Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Emily's 1st Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

Every year since BW was born we have been visiting a pumpkin patch and taking pictures of our kiddos in their costumes. A little bit of a tradition you might say.

We stumbled upon this pumpkin patch 3 years ago and have made it our yearly pilgrimage. It's more like a pumpkin amusement park. Every year the farm adds more and more attractions. Besides buying pumpkins, indian corn, hay bundles, etc, there are food booths, a craft market, live bands, trains, carousel, and pony rides. There's even a few different hay and tractor rides, a maze and a haunted house at night. My favorite is the fields of cheery and picture perfect and not a dead one in the bunch. I'm amazed at the irrigation system they have here as the entire farm is landscaped with beautiful flowers. We had a lovely day this year. The weather was in the mid 80's. Hard to believe we are in October with weather like that.

Here's our boo kids this year...

The boys chose their own costumes this year. Boy Wonder is the speediest spider ever and Bubba makes a darling little pumpkin. Just like Bubba to choose a cute pumpkin costume. Emily had a little help with hers. What a sweet little ladybug she makes.

A few more of Emily...

Here are the boys riding in some cute cows pulled by a large tractor.

Now it just so happens that my grandmother was celebrating a momentous milestone birthday that week. We racked our brains to try and come up with the most original idea for such a special birthday. And then it hit us...who wouldn't love to celebrate their momentous birthday out at the pumpkin patch eating hot dogs and cupcakes? This is why I love my grandma. She is such an easy go with the flow person. And doesn't she still look tickled pink? Or maybe it's just shock? It is really hard to take that many little children out to a nice restaurant and enjoy yourself. This was an unusual birthday party but it sure was a fun one and we all got to be a part of it. Thanks Grandma. You're the best! And Happy Birthday! PS..these were no ordinary cupcakes but instead are from a very yummy bakery that produces the best tasting cakes, pastries and cookies I have ever tasted. And yes, I am a connosueir of sweets. So glad my sister thought of the idea!

My mouth is just drooling thinking about these cupcakes again.

Love this photo!

Make a wish...

Here's a fun shot of the grandkids with the grandparents and great grandparents. Three generations in one photo. Notice a generation missing? Isn't it funny that once the grandkids arrive, the kids are out? Ha! Ha! . :-)

What a fun time we all had at the pumpkin patch. Here's our carload, happy and content. The boys had to ride clothesless. They really had a lot of fun and managed to leave covered in dirt and straw. Well..that's boys for you. :-)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I'm it! I've been tagged!!

I've been tagged by Angie at

So...six random things about me. That's pretty hard. Let's see what I can come up with...

1. I like to see and do new things. I keep a list of all places I want to visit in our file cabinet. Basically I want to see everywhere. I especially want to do a road trip with the kids when they get a little older and see every state in the US. My hubby wants to add to that list by seeing every amusement park in the US.

2. I lie about my height but not really sure why. I'm really 5'.3". But I say I'm 5'4". That extra little inch must make me feel so much better. :-)

3. I have a thing about numbers. My numbers seem to be 3, 5, and 1. They come up all the time and these 3 numbers together are in kids and hubby's birthdates, my height, my age, our ages, my anniversary, important dates during our adoption, etc.

4. I'm a quarter japanese and sadly it's the biggest claim to a culture I have. My grandfather is/was japanese and we celebrated a japanese new year's every year. I can make sushi in my sleep. I'm a big supporter of culture. It's important to have heritage and ties and celebrate them. My hubby is 100% danish, making the boys half danish. Our daughter is 100% russian. I'm excited for them to know this about their heritage and look forward to incorporating their cultures more into our family's lives.

5. Our home has a name. It's Lavendar Creek. :-) I love lavendar. It's all over our yard. We also have a creek for the kids to play in.

6. I grew up in a house that was haunted. Seeing things and hearing things and witnessing werid phenomenon was all part of the childhood package. For a long time my career choice was a parapsychologist. I remember the first time I moved into a new home with my 7 housemates in college. Never was a home more quiet..more empty than that one. I still love old homes and old things...they feel they are full of life and memories.

Well...that's that. Now it's my turn to tag 6 more people.

If I tag you, here are the rules...

1. link to the person that tagged you.
2.Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random facts about yourself.
4.Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged.
6. Let the taggers know when your entry is up.

And here are the people... If you have already been tagged, I apologize and you are exempt. And if you don't want to play, you don't have to either. This is spreading like wildfire and it's hard to keep up with all the tags. :-)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Update at 5 months!!

Time is flying!! My little baby is looking more and more like a little toddler. She is 18 months old now.

