Sunday, December 12, 2010

Santa Photo

This one speaks for itself. Ho ho ho!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Gabe, the US Citizen

Gabe had his day in court this week. Due to the visa he came home on, we had to go to court here in the US to finalize the adoption. This was BY FAR, the least stressful court date we've ever had in regards to adoption. It was pretty simple, just explaining what we do for a living, what we do in our spare time and hoping Gabe didn't poop because we left the diaper bag in the car! Here's a picture of the big day.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

5 Months and 1 Birth Later

Life has picked up the pace...in a major way. EJ was born on September 3 and we've been on the go since. Okay, we were on the go before then, but now its a constant run.
Wyatt is now in an early 5's class and is doing great. He has lots of friends and is growing like a weed. He's playing basketball for the YMCA and is an awesome big brother.
Gabe is one of a kind. The kid is busier than any other kid I've seen. 99% of the time, he has an amazing smile on his face, so we're at least laughing when chasing him.
EJ is doing great. Having never had an infant, we didn't know what to expect, but we've been loving it. He's beginning to smile and the other boys can't get enough of him.
Jason's in the thick of his busy season with work...the football and basketball overlap makes for an at least 6 day work week.
I'm back to work and extremely busy as well. Why is it that 8 weeks of maternity goes so fast?!
Here's a picture of the newest Schlafer. I'd love to say I'll be more consistent with the pictures from now on, but I don't make promises I can't keep!


Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Family Pictures and Updates

Wow, it's been quite a while since we've posted! Life has picked up the pace on us and we're doing all we can to keep up. First of all, all of the Schlafer boys are doing awesome. When I say all, I'm including the little one in my belly.

Wyatt is just wrapping up his final days of preschool. We went to his preschool performance and once again, I cried. What a sap! He's into baseball now and even earned the game ball one game! So far though, swimming takes the cake with him and he has started swimming by himself without floaties. This is going to be an awesome summer at camp with him. He's gotten lots of travel in this summer already, having already been to Indiana and Illinois.

Gabe is a trip. The kid loves to talk, sing and dance. He's saying a few words..puppy, bubba (bubble), kitty and Ah dah (all done). He is also using sign language for more, eat, please and all done. He's getting a little quicker to warm up to people, but he can still be somewhat timid around unfamiliar with people. With that said, he is now big on waving Hi and Bye bye to people in the grocery.

Jason and I have just been busy. Jason spent a lot of time traveling, while I've spent lots of time, well, growing! Although busy, we have had the best time with the boys and are still somewhat amazed that there will be a third in just 3 short months. YIKES!

We had our family pictures (slide show below) taken a couple of weeks ago by Jessie Owens Snyder. She did an amazing job. If you're interested, check out her website. We couldn't be happier with the moments she captured.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Great Weekend

It was also a busy weekend. We all enjoyed the wonderful weather this weekend by watching Wyatt's swim lesson (he is so close to swimming independently), Wyatt's tee ball game (his first baseball experience went very well), and an afternoon of fishing with Dad.

Gabe enjoyed walking around the tee ball diamond (those of us herding him were exhausted) and a couple of trips to the playground. We also got out our Little Tykes swing for the deck. He LOVED it.

We also had some friends from UK over. Dalel and his wife Aizhan are from the town in which Wyatt was born. They serve as a wonderful connection to Wyatt's heritage and we'll greatly miss them when the return home to Astana later this month (and early May).

Enjoy some photos (the reason most of you logged on.)












Monday, March 22, 2010

Wyatt's Family Day and More

Once again, I have become a slacker in the blogging world. I guess chasing two kids will do that! Unbelievably, this weekend marked Wyatt's 4th family day. We celebrate family day as the anniversary of the day we met him. It was really a weird feeling, to think how fast the past 4 years have gone, and yet to realize we've only had him 4 years. Its amazing how in 4 short years, our lives have changed so much and its hard to remember what life was like before him. He's grown up to be such an amazing little boy with so much personality. He's filled the big brother role better than I could have ever imagined. Now, he's been guilty of some not so great choices, but come on, he's a kid. I'd be disappointed if he were perfect. Not a day goes by where he doesn't have us cracking up at something he's said or done. And, it's funny to look back at pictures of his little baby face and you can even see his personality shining then. Not a day goes by when we don't thank God for the true blessing Wyatt is and we're so grateful to call him our son.

