3-year-old Portraits

We try to get family portraits taken each fall, after Moriah’s birthday. I always hope we get at least one shot that is Christmas-card worthy! Haha!

I kept her hair loose and it was a bit unpredictable during the session. But most of the shots worked out (I did edit out some wild strands in the one of me and her). Her “free” hair matched her free spirit this day! (She usually cries during studio sessions.) The photographer did a great job with a squirmy, excited toddler and two adults wearing glasses (glare).

We are thankful for our 3 year old!

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Joey and Elaine are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio. They hope to complete their family by adopting again. Learn more about Joey, Elaine, and Moriah.

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conversations with our toddler

So, back in the day, I studied linguistics. I thought that some day I might go into translation work. (This, of course, was after I changed my major five times . . ..) By my senior year of college, I had completed a lot of research (and written a lot of papers) on language acquisition in children as well as gender-specific instruction. Sure, I had been around a lot of kiddos, but this was mostly the stuff of theories and text books.

Now, as a mommy nearly ten years later, language acquisition is important to me but I don’t think about the technicalities from day-to-day. I know that, ultimately, interaction is fundamental to language learning. Interestingly, by the age of three, 86 to 98 percent of words in a child’s vocabulary are words that his or her parents say (S.B. Neuman). Children depend heavily upon modeled communication to be able to acquire their native language: a child’s level of linguistic knowledge and the rate of language learning rely greatly on his or her support system (J. Bruner; B. Otto).

This is not news to you, I’m sure.

Still, those little minds can amaze us — they remember so much and make connections quickly! Lately, I’ve been laughing at the things Moriah says.

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On the drive home from church this weekend:

Me: Did you have a good time in the nursery tonight with Michelle and Mrs. Pam?
Moriah: Ham?
Me: Michelle and Mrs. PAM.
Moriah: I did not eat ham.
Me: Sis, listen: HHHam is what you eat. I’m saying PPPam.
Moriah: Pam.
Me: Yes.
Moriah: Oh, yes.

That ended our conversation for a few minutes until she broke the silence.

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Moriah: MY SHART!! I lost my shart!
Me: [silent... trying to figure out what that is]
Moriah: Mom, where’s my shart?!
Me: Your shirt?
Moriah: My shart.
Me: [silent]
Moriah: My shart on my head. My shart.
Me: Your scarf? I have it in my purse. You took it off and gave it to Michelle.
Moriah: [silent and satisfied]

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I love conversing with a toddler. She is learning so much each day.

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Here are a few photos from putt-putt in August that I shared on Instagram but haven’t shared here yet:

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Joey and Elaine are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio. They hope to complete their family by adopting again. Learn more about Joey, Elaine, and Moriah.

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Birthday Princess

Happy Birthday to Moriah Joy — our three-year-old princess!

I snapped a couple pictures of her and Daddy playing with her new LeapPad tonight. We plan to limit her “screen time” and let her play the learning games only while she gets her hair done. Today, of course, was an exception…

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We had a great weekend celebrating her life — we are thankful that she is our daughter! She had two requests for her family party: brownies and some cheese! Haha! She helped Mommy make lunch and prepare the cake and brownies for the get-together. She’s so special!

We cannot remember her birth date with remembering her first mother and praying for her today. She will always have a special place in our hearts.

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Joey and Elaine are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio. They hope to complete their family by adopting again. Learn more about Joey, Elaine, and Moriah.

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1st Day of Fall

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This little lady is enjoying the (slightly) cooler weather so she can play outside longer! I didn’t intend to photograph her pants so I let her wear sweats… oh well. ;)

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I made a digital scrapbook page for her album:

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Credits:
Repartee Full Kit and Repartee Wood Flairs and All Laid Out – Vol 7 template from Dawn by Design
Fonts are Pea Elaine, Pea Eleanor, WaterBrushROB, Traveling Typewriter

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Joey and Elaine are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio. They hope to complete their family by adopting again. Learn more about Joey, Elaine, and Moriah.

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wedding hair

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Since Plan A didn’t work out for Moriah’s flower girl hair, we went with an afro. I used a curl defining product on most of her hair (applied in layers, a.k.a. “shingled”), and I added 3 flat twists on the side so I could clip two satin/tulle bows to the front. It worked — and she looked nice all day.

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These photos were snapped before the wedding as the girls got ready. Moriah loved playing with the other flower girl.

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Of course, Aunt MaryAnn looked GORGEOUS! We are glad she’s now a part of our family!

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The reception was casual and country. It was perfect for the new couple.

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Joey and Elaine are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio. They hope to complete their family by adopting again. Learn more about Joey, Elaine, and Moriah.

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unworthy

Last night I thought about how hard it is to show gentleness, kindness, and patience with those people “unworthy” of love. You know, the people who make life really difficult.

It’s tough to swallow that we actually think certain human beings are unworthy of love. Humans: those Christ died for! Me! You! We were still in our sin when Christ gave His perfect life as a ransom payment for people who did not want Him.

