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Monday, April 30, 2007

Cheese Makes Everything Better, and a crib

We haven't really had any food issues with Marcus. Sure, there were about 2 weeks there when all he would eat was fruit which led to some rather disgusting output. Greg and I would actually hide the fruit and feed him other foods before bringing it out. Sure he has some weird eating habits. Like today he had his choice of mixed vegetables and graham crackers. He ate all the peas out of the mixed vegetables and was enthusiastically looking for more, completely ignoring the semi-junk food that was in front of him.

Last week I made him a baked potato. He used to love these, mainly because they were fun to get all over his hands and then rub his hands in his hair so he looked like this:

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However, no interest in the last couple baked potatoes I made him. So today, I tried cheese. I just melted a little cheese on top and voila! Marcus loves baked potatoes again. He ate the whole potato and paid no attention to the fruit and the Goldfish Crackers that were sitting there.

We now have a place for Alejandro to sleep! Thanks to my new best friend craigslist, we got a crib and a mattress. (Come on, someone tell me how horrible it is to use a used mattress. I know you want to!!) We also got some sheets that are really ugly and we plan to sell in our yard sale on June 2 (stop by!) and a few toys, some that are okay and others that you will also be able to view laying around on lawn on June 2.

In other news, I talked to my friend Tampa Jess (as opposed to New York Jess). I haven't talked to her in months and I just love that girl. Now, I haven't actually met her, mind you. I met her on a chat board for women dealing with infertility. Not long after that the chat board disappeared but we started emailing and then talking in instant messenger and then on to phone calls. I really don't know how I would have gotten through all my struggles to become a mom if it weren't for her. As soon as I got the diagnosis of my uterine abnormality, it was her that I talked to first, even before Greg. When I tried to tell Greg later that night and I started to choke up, I even suggested that he talk to Tampa Jess and have her explain because I didn't know if I could. Anyway, Tampa Jess and I were chatting away and Jess just stopped and said, "Can you believe that we are talking about our kids??" There was so much time there when we both wondered if we would ever be moms and now it seems like those worries were almost ridiculous. We both wanted it bad enough and now we both have little boys that keep us up at night and make us want to pull out our hair that we adore completely! I don't know if I said this before or not but even if I did, it is worth repeating. There were times when I cried and prayed to God many many times a day to please let me conceive a child. Now I thank God every single day for not answering that prayer. There was a different plan for me and that was the plan to fill my life with hugs and kisses from Marcus and soon our son Alejandro as well.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Getting Ready for Baby

Finally, I feel like we are starting to get ready for Alejandro to come home. Throughout all of Marcus's adoption, I was hitting up yard sales for things, making registries, and deciding exactly what we would need. Now, we have everything. We really don't need clothes for Alejandro because we have some. We don't need toys. We got those. We don't even need a car seat because Marcus got a new "big boy" one so Alejandro will just use the convertible one. There are a few things that we will need though and finally we are on our way to getting them.

First of all, a double stroller. I really like this one and we do plan to purchase it (or maybe we will get lucky and one of our adoring fans will do the honors, hint hint) but I realize it is not going to be practical for those 5 times a year that I actually go shopping and need to fit through aisles at a store. Most of our stroller needs are for outdoor use, over uneven terrain, so I really feel that the above mentioned stroller is a priority. However, I didn't want to have to buy 2 double strollers because that would just be ridiculous. Turns out, I will have two double strollers. I found a Graco Duo Glide (a stroller that has gotten great reviews) on craigslist for a mere $15. No, that isn't a typo. I got a $130 stroller for $15. Sure, it is missing one of the sunshades but who needs a sunshade when you are in a mall? All it needed was a little wipe down and it almost looks new. Did I mention it was only $15??

I also got a backpack child carrier from the same woman that sold me the stroller. We have a really nice one that my sister let us borrow but there is going to come a time when we will have two kids on a hike with us and we will have two backs, so we probably will need to strap both of them on.