So, to celebrate Family Day, we headed to Monkey Joe's. We all love that place. FYI, Sunday at 11:00 is the time to go. It is just opening and its a good time to beat the crowd. Both boys played until exhaustion, which was awesome.

Since its been a while since I've posted pictures, I've attached a couple from the past couple of weeks. They are pretty self explanatory.





Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Best Picture Ever

Here is what you get when you try to take a nice picture with two 4 year olds, one 2 year old and one 1 year old...all with their spunky great grandma. I love it!!

Monday, March 01, 2010

End of maternity leave...well, until September

Intriguing title, huh? I will start by saying today marks the last day of my maternity leave. While I struggle with that, I know that once I get back into the grove, I'll be glad to be back. I've always worked better on a schedule and routine and work definitely gives me that. I also appreciate the adult conversations and I love the people I work with.

Gabe had his first half day of daycare today. We decided to send him for a half day so his first day wouldn't be the normal 9ish hours. He's done great at the YMCA for an hour or so, but this is the longest he's been away. I really think he'll enjoy being around all of the other kids as well. He loves to sing and talk, so they'll be plenty of people to entertain.

Wyatt is not thrilled about me going back. He has loved being picked up at lunch time and is not looking forward to staying all day again. It's funny how quickly we get spoiled, isn't it?! I give him one week before he begs to stay longer, like he used to before Christmas. We are so grateful that we found such a great place for the boys.

Okay, so back to the title of this post. Yes, I will be taking another maternity leave in September. The Schlafer family is expanding again, with a third child. Where from, you ask? My belly! Yep, I'm pregnant. I'm due September 10. Surprise!!! We found out the Monday prior to leaving for Ethiopia. I am now 3 months pregnant and we couldn't be happier. We look forward to a new journey of pregnancy and an infant. It could be interesting!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Snow, snow and more snow

So, I have a whole new respect for stay at home moms. Don't get me wrong, I've loved being home with the boys. But seriously, Mother Nature, 5 snow days since last week? Come on, now. The snow did lead us to one of our new faves, Monkey Joe's. It's a kids heaven...a room full of inflatables. To think, us deprived children of the 70's only had moon walks. Tomorrow we're heading to Lillie's to sled. This has really been the only good sledding snow.
Unfortunately, Gabe will have to sit this one out, as his ear infections still were not cured by the 10 days of antibiotics. He's got a stronger prescription now and hopefully that will do the trick. Ear infections or not, the kid is just happy. He's an amazing little guy and we're just thrilled for him to be home and so well adjusted. He's sleeping through the night now and taking good naps. I'm not afraid to admit that I took the shortest nap of the three of us at three hours. Yes, you read that right, three hours. Wyatt clocked in at 3 hours 15 minutes and Gabe went for a record of 3 hours 25 minutes. NICE! Hopefully they'll set a sleeping in record.
And, speaking of sleeping in, I only have 2 weeks of maternity leave left. (Insert gag here). 2 more weeks until 7:30 no longer seems like an early wake up call. 2 more weeks until going back to working out at 5:30 am. 2 more weeks until Gabe and Wyatt are in daycare full time (boo). 2 more weeks until I my naps are nixed. 2 more weeks until I only spend 4-5 waking hours with my boys as opposed to all day. That's the toughest one to swallow. Honestly, it makes me sick to actually come to grips with that one. The past 6 weeks have spoiled me, that's for sure. But, mama's gotta to what mama's gotta do!
Now that I've babbled on randomly, here are some pictures from this month so far.







Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Breakfast Boogie

A little breakfast dance party to get the blood flowing...
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gabe's Doctors Appointment

Happy Birthday, Gabe! What a present, going to the doctor. Our visit with the doctor was only 1 hour, but there was some confusion about what blood tests needed to be run, so we had to wait for a call into the doctor and somebody from the state. This meant LOTS of waiting before they could take the blood. After 4 hours, 3 required stool samples (Jason's homework for the next couple of days), 2 ear infections (maybe that explains the difficulty sleeping through the night) and 7 viles of blood we headed home. Needless to say, we all took a nap (mine being the shortest at 1.5 hours - I love maternity leave!)

