Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas!
Don't I look dapper?


I think I need one of these in my room.

B' Jolly.
Our trip back home was wonderful! We left the Wednesday before and had a 2hr flight to Atlanta and a 5hr trip to San Fran and then picked up our rental car and drove 4 hours to Fresno. Whew! Max was good on the plane, but very squirmy. When it seemed like the flight was taking too long, Tim and I would shake our heads and say 'it could never be as bad as that trip home from Kaz'.
We stayed at my Mom and Dad's house and they got plenty of time with Max. We went to the zoo one day, we also drove up to Basslake and Oakhurst where I grew up. Max got to play in the snow for a bit. One night we drove around and saw the lights on the houses, so pretty! Max also got to see My Dad and Step mom a couple of times and one trip included some fun at Chucky Cheese. Max loves that place! Even the adults played some basketball and air-hocky. (we are thinking of maybe having his 2nd b-day at the one in Florida).
Even though we had 9 days back home, the time went by way too fast! We are hoping to go back every year during this time. Max got to meet all the family and my dear childhood friend and her family. The trip was just so special! Max got a ton of Elmo stuff including the new Elmo Live and an Elmo chair and table set.
The night before we flew out we decided to stay a night in San Fran to break up the trip/drive. We got up early the next day and walked around Pier 39 and watched the sea lions. Our flight back was a little rough as Max started getting a cold. I think the 3hr time difference and sleep schedule was finally catching up to his tired little body and the plane ride was pretty rough! I think we finally got home around 2:30am in the morning.
We are excited to bring in this new year. In a couple of weeks it will be a full year since we met Max. Jan. 30th was our court date, the day that our lives changed forever. Peace and best wishes to you in this coming year.
Happy New Year!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Going to the zoo...

Wow, those bears are so big!

Can you see the River Otter's behind me?

Max & Rylie reunite.

Max and Mommy time
Happy Thanksgiving to all! This year has sure flown by quickly. We had the good fortune to meet up with Sara and Rylie last month. They flew up from Arizona to visit family and we got to spend some time with them. They were in Kazakhstan a month before us, we just missed meeting them over there but we have kept in contact ever since. The neat thing is Rylie and Max were in the same baby room but I don't think they remembered each other. At first we tried to get them to sit in a chair for photos and they were crying, it was so funny! After a morning of bubbles and snacks and lunch they were having fun together and we got another photo of them together. We only wish that Sara, Adam and Rylie lived closer to us so we could visit more often. It was great meeting you guys in person finally!
Last weekend we took Max to the zoo. It was a perfect day, no crowds and a nice breeze. I thought Florida had only one! Max's new word is 'giraffe'. He has an animal puzzle (one that Sara and Rylie got us) and he just loves the giraffe. (I wonder if it has to do with his Halloween costume as well) Sadly the zoo did not have a giraffe, but that's OK, we saw plenty of animals and will return soon.
We are all getting excited about our trip back to California in a couple weeks. My Dad hasn't met Max yet as well as some other family members and friends. This will be our first plane trip since the 'big one' coming back from Kaz. I think since we are so much more bonded, it should go smoother. I will post on our trip when we come back.
Enjoy the holidays!
The Axtell's

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween 2008

Am I the cutest giraffe you have ever seen?

Story time at the library

First trip to the pumpkin patch.

Cali still loves me!

Dinner at Macaroni Grill

Max had a really fun week. He went on his first trip to the pumpkin patch. I think he was more interested in the other kids then the actual pumpkins! On Halloween we went to story time at the library in the morning. Max has really been enjoying these events. They usually have one every two weeks at the library. The librarian reads some books, plays music for the kids, has crafts and yesterday the kids got to walk around the library in a parade, showing off all the cute costumes! Later that night we went to the fairgrounds for more trick or treating. We missed the costume contest by a couple of minutes, but he is still our little winner!
Max just had his 18 month checkup at the doctors. He is coming along just fine, although he is at the stage where he does not like to hear the word 'no' and it's usually followed by some tears. Max gets a break from shots, and blood work and all the other things he has had to go through since arriving in the U.S. His next appt is in six months when he turns two.
It's finally cooling off over here and in the evenings we go down to the pond and feed the ducks and fish. Max still gives plenty of hugs and kisses and right now he is fascinated with walking backwards. He also does this cute little shuffle in place with his feet that reminds me of an Irish jig. He is also talking a bit more each week.

