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Vow renewal photo collage

<table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" border="0" bgcolor="#ffffff"><tr><td><a href="http://smilebox.com/play/4f444d334e6a51354f413d3d0d0a&blogview=true&campaign=blog_playback_link" target="_blank"><img width="386" height="303" alt="Click to play this Smilebox postcard: Still in love!" src="http://smilebox.com/snap/4f444d334e6a51354f413d3d0d0a.jpg" style="border: medium none ;"/></a></td></tr><tr><td><a href="http://www.smilebox.com/?partner=smilebox&campaign=blog_snapshot" target="_blank"><img width="386" height="46" alt="Create your own postcard – Powered by Smilebox" src="http://www.smilebox.com/globalImages/blogInstructions/blogLogoSmileboxSmall.gif" style="border: medium none ;"/></a></td></tr><tr><td align="center"><a href="http://www.smilebox.com/postcards" target="_blank">Make a Smilebox postcard</a></td></tr></table>
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Buying a house and other adventures

Hi,
 
We are selling the condo and we’re gonna "move to Beverly", Hills, that is.  Just kidding.  We are planning to move in to our new house on September 1st.  We will be renting it from the owners until the deal is finalized (it’s contingent on us selling the condo).  Jack LOVES the porch and he and Laika will be very happy to finally have their very own yard to destroy, uh, I mean play in 🙂  Inspections and the like are being conducted next week.  We are very excited!
 
As you can see from the photos we are still finding some time for summertime fun amdist the house hunting, condo remodeling, etc…  Jack slept through the meteor shower, but there’s always next year.  Laika got to go on a short walk with Mommy up there on the mountain so she was a happy girl.  The Mariners game was lots of fun–courtesy of our mortgage broker Bryan.  We’ve also been doing a little shopping in preparation for our trip to Puerto Rico next month (with a stop in Dallas)–shorts for all three of us since it gets a little warm down there from what we hear.  Speaking of warm…Jack stayed at Grammy and Grampies during the company picnic because last year he got very hot.  We ate like kings as always–salmon, bourbon chicken, corn on the cob, strawberry shortcake, burgers, gyros, tortellini, and I don’t remember what all else.  We were s-t-u-f-f-e-d by the time we left, I can tell you!
 
Hope you’re enjoying your summer!
 
Love,
 
Stephanie 
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Enjoying a beautiful summer!

Hi,
 
We are all well and thrilled with the dry and sunny summer we are having.  Jose and I enjoyed a romantic getaway to Victoria (pictures will follow at some point–I had to use a throw away camera) and we all particiapated in the Kirkland 4th of July Parade.  Jack and I were on our church’s float and Jose walked alongside handing out bookmarks. 
 
In other news…Jose received a raise and two level promotion at work.  We are so proud of him!  He has been working a ton of hours lately and it’s nice that they are rewarding his efforts.
 
We are still finishing up the process of getting licensed to be foster and adoptive parents.  We need First Aid cert, CPR cert, Blood Borne Pathogen training, and the homestudy.  After that we just sit back and wait for them to approve us.  Thanks to all who have offered to be references for us–if we need more we may be calling.  If you know anyone interested in Permanency Planning foster care let me know and I will refer them to our agency–they are always recruiting!
 
We are also still hoping to move to a home with a yard.  We’ll keep you posted.  In the meantime Jack is busy running around the condo complex, local parks, and his Grandparents’ houses.
 
Have a great July!
 
Stephanie
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June 2007

The Vargas clan is doing well.  We are planning a trip to Puerto Rico in September to see Grandma Lucy and lots of other family.  It will be great!  Jose and Stephanie just returned from a romantic weekend in Victoria, BC.
 
In case you haven’t heard, we are becoming licensed foster care and adoptive parents.  We are using Lutheran Community Services’ Permanency Planning program.  The earliest time for us to finish the process and receive a placement will be around Christmas time.  It could take much longer, though.  We will be getting a girl from birth to 3 months old.
 
Jack is growing like a weed.  He just had another growth spurt last week!  He enjoys being outside the most: pretend gardening, mowing, riding in his wagon, playing at the park, playing with his plastic golf set, etc…  He also likes to draw (scribble) and tells us what the picture is of, he loves to attempt the alphabet song (so far he can do A, B, (no C), D).  His favorite letters are B and P and his favorite number is 9.  He was recently at a church bingo event and loved yelling "B!" to everyone’s amusement.  His favorite characters are Elm, Po (the Teletubby), and Curious George.  Recent new words include big, sky, and elbow.
 
For anyone who needs to know his current sizes:
He wears 24 months size pants and shorts
2T shirts
size 7 shoes
 
Enjoy summer!
 
Stephanie
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11’s also heaven

Jack has been a busy boy this month.  His two top teeth came in and he is oh so close to walking.  He spends most of his time pulling up on things and cruising around the house.  He will bridge a gap while walking, but only if he can grab onto something in the next location.  He has added baba to his vocabulary which means bye-bye rather than bottle.  This morning when Jose left he said "Papa baba" which is baby for" Bye bye Daddy!"  Somehow Papa may have taken over for Dada again.  Jose calls himself both.  Today it was fine when Daddy left, but last Friday and Monday Jack cried and cried 😦  Jose has a devoted fan!
 
His obsession with the dog food continues.  I have told him that when he’s 18 he can have dog food for breakfast, dog food for lunch, and lint for dinner, but for now he will have to stick to people food!
 
