We are The Poe's. Now a family of 5 through adoption. Here's a peek into our lives. Welcome!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Trash to Treasure!!! She's Done!

Something came over me....

...something crafty.

Like the spirit of Martha Stewart possessed me.

I found this on Craig's List....

And I thought, "what if?"

What if I can take this trash and turn it into a treasure?

[okay, maybe it's not "trash" but I did find that it had been allocated to a large dog to lounge on. Luckily, said dog had a blanket and my soon-to-be treasure wasn't all doggy smelling.]

So I got to work...this first part was hard! And after a while...it became this... I found a really fun fabric for a great price and got to work figuring things out. Thank goodness, Grandma Joyce got me on the right track. She is a retired professional in this line of work. So before I knew it I had accomplished this....Yada Yada Yada...and then finally....

[Drum Roll.....]

Ta Da! I think she's purdy!

Not too shabby, eh? And I had fun. And I learned how to do something totally new. It's WIN-WIN-WIN.! And it will be really nice when I turn this baby back around and sell it on Craig's.

Should I send these pics to the poor schmoe's who let this little treasure go for a mere $25?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wow! It has been quite a while since we had a new blog post! Why? I'm not sure. I guess it's because life just started feeling a lot more normal. Which is good. I was ready for some not-so-blog-worthy days, you know!

But, for anyone who wants to know...November was a good month for the Poe Family. The weather around here was pretty much perfect all month long, which I LOVED because I HATE cold weather. We've had a little snow in the last week, but it's okay because it was the pretty/fun kind and not the yucky-afraid-to-drive-to-the-grocery-store kind.

So what were we up to?

Most of November was pretty ho-hum. I dove into a new hobby...reupholstering. I happen to have a bonafide professional in my corner here. Nannie Joyce had her own very successful upholstery business back in the day. So she's been showing me the ropes. I may have picked a pretty (and by pretty I don't mean beautiful) challenging first project...a love seat that I found on Craig's for $25.00. I'll show you the before....
Here's a sneak peak of the finished product....

The "after" is soon to come because I'm almost done! I've got some ideas in the wings about future projects that will seem like a breeze compared to this! My plan? Not to fill my house with my "trash-to-treasures" but to turn back around and sell them on Craig's.

We had a great Thanksgiving too. I had started training about 3 weeks early to run a local 4.5 race called the Drumstick Dash which benefits Wheeler Mission. I was so excited, until the forecast said that there was basically 100% chance of rain on Thanksgiving! So bummed. I woke up that morning and realized that while it was raining, it was also unseasonable warm. So I decided to go for it and ended up running the race in a drizzle of rain. I was SO glad that I did it! It felt really good to set a goal, train for it, and accomplish it! And for a nice bonus...I felt totally justified in pigging out for the rest of the day!

Desi loved her first family holiday! (I don't really consider Halloween a holiday even though we do celebrate with the costumes and the candy...) She ate like a champ and we had a great afternoon with the family! I love Thanksgiving! It may be my favorite holiday.

I spent the next couple of days Decking-The-Halls, and most every other surface in our house. I love to decorate for Christmas!!! I find it hard to stop!

This past weekend we had our baby/child dedication service at Trinity. We dedicated our sweet Des to Jesus. The whole family attended the sweet little ceremony and then we partied hard at MCL afterwards! Thanks to Sonny and Joyce to treating us to a nice lunch and to Jenni for making an adorable and DELICIOUS cake to mark the occasion!

Jake happened to be the reader of the Advent prayer that morning at the worship gathering too. He did such a great job! Everyone was telling him he did great! I was proud!

We had our first real snow of the season. The kids were chomping at the bit to get out in it and play! We got them bundled up and were excited to see Desi's reaction....one word...anticlimactic. I think we were hoping for something in the "giddy/wonder" category. She was like, "why did you bring me out here?" After standing like a statue with a dead pan look on her face we just brought her in. Oh well.
Now we are looking forward to Christmas! I actually have presents under my tree, which is so crazy because I am a procrastinator! The kids are excited! This year we are observing Advent in our home. So each Sunday night we light a new candle and teach the kids about what it means and then the rest of the week at dinner we relight the candles and talk more. It's never to early to talk about what Christmas is really all about!