Today Greg and I went out to Toys 'R Us. We had a coupon and headed for the highchair section. I didn't want to get a second highchair just because they are expensive and Marcus probably won't be in his for too too long. We found a seat that straps to a regular chair and looks quite comfy. We haven't taken it out of the box yet so I kinda fear it might be a little small but it does claim that it works for children up to 4 years old.

We still need a crib. I am holding out to find a white one so it will look nice with Marcus's white crib. I found one I like at Target and another at Toys 'R Us. We are going to wait a few more weeks though in hopes that craigslist will save us again.

Greg spent most of yesterday moving his computer from our spare bedroom into the living room. We are hoping that Marcus and Alejandro will share a room but I think at the beginning it will just be easier if they have their own space. Marcus sleeps through the night (although he has been waking up in the middle of the night lately, sitting up, and not being able to figure out how to lay back down) and I don't think it is fair to disrupt his sleep once Alejandro comes home. Plus, it will just be easier for us if we are only up with one kid in the middle of the night instead of two. We aren't going to set up the spare room as a nursery, just more or less put a crib in there. Hopefully Alejandro will adjust well and we can put both kids together quickly.

Finally, I am getting really tired of referring to our son as Alejandro. I actually typed his "real" name a couple times in this entry and had to delete it. Ya'll could really help me out with that if you would just purchase the last couple of names so we can let everyone know what we are naming our son. You can see what names are left and purchase one here.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

We Were At The Zoo Too!

Since Cara and Amy are way ahead of me, I am sure you heard that we went to the zoo. It was a great day. I was worried at the beginning that it was going to be cold and rain but soon it was so hot that we were all taking off our layers and pulling out our sunglasses. It was a great day to be out with a few of my friends and for Marcus to get out of the house. Like last time we were there, he was still more interested in the other kids running around than he was in most of the animals. Instead of boring you with dialog, here are some pictures.

Hanging out with lions
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Mommy, Marcus, and an elephant
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Marcus looking super cute
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Marcus didn't make it all the way this time. He needed to rest up by the time we hit the aquarium.
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He wasn't the only one that needed a nap.
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Watching the sea lion
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Saved From Insanity

That news about not getting the DNA test taken care of was very close to pushing us over the edge. However, just as we were teetering over into the dark side, we were saved! Into my inbox I went and found updated medical information and pictures of Alejandro! He is still a skinny little guy at 13 lbs 12 oz. I have fun comparing the differences between him and Marcus. At this point, he is longer and his head is bigger than Marcus's was but he is still weighs about 2 lbs less. Marcus was just a chunky little kid. Alejandro is growing great, is very alert, and is getting vocal. Our report said that he enjoys putting his hands in front of his eyes and watching them. So cute!

I was particularly happy to see that he was wearing one of the outfits that we sent down too. Not only was it cute to see him in something that once I had in my own hands, but it was also reassuring to know that his foster family had received our package. Here are a couple pictures and you can check out the rest here.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Give me an N-O-D-N-A!!!

What's that spell?? No DNA!! That's right. That lovely DNA test that we were so excited about because it was to be performed on Friday, wasn't done. From what I know, the interview with the birthmom took place on March 19th. Then last Friday, April 19th, was the interview with the fostermom. The DNA test was supposed to take place after that interview (not sure why the birthmom was present at the interview with the fostermom, but apparently that must be the way it works) but the birthmom had to go to work and didn't have the time. So the test is supposed to take place now sometime in the next two weeks when the birthmom is supposed to take off work.

I am trying not to be agitated by this because I realize Alejandro's birthmom has to work and can't necessarily get off work whenever, but I am agitated anyway. We have been loosely discussing plans to go visit after the DNA test was completed and now we have to wait longer before we can do that. So now we wait.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Give me a D!!

Give me an N!! Give me an A!! What's that spell?? Nothing really. But if you put those letters together you get DNA which is an important part of the adoption process. Thursday evening we got a phone call from our case worker. Alejandro and his birthmother were supposed to have the DNA test done on Friday. This was such a wonderful day for us but of course, we were thinking of Alejandro's birthmom as well. It is such a hard day for her. After almost 4 months, she had to see her baby again and hold him. I can't imagine how difficult that must be. I just hope that somehow she knows that we are going to do everything that we can to give that little boy the best life he can have.

