Friday, August 29

How Max spends his day

After two weeks at home Max has throughly investigated the playroom to his liking. He has now moved on to a new room and a new daily routine. His new local? Numerous times a day Max can be found at the tupperware drawer. He loves to open the door, take out each item. Place them in his mouth - grunt or growl- then he throws them on the floor. After everything has been unloaded he then works dilegenly to get his round self into the drawer. When that is finally accomplished there is wild applause (from him) and he quickly hops out and puts everything back into the drawer. After about 20 minutes the activity repeats........yesterdays final drawer fun count totaled 9 times. Is this obsessive behavior or normal toddler....should I be concerned?

Thursday, August 28

Cabin Fun : Thanks Becca

Thanks to our friend Becca and her generosity the boys and I enjoyed a day in the mountains with friends on Tuesday. We loaded up, met our friends the Woods and Becca and Annabell and headed to Becca's family cabin right along the river. We went on a wonderful hike to a waterfall, had a great picnic overlooking the water and then the crazies got into the chilly water. Both boys had fun. Max did great in the backpack and Jack is always impressive with his hiking skills. Thanks Becca for letting us enjoy your great outdoors.

annabell, aidan, dylan, evan, max & jack

jack loved soaking in all the mist from the falls

Sunday, August 24

Wet..Wedding..Wonderful Weekend

It felt as if our weekend really began on Thursday. From then on it was days of fun times, good friends and family.

Thursday: Wet Fun @ the Waterpark
The boys and I spent thursday afternoon at the Waterpark in Renton for our friends Evan and Dylans birthdays. While the sun did not shine bright much fun was had. Jack loved the wave pool and Max and I enjoyed the kiddi pool. It was a great facility and was a great way to spend the afternoon. Thanks for the party Woods Family.

Friday: Wedding Prep = Pedicures
While Jack and the cousins played at Morfars house, Max accompanied me to a morning of pampering with my sister and mom. I got to indulge in a pedicure and manicure and the ever chill Max took it all in like a champ. Thanks Kendra and Mom for the feet treat!

Saturday: Wonderful Wedding
What a beautiful and wonderful wedding took place on Saturday afternoon. Kendra and Travis were married in a beautiful garden and threw a fantastic party for all their guests. We had such a great time. Kendra was beautiful, Travis was happy and the kiddos did great!

Sunday: Finally a family photo.
After much time at home finally we had a decent family photo taken thanks to our friends the Garnes who came to meet Max. While lovely photos were taken at the will be a while before we see those and we needed a family photo for our first post placement visit that will take place this week.

There is our weekend. Packed full but lots of fun.

Wednesday, August 20

How we spend our days

Many have asked how it is going being mommy to two. I am settling with much ease(much to my own surprise). Oh sure I have to figure out how to feed one while simultaneously playing candyland with another...and keeping what is for dinner at the front of my mind, But what mom doesn't juggle daily. I definatly hit the pillow a little more tired than I use to but that is fine by me. I am really enjoying myself and my boys- yikes, that is now plural.

Our days have been just the right mix of playing and visiting, at home and away. Yesterday we did sidewalk chalk, today Jack had his friend Teya over for a dance party and Max spent the day as he normally does, wandering from room to room and investigating. He especially enjoys sitting in front of the toys in the playroom. He takes one box out, reaches in, pulls out a toy, licks it and then moves on to the next. This, depending on the day truly disgusts Jack or makes him laugh.

We are gearing up with good naps and good food for a big weekend. We have a huge birthday party at the waterpark on Thursday, Wedding prep for auntie Kendra on Friday and the event of the year: Kendra and Travis wedding come Saturday. Lots going on, but all good.

There it is, a day in the life. Life is good, messy, but good.

Monday, August 18

First Family Weekend Recap

We have just completed our first weekend as the "new Lyons family". At the end of it we would categorize it as a success. We are all learning the new groove that is a family with a 4 1/2 year old and a 14 mo. old. Max is doing unbelievably well. There seem to be no issues thus far understanding that we are his family. What an answer to prayer. From the day we received his referral, I prayed that his little heart would know that we were meant for him. Thus far it is true. When it comes to daddy, Max thinks he is a great playmate and Jon can certainly get the best laughs. When it comes to mommy, he is having no trouble calling for me when distressed or in need and he doesn't hesitate to snuggle into me when I hold him. (ohhh, i love that). Jack is doing alright with the adjustment. He loves Max and is excited that he is here. There doesn't seem to have animosity towards him, but the reality of parents having to share their time and focus causes frustration and tears occasionally. Please pray for Jon and I as we do our best to gently and patiently help Jack learn a new family rhythm.

