Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Celebrating the Holidays Part 2

Here's the 2nd installment...

Meeting Santa
I'm kind of a traditions girl. Every year since Boy Wonder was a baby we have taken the kids to see Santa. The funny thing is that for each boy their second Christmas when they were around 20 months they refused to sit with Santa so I have no photo of them that year. So...I was wondering how would Emily do. Would she too not sit with Santa being that this was her 20 month photo shot? I have photos in frames all over the house of the kids with Santa that I put up every December. We talked a lot about how wonderful Santa was and how he brings presents to the children on X-mas Eve. We have also seen the Polar Express about a million times this season thanks to Bubba which has really helped too. Emily, naturally was really unsure about Santa, but what a trooper. And of course it helped that her brothers were over the moon to see him. After that visit she pointed out Santa everytime she saw his image..in books, ornaments, decorations in the house. And she says it so cute. I've heard it a million times and I still can't figure out which sounds she is adding or substituting in his name. Hubby thinks she is saying SHanta. And it almost always comes out in a long drawn out whisper. The dress Emily is wearing was her X-mas Eve dress and it was one that I bought for her last year. I saw it in the store when I was shopping for the boys last X-mas and just fell in love with it. It was my gift for her under the tree when she couldn't be home with us last Christmas. And I'm so glad it fit!! I almost bought the 18 month but talked myself into the 24 month and thank goodness I did!!

Emily's ornaments
Another tradition I love. I fell in love with clay ornaments when my hubby and I were looking for something special to put on our tree when we celebrated our first children's first Christmas. Our first children were the terrible twins...our furbabies, Mandy and James. This was back when we were just living together long before we married. From that first Christmas every year we got a family ornament that symbolized something we had done that year. When our human babies began to arrive we added to the tradition by giving them an individual ornament for their ornament collection. The idea being that when they are grown they will have a set of ornaments to take with them for their own Christmas trees and with it a set of memories of their years in our family. And since I'm not very good with giving things up, I will get to keep the family ornaments. So in keeping with the tradition this year we got to add Emily to our family ornament and she got her own individual ornaments too. To help catch her up she actually got 3 ornaments this year.

The little horse we bought in St. Petersburg on our first trip to represent her culture and her birth. I loved this ornament because the horse reminds me of the horse used in scandinavian traditions which is present in my boys' backgrounds. The matryoshka doll is wearing the traditional blue russian costume to represent St Petersburg and was purchased the morning we went to court on our 2nd trip. And even though these 2 ornaments are not made of clay they are very dear to me. How I held onto them while we waited for Emily to come home.

This last ornament is because I had so few baby things of Emily. This is her little handprint taken in the first few months she was home. Her hand has already grown so much since this imprint was taken. I also have a larger clay piece that has her hand and foot on it that is framed for her as part of her babyhood collection.

And last her "first Christmas home" ornament with her cute little face on it which looks very similar to Bubba's "Baby's first Christmas" ornament.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Celebrating the Holiday Season Part 1

I've been so busy this month with school and all of the Holidays that I haven't had a chance to post in a long while. I'm going to try and do a series of posts on our holidays.

Here is a little of what we've been upto...

Our version of a white Christmas. It's been so cold here this month that our backyard almost looks like it got a dusting of snow.

Emily's First Christmas Tree

There's a Christmas Tree Farm near us where we have bought our Christmas Tree the last 4 or 5 years. My sister's family joined us and the kids had a blast picking out the trees. Emily quickly learned the word "tree". And for the next few days she would walk by the tree and point to it and say..."tree, mom." I can only imagine what she was thinking. Now we have a tree in the middle of our house. What's next?

My beautiful 21 month old baby!!
My last little baby is growing up so fast!!

We have our tree!! It's a cute one!!

The Kids...

I love this moment... Emily smelling the Christmas tree. Ahh..the smell of a fresh tree!

Decorating the Christmas Tree

Putting on the lights.

Big brother showing little sister how to put on the ornaments.

Finding an ornament..

