T's birthday weekend!

Remember when you were a kid and the whole day revolved around you on your birthday?! Things are different once you're a parent. Yep, my birthday was on Saturday. The big three-two. Why did our kids decide to be complete you-know-what's? Didn't they understand that I needed a little pampering? Sigh...it was not to be. The biggest one had two hours ALL day without a tantrum, pouting, or crying {literally}. Ben promised we'd have a re-do at some point but we still had a great dinner at The Nile Ethiopian Restaurant. Yum. I'm hungry even typing this now. YUM!!!

{our attempt at a good birthday photo}

Thankfully my sweet family mailed some gifts and the Edible Arrangements guy even brought me the most FANTASTIC treat {thanks erik & caroline!}. Between that, the pink roses the kids gave me, and Ben sending me out the door to get a mani/pedi, I can't complain too much. As much as I love them, sometimes the best gift is having a little time of solitude without my sweet kids.

{this is about 60 seconds after the delivery guy left. so good.}

Sunday morning we decided to try the Ethiopian church here in Denver {http://www.ethiodenver.com/}. Wow. What a fantastic experience. After taking the boys into their sunday school classes, Ben and I were given headsets so we could have the sermon translated. We joked that we think we heard a different message because the head pastor said about 10 words to our translated 1. But it was still fantastic and the people were beyond friendly and inviting. Made me think that this is how church is supposed to be. Granted, we stuck out like sore thumbs because we were the only white folks there, but so many people came to chat with us afterward. Loved it. Hopefully we'll make some new friends as we visit from time-to-time.

And next time, I'm definitely partaking in the potluck. Cannot believe we passed up more Ethiopian food. Great...now I'm hungry again.

Oh my goodness Anton, I am SO sorry. How could I have forgotten out DATE on Friday night? Our sweet boy has a huge love of restaurants. He wanted to take me out, he had his own money and everything. We decided to go to Nordstrom Cafe {my favorite} and Anton ordered us a cheese pizza and chocolate mousse cake. We played tons of tic-tac-toe and I loved every. minute. of. it.

{how is my baby big enough to take me out to dinner...and pay?!}

Now, why was I complaining about my birthday again? Other than the bad attitudes the day of, I was lavished upon more than my sometimes selfish self realized.

Thank you Ezekiel, Anton, Laith, Imani, and of course my sweet love Ben.
Thank you for a good three-two. xo


Ezekiel's Teeth!

What an exciting and big day today is! Ezekiel and Ben left for the hospital about 6:30am for E's Oral Surgery! Six years of not owning a toothbrush has obviously left some damage on our sweet boy's teeth. He gets extreme headaches {possibly migraines} sometimes and has massive tooth aches because some are broken and the nerves are exposed.

But today that all changes!!! Yay Ezekiel for being such a brave kid! He was THRILLED when he found out about the appointment. We have had a daily count-down for about two weeks. And today is the day.

At dinner last night, we told him to EAT UP since he wasn't allowed to eat breakfast. He ate so much we thought he'd throw up.

- 2 big bowls of chili {with tons of crackers in it}
- oven baked potatoes
- 1 orange
- 1 banana
- a bunch of grapes
- cup of milk

There was more, I think. Ben and I were looking at each other like, "Where on earth is he putting all this food?!"

Ben brought our old iPhone with so he would be distracted while they waited. Ben told me, "He just wants to play his soccer game. Everything else is an annoyance to him. Not nervous at all." 

What a brave kid.

Ezekiel, we can't wait 'till you're out of surgery and have no more tooth pain! We love you!

First Snow!

Technically this is the 2nd snow because we did get a little dusting about two weeks ago...but it wasn't much and after the boys woke up around 6am to play in it, it had melted by mid-afternoon.

This however, was a big FUN snowday! Fall break made it even more fun, because they knew they had all week to get their fill.

Ezekiel did really well for never experiencing this kind of cold. When we brought him home, I handed him a glass of water with ice in it. He freaked out, thinking his hands were hurt...he'd never felt cold like that before. He's come a long way since then & did great with this chilly weather!

I had warned them not to eat dirty looking or yellow snow {haha}...Ezekiel ran up to me at one point saying he found yellow snow "but don't worry Mommy, I didn't eat it."


She's Just Skin & Bones {video}

Makes me so sad to think how skinny Imani was. 
If it weren't for those beautiful eyes, I wouldn't even believe it was our same baby girl.