It should be a couple weeks, maybe sooner, before we get the results. Now we just have to keep our fingers crossed that it is a match and the woman that has given Alejandro up for adoption is his birthmom. Greg and I are already starting to talk about planning a visit trip to meet our little guy. It comes at an awkward time since I will be returning to work in a little over a week after being off for 6 months. I will just feel bad about asking for time off right after I come back. I am sure they will understand though.

So, here's to a match!


Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Great Outdoors

Marcus and I had a lovely morning. Greg and I think Marcus is getting board in our house, which I don't blame him because I am board too - same old toys, same old games. The weather has just been horrible lately. It looks like we are on an upswing. It was still a bit chilly but we just bundled up and headed out.

I don't think Marcus has ever been in grass before. He was still pretty young in Guatemala and his foster family lived in the city where there wasn't much grass at all. We take walks outside but he hasn't had the opportunity to just sit down in the lawn and explore. That is what we did today. I took out a blanket and a few toys. Then we sat. Marcus just looked around for a bit then he ventured off the blanket and discovered grass. He let it tickle his hands and then started pulling out fistfuls of the stuff. It took awhile, but eventually he was ready to move on. Next we played with dandelions. Marcus loved shaking them around and twirling them. At one point he did attempt to eat one but quickly changed his mind when he got a taste. Then we were off to leaves and sticks and other strange plant parts that blew over from our neighbor's yard.

It was just wonderful to be outside. I mostly laid on the blanket and watched (and took pictures which I'll have to post one of these days). I was out with a friend last night and didn't get much sleep so it was all quite relaxing for me, and educational for Marcus. Now it is time to finish cooking lunch so we can both get ready for a nap.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

New Things

There are lots of new things going on around here. We started weaning Marcus off his last bottle this week as per recommendation from our pediatrician. Last night Greg attempted to give him his bottle and he didn't want it. We weren't planning on having this taken care of so quickly but if he doesn't want his bottle then I guess we are going to be done with them. Also per recommendation of our pediatrician, today Greg turned Marcus's convertible car seat into the front facing position. We purchased a second car seat so when I go back to work and one of us is dropping him off and the other is picking him up at day care, we will each have a car seat. The idea was to put the new car seat in my car and keep the old one in Greg's. I have been driving Greg's car and I was going to switch back to driving my own car. However, turns out the new car seat only fits in Greg's car. The stroller also only fits in Greg's car. So for now I will still be driving Greg's car. I don't know if that made any sense at all.

This morning Marcus, Greg, and I headed out to a used children's items sale. It was being sponsored by North Pittsburgh Moms of Multiples. As soon as we walked in someone said hello to us. It was my neighbor who happens to be a mom to multiples. We chatted for a bit, something we haven't really done in the neighborhood, and I am sure that we will be running into each other often. I had Marcus in his Mayan Sling and as we were paying for a few items, several of the ladies were very impressed by it. I mentioned that I make them and the one woman urged me to put an ad in their newsletter. I've been thinking about how to make a few extra dollars and all of a sudden, the situation presented itself! (Although, I could take the advice of a friend of mine who yesterday suggested I submit a video of Marcus scooting across the floor to America's Funniest Home Videos and bring home the grand prize.)


Friday, April 13, 2007

Pictures Pictures Pictures!!

I have been reading a lot of other blogs lately. Although I have been putting a few pictures into my blog recently, I feel that I really should have done this long ago. So, I am back tracking and showing off all kinds of pictures. No guarantee when I will get up to date really, but here is a start.

For my first installment of photos, I take you back to a time not long after Marcus was born, before we ever got to meet him. We were getting ready for him though!