Having a ball!

Emily's First Christmas Parade

The first Saturday of December brings the childrens' parade. Our preschool participates in it every year. It's a lot of fun. We decorated our bikes, put on our red sweatshirts and headed out early to line up for the parade. The kids had a blast. After we finished walking in the parade we grabbed lunch and then a chocolate chip cookie and milk and watched the rest of the parade from the sidelines. The parade always ends with Santa.

Holding hands with my nephew.

Beautiful girl!

SANTA's coming!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Emily...20 months old...

How I love my amazing little girl! Everyday we talk about how much her family loves her. I will start and say, "Mama loves you Emily." And then she will say..."Dadda?" And I will say.."Dadda loves Emily." And she will say "Bubba?" And then I will say "Bubba loves Emily." And then she will say her other brother's name (BW). And then MuMu? (nickname for our littlest dog Morgan) And then I will say.."MuMu loves Emily. And today she just learned our last dog's name..James. She can now say everyone in our family! Before she would just say MuMu twice meaning James too. Sometimes she says a few family members' names twice until she remembers which person she has forgotten to say. Such a sweet girl! She seems to be really getting it..that we are her family..forever!!

While Emily was playing in the bath tonite we talked briefly about Emily's life before us and her now being home with her forever family. I'm always trying to find the right words to tell Emily a little bit about her life story so that she is familiar with it and can talk to us about it. It is very brief right now and I'm still working it all out so that it's appropriate for her age. I began simply by telling Emily her full name and how she was born in St Petersburg, Russia and that she lived in the babyhome. I told her how the caregivers there loved her and took care of her before mommy and daddy could bring her home. And we talked about her little friends that she remembers...Sasha and Sergei. These 2 cute little boys that lived with her in her gruppa and was the closest to her age. She always lights up when I mention their names and now tries to say their names after I say them. So very cute. And then I tell her how mommy and daddy came for her and how we rode a big airplane to come home to America. And that now she is home forever with mommy and daddy, brothers and doggies. This is Emily's home. Emily will live here forever with mama and dadda. She looks up at me and then says..."mama...mine... (pointing to herself) home." "That's right baby girl...this is your home with mama, dadda, and brothers." What a smart cookie she is! Those wheels are turning in that cute little head. I see that connections are being made!

Oh...how I love this little girl!! I'm so grateful she is a part of our family!
Hoping you have many reasons today to be thankful too! Happy Turkey Day!!

Emily is saying "cheese" in this photo on the right. She is such a crack-up!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fabulous Finds!!

I'm excited about a new find!! I'm a toy nut! I'm always on the hunt for new and imaginative toys that are age appropriate, well designed and of course fun! Dolls have become a small obsession for me. Gee..I wonder why? Well anyways..I'm not really a fan of Barbie for about a zillion reasons and she really is more tame than some of the other very scary role model dolls that are on the market today for young girls. So I was so thrilled to have found this line of action figure dolls by Only Hearts Club that has a more wholesome feel. And since I've discovered this line one night very late while at Target I have quickly seen them everywhere in discount to expensive toy stores. This doll looks more like a young preteen girl. She has a cute, young face with poseable body. And with the exception of her face and hands her body is cloth. There are at least 6 dolls in this line. You can buy of course assessories, clothes, and pets and I believe story books for the dolls. They average about $15 a doll. Age recommended is 3 and up.

Emily is still too young for this line but of course I did buy her the Lily Rose doll for later. She has red hair, freckles and green eyes...how could I resist? The only thing I disagree with is how short this doll's skirt seems to be. But I did look through the outfits that were available and there were plenty that were still very cute and covered a little bit more skin..or cloth as it may be. So if you are looking for a line of dolls for a young girl that has a more wholesome but still cute, trendy and mainstream feel...check out their website. www.onlyheartsclub.com

Sunday, November 23, 2008

2 kids and a Jack-o-lantern

In Bubba's 3's class the children planted wheat berries in a jack-o-lantern they named Hairy and set him in the garden. Each time the kids come to school they water Hairy and watch the grass grow and the pumpkin decompose back into the earth. Each child was given a packet of wheat berries to take home. It was a fun experiment at school so we decided to give it a try at home. We chose 2 of our jack-o-lanterns for the project. We first soaked our wheat berries in water overnight. We then filled our pumpkin with soil or shredded newspaper would work too. Then Bubba began to stuff the seeds into the jack-o-lantern's eyes, mouth, nose, and top of his head.