And, if I’m honest, I still struggle with that me-centered thinking. I often want to cry out, “Give me only easy things, God. Ok? Oh, and I still want to make a difference please. Thanks!” My own selfish intents are evident. I fight my flesh to yield to His ways, not mine.

As a foster parent, I am always thinking about the children and families we know and those we don’t know – yet. I often wonder who will be in our home next month or next year. How long will we be foster parents? Will we adopt again? I remembered 104,000 children in foster care are waiting to be adopted. Many of those “hard to place” children are teens or have disabilities. Children with cognitive delays. Children with physical needs that require lifelong treatments and care. Children who will wait for a permanent family due to neglect or abusive early in life.

I believe all life matters. I wonder if one of those waiting children is the “right” fit for our home.

Then I got an email this morning about a special needs toddler who needs a forever family. “Give me only easy things, God. Ok? Oh, and I still want to make a difference please. Thanks!”

Can we do this? Should we do this?

I ask questions. I wait. I pray. I am reminded that I was once unworthy but the Rescuer changed me. He made me ready to serve. And so I continue to wait and pray but I am now saying, “Use me, Lord.”

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Joey and Elaine are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio. They hope to complete their family by adopting again. Learn more about Joey, Elaine, and Moriah.

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Plan B

“The best-laid [hair] plans . . . often go awry” or something like that.

We have a family wedding this weekend. We are excited! Dad, Mom, and Moriah all have roles in the bridal party. A few weeks ago, we decided that–to make life easier–we would get Moriah’s hair twisted professionally. Mommy was comfortable styling it; however, we wanted something that would look good all day without much fuss. The twists that Mom does usually last about 3 days. If we got synthetic hair added, the twists could last 3 weeks!

Sign us up.

To prepare her hair, we washed, conditioned, oiled, sealed, detangled, and banded (to stretch her hair) on Monday night before bed. It dried in the bands and she slept on them two nights.

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We took the bands out at the salon on Wednesday morning. Her hair was completely dry and still moisturized. It was perfect.

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Now, she just needed to sit still for a few hours while the stylist worked! Haha!

That didn’t turn out so well.

We ended up leaving the salon after an hour.

The stylist was patient but it takes a long time to do that style right. After an hour, she had only 8 twists completed. I knew Moriah would not last another 5 hours! Eek! And, ultimately, who wants to fight with a non-compliant toddler… over hair?! Not me. Thank you; we’ll try again later. On to Plan B (just give me time to think of a new plan).

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So we paid her half the rate she would have received and used the other half to buy new styling products for an at-home session.

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I still don’t know what we’re going to do for the wedding. Probably an afro with a big bow.

Regardless, the wedding isn’t about her. She’s just the flower girl. And, realistically, she is a two-year-old who will probably be just as grumpy walking down the aisle as she was in the salon today.

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I will be bribing her with Starbursts on that day, too. ;)

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Joey and Elaine are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio. They hope to complete their family by adopting again. Learn more about Joey, Elaine, and Moriah.

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brown skin tone band-aids

Our toddler has an obsession with adhesive bandages. She will invent “boo-boos” to wear one. I regularly hear:

  Mom, I NEED a “ban bain”… please, Mommy. See my boo-boo?

She will point to a random part of her body (with no boo-boo evident). I’ll question her, “I think it just itches, Sis.” But she insists.

Basically, she just wants to put stickers all over herself.

The “ban bains” don’t stay on very long. She peals them off and reapplies them until the adhesive weakens or they get folded over. However, every once in a while, she has an actual boo-boo and our options are cartoons or peach colored.

When I saw that Tru-Colour Bandages would be launching this fall, I requested samples right away. And they sent me two colors (one dark and two medium brown shades). They are fabric and nice quality.

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(You can’t even see the darker one here! YAY!! Isn’t that the point?)

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This sassy thing can use both. Right now — at the end of summer — she needs the darker shade. But the skin under her arms is closer to the medium shade (which will likely be the color of her skin in the winter). IMG_0111a IMG_0123a .

Here we are both sporting the medium shade:IMG_0138a .

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I put on a Band-Aid brand fabric bandage to compare (it’s the lightest one below). Moriah did the same thing. I LOVE THE OPTIONS! IMG_0184a IMG_0199a

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I’m looking forward to being able to conceal her boo-boos better!

Seriously. These needed to be invented about 50 years ago.

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Joey and Elaine are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio. They hope to complete their family by adopting again. Learn more about Joey, Elaine, and Moriah.

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Zoo Trip

We enjoyed a day at the zoo recently. Moriah was desperate to see an alligator (“al-der-day-der”) — she talked about it the whole way there! :-) Even after she saw the alligators in person, she did not want to leave. I tried to convince her that other animals would be more interesting to watch (more active), but she couldn’t be convinced.

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She tolerated seeing the other animals mostly. They were not the “main attraction” in her mind.

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She also got to ride the train and carousel while at the zoo. We spent time with friends, too.

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Joey and Elaine are licensed as an adoptive family and foster home in Ohio. They hope to complete their family by adopting again. Learn more about Joey, Elaine, and Moriah.

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