Speaking of people food…Jack now eats breads, cheese, meat sticks, veggies, pirates booty, etc…  We may finally have found a juice that he likes–apple/pear.  Otherwise he gets his fruit from food.
 
This month we took two daytrips up to Skagit and Island counties, Jose became a Deacon at our church, we attended Grandpa Bill’s Superbowl party, and Jose had an informational interview for a new job at Microsoft.  We also learned that Jack may be a disco fan as he keeps saying "ABBA", "ABBA".
 
March 3rd is the big day!  Photos will soon follow I hope.
 
Have a great rest of your February.
 
Love,
 
Stephanie
 
 
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10!

Happy New Year,
 
In December we spent a week in Las Vegas, our home away from home and had a fabulous time as always.  It was Jack’s first time, well, first time out of the belly anyway.  One of the fun surprises was that our rental car turned out to be a PT Cruiser (we owned one a few years back).  It was nice having all that extra space, especially with luggage to deal with.  Check out the picture captions for more on our exploits and adventures.
 
Jack had a wonderful first Christmas.  He got many, many gifts.  About 10 different toys (mostly big sets of things), several new outfits, and also cash.  He is a very happy and lucky baby with such wonderful family and friends who want to get him gifts.  We are slowly giving him the toys one at a time so that he can really enjoy them…and he does.
 
Jack’s accomplishments this month were NUMEROUS and coming at us faster than we could keep up with them.  He got his first tooth, quickly followed two days later by his second tooth.  He started pulling up by himself and will take a few steps if you hold his hands or he has something else to hold on to.  He clapped for the first time and started waving bye-bye.  He could already say mama and dada, but he also said "Hi" to Grandpa Bill as clear as a bell after Grandpa said "Hi Jack"…we’re not sure if that one was just a fluke though.  One of his weirdest advancements is that he has started whispering which I think is pretty unusal.  He also likes to share which I’ve never seen in such a young baby.  He will give you something to eat or share his toys.  It took him awhile to realize that if he shares a toy with the dogs they will give it back when he asks for it, sharing food is another story!  He finally realized that if he "shares" food they will eat it and would he REALLY want it back anyway?  I don’t think so!  Now he just contentedly feeds them most of his dinner, much to Mommy and Daddies chagrine.
 
Have a fabulous 2006.  I hope all your dreams come true and that you are blessed with joy and fun surprises.
 
Love,
 
Stephanie
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9 times the fun

November was a fun month.  We started our Christmas prep and Jack enjoyed seeing all the beautiful lights around town.  We celebrated Thanksgiving on Wednesday with my Dad by going out for Indian food since he was going to have turkey Thursday with my brother and his wife.  We were supposed to order on a spiciness scale of 1 to 5 (1=weeny, 5=four alarm fire).  I ordered a "1" which still had plenty of kick.  Jose and Dad regretted their choices of 2 and 3 respectively and will both go down a notch next time to avoid their tongues bursting into flames again.  I can only imagine that "5’s" are used to heat the restaurant during the cold winter months.    Maybe we’ll switch back to Thai food?  Naw–you gotta mix it up, eh?  Jack had bread which he deemed delish!
 
We had Thanksgiving day with just the three of us and decided to eat everything the opposite of what you normally do.  This is a pretty subjective game, but we chose fish (mahi mahi and crab cakes) as the opposite of turkey and pototo chips (salty potatoes) as the opposite of sweet potatoes.  It was a hoot.  I see more mahi mahi in our future–although probably not for Thanksgiving.
 
More pictures on January 3rd–I hope!
 
Love,
 
Stephanie
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8’s great

Hello there,
 
We had a wonderful Halloween at Jose’s office (Mommy and Daddy ate all the candy!) and Jack was a big hit.  Earlier in the month we hit the annual Redmond Corn Maze and had fun for over an hour wandering around in there–and that was with clues about how to get through!  It gives you a powerful hunger for corn, though.
 
Jack is crawling like an old pro now in the usual fashion.  He is very fast–especially when he is headed for the dog food!  He hasn’t pulled himself up yet, but he does try to stand on his own by doing a weird tri-pod kinda thing which occasionally ends in a face plant.  Once he realizes that there are stable objects out there to help him there will be no stopping him.
 
He’s finally decided that he doesn’t mind eating after all.  Up until recently even a tiny bite of ice cream made him react as if we were feeding him raw sewage.  He enjoys baby applesauce and any of the finger food puffs by Gerber (Daddy likes those too).
 
Have a great Novemeber!
 
Love,
 
Stephanie
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7th Heaven

Hello there!
 
Jack is having a great time scooting around on the floor any which way he can.  If he tries to do the traditional crawl he ends up going backwards for some reason–definitely my kid!  He can stand up for a long time, but he still needs someone to get him there and give him a little balance check every once in awhile.  No height or weight this month, sorry.  He’s bigger, trust me.
 
My bloodwork finally came back and I don’t have any blood clotting disorders like they thought, but I DO have Alpha Thalassemia Trait which was a big shock!  That’s the one that Jack has and if Jose has it too (his Mom has it) then we are very lucky and blessed indeed that Jack did not end up with a more serious form of the disease.  If you’re curious you can find out more about thalassemia at
 
 
We had fun at our small family reunion early in the month and also had a great time reconnecting with our adoption classmates and social workers.  Everyone has such beautiful families!  We are planning to go forward with our adoption sometime soon, but not too soon.  Vague enough for you?
 
Take care, enjoy the fall weather, and a Happy early Halloween!
 
Love,
 
Stephanie
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