Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Big One Continues

The sisters came to town on Saturday, so Sophie was finally given cake. Poor thing has been so deprived of sugar by her mean mommy until now! :) She definitely loved it. Josh and I got Sophie an aquarium, and it was a hit. Here are the highlights:



Family partying


Sophie tearing into a present


Seeing her aquarium for the first time


I made it myself - I was pretty proud of it because I'm not that crafty.


Sophie and her cake


Starting to eat some cake


Cake is pretty much demolished


Post cake eating

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Big One


Sophie says I am ONE!

Mommy and Sophie

Just so you can see her cute little birthday shirt, thanks, Lola

Dancing along with the dancing reindeer

I am feeling awfully sentimental tonight as I write this so beware. I've been more than negligent in posting recently and so much has happened! Thanksgiving, our seventh wedding anniversary, and now Sophie's first birthday! Not only that, but this week marks six months since we met Sophie in Ethiopia. What a whirlwind it has been.

I literally cannot remember life without her. Much like my marriage... our daughter is now such a part of the fabric of us. I am in her and she is in me. It might as well have been six decades.

Yes, I'll post a picture of her eating cake, don't worry, that's still to come.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wedding Belles


I was privileged to be in the wedding of two friends a couple of weekends ago. It was a beautiful wedding and reception. Ashley was a beautiful bride! Congrats and welcome home!


Friday, November 16, 2007

It's (finally) Fall in Memphis!

People from Tennessee, especially middle and east Tennessee, think that Memphis is the armpit of our state. Oh, yeah? Well, here's some pics of the trees in Memphis that I took on my way home from work yesterday with my cellphone. They are BEAUTIFUL!





Take that Nashville!


In other news, Sophie has gotten accustomed to coming to my office in the afternoons to play after Parents' Day Out and sometimes watching her 30 minute Praise Baby video. Lately, when she gets here, she immediately crawls out of my office, around the corner, and into my coworker Buster's office, where she stands up and pats the cabinet doors signaling for someone to turn on her video. This is how I found her one day last week. Ridiculous I know. I swear she is not a TV addict!!!! This makes me look pretty bad, though, I must say. :)










Thursday, November 08, 2007

Since Halloween...






  • Well, since Halloween, we've had quite the eventful last week and a half. Sophie caught a respiratory bug of some kind, with lots of yucky symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and a raspy voice. It lasted about a week, starting the Sunday after Halloween. She was feeling better by Friday so we continued with our plans to go to Arkansas for the weekend to meet up with a couple of friends from college. (see picture below) The weekend went great, and she was in a pretty good mood considering. Monday and Tuesday were normal, then Tuesday night she started vomiting. Turns out she has a "GI bug" as the ER doc put it as he put two bags of fluids in her iv today. (!!) Hoping she'll be over this by the weekend because a wedding of two good friends is this Saturday. Two bugs in a row, what are the chances of that? So I'm pretty sick of her being sick. Not as sick of it as she is I'm sure. She's been a great sport and of course I am thankful that neither of these illnesses lasted long.
  • That's where we've been and that's why I've been missing some blogging. I want to say thanks to all who commented about my previous post "What do you say to this?" I am thankful for the reminder for my own life that we have to be smart and careful about what we say to each other. Showing respect to people is key in being the light of Christ to them. Something said carelessly could turn off the opportunity for a relationship. As the world grows smaller and cultures intersect, I need to be intentional to learn more about what that means, to show respect to those who may be different than me in whatever way, and be thoughtful about how I approach people.
  • On another note, something I don't think I have mentioned on the blog, is that we have met more Ethiopians in Memphis! I recently met two young guys in Target (I know, I spend a lot of time there) who I thought were speaking Amharic (primary language spoken in Ethiopia). I asked if they were from Ethiopia, and then we got to a talk a little bit about the country and our visit there. They were happy to meet Sophie and said "hello, little country baby!". It was really sweet. One of the two, had only arrived in the States two weeks ago to begin school in Memphis. He was especially excited to find out I had actually traveled to his country. What a great interaction to balance out that annoying last Target interaction!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What do you say to this?

Yesterday in Target while walking down the diaper aisle with my daughter, a Caucasian middle aged lady approached me and said, "Did you adopt him?" very bluntly and abruptly. I just said "uh-huh, it's a girl" but kept moving.

She came over to the cart and touched Sophie's toes, and said, "It is so great that you did that. It is so hard to get families to adopt kids like these."

My thought was, Kids like WHAT??!!!!???!! I was so dumbfounded and did not respond well. I think I just said, "What?" and she repeated some part of her first statement. I began to walk off more quickly and just muttered something about how I am the lucky one and my daughter is not a charity case.

