Monday, September 29, 2014

First Family Vacation {Part 2}

A beautiful view on a beautiful day.
We arrived in San Francisco on Monday afternoon and of course had to stop to take tons of pictures overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a beautiful day, super clear with a nice breeze. Squeaks was very happy to get a break from the car seat so looking at the camera was not a priority for her.
 The house we rented was just outside the city. It reminded me of that painting by M.C. Escher of all the staircases going everywhere. It had at least eight sets of stairs, two of which were spiral staircases. It had little cubby-holes everywhere, secret passageways, doors in closets with ladders to a loft, and crawl spaces that led to the roof. It was a super cool house. I was grateful Squeaks hasn't quite learned to crawl yet though. We had a great view of a beautiful beach and there were tons of skylights letting in lots of sunshine. Squeaks sat happily on the wood floors with her toys, and there were so many people in the house, she had a new playmate every few minutes.
We began our first full day in the city at Pier 39. Squeaks loved the sea lions and got her first ride on a carousel. She squealed every time we came around and she saw every one waving at her.
After lunch at Boudin's (where the service sadly wasn't so great), we walked a few blocks to Ghirardelli Square, which was fantastic. It was not easy to keep Squeaks distracted while we ate a mountain of ice cream. She really wanted some and I don't blame her!
We had to say goodbye to Josh's brother and sister-in-law at the end of the day so they could fly home to Seattle for work. It was great seeing them though, and I'm so glad they finally got to meet Squeaks.
On Wednesday we explored Chinatown. Squeaks drew attention here too. Two sweet little old Chinese ladies kept telling us in broken English how beautiful she was. It was so nice. The excitement of the week caught up with her a little though, and Squeaks took a two hour nap strapped to daddy's chest. Such a good daddy.
From Chinatown, we walked to Union Square where we briefly glanced at all the overpriced stores, and then had lunch at the Burger Bar. 
From there Josh's parent's and Grandma went back to the house while Josh, his sister, Squeaks, and I went to the Disney Family Museum in the Presidio. I never did really find out why there's a Disney museum in San Francisco. Josh thinks it's probably because a lot of the family is from there, but it was really cool! We got there a little late in the day so we couldn't go as slow as we would have liked. There was so much to see. They had great interactive displays, audio and video of early cartoons with Walt describing how they were made, and lots of great pictures and family letters. Near the end there was even a super cool miniature model of Disneyland. Squeaks slept a little in my carrier, but when she woke up she loved the old cartoons and drawings.
Did you know Walt and his wife adopted a little girl!? Apparently they went through quite a lot to grow their family (read the top left picture).
Thursday morning we made our eight hour drive home. Again, Squeaks did great up until that last hour or so when she and I did a joint "let-me-outa-here!!" dance. 
And because we're slightly crazy, the next day we spent twelve hours at Disneyland. A great end to a great vacation.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

First Family Vacation {Part 1}

Last week Squeaks went on her first road trip! We took a little vacation to Santa Rosa and San Francisco to visit family. 
Squeaks did a great job on the drive. Taking a panorama shot in a moving car isn't so easy though.
We started off Friday morning for our eight hour drive to Josh's aunt and uncle's house in Santa Rosa. Yes, that's right, an eight hour drive with an eight month old! I did a little asking around about long drives with a baby so I had a plan. We left around nap time, took enough toys to switch out every twenty minutes or so, and had plans to stop a few times along the way. Squeaks did great! She got a tiny bit cranky on the last hour, but frankly, so did I. Haha!

We arrived in Santa Rosa around dinner time. Josh's aunt and uncle's home is beautiful. Surrounded by trees, a creek and swimming hole in back, putting green in front, quiet and cozy.
Heather and Dusty's house was gorgeous. Josh had fun practicing his golf swing and Squeaks enjoyed all the extra attention.
 Seeing as how we were in the middle of wine country we took a few winery tours. It's an absolutely beautiful part of California, filled with rows and rows of thick colorful grape vines, beautiful forests, and rivers. Cool fog in the morning and clear warm sky's in the afternoon. Squeaks had a perfect view of it all from my Tula carrier