Our weekend was a great time for family and friends. We had a handful of close friends come and visit. For us it was so exciting to share with our faithful, prayerful friends the little one that consumed our thoughts and prayers over this last year. On Saturday we enjoyed dinner, swimming and a bonfire at my parents house. Our friends the Woods came to share in the fun. Sunday we attended church. We were greeted at the doors with an onslaught of friends wearing bright name tags that said "Welcome home Max!". What a great sense of closure to finally have Max as part of our sunday morning tradition. After naps, Jack, Max and I ventured to the church picnic at the lake. (Jon, poor guy had to get ready for the work week after a whirlwind of international travel and a new kid). The picnic was great. Jack has such a blast swimming, jumping from the dock and playing with his friends. Max certainly enjoyed watching all the big kids splash and play.

So there it is. The new Lyons family weekend recap. We now embark on the daily grind of family one. With that said, this mommy warns...the misadventures and joys of learning to deal with two will be an adjustment for me...stay tuned to the blog for all the foibles and folly of our new normal. Hopefully it will be entertaining for us all.

Friday, August 15

We are HOME.

Yesterday was a wirlwind of travel and at the end of it all we have just one thing to say. MAX ROCKS. He did an excellent job.Our journey started with a police escort to the airport. This is typical practice in Guatemala City, but for Jon, Max and I it was surprising treatment. We arrived at the Guatemala Airport, actually a very nice facility and made our way to our gate. Max loved all the large windows and looking at the planes, as well as making the rounds and greeting people. The waiting area at the airport was like an embassy reunion, we sat with several other families we had met days earlier.

We loaded onto the first plane with 5 other adoptive families. We were a little hesitant about how the flight would go.......the result....awesome sleep.He slept on both flights (without the aid of medications). At each airport he was friendly and going and played happily. We easily cleared immigration with very friendly attendants in Houston. It is official he is ours and here on US soil.

The boarder our Texas flight, not sure if he would sleep another set .....he was begging for a bottle and his blanket and before we pulled away from the gate he was out.When arrived home at 11:49 pm last night and as we made our way to baggage Max woke up and was able to meet Mormor, Morfar, Auntie Kendra and Uncle Travis. We then placed him in a carseat for the first time in his young life. He is not sure he really likes it as of yet. He bounded into the house with lots of energy and it was obvious that he would not be going to bed. Who could blame him, he had slept during the day so much. So Max and Mommy spent the first night in his new house watching the olympics at 2am and playing with toys in the living room. Around 5am he decided he was tired and he easily went to bed.

Come 8:30am the family awoke and waited for brother Jack to come and meet Max. Max sure likes Jack, and thinks he is funny. They have played all sorts of things in just this short time. We have had a few visitors today and that has been fun. We are just settling in as a family of four. We will keep you posted

Wednesday, August 13

DAY Five: Details Galore....and Visa

What is a mom couped up in a hotel room to do when her new kiddo is alseep...well other than stare at of course. For the detail crazy and the grandparents this post is for you. For others, scroll down to 4pm for the days headline.

Max woke up. Little tears and little wimpers.Sat with mommy, fell back asleep.

Max woke up ready to play. Lights on.Snuggled with Daddy. Mom hopped in shower.

Played with Mom after she finally dried her hair.much relieved that "regular mom" returned with out the towel on her head.Daddy showered.

Into clothes that are way to big. Played ball and had a little milk.

Venture down to breakfast. Lots of oohhs and ahhs from the waitstaff. Enjoyed pancakes, cantelope,banana.He likes trying to use a spoon and likes napkins.

Back up to the room. Max played with the books and toys.Mommy and Daddy stared at each other. What should we do?

Load Max into the backpack and ventured out and about in the neighborhood. Found some cute stores, the Westing, McDonalds and decided that we would go out later in the afternoon. Ahhed once again by the lack of traffic rules and the black exhaust that comes from the "city" buses.

Return back to the room. Max slept on mommy and mommy watched a tv show.

Venture out to the hallway. Played ball. Saw the neighbors.

