Sunday, September 11, 2011

Steamboat Rock

Okay, the Kallen family has a secret to share... It's steamboat rock in central Washington.  I threw all our camping gear in the car and picked Amos up from work on Friday.  We drove to the Spring Canyon campground.  We found a great spot and set up camp and crashed for the night.  On Saturday morning we hiked to the TOP of Steamboat Rock.  When I saw this rock last summer, I couldn't wait to conquer it someday.  We did it as a family this summer!  It was AMAZING.  Little Kepler slept in the ergo part of the way up and then hiked on the top of it like a champ.  He's going to be a great hiker! 
                                            Can you guess why it's called Steamboat rock?!

Maybe half way up...
Some parts were pretty tricky but THIS is the kind of climbing I love!
I love these photos of Kepler and Amos.  They're so precious!  ...And yes, that's Kepler and I out on that rock.  He was pointing out the water to me:)
This trip is a MUST DO with your family!  There is amazing history that goes with this canyon and it's massive rocks are incredible.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

We're back on!

Okay, my blog has been out of commission since I got back from Ethiopia!  I'm so sorry but I just couldn't figure out how to post after they changed things around.  Thankfully, I wrote a little and saved drafts- I just published them today but they are my thoughts from various times in the last couple months since being home with Kepler.
Kepler is amazing.  One thing that just melts my heart is his love for people.  He has every right to be an angry, untrusting little boy but he isn't.  He smiles and waves at people and bops along each day as if the world is all okay and he didn't spend a year abandoned in an orphanage.  Love is a tremendous healer. 
We spent Labor Day at Alki beach.  He is in awe of kids on bikes so we decided to bring his bike up from the basement even though he is a little small.  To say he loves his bike is the understatement of the hear.  I think he would have slept with it:)

Grandma Audrey and her new hubby, Papa Matt, came for a quick visit last week!  It was so good to introduce them to Kepler!  Audrey was adopted and Kepler's story touched her heart in a special way.
Kepler started school this week!  He had joined me at a few camps this summer but he officially started his preschool career this past Wednesday.  He is the littlest in our class but he doesn't know it!  He joins the class for circle time and LOVES it when the autoharp comes out to make music!  He likes to insert himself into the boys' marble track work too.  He is doing fantastic!  He loves being with the kids and they love having little Kepler to "teach".  Here's his first day photo- his lunch box is half his size but he carries it:)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Family Bliss

I can't believe we have been home for almost a month already. Time is flying! Kepler is doing AMAZING. He is moving on from us feeding him to doing more and more by himself. When I first picked him up from the orphanage he couldn't eat any solid food at all. In two months he is eating lots of healthy finger foods and starting to use a spoon! He couldn't crawl or walk two months ago and now he is walking all over (he rarely sits!) and crawls to get over sketchy areas like change in terrain. We are working on him sitting down and going down steps backwards. He just walks off them!
He is loving his Daddy more and more. Amos has been so patient while Kepler gets used to the idea of both of us meeting his needs. It was Mama, Mama Mama for a long time (which is exhausting) but he is going to Daddy (the playing parent!) more and more on his own. Daddy loves to read to him and talk with him. It's very cute.
We love to take little family adventures to the Downtown waterfront, Alki, the park, cousins house, Grandma and Grandpa's and this weekend...camping! We haven't been to the zoo yet because nothing thrills Kepler more than DOGS! We see them everywhere and it NEVER gets old. He says, "Dah!" and points. He has seen some pretty far away that took me some time to find! He also LOVES music. I know people say their kids like music but Kepler LOVES it. It's part of him. It feeds his soul:)
He is saying more and more words too including: bye-bye, ba-ba(bottle and shoes), Bum (bunny), up, mow (more), wah (water), Dan (Daddy), Mama (Mama and any picture of a human:), car and sometimes Cah (cat).
Kepler absolutely loves the school. He knows where we are when we park the car and he gets so excited bouncing in his car seat with anticipation. I think all the kids around is comforting for him. He loves social situations and having lots of people around. The school kids are FABULOUS with him. They have been waiting for him for so long! He has 7 mothers and 9 brothers at school. I caught him jumping on top of a little wresting match that broke out:)
Thank you EVERYONE for your happiness on our behalf. It means so much to us that so many people are as thankful for Kepler's arrival as we are!

Feeling at home

It feels so good to be home and be a family of three! No more single mom in a third world country for me! Kepler continues to amaze us. Amos and I keep looking at each other and asking, "Is this a honeymoon phase cause it's pretty awesome!?". He is eating like crazy. We asked his adoption specialist pediatrician about this and she told us to give him ALL he wants. And boy, does he want A LOT. She says that he will learn that food is readily available and slow himself down eventually. He sleeps really well too. He sleeps about 11 hours a night (12.5 last night!) and takes at least one, most of the time two, hour long naps during the day. He's pointing and laughing and starting to say lots of words including up, bye bye, ba-ba (bottle), hi, go, gog (dog), da-da (daddy), mama and more each day! He loves anything with wheels and enjoys stroller rides, bike rides in the ergo, parks, snuggle time, book time. We had family movie night last Friday in our jammies. We had popcorn and watched Harry the Dirty Dog storybook video. SO CUTE!

Kepler loves kids so we are headed to school for some summer camps this week! I really think he'll like it. I had to stop by my school earlier this week and he LOVED it. He was quite mad that we had to leave:) This should work out nicely!
Thanks for all your well wishes!