grandma Taylor posing with her grandsons.

Kings Island fun

Jake and I made a trip to Kings Island on Saturday with Aunt Becky, cousin Clarke, and Grandma Arlene Taylor. We all took turns riding the rides with Jake, and he had a great time. My Mom and I are going to take him to Walt Disney World at the end of the month, and after seeing him at Kings Island, I know that he will have such a good time. By the end of the trip, he was exhausted. When he got into the car, he said "night-night" and then passed out in his carseat and slept for over 3 hours.

Riding with Aunt Becky and Clarke.

Jake loved this car ride, but Clarke though that it was for "little kids".

Riding the ferris wheel with Mom.

The whole group (except for me) posing by the fountains.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I love leaves!

We have pretty many leaves in our yard, and our next-door neighbors have a TON, so we like to go over there and play in them. We just hope that Jake doesn't eat them because he's putting stuff in his mouth again. Leaves can't taste good! We're enjoying the fall and the seasonably warm weather.

Fall fun

This is my first blog post,and I hope everything goes up OK. We've had a busy and fun fall. Took Jake to the pumpkin patch last weekend, and had a great time. He was a little nervous about going on the hayride, but quickly relaxed and enjoyed the ride. He had a really good time running around the pumpkins and picking some out once we got to the pumpkin patch. He chose his pumpkins by trying to lick them, and I think he was able to lick a couple before we got him to stop. It was pretty funny though. Jake loves animals, so he had a good time seeing the farm animals, and can repeat them all to me. His favorite thing was petting a chick, which was only 2 days old! Apparently the chicks get big quickly. Here are some photos from the day.