Today at church we had Hunter's baby dedication. This is similar to a baptism but without the water. This is our promise to Hunter that we will raise him to know and love Jesus to the best of our ability. The church also promises to come along beside us to support and love us. When Hunter is older, he will make the decision to be baptized. This is a moment I have been dreaming about for years. It was great to be able to share this with our family and church family who have been there with us along this long and wonderful journey. We were also able to share this moment with two other precious babies. What a sweet time it was for our family. Afterwards we had a celebration luncheon at our house. It quickly turned into a three ring circus!! We ended up having 22 adults, 11 children, 4 "babies-on-the-way", one dog...and a partridge and pear tree in our house. It was great to have all these very special people in our home. It is just such a testament to the amazing people in our life God has blessed us with. With that said- my head was left spinning between the massive amount of food, fun and laughter of our friends, children running around in circles chasing Charlie, and the all boy wresting ring that was my living room. It was great but boy am I tired!!
So for years we have been hoping and praying to have our baby for Christmas-- well 2011 was our year! We have so much to be thankful for, especially to have Hunter this Christmas season. Here are a few pictures to help you get in the Christmas spirit:
This past weekend Hunter went on his first camping trip---well sort of. Several of our close friends and their kids came with us to Dobbin where my parents live. The guys have been wanting to have a father son camp out but didn't want to go full camping for the first time. We decided Dobbin would be a safe place because all the mommies could stay in the cabin while the guys were in the woods. The little boys would also be close to restroom and mommies when needed. Did I mention there were 7 little boys??? Yes, 7! Ranging from 3 months to 7 years old. They did great and had such a fun time. Hunter stayed with me in civilization of course but made his appearance to the campsite wearing his camo outfit for pictures. The mommies decided to escape before the boys were let loose to find us and we went to the mall! So fun! The guys successfully made it through one night of camping and decided to stay inside with us for the second night since it was going to rain. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from this weekend:
The guys making a political statement ;)
Hunter's BFF- Ben
The baby boys on the way to the Mall with their Mommies
Mimi and Papa with the babies
The crew minus Michelle and baby Sam who couldn't make it. We saved a spot for her.
I have been meaning to update my blog for a while now, but have been sooooo busy. Being a working mom is a challenge. We survived our first week back to work and Hunter starting daycare. He adjusted really well and seems to like his teachers. Every day when I pick him up they are always doing something fun- reading books, singing, snuggling, playing with other babies... good stuff. Hunter goes to chapel weekly, but sleeps through it still :) The second week of daycare Hunter came down with a very strange rash. We are pretty sure it was hand foot mouth disease. He looked like he had polk-a-dots all over his face. Fortunately it was a very mild case and didn't seem to bother him. He was able to play hooky from daycare for two days though. Now my poor baby has an ear infection and upper respiratory infection. Looks like he gets to play hooky for a couple more days this week. With my job, I've had parents call me many times to complain about their daycare. They say it must be really dirty because their baby just started and gets sick all the time now. I then get to explain to them that it is totally normal for children to get sick a lot when they start daycare for the first time. It is totally different to experience it for myself though. I understand it, but I sure don't like it.
Here is a picture of my silly boy. The "polk-a-dots" are still there but faded a lot. Just imagine this but bright red
Hunter also had his first round of shots. He was a trooper and the nurse gave him Spider man band aids.
We had a great Thanksgiving and had so much to be thankful for this year. It was so much fun to finally have our baby for a holiday. He loves being around family and plays up the cuteness big time. Here is a sweet picture of Hunter and his Mimi from Thanksgiving day.
I can't even believe Hunter is already three months old. He is such a cutie and has such a fun personality. He is also such a strong boy already. He has been able to hold his head up from just about birth. He tries to pull himself up from lying down to sitting when you are holding his hands. And he finally decided to start sleeping through the night in the past couple of weeks- thank goodness!!
Even though I don't want to be working full time, I can't complain. The transition back to work actually went really well for everyone. I am tired, but not as bad as I thought I would be. Hunter is such a wonderful baby and I feel I have an important role at work and at home. Every night, Hunter and I say our prayers and pray for God to show us a way for Mommy to stay at home with him if she can. I got my Christmas present early and got a new DSLR camera. I have a lot to learn on it, but have the hopes of maybe doing photography someday. Maybe that can be the answer to our prayer :)
Hunter had another welcome party today. My very sweet co-workers from my old job hosted a welcome baby shower at a tearoom in Gruene, TX. If you have never been to Gruene, I highly recommend visiting this quaint tiny town next to New Braunfels. We had such a nice time and it was so wonderful to see them and share my joy. It means so much to me that we have been able to keep in contact over the past four years and stay close. It means even more to me that I was able to share this experience with them even though I no longer work with them. My mother in law was in town so she got to come too. After the shower, she and I walked around Gruene and tried to navigate the stroller through the cluttered antique shops. Luckily we didn't break anything or make too many people mad. We found this cute nursery and stopped by to take some pictures. We did get into a little trouble by the owner. I had the bright idea to put Hunter in a pot and take his picture. Evidently he didn't like this and told us that "everyone else always asks permission before doing that." I tried to convince my mother in law to go distract that man so I could take more pictures, but I could tell he had a very watchful eye on me :) What rebels we are!
