Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vivi's first ride on my shoulders

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Building a shelf

Eric and Vivi built a shelf from Ikea to go in our front closet.

The cats made sure it was stable

Proud of the finished product :)


Eric's grandpa and step grandma came down to visit last weekend. They had never met Jenavieve. They brought some very cute fleece pajamas that I wish would fit me right about now!

This weekend was mostly uneventful, but on Sunday we did get to go to my friend Alex's church to see her get baptized. It was very cool, her dad got to help baptize her! Their praise band had a trombone and 2 flutes that were pretty exciting for Vivi to watch. She stared intently at them every time they played.

We're getting packed for South Carolina this weekend, I'm pretty excited that it will be in the upper 70's. We'll be visiting Eric's Aunt Chris and Uncle Howard in Myrtle Beach, Vivi's birthfamily in Charleston, and maybe stopping by to meet little Aera in Ohio on the way home. Its a lot to pack into one weekend but it should be fun.

ALSO, I think we forgot to post that we don't have to go to Utah to finalize! Our motion was granted. We still will be finalizing in November, our lawyer will appear in court for us. We got some paperwork this week that has to be signed and notarized and sent back and then we wait for our court date.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What is special about 9 days from today?

It has been way too long since I have written a post.

I have enjoyed having the summer semester off, but I am excited to start back up again tomorrow with Fundamentals of Project Management on Monday nights. After 3 years of asking the department chair to offer the class on campus instead of online they are finally offering an in person session, but I do have to drive out to the Troy campus.

Work has been going great, I have been getting involved with bigger projects now that I have been on my team for almost a year. We are getting extra busy in preparation for the big clinical/revenue system activation at St. Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor.

I was blessed to have been able to deliver a message at our Church two weeks ago. Unfortunately Pastor D resigned at the end of August so we are in the process of searching for a new pastor. If we are unable to find an interim pastor in October I may have the opportunity to preach again =) When I get a chance I will see if I can post the recording.

Jenavieve is growing faster than I could ever imagine. If you answered the title question with Jenavieve will be 5 months old you get special prize! These last almost 5 months have totally flown by. It has been such a blessing to watch her grown and develop. She was babbling at me today and I told her I loved her and it totally sounded like she said "I wuv you" right back to me. She is such a sweet little pumpkin!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Vivi's 4 month appt

Jenavieve had her 4 month appointment on Tuesday. It was great! She weighs a whopping 12.5 pounds, which is in the 15th percentile. They measured her at 25 1/4 inches, but I'm not sure she's quite that tall, although her pants have been getting a little short. If that is right, she would be in the 74th percentile, so tall and skinny. They gave us these cool graphs that show her progression, even though she is small she is on a steady curve so that is good.

The doctor was again impressed at how strong she is for her age and said developmentally she is way ahead since she is already sitting on her own and is steady on her feet when she holds our hands to stand. She said she has good muscle tone and great skin, and while she was checking her out said "she is just a beautiful baby! You are so lucky!"

Then we talked about shots. We chose her as our pediatrician because she does her research and doesn't over vaccinate, and because she prefers homeopathic remedies over prescription drugs. I love love love her! At our first meeting, I told her that we wanted her to have some/most immunizations, but not right away and spread out. At her 2 month appt, she said that since I wasn't back to work yet and it was summer so nothing was really going around, we could just wait until her 4 month appt to do anything.

On Tuesday she asked if I was still feeling the same about immunizations and asked if she could give her one shot, the DTaP, since pertussis is going around like crazy. 

She sent the nurse in with the shot, and Vivi was starting to get hungry and fussy. The nurse encouraged me to hold her and cuddle her and feed her while she did the shot. Vivi fussed for maybe 10 seconds when she got the shot, and then went right back to eating. She was a little extra cranky yesterday, but other than that was fine.

5 minutes after her first shot with her little Snoopy bandaid, just as cheerful as ever (and look at that chunky thigh!)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Apple Orchard

We took Jenavieve to the apple orchard for the first time on Sunday. She loved it! We went on a hayride, where she wasted no time pulling a handful of hay out of the bale and shoving it in her mouth. She carried an apple around and slobbered all over the outside, and we decided to leg her taste the inside of an apple. She wasn't sure she liked it at first, but she kept licking it anyway.

