thursday evening all of the family started to arrive to begin dax's week-end long birthday celebration. we went to dinner with my dad that evening and dax was a total ham. people kept asking if they could come to his birthday party and he'd give his classic answers of late: "maybe a morrow" or "we already did that last night". both answers are interchangeable, and have no truth or reason to them. he cracks up like he thinks it's so funny, just like when he tells you that "you're giving" him "a heart attack!" he came up with this from when we scared daddy at hide and seek a few weeks back. now he uses it all of the time, and even springs it on a waitress at dinner. oh mercy!
friday we celebrated national adoption month by speaking at our agency's quarterly meeting for adoptive hopefuls. will and i were on the other side of the tables about five years ago, and we'll still never forget that meeting. this time we were lined up front with some other adoptive parents and our son's birth mother. what a special time. we got to indirectly and directly speak our love for each other in our roles as daxton's family. we are so honored to have dax's birth mom in our lives and for her to be able to watch him grow, learn, and change. we made each other a little teary when we expressed our heartfelt feelings for each other. it was a special time that i'll never forget.
friday evening we were greeted with will's parent's arrival and the arrival of my mom and granny. dax was excited for everyone to arrive and to even see a giant spider-man balloon left for him on the front porch! it was just about as tall as he was, and it did almost give me a heart attack when i found it outside! we all enjoyed dax's favorite pizza dinner and dax kept asking over and over if he could open the presents! we told him he just had to wait one more sleep for the party day!
saturday morning we woke up to the sound of pouring rain. the sky was dark, the fog was thick, and the rain was steady. we all loaded up into the car and drove 45 minutes into down town raleigh to meet up at the museum of natural science for dax's school friends party. we were glad to see that some of his besties showed up, despite the yucky weather. dax and his friends enjoyed learning about animals, making collages, meeting and petting a bug, a bullfrog, a dove, and a bunny. they were amazed with the little creatures! the kids had fun dancing and hopping like bunnies! after all of the fun dax got to hear the happy birthday song he's been singing to himself all week and the kids enjoyed the birthday cake and ice cream. after they were all hopped up on sugar the boys played a game that had them running after each other around the room. dax and lucas had a blast just running around like crazy men! kendall watched the boys and thought they were quite silly. everyone had a good time.
after playing with his gifts for the afternoon we got a great visit from dax's birth family. we were so ecstatic to hang out with dax's birth mother, birth father, half brother, and cousins. the kids were having a blast playing together and it was so special to watch dax play his racetrack with his birth father. the only other time we'd hung out with him before was when dax was about 6 months old and dax screamed bloody murder the entire time! this was much more pleasurable! we saw so much of dax in our interactions with his biological dad. they have the same sense of humor, personable and friendly personalities - sounds of laughter always flowing out - and then that huge smile! we love spending time with our extended family and hope that we'll get to continue to do that as long as we shall live!
this morning we headed out for dax's birthday pancakes. the boy knows what he likes, and he wanted pancakes and pancakes! so, we all loaded up and went out for blueberry pancakes. the waitress delivered the pancakes with candles in them and the entire dining room sang happy birthday to dax. he was smiling ear to ear! he ate his entire breakfast and was very happy with all of the fan fare. after the breakfast we wished will's parents well on their journey home and we took a family nap. dax slept in the middle of our bed and will and i snuggled up to him on each side. who knows how many more moments we'll have like these, since dax keeps reminding us how he's a big boy!
daxton - at four years old
- loves to get ready by himself. can put on his own underpants, pants, socks, shoes, and most shirts.
- loves to go potty by himself. can get the pants down, get the pants up, wash the hands, dry the hands.
- can write his name all by himself. he prefers to do a "D" then an "X" and then a backwards "a".
- loves to open doors all by himself and hold them opened for others behind him. everyone is always impressed by his doorman skills.
- loves to apologize each night for anything that he's sorry about (its a sort of confessional). he sometimes says he is sorry for making a mess, having an accident, hitting the dog, making someone mad or upset etc. it's a sweet little thing he does.
- loves to sing to music while riding in the car with mommy. he loves christian radio and belts out all of the songs he knows. (he also loves a little jason aldean, no problems there.)
- loves disney movies. loves to go to the movies, loves to rent dvds, loves to watch them over and over and over again!
- still loves to go to the big city! loves going to town to see where daddy works and to try new restaurants.
- loves to smile, giggle, joke around, and laugh - laugh - laugh! he keeps us laughing and smiling because his behaviour is infectious!
- loves going to preschool! he has lots of friends in his class and often talks about connor, joshua, and lucas.
- loves his neighbor - dylan - and they constantly call out for each other to come swing or go swimming!
- loves his awana class every wednesday night. we've been very impressed by his memory verse skills and how it's helped us help him understand the love of Jesus.
- still loves halloween. dax looks forward to halloween all year. its a special day for us since it's when we got the call about his match, and we just sometimes wonder if he knows how special this day is for all of us. it's really the beginning of our joyous journey of his sweet little life.
- still loves pizza, pasta, popcorn, crackers, apples, oranges, mango, fruity ice creams, vanilla cake, pancakes, and most other carbohydrates!
- loves to play on his swing set out back. he loves to slide his toys down the slide and watch them reach the bottom before he can race to pick them up. he loves being pushed on the swings and is working on getting himself going on the swings.
- loves swimming! he did great with swimming lessons this year and everyone was impressed this summer about how well he was doing in the pool and at the beach. we hope to keep him swimming through winter at the indoor pool.
- loves that he got to welcome one of his auntie's to the carolinas this fall. now aunti conti and keek live just about ten minutes away. dax is looking forward to family meal times being a little bit bigger and also looking forward to a slumber party at conti's house and watching a movie on her giant new television!
- loves dancing to songs like "i like to move it, move it" or "kick the dust up" - there's a little something for everyone! we love to watch him do his "break dancing".
- loves saying his prayers every night. he talks to God and tells him all that he's thankful for and prays for his friends, his teachers, the preschool director, and his little baby sister that he hopes will come soon!
- dax still loves raffie and sleep with him every night.
- he sometimes takes him on car rides, to school, and always on long road trips.