Our first family photo, on Mother's Day 2006
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Grandma sees a picture of Marcus for the first time
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A few months later my dad got to be one of the first to see a newly updated picture of Marcus
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We held a huge yard sale to raise money for our adoption. Our friends and family donated their "junk" for us to sell. Here is the poster that we made to let people who were shopping in our garage and yard how they were helping us.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Me knitting a blanket for Marcus
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Since apparently the current trend is to spell out your child's name on the wall of their room, we decided we better jump on the band wagon and do that. Instead of forking out big bucks on letters, we had several members of our family help us by painting their own letter.
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My niece and nephew helped decorate his room by painting pictures
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Here are a bunch of photos of the nursery
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This is the finished product of the blanket I knitted Marcus. I love this blanket. Amy helped me with the back.
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I also knitted this duck.
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Amanda knitted this elephant because I love elephants.
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My mom and sister threw me a shower and this was the cake.
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On the day we got Marcus's referral we bought him this stuffed frog that we named Hopkin Green Frog. (We bought Baby A a Hopkin Blue Frog.) Since Marcus wasn't home yet and we wanted to try out all our baby gear, Hopkin Green Frog helped us.
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That is it for now! The next installment of pictures should be a few from our visit trip.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

One Year Appointment

Yesterday was Marcus's one year doctor appointment. They told me he was perfect which I already knew. The last time we were at the doctor's he could care less that people were checking him out and that the nurse took him away without me to get weighed. This time he was much more apprehensive and clingy. We held hands while he was examined. I went with him to get weighed and when I set him on the scale he cried and reached for me and almost fell off the scale. He is now 30 1/4 inches tall which puts him between the 50th and 75th percentile. I don't remember what his head circumference was, but it was normal. Then there is his weight. At 9 months he weighed 19 lbs 9 oz. After lugging him around everyday I knew he had gained a good bit of weight since then. Turns out I was wrong. He now weighs 20 lbs 11 oz. The doctor assured me that he is growing great and there is nothing wrong with his leveling off weight. It turns out that his height and head circumference are also leveling off so he is just naturally slowing down his growth rate. He is in the 25th percentile for weight.

He got three vaccines while we were there too. He screamed so loud that I started to cry. Then I remembered that I am supposed to be the adult and be strong so I got it together :)

I also keep forgetting to mention that he talks now, kinda. He says "up" which sounds more like "ut". He has been saying "dada" forever but I don't think he quite gets it yet. This week he has been saying "mama". It was totally cute at first. This morning it was getting rather old when I was trying to make lunch and he was clinging to my legs and repeating in a whiny voice, "mamamamamamama". Oh, what am I saying? It was still cute!


Shopping Spree!

I went on a mini shopping spree this morning to Target. I really didn't buy much but since I rarely do much shopping at all, it felt like a ton. I had to go out because we needed a new monitor. Ours broke last night. Greg dropped it in a glass of water. I considered asking him how he managed to do this but before I got the question out he informed me that I needn't bother to ask because he didn't have a clue.

We have a new monitor now. I really liked our old one but Target didn't have that one. I might end up taking the new one back and looking somewhere else for the other one.

Marcus got a new pair of shoes. He picked them out himself and chose ones with a race car design. Then I headed over to the clearance rack and found 3 shirts and 3 pairs of pants for Marcus as well. He fits very nicely into 12 month clothes but I hesitate to buy any because I have no clue when he is suddenly going to grow. However, I needed to get some short sleeved shirts for him because I have confidence that one of these days it is actually going to get warm enough around here for him to wear them. It turns out that until Marcus starts walking full time, he won't be wearing shorts. I had them on him one day during our freak warm spell. Since his method of locomotion involves scooting, by the end of the day his legs were very raw looking from all the friction on the carpeting. We are going to stick to pants for awhile.

Marcus also got a new backpack. I am not overly excited about this purchase because it represents the pending doom that is about to befall our household. Marcus needs a backpack to take all his daily things to day care. Three weeks from today is when that will start full time. In an effort to ignore the reality of that, let me get back to the backpack. It has a built in wheel and handle system so that once Marcus is walking he can pull it behind him while he walks. I figured this might be a good thing if Marcus heads to Guatemala with us.