So that's pretty much it! You are officially caught up on the Poe's! We hope you have a wonderful December and a Merry Christmas! We'll button up 2010 with a much-anticipated-by-me trip home to Missouri and celebrating Desi's birthday on the 31st! I'm sure there will be lots to blog about in January!

Shannon and the gang!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Who is this kid?

So we got J's 1st grade pictures back and my reaction was, "Wow! Great picture buddy! Good smile!" I mean, I did pay about $16 for a 3x5 and 2 wallets, so I was relieved that they came out good! [don't get me started on the rip off that is "school pictures"!] But it wasn't until Ryan brought home his kindergarten school picture that it hit us! He's growing up! Just look for yourself....

[The big pic is just 1 year ago. My baby boy...off to school!]
This year he's sporting a much more "mature" spiked hair style now, but the shape of his face has totally changed too! From day to day I just couldn't see the changes. But when a side-by-side comparison like this smacks you square in the face....it's kind of sad, no? I guess this one of the harder parts of parenthood....sigh.

* * * * * * *
On a brighter note....Ryan and I got to go out on a DATE last night! A real, bona fide date! We hadn't been out on a date since before we went to Ethiopia to get Des about 3 months ago! It was great...except for the first snow of the season! [Not a flurry...full fledged SNOW! Pretty? yes. Welcomed? NO!]

We had a gift card to Canal Bistro in Broad Ripple so we had a deliciously free dinner [with coffee and dessert...baklava..Mmmmm!] Then we attended a house concert for an awesome/folksy/indie/sounds-so-good artist/friend, Bob Stamper...you can check him out yourself [here]. We also ran into our good friends, Amos and Crystal, which was a bonus because the only thing better than a date with your husband would be a double date with these two!

A special thanks to Gam and Papaw for coming to our place to watch the kids so we could remember what it is like to eat a grown up dinner!

[The only picture from my magical evening is this one of Crystal and I, but I'm posting it because A. she's pretty and totally blog-worthy. AND B. can you see that beautiful baby boy in her arms??? He is 1 of 2 and so precious!! ]

I think that we may host a house concert for Bob...it would be SO fun and I think it would boost our cool factor, don't you? Will you come?

Monday, November 1, 2010

..Just Treats!

Yesterday was Desi's first real experience with an American "holiday". When we celebrate Halloween around here it's just fun costumes, pumpkins and family....not all that scary stuff. [No skeletons, corpses or haunted houses.]

We took the kids over to Aunt Jenni and Uncle Andy's neighborhood to trick-or-treat with their cutie cousins and then went over to Gam and Papaw's for a family dinner. I really enjoyed it this year! I loved having the family together! Especially since the kids had some much fun with their cousins!

Our little African Lioness got to do a little trick-or-treating and was very good at saying "thank you" when she got a piece of candy.

Super Mario and the Princess were old pros!

This isn't necessarily my favorite holiday to celebrate [I'm pretty sure it's in the top 2 for the kids!], but it was a lot of fun and I'm pretty sure Desi never experienced anything quite like it in Ethiopia!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Today is a day to celebrate!

Our very good friends [and cohorts in this adoption journey] are in Ethiopia right now and today they passed court and became [officially] mommy and daddy to a precious little Ethiopian princess!

Congratulations, Amaya, you are a FOUST!

One of the most amazing things about our parallel journey with these friends is that Desi and Amaya were companions and crib mates at the orphanage in Ethiopia. Now, in just a few weeks these girls will be reunited and be able to continue their lives as friends/sisters!

Isn't God's work just amazing!!

[yes, it's a silly picture, but that is Amaya under the blanket! I confirmed it with the nanny.]

