So I started using the hashtag #bonsagram
on my Instagram pictures that have Bo in them.
 Then I realized...
 oh wait.
... That's all of them.


just a glimpse

I'm ready for Cheerios!
 That's the good stuff. 
 More, please? 


finish strong.

Growing up, whenever my siblings or I were nearing the end of a semester, 
my dad would inevitably encourage us to
finish strong.

I haven't written anything on my blog yet about my dad's fight against cancer.
And I don't intend to write much about it.

But today is his last session of chemo, 
and this is his last week of radiation.

So, Dad, from all of us kids -

[My family put together a calendar to encourage Dad each day of his treatment.]

Please join me in praying my dad through the homestretch.
He'll go back for an evaluation in a month,
and we are fully trusting God that the cancer will be gone.


ethiopian hair & skin care

A few people have been curious about how we care for Bo's skin and hair, 
so I thought I'd share that info here for any others who may wonder. 
It's been a learning process, and I'm continuing to read adoption blogs 
and experiment every now and again with different products.

Let me also say as a caveat to readers, prior to having a child, 
I really could not have cared less about hair and skin care 
(with the exception of trying to stop my stupid mid-20s breakouts ARGH). 
I am very much a throw-it-back-in-a-pony kind of girl. 
Truly, I have had more fun figuring out Bo's hair and buying products for him -
I think he has more than I do.

- coconut oil
- olive oil
- Cantu daily oil moisturizer
- Cantu leave-in conditioner
- Johnson's baby shampoo
- Johnson's baby wash
- Johnson's creamy oil cocoa & shea butter
- petroleum jelly (not pictured)

Every Morning: 
1) I do a light mist of a mix of water and olive oil on Bo's hair (see spray bottle above) -
not trying to make it look like he's fresh out of the bath or a downpour here. 
2) Just a dab of Cantu daily moisturizer, rub it between my hands and then gently massage into his hair.
3) A little J's creamy oil when he's getting changed.

Every Evening - Skin
I always moisturize Bo with either coconut oil or Johnson's creamy oil. 

Evening - Hair
A. Bath nights. Bonsa gets a bath every other day (okay, sometimes every 2 days - so sue me). 
On weeknights, we start off putting olive oil into his dry hair while he splashes in the tub. 
I then wash his body with baby wash. He plays while I get his hair all wet. 
Before he gets out, I put in a small dollop of Cantu leave-in conditioner. 
I found out that if I use too much, his hair is crunchy and too product-laden the following day. 
I try to "blot" dry his hair with his towel, and then I just let it air dry. 
We just started using the coconut oil, and I read that it smells funky after a couple days.
So I think we'll use coconut oil on his hair on Thurs or Fri, since we shampoo Saturday.
On Sat night, I shampoo then do the leave-in conditioner again.
B. On nights that Bo doesn't get a bath, I usually just do another light spray of the oil/water mix, 
or do a tiny bit of the daily moisturizer again.
Cheeks & hands.
Bo's cheeks & hands tend to be the most dry area of his body - 
I'm guessing because that's the skin most often exposed. 
So, probably once or twice a week, I'll put a little petroleum jelly on him, 
especially if we're going outside.

So, that's our routine for now. 
Thoughts? Suggestions? 
Once we're done with Johnson's baby stuff, I'll probably look for different shampoo & wash.
Have you tried anything that you absolutely loved or hated?


recently i'm... [30]

Knowing God by J.I. Packer. Awesome. AWESOME.

Listening to
Matthew Santos. Listen here.
HELLO. Downton Abbey is back on and I couldn't be more excited.
Made Carne Bistec from Skinnytaste the other night. Flavor = awesome.
Still not sold on eggs&steak.

It might be easier to "rejoice" always in the midst of struggle
than in the midst of daily frustrations.

Impressed by:
Bo's ability to whiz around in his little walker...

Not impressed by:
How he still fights naps and sleep. Mercy.
I'm trying to go for a WEEK without sweets, people. What is wrong with me.

Bored with:

Not bored with:
This little sweet bean.


real life conversations

Our babysitter sent me this picture while I was at work with the description: 
"Definitely just crawled over to her grabbed her hand and kissed It. What a gentleman."

I told everyone I'm locking Bo in his room for the rest of his life.

Upon seeing the picture...
Doug: "He's probably pooping and needed something to hang onto."
Me: "Isn't that what marriage is all about?"


slumber party...

Parents -
You know those early mornings, where you're blissfully asleep when suddenly, 
a delightful chorus of heavenly sounds wakes you ever-so-gently from your slumber?

And by "heavenly" and "gently"
I do mean blood-curdling screeches meant to wake the dead 
that cause your heart to bolt from your chest as you are brutally jerked from sleep.

We had one of those mornings this morning.