I have four days left of maternity leave. I cannot believe this 10 weeks staying at home with Hunter is coming to an end. When I think about the last 10 weeks I feel that my time with Hunter flew by so incredibly fast but I feel like i haven't been at work in a looooong time. I am not ready to return to work, but at least I feel that I finally had a break. I worked two years non stop, only taking time off when I was sick, to save up my leave. It was so worth it and I have a new appreciation for time. As I was planning my leave, I thought of all these things around the house I wanted to get done like clean and organize some closets and things. And of course I got none of that done. I was not counting on a baby who only cat-napped during the day. I have, however, improved on my time management skills and can clean house faster than ever. I have also found a new fondness for daytime TV and Target. Even though I didn't get all the home projects done that I wanted to, I know I accomplished the most important thing--- spending quality time with my son and taking care of this precious boy. And yes, I loved every minute of it. As I end my leave, I am sad that I won't be spending so much time with Hunter, but I still have a hope that my dream of being a stay at home mom will come true someday. It has been fun to pretend to be one though. I feel like it is this elite club that I have always wanted membership and I was granted a temporary pass. It was just enough time to get me wanting more.
Last weekend my family hosted a welcome Hunter party at my parents house. I invited some of my high school friends who live in the area. I was so excited to see that some of them came and brought their families. It was so much fun to see everyone. We also decided that 12 years is far too long between get togethers so we will be getting together A LOT more often.
Here we are in 1997, on my 16th birthday
Here we are last weekend. 14 years and 5 1/2 kids later
Hunter has another girlfriend- Hadley. She is 9 days younger than Hunter
Hunter has had a busy week. We have gone to two Halloween parties, taken a road trip to Dobbin, and had dinner with friends every night this week. We also went to his daycare to meet his teachers. He smiled at them and they seemed very nice. Whew! Mommy is tired! We also had a marathon shopping session yesterday. Hunter and I were on a mission to find mommy some new boots. Mission was accomplished after the first store we went to, but I had to make the most of this shopping trip so we shopped for four more hours and bought nothing. Hunter had only one meltdown in the restroom of Hobby Lobby, but that was quickly resolved with a bottle. He must have been exhausted from our busy day because he slept for 6 hours straight last night, took his bottle, and then slept for 2 1/2 more! It was wonderful!
Here are a few pictures from the last couple of weeks.
Hunter is the 8th great-grandchild in both of our sides of the family. What are the chances of that? We have all heard of lucky number 7, but I think 8 is pretty lucky. Every time our families get together with our grandparents I can't help but sit back and look at how this family has grown. What started off as two people in love 60+ years ago has grown into two huge families. There is nothing like having four generations present in one place. You can just see the Lord's blessing all around you. Here are a couple of pictures of Hunter with his great-grandparents.
So I am happy to say here in the good city of San Antonio, the temperature has not been in the 100's for a few weeks now and I can even say the highs have been in the 80's lately! So this must mean that Fall is finally here. Well, "Fall" in South Texas actually means "not scorching hot." And even a bigger blessing is that we have had good rain for several days last week and the week before. Praise God! That is such a blessing, especially when you are worried about your city literally burning because it is so hot and dry. So now I have commented on the weather, I will also tell you what Fall brings in the Burns household...pumpkin patch pictures and Halloween costumes!!! Hunter has been a good sport when I make him play dress up so we can take pictures.
Last week, we had our first post placement visit with our adoption agency. We met with them at their office. I imagine this is one of the best parts of their job. This is when they get to see the baby for the fist time with the adoptive family who they worked so long and hard with. Hunter did not disappoint and save a nice, huge poopy diaper for us during our interview. I guess this was a good thing because they got to see parenting in action. They asked pretty basic questions and it went really well. All the staff came in to see Hunter and talk with us. They "ooohhhhhed" and "ahhhhhhed" over Hunter and said that he is the cutest baby! I know they must say that to every parent, but I just don't get tired of hearing it. It is so much fun to show Hunter off. He was in a great mood and smiled and talked to all the ladies there. We did find out some upsetting news about Hunter's birthmother. Without giving much detail, it seems her past caught up with her and she got into some trouble with the law. This all came down on her just a few weeks after Hunter was born and some other very hard things occurred in her life. Please be praying for her. I can't imagine this to be any less than the rock bottom point in her life. Pray that she turns to Jesus more than anything else and that she can use this to turn her life around for good.
Here are a couple more pictures just because my son is so handsome and I had to share.