We visited the Rodney Strong winery first. Josh's dad worked there when he was younger so it was a nice trip down memory lane for him. Squeaks drew a tiny crowd of sweet (albeit slightly schnockered) ladies in the tasting room. She smiled and giggled politely as I grinned and gently shielded her from their well meaning excitement.
We got a free tasting since Josh's dad used to work there!
We also visited Francis Ford Coppola's winery. Gorgeous! Complete with swimming pool, film "museum", and exact replica of the gazebo from the Godfather wedding scene.
A winery with a pool, does it get better? Nana Sue even got her afternoon coffee fix.
 Lastly, we toured the Korbel winery and had lunch at their deli. Again, beautiful weather, good food, great company. Squeaks slept through the tour, but woke up with the cutest bed-head ever.
Lunch with the family and a winery tour. Every baby's dream right?!
Josh, his dad, brother, and sister-in-law also got to visit a few breweries they enjoyed while Squeaks, my mother and sister-in-laws, Josh's grandma, and I did a little shopping and cupcake-face-stuffing in Healdsberg, the most idyllic looking little town ever. 
Having fun shopping with four generations of our family!
 We did a ton of driving, but everywhere we went was so beautiful!

Our last day in Santa Rosa included a drive to Bodega Bay. We drove by a few land marks from "The Birds" and then spent a little time enjoying the scenery. The birds there actually were a little strange though. Haha! 
The birds at Bodega Bay were actually kind of friendly. We got some great family pictures, including a sweet one of Squeaks holding grandpa's hand.
We had a wonderful time in Santa Rosa. I'm so glad Squeaks finally got to spend some time with her great-aunt Heather and great-uncle Dusty. We are very grateful that they let us spend a few days with them. 

On to San Francisco! Read part two of our family trip.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Heartbeat

There is nothing more real than a heartbeat.

My Father blessed me. 
When I was little, if I had a bad dream, I'd crawl in bed with my parents. My mom would tuck me close to her and bury me in her chest. I could hear her heartbeat and I would fall asleep. My heart was at peace.

My Father surprised me. 
The first time I heard Evelyn's heartbeat mine skipped a beat. The last time I heard her heartbeat it was fast and strong. And then she went home and I met her in a silent room. My heart was broken.

My Father gave me comfort.
I put my head on my husband's chest. His heartbeat is strong and slow and steady. It sounds like home. My heart is in love.

My Father had a plan.
Every once in awhile I have a strong urge to press my ear against my daughter's tiny chest and listen. She giggles and pulls at my hair, and then pushes me away after a bit, because she has places to go, things to see, no time to lie still and let mom listen. But I hear it for a moment and that's all I need. My heart is filled with joy.

There is nothing more real than a heartbeat.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sept. Adoption Love Link-Up: Humanity

Hurray for continuing our link up with all the awesome adoption bloggers out there!! Last month's link up included TWENTY fan-flippin-tastic blogs. I am so encouraged by the response to this link up and very humbled by some of your comments about my blog in general. Thank you!! I can not say enough how much I love reading about each of your journeys, and I hope you all received good traffic and responses to your posts on the first month's topic

For those of you new to my blog and link up and have no idea what I'm talking about, visit the Adoption Love Link-Up page at the top of my blog to see the rules and join in by clicking "add your link" (little blue button). 

This month's topic has been swimming around in my head for quite awhile. I've wanted to write a post about this topic before Squeaks even came home, and have just never gotten around to it. It might seem like a semi-broad subject, but that just means we'll have a great variety of responses! Here it is:

How, if at all, has adoption changed your view of humanity (for good or bad)?
(*This topic is closed. Click here for the current topic.)

I fully intend to answer my own question this month (not sure why I didn't last month). However, we just returned home from a week long vacation, and Squeaks' first road trip (which I will also be writing about soon), and I am thoroughly exhausted. So I need to catch my breath, but I am on the edge of my seat with anticipation for your responses! 

To add a little more organization to our link up, if you choose to write about this month's topic, please feel free to email me a link to that particular post (email to joshkrisadopt at gmail dot com). I will include it at the end of each new monthly topic announcement for those readers who missed it during the month. Here is the list of last month's bloggers who  answered our topic question: (If I missed you, PLEASE let me know!)