Around 5:30 this morning, Doug & I were awakened in the above manner by our little guy.
Doug went into the nursery and Bo was pretty much like,
"Oh hey! You're awake? Cool, let's hang out."
Doug tried to get Bo to go back down for 45 minutes.
Then I got up and suggested that he just bring the little babe into our room. 
After about 15 minutes of squirming, this happened:
(Although this pic was taken an hour later, after I got out of the shower)

Bonsa is a very... warm sleeper. 
It's not unusual for his pjs to be damp with sweat in the morning.
So, when he woke up a few minutes after this picture was taken, 
both he and Doug were drenched. 

Which was the perfect excuse for nakey baby!

I will say... 
this bubbly, happy babe does make those early morning frustrations worth every minute.


the rest of christmas

  Where the last Christmas post abruptly left off, we continued to have some lovely, leisurely days 
with the Parton family. Well, at least Bo and I did, because Doug had to work. 

We left for New York on Dec. 27th - and for the record, Bo was a ROCKSTAR 
and slept almost the entire way. 

Once in New York, I continued, yet again, to be negligent in taking pictures.
So, here are some Instagram pics (I may be slightly addicted to Insta).

Bonsa finally got to meet Uncle Robert & Aunt Bailey!
Here he is, enjoying his first game of "Little Bull".
Here he is with Aunt Bailey at Bannister Christmas.
At Bannister Christmas, there was also an auction of baked goods & other items...
check out this awesome auctioneer.
I'm happy to say that the Partons scored some pretty awesome items!

We also...
enjoyed delicious food...
... beautiful scenery...
... a little mischief...
... and, as always, amazing family time.
(Don't my mom & I look ridiculously similar in that picture?!)

We rang in the New Year quietly with my family... it went something like this:
"3, 2, 1 - Happy New Year!!"
"Cheers!" "Cheers!" "Cheers!"
"Okay, let's go to bed."

Great time at home - got to see quite a few of my cousins, which is always wonderful. 
Can't wait to be back again! 


christmas 2012

I think that being in school for the first 18-22 years of life really ingrains in us 
that "Christmas"lasts from a few days before Christmas until a couple days after New Years. 
Especially with my big ole family, who loves to have parties for any and every occasion.

So, I kicked off Christmas with dear friend Patti on the evening of Dec. 21st. 

Fri. Dec. 21st
It was Patti's last day of school before break, and I too had worked that day, 
so we were celebrating being done with work for a couple weeks.
So, naturally, we got holiday manicures... and cupcakes.
Mine were forest green with sparkles.

Sat. Dec 22nd
Doug's brother Zach, our sister-in-law Michele and her sister Sam arrived.
We always have so much fun with these guys - and always neglect to take pictures! WHY.

Sun. Dec. 23rd
Our little family of three was asked to light the Advent candle at church!
As I was onstage, holding my son who was just downing his bottle like no one's business,
I thought to myself, "Hm. Should have asked someone to take a picture."
Oh well!

Mon. Dec 24th
Here's me & Bo in our Christmas Eve finery.
A delightful picture that was only possible... 
because my son screamed in the middle of our pastor's Christmas Eve sermon. 
Yes, friends. I was that mom, rushing her child out of the sanctuary in embarrassment. 
It has happened. So here we are, in the women's bathroom, all smiles and giggles.

What's that? You'd like to see another shot of his outfit and the cheesiest grin known to mankind?
Yes. A bow-tie. A "Bo"-tie, if you prefer. 
There is a chance his whole outfit was planned around that piece.

Growing up, my dad always read The Night Before Christmas before bed on Christmas Eve.
I wanted Doug to do that for our family. Here's a sweet picture of my boys.
And here's what really happened.
First, Zooey jumped over our ottoman to get on the couch next to Doug.
Once Zooey settled, for a brief moment, not a creature WAS stirring.
Which means mom can capture some pictures.
When on the couch, there arose such a clatter... we all knew what was the matter.
Bonsa was bored with this beautiful family tradition. 
(Excuse the blurry picture and just focus on the hilarious expression on my son's face.)
When what to our wondering eyes should appear?
Why, of course,  a tantrum and a crocodile tear.
We were able, through some cajoling and several changes of position,
to eventually finish The Night Before Christmas.
Then I nestled our babe snug in his bed while visions of creme brulee danced in my head.
It's become one of our little traditions to have creme brulee on Christmas Eve. Yum.
Tues. Dec. 25th - Merry Christmas!
We opened stockings and gifts from Santa in the morning.
We thought it would be so cute to put Bo on the couch and have him open his stocking...
He did not share our vision. 
So we switched things up a little, sat him on mom's lap and finally got him interested in the stocking.
Or rather, the buttons on the stocking.

In hindsight, the buttons were far more interesting than the contents of the stocking.
I mean, socks, a book and slippers? Come on, Santa.
We were entertained by Bonsa's habit of removing something from his stocking - 
and promptly putting it back in. Probably hoping that those socks would come back out as candy. 
After traditional French toast breakfast, we worked on Christmas dinner - 
Michele, Sam & I threw together a last minute centerpiece that I ended up adoring.
Doug's whole family and our friends Patrick & Kennerly came over for dinner,  
so we had a big, fun, lively crew!
After dinner, we exchanged gifts & took pictures in front of the tree.

This is super long. To be continued.