After our bag was full, we went across the street to the cider mill and got cider and donuts and a cider slush! They had a giant rocking chair photo op that was pretty funny, talk about a size comparison picture! The chair was solid wood and actually rocked, it was very cool.

There are a lot of really cute pictures, too many to put on this page, so click on the picture below to go to the online album.

Apple Orchard 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Shopping Diva

Ok, you don't expect me to have a daughter and not teach her to shop do you?

We have a new niece/cousin!

Eric's sister Amanda had baby #3 today, Aera Star Horenziak. Jenavieve is so happy to have a girl cousin her age (she just doesn't know it yet!). She is 8 pounds, 11 ounces, I don't know how long though. A good sized little peanut. Congratulations Amanda, Mike, Anya, and Asia!

Welcome to the world little Aera!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cute boots

I have to post this picture from Sunday since Vivi's outfit is too adorable to not be seen!  Eric preached at church, and his sermon was great (I would know, I heard it 30 times during the week ;) if he ever gets a chance, I'm sure he'll blog about it. In case he doesn't, he really enjoyed both the researching and writing, and the preaching, and hopes to do it again sometime. I did have to talk him out of adding seminary to his plans of finishing his master's, becoming a part time professor, working his way up to CIO at work, and having more children. Maybe when the kids are grown.

Vivi has these cute little black boots, so we both wore our black boots to church on Sunday.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Part of the pack

What is a group of cats called? Is it always a pride, like lions? Anyway...

Jenavieve fell asleep on the couch, and one by one, the cats joined her. It was very cute.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Article from Adoptive Families Magazine

"Did You Try to Have Your Own Kids?"

My wife was deluged with questions at a new moms' group, each one more personal than the last.

By Billy Cuchens

When we became parents to our two multiracial kids, my wife, Laurie, and I became a novelty to friends and acquaintances—and to strangers we met in the grocery store. At first, I was somewhat sympathetic to the staring. If I had seen a white man chasing a small black child, who was crying and screaming, “I want my Mommy!” through a crowded restaurant, I’d want an explanation, too. But as the child’s parent, the staring makes me eager to claim Isaac as my son. “I love you, son” or “Hold Daddy’s hand,” I announce loudly when I see someone looking our way.

Questions and comments, however, generally require a response. My lot is to endure blunt questions, like “Why did you adopt? Do you shoot blanks, or something?” or “Do you wear boxers or briefs? I’ve heard briefs can really mess up your count.” My wife undergoes a subtler get-to-know-you interrogation.

The other day, Laurie took our three-year-old son and baby daughter with her to a new moms’ lunch group. The conversation began when one mom asked my wife, “So, how long have you had the baby?”

“Since birth,” my wife said. “Her birthmother asked us to be in the delivery room when she was born.”

“Did it cost a lot?” another asked.

Each time we’re asked the money question, we think of asking if the interrogator’s hospital bills were high. But my wife calmly responded, “All adoption agencies charge a fee for their services.”

“What’s her background?”

“If you mean her ethnicity, our daughter is multiracial.”

“What do you mean?”

“She is part Caucasian, part Hispanic, and part African American.”

“Now, how does that work?” The woman was obviously struggling with the math required to understand more than two races.

After the moms had satisfied their curiosity about our daughter’s race, the talk circled back to adoption. “I hope you don’t mind my asking, but why did her mother give her up?”

“Every birthmom has a different reason for making an adoption plan. Often, she realizes that she doesn’t have the resources to parent a child for the next 18 years or so.”

“Is that what happened with her?”

The new moms didn’t seem to be picking up on Laurie’s discomfort.

“We don’t discuss our children’s stories with other people. We’d like them to decide with whom they’ll share details when they’re older.”

“Was her birthmother young?”

“No. Why?”

“I just wonder what kind of person….” the woman caught herself. “Well, I can’t believe anyone would give up a baby who smiles so much.” As my wife pondered a response, another mom asked, “So, you still have contact with the birthmother?”

“Somewhat. My husband and I have an open adoption.”

“Is that weird?” someone else asked.

“Why would it be weird?” my wife inquired.

“I just think it would be too hard to see her holding the baby. I’d get jealous.”

“Well, she’d be holding my child. Besides, she hasn’t seen the baby since birth.” At this, all of the moms let out a sigh of relief.

But soon enough, they asked the inevitable question: “Did you try to have your own kids?”