Gabe's Statistics:
Height: 10th Percentile at 28.5 inches
Weight: 10th Percentile at 19 pounds 14 oz
Head Circumference: 90th Percentile...BIG!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gabe's 1st Birthday Party

Tomorrow is Gabe's official birthday, but since he has a doctor's appointment that will surely include blood being drawn and shots, we decided tonight would be a better party night. It was very low key (as low key as this house gets anyways), celebrating with Kim, Kevin, Sawyer and the four of us. The pictures tell the story. Gabe had no problem diving into the cake. Before it was all over, it was covering his face, in his hair and all over the floor. Isn't that what first birthdays are all about?!





Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Sneak Peek

Here is a sneak peek into the chaos of our house. We're loving it!!

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Life is Good

Yes, its been one full week since we've been home and I'm just now updating. Every night I said I was going to do it and then my pillow trumped the blog! Sorry about that!

I have to admit, I'm nothing short of amazed at how well Gabe has adjusted. To think that two weeks ago, he had basically only been in the baby house and to see him now. Wow. He is walking (all over the place!), babbling and lots of fun. He loves to eat, so he fits in perfectly at the Schlafer house. The only thing he's not a huge fan of is sleep. We're still working on a schedule. He's pretty consistent in waking up at 2 am and then for good at 5:30. The car seat isn't a favorite either, but that gets better every time we get in the car.

Wyatt has done very well since Gabe's been home. He gets a little needy with attention with Grandparents, but that was to be expected. He was very excited to show Gabe off at school and is always in tune to what he's doing.

We've been very blessed to have lots of calls, emails, cards and visits from friends and family. We are so grateful for the support everyone has given us through the adoption process. We're now excited for you to follow us as a family of 4!







Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gabe had a lot of time awake last night.  He has 3 teeth and the ones that are fighting to come in made for a long night.  Yesterday we did some shopping (got a couple of souvenirs for Gabe).  Today we're headed back to the grocery to buy some more supplies for the orphanage (formula, cereal, diapers, wipes) as well as some of those same things for us.  We also got a neat souvenir for Wyatt from Gabe.
 
Gabe is having a great day today and we're looking forward to going out to dinner and a GOOD night's sleep.

Monday, January 11, 2010

We had a great day yesterday.  We went back to the orphanage twice.  The first time was to visit, the second time was to tie up some loose ends on US Immigration paperwork.  While we were in the office doing that, we got to see Gabe's passport.  It is hysterical.  He is clearly screaming at the camera and his bottom 2 teeth (he only has one on the top) are about all you see in the photo. 
 
Gabe visited the room where he spent the last few months of his time in Ethiopia yesterday and handled it extremely well.  He was a bit confused, but preferred Michelle to the caregivers, a true blessing.  It was clear that he enjoyed the visit there yesterday, it was wonderful to see the joy that it brought to his eyes when he saw his caregivers and his old roomies.
 
Between trips yesterday, we went to a grocery store and pharmacy to purchase some necessities for the Orphanage.  We asked them for a list of things they needed and the head of the orphanage went to his room and asked the caregivers for any specific needs for his old room.  We plan to do this a couple of times more while we're here.  We'd like to leave them with a monetary donation, but are still investigating whether or not that is Kosher. 
 
Another highlight from yesterday was the currency exchange from Dollars to Ethiopian Birr.  Rather than a bank, our driver took us to a "black market" and got us a better rate.  When we parked the car, he asked us to stay in the car, roll up the windows, and lock the doors.  "This is not a very nice area of Addis," he said.
 
 
Today, we plan to go out to lunch and then to the Market which is alleged to be the largest market in all of Africa. 
 
As you may know, the African Futbol Cup is currently under way and it is a HUGE deal here.
 