I cannot think this comment was anything but racially ignorant. This is the first time anyone has said anything like this to me. It really got me thinking about how to respond to people in the future when I come across them. I probably couldn't have changed this lady's attitude with anything I might have said, but Sophie would have heard it. I have to learn to say something back that, especially when she is older, Sophie will know that I will not tolerate comments such as this directed toward her or our family. On the other hand, I don't want Sophie to watch me overreact and blow up, but rather to respond in a way that is godly and represents who we are. I have been thinking today, sadly, what if Sophie was just a little bit older and could understand that statement? Would she be asking why its "hard to get families to adopt kids" like her?

Still almost 24 hours later I don't know what I would have said. What do you say to such outright rudeness? Adoptive parents especially, please share some wisdom here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Twice Tagged

I have been putting off posting because I have a lot to respond to. Two friends tagged me at the same time with different tagging lists. So this will be in response to two friends: Kellie (an "online" friend who I have become acquainted with through Ethiopian adoption) and to Larissa (an in person friend who used to live just a couple of streets away but now resides in Texas).



SO....



Kellie, here you go!

Jobs I've held:

1. Party Hostess at a local kids entertainment place

2. Hostess at a Spa/Salon

3. Macy's and Dillards clothing specialist

4. Waitress at a Country Club (ok,actually I only lasted like a month on this one)



Places I've lived:

1. Dallas, TX

2. Searcy, AR

3. Tuscaloosa, AL

4. Memphis, TN


Foods I love:

1. good chicken salad

2. Blue Bell Ice Cream

3. Tomato Soup (from either Davis Kidd or La Baguette, please)

4. Italian pretty much anything



Places I would rather be: (so cliche I know)
1. Beach in Mexico

2. Beach in Florida

3. On a cruise in the Caribbean heading to a beach

4. In Florence, Italy



Movies I love:

1. Notting Hill

2. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

3. Felicity DVD series

4. Sweet Home Alabama


TV shows I watch:

1. Lost

2. Chuck

3. Bones

4. Take Home Chef (I really hope to run into him someday in my local Fresh Market)







Larissa, here's yours:

Eight random facts/habits about myself:

1. I like small versions of things. Like yesterday, I saw that they are now engineering smaller 1/2 size bananas for kids lunches. Genius! Another reason I LOVE baby clothes and shoes. And mini Pilot G2 pens. (that's for Jesse)

2. I enjoy doing impressions, not of famous people, more of people that I am around a lot. I am not that good at some, but there are a few I think I do pretty well. I used to do a mean Leslie, but its been awhile since I've performed it. My impressions are all in love not in mocking.

3. I am a piler. Pile-r. When straightening up my house or my desk, I tend to just create more piles. I try to clean things out once in a while but I have to go through my piles to do this.

4. I have very hard gross feet. I think this comes from years of not wearing shoes. I loved being barefoot as a kid. And I cannot swing a weekly pedicure, so Josh has to endure my scratchy feet. He does not like when they accidentally brush up against him in the bed.

5. I like to read. I like to read James Patterson novels, especially for fun. I read a lot of adoption literature. I am currently reading I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla:Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World: A Guide for Parents and Teachers.

6. Growing up I wanted to be an optometrist. I have had glasses since I was a kid and so I loved how the doctor said, "which one is better: one or two?" and flipped down the different lenses. I think I will have to let go of this dream at this point.

7. My Myers Briggs: ESFJ.

8. I am so in love with being a mother. I didn't know what it could feel like for a small person to reach for you and want you only. I cannot believe how lucky I am.





So much more than you ever wanted to know about me, I know. Here are a couple of Sophie pics of late.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sophie's latest adventures




Daddy and Sophie on the front porch



Toothy Grin (She has five now with another threatening to poke out) while playing with her favorite new toy... the door stop



with Uncle Jon



with friend Shannon







reading in the rocking chair




Another bath shot (she is getting really good at posing while in the bath...hm this might be a bad idea)

Monday, October 08, 2007

PowWow


If you don't know what a PowWow is, you haven't been in the Highland Youth Group. A PowWow is when you go around in the circle and every person shares a "Pow" (a negative, or not-so-good thing) about his or her week, and then shares a "Wow" (a positive, or better than last week thing). Sometimes used by youth ministers when a real lesson has not been prepared. I.e. my lesson in the 12 graders class on Sunday morning. But wait, I have an actual reason. I'll formulate my reasons in the PowWow format for demonstration's sake.

Pow:



  1. This past week on Tuesday morning, I had a 12yr molar removed from the very back of my mouth. This tooth had been bothering me for years and finally it was time to get said tooth out of there. While this process was supposed to be a simple one, just a day off from work and a few pain pills, it escalated into quite the big deal. I was in so much pain by Thursday I had to go back and tell them to do SOMETHING to make it feel better. I have dry sockets, the dentist said. If you have ever had dry sockets (usually happen when one gets wisdom teeth out), you know that the pain that tiny little hole causes is amazing. I cannot tell you how bad it hurt. I sat on my couch for a whole day and didn't move and it still hurt the entire time! So a lot of last week was taken up with that ordeal.