Emily seems a little unsure...

Emily also got to feel the wheat berries. Then she would shake her hands rapidly to try and get the berries to fall off. Very cute!

We then got buckets and watering cans to water our jack o lantern. Bubba was very good at explaining to Emily how to water the pumpkin. She really loved watering the pumpkin too.

Emily really got into Halloween and still talks about bump bums (pumpkins). She especially loved the song, 5 little pumpkins sitting on a gate.

Bubba is working on pumpkin #2.

Emily and the Jack -o-lantern after planting all the seeds.

And here is our Jack-O-Lantern a few weeks later. The berries are sprouting grass and the pumpkin is getting gushy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Following 2 families in their quest to adopt

An update: November 19th... Bethany and Kyle have arrived home today with their beautiful little girl. They are settling in. I'm anxiously awaiting homecoming photos of the entire family.

Adrienne and Jim have had a complication arise in their adoption. The birth mother has chosen at this time to raise her child. My heart goes out to Adrienne and Jim. I'm so very sad for them as I know how very much this child was loved, wanted and dreamed of.

It's been an exciting week to follow two families as they bring home their forever children. I'm so happy for both of these families!

Bethany and Kyle are in Russia for their 2nd trip. They have completed court and have their daughter in their forever arms now. You can read more about their beautiful little girl and their journey home on their blog. http://www.dreamingonanangel.blogspot.com/

Adrienne and Jim are adopting a newborn baby girl here in the US. They are excitedly awaiting her birth. What an amazing journey this has been for them with so many surprises. You can read more on their blog. http://www.our-journey-to-parenthood.blogspot.com/

Congratulations to both families!! I'm so happy for you both!! Safe journies home with your babies!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Boy toys

Emily has 2 older brothers. She adores her brothers. She is also very interested in what they do. Bubba loves his Disney Cars and plays with them every day. Bubba is away today with daddy. Emily found Bubba's stash of cars and decided to give them a try. She drug them all over to me. She seems very interested...

I love that she picked the pink car. :-)

It takes a little while to get the cars in the slot.

Yeah!! I did it!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Trick or Treat!!

I just love Halloween!! We had a fun filled day and evening trick or treating. In the morning our little downtown, hands out treats to all the children. The block is covered in thousands of small children..babies to preschoolers in costumes. We dropped off BW at school. (He had a fun day at school enjoying a parade and party.) That gave Bubba, Emily and I time to meet up with my sister and her little one and a few friends and their children and trick or treat up and down the downtown.

Aahh...the first candy of the day. I think they are in heaven.

Hanging out with friends.

Time to trick or treat in the neighborhood. The kids had a blast. We also had some good friends join us. All the kids looked so cute. Emily really got into it. She loved to carry her spider bag on her arm and learned to work over the people at the door. They would tell her how cute she was and hold out the bowl for her to choose. She would take one from the bowl, put it in her bag and then point with her finger to the bowl and say "more". They would think she was so cute and let her pick another. Once she figured out this worked she tried it a few more times at other houses. Every few houses she would stop, sit down on the ground and look through her bag pulling out a few "nummies" as she calls them. Not sure how she figured out these were treats as she never got to eat any. But even when we trick or treated in the morning she spent all morning trying to figure out how to open the candy wrappers. Too funny!!

This is why we don't let hubby use the camera. He was in charge of taking the trick or treat photos. Only a few were taken and these are the best ones. Don't quit your day job, cutie!

A little tired...taking a quick rest.

More trick or treating...Happy Halloween!!
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