Saturday, December 12, 2015

Visit Instagram for Your Jonas Pic Fix

Please visit aubreekeys on Instagram to see almost daily picture 
postings of our dear Jonas, who is doing great and growing like crazy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Three Month Report and Signing Off

Jonas has been with us for three months; I can hardly believe it! He seems like such a little boy instead of a baby now. In the past month alone, he's started using two words together, he rode a camel and a llama, he caught his first fish, he started playing on a soccer team, he started gymnastics class, and he got his first haircut (today)! We love our son more than ever, and we can't imagine life without him.

After this post, I don't plan on updating the blog anymore (maybe once a year on St. Patrick's Day?). We're too busy enjoying life. Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind and post if I feel the urge! I'll still take tons of pictures and put those on my Shutterfly site (, but I'd rather be hanging out with Jonas than sitting at my computer.

Here is the three month update:

Favorite Foods:
-pretty much the same as last month (mostly fruit)
-Pediasure (we give him one every day)

English Words Jonas Knows (since last month):
-keys (a very important one!)
-upside down (he says "up down"-it's adorable)

Favorite Things to Do:
-go swimming
-point out airplanes (he hears them even from indoors and wants to go see them, and when he's outside he yells extremely loudly and points them out)
-gymnastics class (especially the trampoline)
-soccer practice (he's decent at dribbling and kicking!)
-music class
-go on rides (like at amusement parks or fairs)

-nap is earlier now-around 11:30am-still just over an hour long
-has to be the one to turn the lamp on and off for reading books at night
-has to be the one to turn on the fan/heater downstairs before bed
-loves to help and do things himself
-falls asleep around 8pm, wakes up around 6:30am

Habits We Are Working on Breaking:
-whining when he wants something
-calling other ladies and men "Mama" and "Dada" (he's trying to figure out how they can be parents of other children but not him)
-sometimes having a meltdown when he doesn't get what he wants or has to wait
-having to immediately go upstairs when he wakes up

Our Favorite Things About Jonas:
-still gives spontaneous kisses and now asks for a hug "hu" at random times throughout the day
-turns everything into a "guitar"
-the cry of excitement that the whole neighborhood can hear when he hears/spots a plane
-the way he has become such an important part of our family in just three short months!

Thanks for reading along on our journey to Jonas. Please contact me if you have any questions about the adoption process (especially in Kyrgyzstan). Oh how life can change in just a few short months!

Jonas's Room

The decor for Jonas's room was built around this shyrdak. These Kyrgyz felt rugs, which are handmade and traditionally used in yurts, are made from two sheets of white felt which have been dyed, cut into identical shapes, and reassembled into a mosaic-like textile of interlocking patterns. They come in a variety of beautiful colors, but this gray and cream colored one is very common. I noticed it on my first trip to Kyrgyzstan, and that's the image that was in my head as I planned his room. I bought it at the market when I went back for the court visit, and now it hangs above his dresser next to his closet.

Jonas's room is yellow and gray with a gray and white chevron pattern and espresso-colored furniture. My parents came for a weekend back in February to help us put the room together before bringing home our son. I think it turned out really cute! My brother Justin and sister-in-law Cindy hung Jonas's name letters and helped hang the wallpaper border when they came for his Baptism.
Though Jonas's bed is currently downstairs next to ours, this is how it would look if it was in his room with the rest of his chevron stuff. The glider from my parents is one of my favorite items; we read him books there every night. It's a cozy little area with the rug and little lamp and table.

This is the other side of Jonas's room. It's sort of a little play area. He loves to do various activities at his table and point out the pictures he knows from the alphabet letter stickers on the wall. He also uses the chairs to reach books on the top shelf.
Jonas has a pretty well stocked toy and book shelf. The top of it holds his traditional Kyrgyz hat (a kalpak), a family picture, and a book of photographs from Kyrgyzstan. Above the shelf is an awesome Mother's Day present from my parents. You can click on the picture to read the plaque.
This shelf contains pictures I took in Kyrgyzstan (at Lake Issyk-Kul, Burana Tower, and up in the mountains), along with some decorative items from both Kyrgyzstan and Moscow (where he was born).