Back into the room. Max took a bath, he was not so sure about bubbles,but eventually came to enjoy them. Enjoyed family time in the room.Max was content to play. Mommy and daddy willed the day to go faster by beginning to pack items and reorganize for the trip home. Did not last nearly as long as we hoped.

Went for a walk around the hotel courtyard and chatted with Roberto our new best friend bellboy to arrange Jon's taxi to the embassy this afternoon.

Return to the room. Max had a bottle and fell asleep for the afternoon nap. Mom and dad hope on the bed, check email, watch tv on their zunes (lifesavers for this hotel time we have been doing)Enjoyed the sounds and sights of the daily Guatemalan thunderstorm. They are loud but short lived. And the rain comes HARD and fast.

Jon departs for the embassy. Nervous about riding the taxi there, getting it and finding his way home.

Max awakens just as the door opens. JON IS HOME WITH A VISA!!!!!!!! All went well at the embassy and we are good to fly out tomorrow.

We set out on the town…we a one block radius in search of a place to eat authentic food in celebration of our nearing departure. We found a great little place with good food and now we pray that no one in the family suffers tomorrow 


We are back and the room, we are beginning to pack up and getting Max ready for bed.

It has been a good day. We are so excited to come home.
We will fly out tomorrow and arrive home at sea-tac at 11:30pm.
We would appreciate prayers for continued health, great sleep tonight, and a very cooperative and go with the flow Max on the flights tomorrow. We are so excited to see you all very soon.Thanks so much for sharing in this journey with us. We love you!

Tuesday, August 12

More Day Four

This afternoon Max took his bath and LOVED it. He is very much a splasher. His hair is very long and very fine. He has quiet the mop atop his head. I may be making a hair appointment very soon. We entertained ourselves this afternoon by walking several laps around the hotel. We played lots of ball and lots of "try and put on daddy's shoes". We have a windo in our room that overlooks a very busy street and that is good entertainment. Max watches the cars, Jon and I keep our eye on the several armed police that stay camped outside. We have given up on eating hotel food and have opted for fully cooked american food instead. Yesterday we had McDonalds delivered to our room (crazy huh) and tonight we had dominos pizza. Much to our surprise...tuesdays in Guatemala is Two-for-One Tuesday. So we had two pizzas delivered. We ate it up. While we ate dinner we noticed that Max is drawn to coke. He kept chasing Jon or I down, pointing and making a sucking noise. Luckily he was easliy swayed and settled for waterdown grapejuice instead. Just before bed tonight, Max and I played ball in long hall outside our room. We met a family who just moved in next door. They adopted a 13 mo girl whom they just met today. They also brought with them their 4 1/2 year old son. We are hoping to play in the hall with them tomorrow. Well that is about it. The exciting happenings of hotel life with Max. He really is doing well and we pray that he continues to do a great job and get good sleep. We will share more tomorrow!

DAY FOUR: Embassy

Max went to bed with not problems last night wearing the jungle pj's from the nultons. thanks nultons. He did wake up twice with little crying but was easily consoled and went back to sleep. We awoke early, got ready, woke Max and his big bed head up, and departed for the embassy. While the waiting was long, the process was easy and we got to chat with several other families waiting. Max did a great job waiting. He and jon walked around the room, looked at pictures and plants and things outside and visited with small kids. We got the approval stamp on our paperwork without an issue. Jon will go back tomorrow with all the other dads for the pick up of the visa. While we think we are out of the woods, prayers are still appreciated. We have now returned to the hotel where we will just hang out for the rest of the day. A bath for Max is on the agenda. According to foster mom he loves baths. Currently he and Jon are playing ball and we are working on drinking out of a sippy cup. ** sidenote, I am feeling better. not great. but not nearly as bad as it was.**
Should something exciting our extreamly cute happy...have no worries, we will post.

Monday, August 11

DAY THREE: Meet Max!!!