Monday, September 22, 2008

We have come so far

PJ time!
The next Kobe

Love to play outside.

Or maybe I will be a drummer?

Sand good in bucket....not so good to eat!

Max is 17 months today. Last week he finally got his top two teeth in. He has been repeating more and more words and using a couple on his own. He still loves to eat and is not picky about any kind of food. We just booked a trip back to California for 9 days over Christmas and we are so excited! My family and friends live over there and I can't wait for them all to meet Max. We are not thrilled about switching planes and having to drive 4 hours once we get to CA to make a long day of traveling, but if we could survive that horrible trip back from Kaz, we can survive this trip!!
This Friday Max and I are going to try out story time at the library. The story is about apples so we both are supposed to wear red. I think this will be a fun thing for Max to start participating in. I also booked us for one on Halloween. Max will need to dress up and they have crafts and a small parade.
Max has been enjoying the pool all summer. Maybe even longer as it still is pretty hot over here in Florida. He is starting to kick his legs and move his arms a bit more.
Max is still just an amazing, happy, fun loving boy. He is so content. He loves giving hugs and kisses and I sure hope that never ends! When we pick him up now he lays his head on our shoulders, when we first brought him home from Kaz he would be all stiff. He also comes over and lays his head in your lap. So much has changed. Max also used to not like books to be read to him. He would push the book away or close it and would not sit still, now he jumps up in your lap and loves bringing books over to be read. I went back and re-read the whole blog and it brought tears to my eyes. We have come so far as a family!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Living the good life!

Playtime! Still just have 2 teeth.

Big boy swing.

Who me a big deal? Mom & Dad sure think so!

Not sure I like wearing hats.

I have finally mastered the fork and spoon!
It's been a couple of months since I have updated the blog but Max is doing wonderful. Right after he turned 13 months he was up and walking. Now he is like my little shadow when I turn around. It's pretty cute. He is also saying more words. We were getting worried but now he is Mister Chatter box. With much resistance, he finally got the fork and spoon down. Grandpa and Grandma Esparza came up a few weeks ago and we went to the beach and swam and also Max had his first boat ride on the ocean. He seemed to like it, except for having to wear a life jacket!
There are so many 'firsts' with him that we just enjoy getting to experience with him.
We just had our six month post adoption visit and it went really good. Now we continue these once a year until he is 18. The report goes back to Kazakhstan along with 20 current photos of Max. It's nice that they will get to see Max grow up happy and loved. I heard there is some slowing down of the adoption process, if there are any families out there reading this, waiting to go, hang in there! Waiting is the hardest thing during this process.
Part of me wants Max to stay a little baby, and part of me can't wait until he is old enough to go to all the wonderful theme parks in Florida. There is so much to do and see but we are also enjoying this stage. This is such a fun age. 14 months, wow! Our little boy is growing up.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Max turns one! Look at our matching shirts!

Can you see my two front teeth I just got?

I am ready for my gifts and cake now!

Ummm, yummy! I love frosting!

Grandpa's birthday party on 4/14/08. Finally a group shot with Mommy & Daddy.
Max turned one yesterday and all of the family celebrated at 'Steak n' Shake'. Max was so cute. We opened some gifts before we went to dinner and he was all over the place, barely noticing the gifts, it was pretty funny. Then at dinner I think he sensed he was the star of the night. We all sang to him and he looked at his big Elmo cake with huge eyes. Then he got to mash his fingers into his piece of cake and he loved that! (up until he got a little bit of frosting up his nose, then that was the end of that)
Max got some neat toys including a basketball hoop. He also got his own little inflatable swimming pool with a tree that rains water on him. We will use this at our new place we are moving to this weekend. I can't believe Max is already 1 year old! We look forward to many more birthdays with him.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Cali & Max

I am too cute for Cali not to like....

Maybe if I stare her down a bit....

Wait Cali, come back!

I love bath time now! I just don't understand why Dad always tells me to sit down.

It's official, I am a water baby now!

I am really enjoying Florida. Mommy and me still take our daily walks and now I sit in my little inter tube in the pool with Daddy. I am still working on Cali's affections, but I can tell she is warming up to me. She doesn't hiss or anything at me. When she heard me cry the first few times, her eyes were as big as saucers, now she doesn't seem to mind and she just tries to sniff me. I will learn to pet her 'gently' and we will be best buds in the future.

Love, Max