Friday, October 22, 2010

Super Mom...for a morning.

Today [well actually it was Thursday] I decided to try to be THAT mom. You know, the one who does all these fantastic activities with her kids like trips to fun places and crafts. And she only feeds her children homemade organic healthy snacks and her kids never watch TV? Ya, THAT mom. I think that may have sounded a bit sarcastic and cynical....not my intent. I actually would love to actually be THAT mom, but alas, I am not. She seems like a lot of work, no? I don't think I have the energy. But I envy her with her endless creativity and energy, wanting to squeeze the most fun and education out of every day with her little ones. You, go girl!

Anyway, Thursday was a beautiful day and I told Em that we could go to the library to try to find the book Little Red Riding Hood because she's got a pair of jammies with Lil' Red on them and she wants to know the story, but I don't know if I could tell it in it's entirety. [doesn't Red's grandma get eaten by the wolf? I honestly can't remember how the story ends...] Since I knew we were going to be getting out of our jammies and into real clothes and in the car...these things being somewhat uncommon on my days with my girls....I figured that I'd try to make a little more out of the trip. So I told Em that we could go to the park too.

So we went to the library to look for books and we happened to catch Ms. Bobbie's sing-a-long, which was really fun. Then we took a walk on the Monon from BR McD's down to the park and played. Then back up to McD's for cheeseburgers. [I was pleased to find out that the there-and-back added up to 2.5 miles so I counted it as my workout...after all I was pushing a combined 50-60lbs in a double wide umbrella stroller...not easy, I broke a sweat.]
Back home in time for naps and I felt like I needed one too! Quite a morning! Maybe it would have been wiser to ease my way into Super Mom.

But really, it's so much easier to just stay at home. I am the ultimate home body, by the way. But on these last beautiful warm days of the year I know I need to get out and let the kids enjoy the beauty of fall. I'll admit I was feeling pretty good about myself for getting out, like I chose something good for my girls over something good for me. And I enjoyed it as much as they did. I vow to do it more often for as long as the weather allows.

I'm pretty sure I'm not ever going to be THAT mom, but she still inspires me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I *heart* Family Visits!

We had another great family visit this past weekend. This time my big sister, Erin, brought her family [Steve, Cody, Ethan] out for a weekend visit. I can't even begin to express how much I LOVE when my family comes out to visit....I won't even try.

The kids just played and played. Jake and Ethan had a ball together...as usual. Emily did a pretty good job of keeping up with the boys too!

At the Children's Museum...

Ethan giving Em a lift....

Speedway Museum....

The weather was awesome for playing outside....
Desi with her Auntie Erin...
Em and Desi reading a story with Uncle Steve...
Desi was obsessed with Cody...she mauled him all weekend. He was a good sport...he even asked if we would consider trading Desi for Ethan! Ha.There is no doubt that I would rather be able to call up my sisters and hang out any time we want... and I would LOVE it if the kids could see Papaw Vinny and Grandma way more often....but, living this far away and only getting to see them a few times a year sure does make me appreciate the time we have together. It is like a precious treasure. I want to make sure every minute of it counts! Like anything we treasure, we wish we had more, right?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Getting Along.

Nothing wears a mom down quite like your kids not getting along...constantly fighting, at each other's throats, bossing, and tormenting one another... And then there's the whining, the crying, and the yelling...[I admit that the whining, crying and yelling isn't always just from the kids...] I mean, I can deal with a lot of things and keep my cool...[vomit, snot, poop in the bathtub...] But when the kids start at each other and won't stop...I lose it! I'm not always proud of the way I react...much of the time it's counterproductive. You know, angrily screaming at your kids to stop...uhm...angrily screaming at each other. You see my point? In fact, I often hope that they didn't learn their reactions to anger and frustration from mom and dad... Everyone knows parenting takes a great deal of self control!

The point of this post isn't to vent about "losing it" with my kids....it's really to say that for as much frustration that comes when your kids aren't getting along, there is so much JOY that comes when they do!