This is the day that we have been waiting for. To finally meet Max. The foster Mom and Dad, along with the social worker came to the hotel at 2pm today. (that was good because I spent until 1:15 in bed with the stomach gunk). The phone rang and we rushed down to the lobby. They he sat, with a big smile and Maria pointed to us and said "Mama and Papa" . She then prompted him to blow kisses which he did. And with no hesitation he came to Me and let me hold him. It was fantastic. We then all came up to our room. Jon and Max played with a ball and some toys, while I chatted with Maria about his schedule. We then presented them with gifts, not nearly enough for the love and care that they have given to him. We took several photos and then Maria and her husband left. We talked with our social worker about details for tomorrow and then the rest of the afternoon and evening we just hung as a new family. He is so cute, curious, and on the go. He is not yet walking, but he pulls himself up on every thing to get around. He can say: mama, papa, agua and aqui. He has been very warm and receptive to Jon and I and he loves to play with the phone in the hotel. We are praying that he has a great night sleep and that we have a great day tomorrow at the embassy. Thanks for all your prayers and support. * For now we will keep photos of Max off the blog. But if you did not yet get a photo via email, let me know and I will send you one pronto.

DAY TWO : Antigua

We awoke on day two with the plan to see the beautiful sights of Antigua. A city about 40 minutes from Guatemala City. Despite Meg not feeling very well we set out with the highly recommended Victor. He is popular in the adoption community and so we took advantage. He was fantastic. He is a native of Guatemala and had lots of information to share. All the streets in Antigua are cobblestone which made for a bumpy ride. But the city is very colorful and beautiful. We visited a Jade Factory and museum. I scored a new ring! Then Victor took us to a place that over looks Antigua and their coffee plantations. We learned that one coffee plant only produces 40 cups of coffee each year...needless to say I would need lots of trees. We then visited the hill of the cross. One of the oldest monuments in Antigua. Antigua has about 20 churches in it. It has always been a very Catholic community and the cross was a symbol of the city. Next we visited a Cathedral and Convent that was built in the 1500's. The cathedral still functions and the convent is open to tour. Finally Victor took us to an Artisan Market for a little shopping. Lots of beautiful items.
Unfortunately I began to feel sick so we cut the shopping a little short. On the way home we stopped a grocery store for formula, pepto bismal, and juice. Victor was great and the day was just perfect for us. Antigua was beautiful and we have made a new friend in Victor.

Saturday, August 9

DAY ONE : We have landed...

Last night Jon and I set out at 11:45pm for our flight to Guatemala. All went very smootly. The plane, the luggage, customs etc. All was good. We landed here in Guatemala at 12:00 Seattle time.It was as if Guatemala was expecting us washatonian, it is dumping rain. With no issues we made it to our hotel. It is a very nice room and we have already settled in to watch a movie in english. Come shortly we will eat dinner since we are staving and very tired. We will hit the hay early tonight. A day of sightseeing awaits us tomorrow. We are excited to see Guatemala. Thanks so much for all your prayers thus far, keep it up. We are so blessed to have such a support network. Check back tomorrow for day two details.

Tuesday, August 5

Adoption Update: HERE WE GO!!!!!!

That is right the long awaited day has come. Friday night Jon and I board a plane for Guatemala. Currently we are in the throws of arranging hotels, flights, sight seeing and more. Our home is a blur of activity and emotions. We are attempting to savor these last days of being a family of three. We have been so appreciative of all the support, encouragement and prayers that all of you have provided. It has been so meaningful to share this journey with all of you. We will do our best to keep you posted via our blog about the days events. We will leave pictures to emails only though. We ask that you continue to pray for us in these days to come. Should you need a few specifics (or a gazillion) I have included that.

- That God would go before us in our travels. Safe, smooth and enjoyable experience.
- That we could feel comfortable and truly enjoy our time experiencing Guatemala.

- We pray that we would be healthy and have great stamina.

- In this stressful time (esp. for two strong willed first borns who don’t deal well with the unknown or change )that we would roll with the flow, have great attitudes, be sensitive and attentive to the other and that patience would prevail.

- We pray that we can just take it all in and enjoy it. This is a great privilege to experience all that we will. We want to enjoy it.

- Would be have a great time with grandparents and friends. That he would truly enjoy
his time away from us.
- That his little heart would be prepared with gentleness and joy to receive his little brother.

- We pray that his heart would know that we are his parents.
- We pray that the transition would go smoothly.
- We pray that he would sleep, eat and travel well.

- We pray that they would know the depths of our gratitude for all their love an care.
- That they would be comforted in their time of grief.

- We really hope to be able to sight see during our trip. We hope that this works out with a great driver and a great experience.
- We pray that all will go smoothly when we meet with the embassy and pick up the visa.
- We pray that travel details will go smoothly. Especially with customs/immigration and making our connecting flights.

That is all for now. Stay tuned, we will keep you posted!