{she's 4 months old here...that dress I brought is size 3 months, and she swims in it}


Journal Entry - Ethiopia {meeting Imani} November 1, 2010

Dear Imani,

“She is yours.” That is what the Judge told us about a half hour ago! Imani Anderson, you are ours. I only wish we got to bring you home this trip.

Meeting you yesterday was completely surreal. There was a bit of miscommunication so we only got to meet you for about 10 minutes before we had to go with the rest of the group in the van & play tourist.

Alazar, the man who owns the guest house where we’re staying, took us and 4 others to the Abay Gorge {Ethiopia’s Grand Canyon}. WOW was it beautiful.

Immediately after our day excursion, we drove back to pick you up. It was around 7 or so and already getting dark. You no longer wore the beautiful outfit they had put you in to meet us, instead you wore pink footed pj’s with a onesie underneath to keep you extra warm {it’s a lot colder here than I expected}.

Your nanny was not too excited about being without you. She looks after 7 babies {including you} but I think you’re her favorite. You have your own bassinet, with several cozy blankets. All the other babies shared cribs – some with broken rails. Some had blankets, some without.
{the baby room} 
{Imani's nanny}

She finally hugged & kissed you one last time & handed you to me. Earlier when we first met you, you were sleeping & I felt bad waking you to pick you up {but of course I did it…I could NOT wait to hold you!!!}. This time, you were wide awake & very cuddly. You didn’t seem to mind at all the fact that we were taking you away {for a few days}.

It’s funny, they didn’t give us a thing. Not a bottle, diaper, extra clothing – I don’t even think you were in a blanket. It was just a kind of a “here ya go…” kind of thing.

You slept cuddled in my arms all through the night. It’s completely amazing the love for you I feel already. I feel like I just birthed you. I love you every bit as much as Anton & Laith and there is absolutely nothing that separates our unconditional love for you. You are part of our family as much as anyone else. Our family grew by one back in August when we accepted your referral but it feels different now that we have me you & snuggled you.

You are mine & I am yours, and I will love you every moment of every day, for the rest of my life. No matte where you go or what you do, you have my whole heart…and you have since God placed you first in my dreams, and then into my reality.

This morning before our court appointment, Yonathan {our new friend who works at the guest house} walked us to a nearby clinic. We were worried about you from the moment we met you because you have a deep cough in your chest that you’ve had since at least a month ago when we received the most recent video of you.

Also because you weigh about 9 ½ lbs at 4 months. You are literally newborn size. None of the clothes we brought you fit {at ALL}. You are so preciously tiny. Your tummy however, is not. It looks bloated and thick and feels hard.

That especially made us nervous.

The doctor informed us of what we expected to hear: you have a bronchial infection…and are malnourished.

MY BABY IS MALNOURISHED?! How is that possible?! I was SO upset to think of my baby so hungry and poorly fed that she suffers from malnutrition.

Your daddy & I realized they were feeding you every 2 hours {which is great} but they were only giving you ½ the formula needed in your bottle, it was largely just water. We were given some medicine for your cough and formula recommendations from the dr {we ended up buying about 40 cans for you and the other babies, to help you all stay healthy & nourished}.

The entire dr visit cost us about $6.00 {American}…and that included the medicine.
{the group of us in front of the courthouse...we all passed!}
{the restaurant where we celebrated after our Court appointment}

{tomorrow we will drive to Debrezyet, the are in which the police officer found you}

I love you, my sweet.

First photo of Imani {in orphanage}

This is one of the first photos of baby Imani we received. Little did we know how sick & malnourished she was.

It seems so long ago {video May 2009}

Hello and welcome!

This blog has been a long time coming. Much procrastination and excuses ultimately led me to just get over myself and become a blogger to document the craziness that is our life.

Having two boys 15 months apart {yep, I was the crazy lady you saw who had a 6 month old and was already pregnant again!} and then adopting two beautiful kids from Ethiopia this past year, has made me realize I'd better document this stuff...I know I simply will not remember all the details.

So here we are. A family of 6 {for now}. Three boys and a baby girl. Craziness, loudness, mess, and all the in between. Here we are, the raw, real, Anderson family.

oh and our name!!! {hugs & punches}

I've gotta tell you where it came from. It's the perfect description of our boys, Anton & Laith.

When Anton {the sensitive, loving one} was two, he gave one year old Laith {the crazy one, we call him "Crash"} a hug and said, "I love you Laith!" And little Laith turned and punched him square in the face.

Yep. That's our family.