I love Jonas's room, and I'm grateful for everyone who helped fill it with so many awesome toys, books, clothes, and furniture pieces. I think he loves it too!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Two Month Report

We were traveling to Orlando on May 17, so I never got the chance to write a two month report post. Here it is!

Favorite Foods:
-fruit (especially grapes, strawberries, and bananas)
-macaroni and cheese
-hot dogs
-juice and smoothies (that's how we get the vegetables in him!)

Foods Jonas Dislikes:
-pretty much anything not listed above

English Words Jonas Knows (since last month):
-clean up
-help me
-choo choo

Favorite Things to Do:
-chase birds and squirrels
-point out and pet dogs
-copy what older kids do
-anything related to music/instruments
-climb things

-nap is only about 75 minutes now
-only about 10% potty trained right now (we've let it go-he's not interested)
-says "no no" and shakes finger at things he's not allowed to touch
-only sucks his thumb at night or when really scared (now sticks all fingers in his mouth when mad)
-says "hi" and then "bye bye" to everyone in sight multiple times
-points to items he recognizes in books or on screens and then points to the real-life object (like lamps, airplanes, dogs, etc.)

Habits We Are Working on Breaking:
-saying "no" to everything
-whining to be picked up
-hugging anyone who will let him, including complete strangers (still)
-sometimes having a meltdown when he doesn't get what he wants or has to wait

Our Favorite Things About Jonas:
-he calls us Mama and Dada now
-spontaneous kisses at random times of the day
-the helmet that earns him extra smiles from strangers and keeps his head protected
-how eager he is to learn and how proud he is to show what he knows
-that it feels like he's been part of our family forever!

He still wears the same size clothes, and I don't think he's actually gotten much bigger, but sometimes he looks taller or chubbier, and he may actually be at the 25 pound mark now. We love you little Jonas!

Guitar Crazy

Jonas is obsessed with guitars. Anytime he draws something, such as with chalk on the sidewalk or with markers on a library craft project, he declares that it's a "guitar" (though of course it's just a bunch of scribbles!). When music comes on somewhere, he sometimes yells "guitar," and he's usually correct!

In Orlando, as I was putting sunscreen on his leg, Jonas wanted some on his hand. When he saw the design that came out, he yelled "guitar!" I had to laugh and take a picture, because it actually kind of does look like one!
There were some games by the pool at our hotel, including this giant Connect 4 set. Jonas took out the bottom bar and turned it into, what else, a guitar!

I blame Zack. Jonas wants to be just like him, and so of course he loves guitars! He's kind of taken over Zack's ukulele as his own child-sized guitar. I guess his plastic green toy one just isn't realistic enough. Let's just hope this obsession doesn't mean we have to add even more guitars to the music room collection in years to come. (Just kidding-there are worse things he could collect!)

Disney Dogs

On our finally evening in Orlando, we wanted to do something special. Our hotel concierge helped us find a restaurant at the Swan Hotel called Garden Grove, where Disney characters make appearances and visit with the customers. On the night we were there, Pluto and Goofy visited, which was perfect, since Jonas is now obsessed with dogs.
Jonas wasn't too sure about these huge furry creatures at first (see the picture above!), but after watching other kids make contact with them and not get eaten, he decided it would be fun to meet them too. We let him do it on his own terms and at his own pace. He tentatively shook Pluto's hand, and touched his paw, nose, whiskers, and eyes.
You can tell he's still a little unsure about the whole thing in this family shot!
But as our meal continued, Jonas totally warmed up to both big dogs. He was giving them hugs, running after them, and saying "dog" over and over.

Meanwhile, Zack and I enjoyed our chicken and salmon meals with salad bar, soup, breads with flavored butters, and unlimited delicious desserts!

Jonas now loves looking at the pictures of himself with Pluto and Goofy. I'm glad he was able to meet some of the Disney dogs!