Nick & Stef's Adoption Journey
Chronicles of an Adoption
We Love St. Patrick's Day
Until Forever
Expecting Miracles
Sweet Dreams are Made of This
The Littlest Brooks-Livingston
Make It Count
Growth Through Adoption

*Remember, the blog list on the link-up page restarts every month also (to keep the blog list current), so don't forget to add/re-add your blog.*

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


We have some awesome blogs on the Adoption Love Link-up!! I am so loving reading about each of your journeys! If you haven't added your link or are still waiting to post your response to our first topic, now is the time. A new topic and new link-up will begin in TEN DAYS!!! Let's continue sharing the adoption love! Thank you all for joining in!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


These are getting harder and harder to take. But also more fun!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Foodie Baby

We are in the full swing of things with solids now. Squeaks is eating three meals a day. Fruit and yogurt (in small amounts), or fruit with avocado for breakfast, a fruit and veggie for lunch, and meat and veggies for dinner. She's still getting breast milk from our wonderful donors after every meal and as an afternoon snack.

The yogurt and meat are very new additions. After researching both and watching her cues I decided now was the time for a little more protein. I wasn't quite sure about the yogurt at first because I've always heard "no cow's milk before one year". After doing some reading though, I now know yogurt is an exception, and Squeaks would have to eat large amounts of it for the calcium to have any affect on her iron absorption. I buy organic, full fat, plain yogurt from Trader Joe's and add fruit myself. So far the only meat she's had has been turkey and chicken. We're going pretty slow with it. She seems to be more satisfied and full after dinner now, but she's not quite used to the texture the meat adds.

I'm happy to say I've been able to make the majority of her food. She's had a few pre-made jars of fruit from Earth's Best. This is the only brand I've bought so far. I like that it's organic and non-GMO. It's amazingly simple and more cost effective to make baby food though. I thought I'd share a few examples of Squeaks' favorite foods and their costs. Keep in mind ONE 4oz. premade jar at the store is usually $0.99. When I make Squeaks food, everything is organic, and I make enough to freeze as well.

Carrot Zucchini Purée:
One whole bag of carrots (not baby carrots) from Trader Joe's: $0.89
Two large zucchini (one pack at Trader Joe's usually contains four zucchini for $3.00): $1.50
Peel carrots. Cut up carrots and zucchini, and steam together for 15 minutes. Purée in the blender (I use a Vitamix) adding leftover cooking liquid to thin a little. 
Makes six 4oz mason jars.
Total cost: $2.89 ($0.40/jar)

Pumpkin Pear Purée:
Three peeled pears or one can of organic pears (usually easier and cheaper for some reason. I do canned.) : $1.49 (Stater Bros.)
One can of pumpkin purée (carefull not to buy pumpkin pie filling. You can also roast a pumpkin yourself, but I've never tried.) : $2.99 (Stater Bros.)
This ones super easy if you buy canned. Just put everything in the blender with 1/2tsp of cinnamon. Makes six to seven 4oz jars.
Total cost: $4.48 ($0.64/jar)

Spinach Purée:
This one is as basic as it gets. I make a ton of it and add it to other veggies or meat. Squeaks also likes it mixed with applesauce.
One bag of frozen chopped spinach: $1.99 (Trader Joe's)
Steam for about ten minutes and purée in the blinder with a little leftover cooking liquid to thin. 
Makes six 4oz jars.
Total cost: $1.99 ($0.33/jar)

These are just a few of my regularly used recipes. I'm always looking for new flavors and combinations to give Squeaks as much variety as I can. I've also done puréed mango and blueberry, chickpeas, broccoli and green beans, and butternut squash to name a few. I'm really enjoying making Squeaks' food. I feel more confidant knowing exactly what's in it and she seems to prefer homemade. It's satisfying for both of us.

I've also found this book helpful:
The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet

This site has some good recipes too:

 * Squeaks has graduated to "real people food"! Click here to see recipes for her favorite finger foods.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Little Of Everything

That little message popped up on my phone again telling me I had taken one too many pictures of the cutest kid on earth (really, that's exactly what my phone said. Hehe!) And so, I will share some of my favorites with you and try...try...try to choose a few to delete to make room for more (after saving to our laptop too of course).

This batch includes pictures from quiet days at home, evenings at our church's movie nights, swimming at grandma and grandpa's, and Squeaks' new red car seat (Peg Perego, love it). Enjoy!!

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