Then I got myself something as well. Although this has nothing to do with the general topic of my blogs, I am excited so I am writing about it anyway. Since returning to work is looming over me, I needed a new lunch cooler since my old one was reduced to threads. I found a decent one then figured I needed to get another bag so I could put other work things in it as well as my lunch. I don't want to be stuck carrying my lunch bag, my purse, and another bag with knitting or a book or whatever in it. Then I saw this cooler. It looks like a super cute tote bag! Now I have big plans of putting my lunch, my knitting, and my wallet in there. Sure, my knitting and wallet will be cold but that is okay! I am so excited about my new lunch cooler that I am taking it with me to show off when we go over to Cara's this afternoon to visit with Max, Amy, and Heather.

I really meant to post about this a couple weeks ago but then other things would happen and then I would forget. I had my first unsolicited "is your son adopted" comment. I have been waiting for it, dreading it even. I have heard so many horror stories yet not a single person has said a word to me about the fact that Marcus and I look nothing alike. Then a couple weeks ago I was in Target. This worker there was talking to the cashier that was ringing me up. She seemed like quite a nice lady, very sweet, grandmotherly-like. She started talking to Marcus, going on about how cute he was, etc. Then she asked me if he was from... as she stumbled over her words... Bulgaria! Ha! I was able to stifle my laugh and said that he was from Guatemala. (I really think she was just mixed up with her words and not... I don't want to say dumb but I cant think of any other way to phrase it.) She and I chatted a bit and I was very thankful that I chose to be nice to her and not get defensive. She has a niece and nephew that are adopted from Guatemala and her own son, who is now 20, is adopted from Korea. Today this same woman was in Target and was my cashier. We chatted a little more about Guatemala since she remembered us.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pittsburgh Guatemalan and Columbia Families Playgroup

I just got this email forwarded to me from our social worker that did our home study. Hopefully we will be able to attend some of the Second Saturday events.

Dear Play Group Friends,

Sorry it's taken me so long to get this email out! And thank you to everyone who has made it to one of our playgroup dates so far--I'm so excited that we're finally getting together, it's just wonderful.

Now for upcoming dates:

We plan to meet at the Pgh Zoo/Aquarium this Saturday, April 14th, at 10:30. Weather permitting, we can just meet outside the main entrance gates, right where you pay your admission. If it's raining, I'll probably still take my kids into the aquarium part, so just call my cell at (412) 251-7329 if you'd like to reach me that day, or for any reason, anytime.

The Second Saturdays for May through September will take place at Banksville Park, conveniently located just on the South Hills side of the Fort Pitt Tunnels (directions below). This park is small, with lots of grassy space for running, nice new play equipment and a covered pavilion, and enough level area for tricycles for the older kids. It's a great space, lacking only bathrooms, just FYI. We'll meet there at 10:30 each Second Saturday starting in May, and feel free to bring snacks and picnic lunches--it's easy to set up and eat there.

Directions to Banksville Park from the South Hills:

Take Banksville Road toward the Fort Pitt Tunnels. At the last stoplight before the tunnels, turn Left (at the Eat 'n' Park) onto Crane Avenue. Follow Crane Avenue up hill for about a mile. The park will be on your left just at the crest of the hill.

Directions to Banksville Park from Downtown:

Head through the Fort Pitt Tunnels towards the South Hills, and take the first exit on Banksville Road. At the first stoplight, make a right onto Crane Avenue (there is a big Eat 'n' Park at the intersection). Head up the hill for about a mile, and just at the crest of the hill, you will see the sigh for Banksville Park on your left.

Please pass this email along to anyone who might be interested, and email me or call me with any questions.

Looking forward to seeing you all soon!!

Lynn Mezyk


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Case Update!!