Hopefully more later.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gabe's First Day

Yesterday was a big day for the Schlafers. At about 2:00 we went to the baby house and picked up Gabe and brought him back to the guest house.  It was pretty stressful for everybody. He cried leaving the baby house (so did the staff) and off and on for quite a few hours after that.  We took a nap and headed outside to the guest house garden.  He was still a little iffy, but began to play and took a bottle.  At 6:00, we fed him and he ate about half of his cereal.  This is an improvement, as the day before, he would not let me feed him.  Then came dinner.  It was the turning point.  We got giggles, babbles and lots of playing.  He's been that way ever since!  Last night he did wake up a few times crying.  Around 2 we gave him a bottle and that was it.  He was cashed until the morning.  It's great to see his personality start to come out and to see the transformation of him becoming more comfortable with us.
Today we go back to the baby house to do some paperwork.  It will be interesting to see how he does leaving there again. I'm hopeful it does not take too long for him to adjust back to us.  I cannot imagine what is going through his little brain.  After the baby house, we are heading to lunch and to the store.  Then, back here for naps and play time.  We are loving every minute of having him with us and can't wait to bring him home to meet everybody!!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

We Met Our Boy!!

Whew, what a day.  After waking up in the 3:00 am hour, we were ready to head for Addis.  We headed to the airport nice and early (yes, I'm a freak about being early) and headed off for Ethiopia at 8:30.  The flight seemed quick as opposed to the monster length one we had yesterday.  We landed, got our visas and through customs fairly quickly. However, there was nobody at the airport to meet us. Thankfully, there was a very nice man that helped Jason and called our guest house to see what was wrong. It turns out they thought we were coming tomorrow. They came to pick us up and immediately after checking into the guest house, they asked when we wanted to go to the Baby House.  Of course, I said, as soon as possible. So, we headed to the Baby House one hour later (just enough time for us to shower and grap a sandwich for lunch).  Poor Gabe was stressed out!  Very similar to Wyatt when we met him. We were at the Baby House for about 3 hours. The first half of it, Gabe couldn't be near us without crying.  By then end, both Jason and I were holding him peacefully and even playing some with him.  He is absolutely precious.  We decided to have him stay in the Baby House tonight and we will pick him up tomorrow.  Hopefully, we will recognize us and it won't be as difficult for him.
It's now 6 pm and we're spent.  Its time to grab some dinner and chill.  I will not be posting pictures, because this is a dial up connection, but I've taken plenty and will post when we get back home. 
I'm sure we'll sleep well tonight. Finally, the day we've been waitng 1 1/2 years for!!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Dubai

After a long wait in Cincinnati (we got there extra early because it snowed all day and then we were delayed a couple of hours), we got to JFK which was a chaotic airport experience. We had to leave the secured area to get to the International Terminal, recheck in with Emirates, get a hotel confirmation from another.

we are now in Dubai, boarding a shuttle to our hotel. Then off tomorrow morning to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia...hopefully to meet Gabe on Saturday, but if not, Monday most likely.

Thanks for all the thoughts and prayer.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Tomorrow is the Big Day!

I can't believe that tomorrow, we'll be beginning our journey to Ethiopia. As you can imagine, the last week has been a whirlwind of activity and craziness. Packing, documents, wrapping up work and giving Wyatt as much attention as possible. As for our itinerary, we'll leave Cincinnati at 4:00 pm headed to New York. We leave New York for Dubai at 11:00 pm. We land in Dubai at 8:25 pm and spend the night there. The next morning, we head to Ethiopia at 8:25 and land at 11:25 am. I'm pretty sure we are not allowed to meet Gabe on the weekend, so I believe Monday will be the day we can finally get our hands on that boy!

We're not sure about whether or not we'll be able to post to our blog when we're gone. I set it up so I can email posts, but from what I understand, the Internet is pretty iffy where we are staying. We'll post as soon as possible to update everybody on the trip and most importantly Mr. Gabe.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Christmas snow!

Wyatt just enjoyed a New Year's trip to South Bend to visit with Grandma Lynne and Grandpa John and enjoyed a couple of sledding trips and snowball fights. Enjoy some footage taken with Michelle's new (and awesome) Flip camera. The favorite of ours is the first one. He's ready to hit the slopes and proved it by standing on his sled the better part of both sledding days.

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