Epic Epcot

As part of Zack's conference in Orlando, he had an after 4pm ticket to Epcot Center one day, along with a dessert party by the waterfront for prime fireworks viewing. Since Jonas's entrance was free, we bought a discounted ticket for me and went along.
There were no lines for the rides, which was awesome, because I don't think Jonas would have handled waiting very well. We took him on all the toddler-friendly ones, like Nemo, Spaceship Earth, Living with the Land, etc. He loved them all and sat with his mouth and eyes wide open in awe on most rides.
There was a lot of walking, and Jonas didn't always like to be carried. Of course, if we let him walk, he just wanted to wander off in random directions among strangers. There were a couple of meltdowns, but we all survived.
There was a beautiful sunset as we headed over to the World Showcase section of Epcot.
We shared a famous School Bread from Norway's bakery, and I ate dinner in the Germany section. After another boat-themed ride in the Mexico section, we headed over to Italy to join Zack's conference party.

The desserts were delicious, and the view of the fireworks display was incredible. In this shot, Jonas is signing and saying "more," even though the show had just begun!
I can't imagine surviving a whole day at a Disney park with a toddler, but an evening at Epcot was perfect.

Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney is a free area where you can wander among shops and restaurants and a few little rides. We went there one evening for dinner and fun. The main attraction for Jonas was this huge balloon. At all times, he had to know where it was in the sky. He would say "balloon" (sounds like "baboo") and look around frantically until he saw it. We just had to take him for a ride in it. He wasn't scared at all, even though it went about 300 feet in the air. We enjoyed the views, while he enjoyed saying "up," "down," and "more."
The Lego Store was another favorite. Jonas got to see and touch all sorts of characters made out of Legos and build with some Legos too.

We ate dinner at Raglan Road, an Irish pub. Jonas loved listening to the live music and watching the dancers. He even got to do a little dancing himself! Later on, while we ate our Ghirardelli ice cream sundae, Jonas "entered" a dance contest for kids that was happening at an outdoor stage. He made it past the first round with his Irish "step dancing," which consists of him kicking his leg up and clapping his hands underneath it. Unfortunately, there are no pictures of that, because we think that's where Zack left his phone (and where it got stolen), because we couldn't find it soon afterward on our way home, and it went from ringing to going straight to voicemail (and it wasn't low on battery). And no luck with Lost and Found. Boooooo!
And of course we had to go in the main Disney store. Jonas tried on all sorts of hats and ears, and Zack bought him a 2015 stuffed Mickey as a souvenir.
Jonas just HAD to go on the carousel. For $2, we couldn't say no! I think he actually rode it three times, waving and smiling with each go-around.
There was also a little train ride, and since Jonas is starting to love trains and saying "choo-choo," I took him on that as well.
Jonas also enjoyed playing in the water fountain and getting soaking wet. There was lots of free or cheap fun to be had at Downtown Disney. Other than the phone loss, we had a great evening together.

Awesome Orlando

Zack had a work conference in Orlando this week, so Jonas and I tagged along. We weren't there to do the normal Disney stuff, because he's two, won't remember it anyway, can't ride a lot of the rides, and it'd be way too overwhelming for him. But we were still able to have a lot of fun. Our hotel, the Wyndham Grand, was on the Disney complex, so we got to take advantage of a lot of the amenities.

We spent most mornings at the pool. Jonas loves the water as much as ever. To try to protect his incision, we put a shower cap under his helmet. He looked kind of funny, but it worked pretty well. Jonas loved blowing bubbles in the water, jumping off the edge of the pool, and just paddling around.

We were on the tenth floor, and our balcony overlooked the pool and a lake. Jonas got to practice saying "up" and "down" a lot as we rode the elevator, and he made lots of friends by saying "hi" and "bye bye" to other conference attendees and hotel staff.
We could see the nightly fireworks over Epcot Center and Magic Kingdom from our balcony, so that was cool. Jonas liked saying "boom" and "more" as he watched.
I'll have some other posts about how else we spent our time in Orlando, but it sure was nice to have some days of sun and heat, since Denver has been so rainy!