“Well, these are my own kids,” my wife said. The leader began to fumble over her words. She knew she had asked an inappropriate question. Laurie is always kind enough to bail out someone who’s just said something stupid, so she replied, “Did you mean to ask if we tried to conceive?”

“Yes, that’s what I meant.”

“We tried for a year before we realized that God was calling us to adopt.”

“We’ve always talked about adopting,” someone chimed in. We hear this a lot, too. Mothers, in particular, say this, usually followed by, “Being pregnant is so hard. I don’t think I could do it again,” or “We have always wanted to give a home to all those poor babies who don’t have one.”

“It took us a while to get pregnant, too,” another mom volunteered.

“It can take a long time for some couples,” my wife sympathized, assuming she had struggled through years of infertility. “How long did it take you?”

“It took my husband and me a couple of months before we got pregnant.”

My wife simply nodded her head. Then she called my cell phone to see when I was coming to pick her up.

As Laurie spotted me walking into the restaurant, she began putting our son’s shoes on him. I waited for her to introduce me to some of the other moms. When she didn’t, I took the hint and asked, “What do you need me to do?”

“Get me out of here,” she whispered.

My wife cheerfully said goodbye to the group. As we headed toward the door, I couldn’t help overhearing the conversation. The women were discussing how much their children resembled themselves and their husbands.

Billy Cuchens lives with his wife and children in Carrollton, Texas.


Vivi and I sat on the front steps waiting for Eric to get home from work, and since it was such a nice day and she loves nature so much, we sat her in the grass to see what she thought. She loved it, she kept running her hands through the grass and looking around. We also saw a chipmunk walk right past us, apparently he lives under the deck, and watched cars go by. Its so fun experiencing things through a child's eyes, every little thing is interesting again.

Yes, that is an independently sitting baby-she's not consistent yet but is getting pretty stable. 

*family and friends who are also on facebook, sorry for the picture repeats, I'm still a little behind on my blogging. I'm trying to spread them out so it isn't one bombardment of pictures a week :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bath time!

Vivi has started really enjoying her baths, she's becoming quite a water baby. Since she has started grabbing everything and putting it in her mouth, she decided to try it with the bathwater, reaching out and making fists in the water, and then lifting her hand out of the water and looking at it. 

Her hair is so long when you stretch it out

This is what she'd look like with straight hair!

I don't know what this face is!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Gardening with Grandma and Grandpa

Last Saturday, we went to Eric's parents' to help harvest potatoes. Our brother in law Mike was there with Anya and Asia too. The girls picked carrots, tomatoes, and potatoes. We also picked some kale. Since Vivi has been really into holding things and feeling them, I gave her a piece of kale to hold. She loved feeling the ruffly edges, but eventually, like everything else, it ended up in her mouth.

You can see the potatoes in the dirt at the bottom of this picture

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cooking with Grandma

Still trying to catch up from last week, we were so busy and I didn't sit down to blog, but being so busy, I have a ton of updates and pictures!

Vivi and Grandma made banana bread and brownies last week. Vivi was a good helper!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sleepy girl

Every night before bed, Eric washes the dishes, and Vivi usually sits in her bumbo and watches. She must have been extra sleepy tonight (or dishes are just that boring)!

Just because its cute

I love this outfit on her :)

Best friends

Ian and Vivi have become best friends. He likes to snuggle up next to her and she likes to feel his fur (and eat his tail). Sometimes he even tries to wake her up from a nap to get attention from her.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Last week, I took Jenavieve, David, and Kaylee to Kensington to meet my mom, who was watching my cousins Adam and Amy. We went to the farm, the nature center, and then to one of the picnic areas where we had lunch and played on the play structure. The boys played catch and football and the girls played on the swings and helped take care of the baby. 

I'm trying to put the pictures in differently, I hope it works!



Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Vivi's first trip to the zoo

Last week, Eric and I took Jenavieve to the zoo with Janelle, Ryan, and the boy she nannies for, Sanou. Jenavieve slept through most of it, but Sanou had a lot of fun seeing the animals. 

Her shirt says "Is it too early to ask for a pony?". Eric's cousin Natalie sent it to her.

Making sure she's short enough to ride the train for free :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

4 month bread picture

We had a lot of requests to do a repeat of the famous bread picture now that she is bigger. 

So, here is Jenavieve with her bread at 12 days old, and in the 5 pound range.

And here is Jenavieve with her bread (same brand), at 4 months old, and just a little over 12 pounds.