Alex was now 2 years old....and talking. Because we, his parents, had taught his how to talk. Apparently, however, we never taught him how to SHUT UP! EVER! The child talked non-stop.
He went on a bug kick. He loves his bug book, and decided to re-name every family member by a bug name. Daddy is now "roach", mommy is now "lady bug", Austin is now "beetle" and Alex himself is now a "grasshopper". He even gave our social worker, Candace, a bug name when she came to the house to do the final homestudy visit for Austin's adoption: Candace is now "lightning bug". When he told her that, she just melted. He can really charm the ladies, this boy. Not long after the bug kick, it became a fruit kick: but mostly, we're all apples or bananas. Or something called a "rootie-tootie". Don't ask, coz I don't know what that is, except at one time or another, all last month, we have all been "rootie-tootie's".
I took quite a bit of time off from work in May, so we had a lot of adventures. We went to Cedar Key for Mother's Day. We shopped, went to the park, walked the beach and watched the boats. Alex became fascinated by the boaters loading up and coming ashore at the end of the day when the tide went out. We had dinner at a very nice seafood restaurant on a pier stuck way out overlooking the water. Both boys were very well-behaved, and Alex, of course, had the waitress eating out of his hand. On Mother's Day, after church, we went to a Mother's Day brunch at the Elk's Lodge and the following evening, when Mom was off from work, we went to GrillMasters (Mom's favorite restaurant) for dinner. A funny thing began happening at dinner in Cedar Key: Alex at one point was rather feisty and began throwing things, so we had to scold him one or twice. Later on, he accidently knocked something over, and looked worried that we would scold him again, but we told him "that's OK, it was an accident. You didn't mean to do that, you have to be careful, but it was an accident." And we gave him hugs and kisses, so he would know we were not mad at him. Ever since then, when he is naughty and throws things, he'll look up and smile and say "uh-oh! Accident!" (Only it sounds like "assident" when he says it!)
The following weekend was Pete's birthday and we had a cook-out/party at the house. Nothing fancy, just family and a few friends, but it was a great time. We've gotten so much work done in the back yard, and Pete wanted to use his brand new stainless steel gas grill, so it was time for a party! The best part, as far as Alex is concerned, is the bounce house we bought for the back yard. He and our grandson, Jared, or "my Dared" as Alex calls him, and the other kids, Mason and Kiley, had so much fun in that thing! They bounced and screamed and jumped and ran around in that thing for hours. It was so much fun to watch them have so much fun! I can't wait until Austin can join in. Alex really has bonded with Jared and gets jealous when Jared plays with any other kids that come to our house. When Jared is around it's: "Dared, watch dis!" "Dared, come here!" and "Dared, play dat!" Luckily, for the most part, Jared is pretty indulgent to Alex's case of hero worship. Only a few times have I had to explain to Jared that he needs to pay attention to Alex, because Alex looks up to him so much. Jared is actually pretty cool with the whole thing, as Jared is an only child, and tells us all the time how much he would love a brother or sister. Ashley has vetoed that idea permanently, and is glad we keep adopting kids to "let her off the baby hook"! Jared says it's "not fair, he has no brothers, and his mom [Ashley] has three!" So having a baby uncle for a "little brother" is the next best thing, I guess!
We got some really big news on the day of Pete's party however. We were finally going to do this adoption thing the...um...well, I don't know if it would really be considered "old-fashioned" or "standard" or just what. Maybe "conventional" is the word I'm looking for. See, with Alex's adoption, his birth mother being my cousin, Tabatha, we actually circumvented the whole profile-submission-waiting-to-be-matched-with-a-birth-mother route. She was pregnant, knew we wanted a family, and that was that, perfect match. With Austin, we submitted our home study and profile, and, expecting a long wait, were united with our new child less than 2 weeks later. A speed record, according to everyone who heard about it.
This time, however, things were going to go "by the book". We had submitted our profiles to several different places back in early February. With Austin's birth happening so quickly, we didn't even have time to think about withdrawing our submissions from elsewhere. So we got a call in early May that there was a pregnant teenage birth mother in Central Florida that would like to look at our profiles, and were we interested? Hhmmm, well, we went on to explain about Austin's abrupt arrival, and asked if we were "allowed", or was it "legal" to adopt two babies in one year. Well, if we were up for the challenge, it certainly was! So we were asked to supplement the profile we had previously submitted to now include pictures of us with Austin, just so this birth mother could see the entire family. We did, and lo and behold, that was it!We got the call the morning of Pete's birthday party that these birth parents, a 15 year old Caucasian girl and a 14 year old African-American boy, were very impressed with our family profile and had chosen us because we had one son of each race. They felt that their unborn child would grow up just the way they wanted him to, with two big brothers, one white and one black...an ethnically blended family that would love and care for him as they did. Another bonus: the birth father was from Jamaica, and my name being Jamaica, they felt, just confirmed their choice!
So here we were with 2-year-old Alex, 2 month old Austin, and "pregnant" again!The baby was a boy, due in September, so we actually had time this time to prepare for our 3rd son. First off: his name. Our "second" choice for a name when we were considering names for Austin was the name Andrew. So: Andrew Joseph it is! We did not have a lot of prep for in terms of clothes, toys, bottles, etc. because...well....Austin was still so newborn and we already had everything we needed! Just needed a little more of everything now. It was going to be like having twins!
There was much more to celebrate at Pete's party than just his birthday...we announced to everyone about being chosen for yet another little boy to join our family. Big sister Ashley, excited and so very happy for us, made the comment, however, that she would like at some point to so shopping for some pink! A lot of people thought we were nuts, but we've always believed WHY BE NORMAL? We never have been, why start now? So we'd have 3 boys under 3...oh, the fun we'd have, they noise they'd make, the messes the would be in the middle of...but oh, the love...the little boys under 3! Start your engines!