Jake and Em have always had their good and bad moments...Jake being the older brother likes to be "in charge" [aka.. bossy]. He also likes to play the role of "teacher" which dovetails with "bossy". But Em is a strong-willed little girl and doesn't take being bossed lightly. So they have their tense moments. But they play really well together too.

Bringing Desi into the mix really shook things up for Emily. I've blogged about their "developing" relationship before. The thing is, when Ryan and I decided to adopt we didn't discard how it would affect Jake and Em, but we knew that even though it would be an adjustment for them, it's what God wanted for our family. [at the time we were also not planning on bringing home a child only 15 months younger than Em. We were thinking it would be an infant...totally different situation.] As much as we tried to prepare Emily that another little sister was coming to our family, and as much as she tried to understand and be okay with it, she just didn't know how this was going to rock her world!

The last couple of months have been a struggle for Em. Desi is also a strong willed little girl. I'm pretty sure that they both fancy themselves as the Queen Bee. [what they don't know is that mamma is the only Queen Bee in this hive!] So there's been a lot of competition for attention...especially my attention. But in the last several days, I think I'm noticing that things are really starting to change a little bit. For one, Desi never wanted to give or receive bedtime hugs and kisses from Emily [can't really blame her...Em had made her feelings about Desi crystal clear!] But now, she loves to kiss and hug on her big sister! I'm also catching them playing together more. It makes my heart so happy!

I never wanted to rock Emily's world. She is my joy! I love her like crazy! It's been hard to see her struggle. I want her to spend her days happy! That compounds the joy and relief that I feel to see her open her heart to her new sister and start to welcome her into her family!

We still have plenty of those tense moments that wear me down. But I need to learn to build my strength back up in the moments when the 3 of them are outside playing together or when I can hear them giggling and laughing together. Moments like these....

And here's something else that brings me a lot of joy...

Love, S

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


So today I took Des to the pediatrician for her second round of immunizations. It's been about 8 weeks since our initial visit with Dr. O. Everyone in the office goes crazy over her! They all think she's gorgeous! ...she is. [I feel totally okay with saying that because since I didn't actually make her and she looks nothing like me, I don't feel vain in saying that she is gorgeous. Unlike Jake and Em who are obviously my clones...it feels a little bit weird heralding their beauty as if to say, "look at my beautiful children who look just like me....so I, vis-a-vis, must be beautiful too, no?" It feels like vainly paying myself a compliment. I do humbly accept that Jake and Em are beautiful children...the very best parts of Ryan and I and God did all the work.
But I digress...]

Where was I? Oh, yes....the pediatrician. Now, I've been hanging out with this child for a couple of months now and I realize that she looks different. For one, she HAS HAIR NOW! [which, by the way has glitter stuck in it and I can not get it out! my first afro dilemma!] But Dr. O was totally taken aback by how different she looks! She went on and on and on about it! All good, mind you. She's growing well and seems so much more adjusted...Dr. O even noticed how "lovey" she is with her mommy. [having total strangers poke you with sharp things would make anyone cling a bit, don't you think?] But the truth is that she is a very affectionate child, which I am so grateful for.
So, today's trip to see Dr. O. got us 3 shots [ouchie], lots of tears, a diagnosis of another ear infection [boo!] , a lot of oohs and aahhs from the office staff, and we found out that she has gained almost 5lbs. in the past 2 months, bringing her up to a smidge over 24 lbs! Yay!!! Since it wasn't an official "well baby" check up I don't have her charted on the growth curve, but no doubt she is making progress! And the bonus was that I didn't have to pay the $30 co-pay because technically it was a "nurse visit" for shots but Dr. O. was with us most of the time! Nice!

To celebrate Desi's accomplishments I gave her a sucker in the car....as far as I know she's never had one. [we are THOSE parents who try to keep our kids from having pure sugar or at least limit it...so what?!] She loved it!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's about time...