Don't be mad!! We got an update on Thursday and I haven't posted about it. I really wasn't expecting an update. Our case worker said that they were going to try to get case updates early this week before the attorneys went away for Holy Week. Apparently they got some updates but just didn't get them to us until Thursday. By the time Wednesday came around, I figured I would have to wait it out until next week for an update. Nope, there it was! Okay, enough rambling and on to the update.

Our case is in family court! The social worker met with the birthmom on March 29th. The social worker has 30 days from then to write her report. This means we should be out of family court by the end of the month! The next step is PGN!! We have the same attorney working on our case that we did for Marcus's adoption. That attorney submitted our case to PGN without pre-approval (what you get when you get a match DNA test) so we are assuming if we end up in that same situation this time, the same thing will happen. However, our case report also said that all the documentation is being obtained so it can be submitted for the authorization for the DNA test. So, hopefully that will take place very very soon as well. We are just trucking along!

Happy Easter everyone!


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Taking Off

Marcus is taking off! All of a sudden he has decided that when standing up and holding on to someone's hands, it is a favorable thing to start moving his legs. It just started one day, on his birthday, he kinda started toddling forwards. The next day he was running while holding on to us! The novelty wore off quickly though. He still enjoys the activity but now it is more enjoyable if he takes a few steps and then looks around everywhere. Then he takes a few more steps. I am in no hurry for him to be running around on his own. He has his biweekly cold again (and I have a touch of it as well, thankfully so far I have avoided getting the full-blown thing) and it is much easier to catch him and wipe his nose when he isn't running!


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Holy Week, No Update

Our case worker told us on Monday that the agency was attempting to get case updates early this week, before all the attorneys went away for Holy Week. It appears that it didn't happen because we don't have any information. Here's to a relaxing rest of the week where I don't need to obsessively check my email!

I am slowly plugging away at getting the cookbook put together. I have received so many recipes! Of course, there are always room for more! Either post your recipes here or email them to me at anniemwk6@hotmail.com. If you would like to snail mail some recipes to me (so I can type them up and you don't have to) just contact me and I'll arrange something. Thanks for all your help!


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

PGN Irks Already

We aren't in PGN yet. We probably aren't even close. There is a chance that we could be getting an update today, before all the attorneys go away for Holy Week but I am not keeping my hopes up. We did get an email from our agency however. It turns out that PGN has decided to kick out several cases recently for not having notarized/certified/authenticated copies of their passports in their dossiers. Sure, I see dollar signs thinking how it is going to cost us a couple hundred extra to get these stupid forms included now, whereas it would have only cost us about $25 extra had we had them certified/authenticated with the rest of our documents. And why didn't we have these photocopies taken care of way back when? Oh, that's right. That is because they were never, still aren't, and probably never will be a requirement. Yet, somehow PGN gets to make up rules as they go along and suddenly they are telling people their files are deficient for not containing things they aren't supposed to contain. I know at this point I should be immune to the ridiculous tactics of PGN, but I am still surprised over and over again.

Also, it turns out that a particular form that we had to submit is now being required to be filled out in black ink. You must use a ball point pen and press very hard when filling out this form so that ridges form on the back of the document making it obvious that this is an original form. This I totally understand. I mean, if I were to use blue pen it would be totally obvious that I couldn't possibly be a good parent. (That was sarcasm just in case you missed it.)


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Happy Birthday Marcus!

Today my little baby turns 1 year old! I can't believe it! Mostly it seems odd since this time last year we didn't even know about him. He has been here for 5 months and he is already 1 year old. It has been the best time of my life, that's for sure!

We had a birthday party for him yesterday, so we could all rest up today. We were surrounded by friends and family and it was a wonderful day. The weather even cooperated so some people ventured out to the patio and back yard. We had yummy food and lots of cake! Marcus got his own "smash cake" that he attacked with two fists. We ended up eating cake around the same time that he would have normally had dinner so he was really hungry. I couldn't believe how much cake he ate! I thought for sure he would be up all night with a tummy ache. Nope. He must have been exhausted from playing with all his friends, family, and new toys and slept like a champ.

Happy Birthday Marcus!

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