  2. The Cubs lost to the Diamondbacks in the NLDS playoffs this weekend. It was a very sad day in the Ray household (especially for Josh, my husband, who is a diehard lifelong fan).

Wow:



  1. Finally after a few more trips to the dentist and a prescription for stronger pain killers, I started feeling better. Friday night we had plans to see some friends who were in town, and I took two of those new pain pills before we left to make sure I'd feel ok... Oops, it turns out I felt a little bit, how should I say, loopy that entire night. But the tooth sure felt better! And it is on the road to full recovery.

  2. Fewer nights lost to watching baseball games now, since we will not be watching anymore teams in the playoffs. And just in time for our favorite fall shows.

  3. It's actually supposed to get cooler this week! YEA, fall!

  4. My kid is still awesome and hilarious! Every week on Sunday during church I get so overwhelmed with emotion for some reason . I think it is a mixture of gratitude to God for such a precious gift and a feeling of being overwhelmed at the idea of raising her. What a blessing she is.

What is your PowWow?

Friday, September 28, 2007

getting off the baby weight



Something really annoying that has happened to me is that even though I did not carry a baby inside of me, somehow I have still ended up carrying a little extra flab since Sophie arrived home. What is the deal with that? The reason, of course I know, is that I have continued to eat my normal ways (love ice cream, love chocolate, love Cinnamon Melts from McDonald's, which by the way you should try if you haven't), but have discontinued any aerobic activity at all. By this, I mean I have not even been to our gym since June 16. I just haven't wanted to leave Sophie anymore than I already have to for work. A few walks here and there with Sophie have happened, but it is just now getting cool enough to make me want to go outside. I feel out of shape and it stinks.

SO, which is it going to be: diet or exercise? (I KNOW, both is the answer) And what kind of plan?

I am considering going to the Spinning classes at our gym at 6 am on Mondays and Wednesdays. This will require a lot of discipline however. I have also thought about trying to get into jogging, and perhaps run a race... not a half or whole marathon I don't think, but something... Or I could join Weight Watchers again...

I will confess here that I am notoriously bad at being disciplined about anything. This is a major frustration I have about myself. Whether it's eating, running, talking, reading, or studying, I have a hard time making a goal and a plan and sticking to it. So since I know this, I feel sometimes discouraged before I even start a new plan because I don't want to fail.

Anyone else feeling me? Ideas?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Trip to the Zoo

We had a great weekend in Memphis. Fall is finally starting (which means we only have temperatures in the low 90's instead of the 100's) and it was just beautiful out. We took the opportunity to go to the zoo. This trip, while fun, was of course mostly for us, because it's a really fun activity to take your kid to the zoo for the first time. She could have cared less for most of the animals. She really liked the waterfalls and fountains in the animals' areas though. :) And she liked the animals we could really up close. I wanted her to like the giraffes because she is going to be a giraffe for Halloween. It was fun seeing our friends Josh and Joni and Lilly, though.

I am obsessed with tiny things, as my friends probably know, and so the baby monkey was the cutest thing I have ever seen. The mom and dad passed the baby back and forth, and then the dad (I think) turned his back to us and held the baby away like he didn't want us gawking at his baby. I loved it. I also love Sophie's tiny clothes, like these adorable little jeans. :)Weird I know.

Hope all had a good weekend, too.


Sophie's First Pair of Jeans


At the Memphis Zoo entrance


Sophie is really really interested in the rhinos (at least Lilly is looking at them)


This is a unique monkey with its tiny little baby (they start out orange and their hair gets darker) - I was obsessed with this tiny baby


Joshes and Girls


Family in front of the black bears


Crawling at the speed of light

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New stuff



... my crawler has become a climber/pullerupper/wrestler. She is everywhere. Today I had her picture made at Penney's (great job they do by the way)and she kept crawling off the platform or chair or whatever they had her on. Major changes headed our way, everyone kept telling me. They were right.

...Thursday was Sophie's 9 month "birthday". We went to see Dr. B today and he gave her a clean bill of health and the open invitation to real table food. So many changes and so quickly...

...last weekend Sophie and I traveled to Tuscaloosa to visit TDavis. Cute pics of that to follow.

...we went to court to "readopt" Sophie. This is really just a formality but it is important in getting her a birth certificate and then a SSN, passport, etc. in the future. Also her name is now official: Sophia Yenenesh Ray.

... we had the Baby Dedication at church Sunday. Josh had to be at drill for the Navy Reserve and I almost slept in too late to get there. Luckily sans bath, we made it there.


In Tuscaloosa:


Sophie and Lauren BFFs

All the kids (not much better that TDavis's)

All the moms and kids

Outside the courthouse

Eating table foods (macaroni)

Aunt Em and Sophie (I am getting obsessed with the Zatano clothes! Consignment sale baby!)

Baby Dedication receiving her Bible (and looking like we just woke up because we did)