...for an update, no?

Well, there hasn't been a whole lot to report on around the Poe household lately. I guess that's good, right? Does that mean that our lives are starting to feel more "normal"? ...Maybe.

Desi is doing great. She seems to be adjusting really well and seems totally at ease here with us. It's really amazing to look back at the past couple of months since we picked up this scared little baby from the orphanage and see how she has changed into a happy toddler!

I think she looks totally different! In the pictures of her the day we met her she seemed really small, she had NO HAIR and she had this stinky little scowl on her face. To compare that to the pictures of her now, smiling and happy with her little fro coming in...

...night and day, people, Night-And-Day!



She's still doing really well with the sleep too...takes a really good nap during the day and then at night she's going to bed willingly with little or no fussing and pretty much sleeping through the night...[most nights I do have to get up 1 or 2x when she fusses and lay her back down, but it only takes about a minute and then I am back to bed!]

Right now I think our biggest hurdle is communication. I think that her understanding of English is really coming along. When you talk to her or ask her to do something she really seems to understand. And although we haven't been teaching her a lot of sign language, I think that she understands the concept of signing to communicate. She's got "please" and "more" down pat. I'm also asking her to repeat my words back a lot. At first she was so stubborn....it drove me crazy! But now I am finding that she is making the effort...it doesn't usually sound anything like the English words, but I can really appreciate her effort to "speak" when mommy asks her to repeat or say something...its a step in the right direction!

Words that I'm pretty sure she saying...
  • Jakey
  • Cheese [as in "say cheese!" because I take so many pictures]
  • Mama
  • Dada [once in a while...]
  • More [it sounds more like "muh" and sometimes look like she's kissing the air...but I'll take it!]

Some cute things that she's learned to do....

  • wave goodbye
  • blow kisses
  • give kisses
  • dance and sing to music [she's got this arm pump thing that she does when she hears music...very cute!]
  • clean up [she's really good about cleaning up a mess that she makes or putting toys away at the end of the day...very different than Jake and Em, so I think it's cute!]
I might be willing to say that there is a little bit of progress in the girls' relationship...Em's baby stepping to getting along with her sister. There have been moments...glimmers of hope...where I thought things were looking up....these are usually short lived and followed up with some catty behavior on both sides. This relationship is definitely a work-in-progress...so I'll let you know as we make more progress!

We did have one big event...Em's 3rd Birthday! I can't believe that she's 3! This September has been unusually hot....exactly the way it was in 2007 when I was about to pop! We had a great celebration with the family [also celebrating the 4th birthday of Em's twin cousins, Lo and Jilli.] I channeled my inner Martha Stewart and crafted some fun and cute decorations and favors for the party...I hadn't been crafty in a really long time. It was fun! I might try to keep it going. Em got some really fun toys and adorable clothes for fall! I love dressing her up! Having little girls is so much fun!

Jake is really thriving and doing well in the 1st grade. I can't believe how well he reads! And his penmanship has improved by leaps and bounds! He seems to love it and is doing so great! I'm always so proud of him...such a smart boy! I must admit though, that by 2:45pm, I can hardly wait for the bus to pull up! I miss having him home during the day!

As for me and the hubs, we are good too. I'm back at work a few hours each week...easing back in. It's a nice break for me! Ryan's working from home during those times so he can stay with Desi...we're not far from being able to leave her at Sandy's house. She does really great over there and her bonding with Gam is going fantastically! Ryan's also getting started on his classwork to get his Masters of Social Work, so he's pretty busy.

I am so excited that it's fall! I love this season so so much! Can't wait to hit the pumpkin patches with the kids! I also love watching the Colts play!! The only thing I am not looking forward to about fall...raking the leaves! Last year was our first fall in a house with mature trees! The raking is crazy! Will you come and help? I would pay you in baked goods? Any takers???

This is one of my favorite pics from last fall's leaf raking...Em looks very helpful here!

Happy Fall my friends!