We had our first post placement home visit today with the same social worker that helped us through our homestudy. It was fun to see her again and show off all of our hard work. She was quite taken with Emily. Since we were asked so many progress questions today I thought I would take a moment and do an update.


Emily has made great strides since she has been home. In the beg. she held out her hands for anyone to pick her up...went up to anyone who engaged her in cute talk. She went to a stranger, friend it made no difference. In the past 2 months on several occasions if anyone she does not know well gets in her space or tries to pick her up she immediately yells, "mama, mama," cries, holds out her hands for me, or stays near me somewhat guarded when someone is talking with her instead of diving into their arms with full gusto. When I leave the room more often than not she doesn't panic and break down on the floor in tears. When I return, she immediately comes running full of big smiles and is happy to see me. She invites me to play. She will bring me a tea cup and one for herself to play tea. She will pat a chair for me to sit down next to her. She still on occasion will stiffen and cry if I hold her in the cradle pose during naptime in the big chair and I don't give her a bottle of milk right away. But it's a huge difference to what she used to do.

She follows simple commands or directions. She still loves the word "no" to lots of my requests esp. eating foods. She has gotten so picky, just like the boys, ugh! But I also think this is a good thing as she realizes food is available and she doesn't have to eat it all everytime food is offered. We also eat a very different menu from what she ate in the babyhome. My husband is a vegetarian and we live in California. We have some pretty werid food preferences. On the days when we do eat more traditional meat and potato stews she is suddenly not picky and will gobble her food down and often have seconds. But on the days when that is not the case, if I say, "Emily, say yes momma." She will say it too and then take a bite or do what is asked. Much more compliant than the boys. Of course she IS a girl and girls are NOT boys. There really is a huge gender difference. She is really hugs and kisses and loves to have her foot on my leg during meals. Very sweet girl. She also enjoys being near me when I have to work and will bring toys over and play at my feet. She is much more comfortable now with daddy and talks about him all the time. She still prefers me first but will seek out daddy for play and attention esp if they are going outside and I have to stay inside to cook dinner. This is a huge change for her.

I think the biggest change..the one that makes me feel relieved like attachment is really progressing towards a more secure attachment is that Emily can now say buh bye momma. She has always been able to say that to dadda and both her brothers but when I would say.."can you say buh bye momma?" She would immediately say, "no" and it would clearly agitate her the thought of having to say bye to have to separate from me. I knew she had an anxious attachment to me as she was stuck to me like glue or would get really upset if I was in another room and she couldn't get to me because of the baby gate. And though anxious is not ideal at least it wasn't ambivilant. :-) Just in this month she has suddenly been able to say buh bye momma. We were playing in the living room and she picked up her purse and keys and suddenly said "buh bye momma" and walked out of my eyesight. She would come back fairly quickly smiling. She practiced that game a few more times. And since that time she has said it to me on a few more time casually.

Attachment is a difficult topic. I think as a biological mother you take for granted that your child will be attached to you. It was not a worry I had that they wouldn't attach. I was however always big into attachment parenting..big believer in baby wearing, skin time, holding them, being the one to stay home with them and meet all their needs but I never worried that for one minute they wouldn't attach securely. But as an adoptive parent this idea of attachment to my child has made me feel very vulnerable. I love my daughter so deeply and want the best for her. I want her to need me and love me and feel secure and safe with me and in our family. And in the beg of our relationship, when we were still learning about each other and I was falling more and more in love with Emily it was painful to see her reach out to strangers. And even though I knew rationally that it was a learned thing and she associated all friendly women as potential caregivers and didn't understand that now only one woman, her mama would be the one to meet all her needs and her affections. It didn't matter in my heart, it would still send jealous pangs through me and tell me..I guess we still aren't there yet, we still have so much work to do. And I think a part of me will always wonder about this business of attachment. How secure is my daughter's attachment to our family? And can we still do something to make that attachment deteriorate? We are in no way at a total and secure attachment. We are still a "work in progress" but we are at a place now where I feel much more relaxed about our level of attachment in our relationship to talk about it honestly.


I haven't had her evaluated for speech delays. But my pediatrician doesn't feel it's necessary and I don't think at this point in time she needs it either. She is picking up words pretty quickly. She probably has 25-30 words and signs. She is using them in 2 word sentences even combining signs. She can say clearly all of her immediate family members by names including one of our dogs. Her pronuciation is quite clear. I'm pretty amazed by her communication skills. Her receptive language is amazing. She understands everything even if I'm not talking to her but someone else. She is very expressive in her facial features so it's easy to read her and her feelings. She also loves to make noises and animal sounds. Current favorite animal sound is "ribbit ribbit" for frog. And she hops too when she does it. And she loves to say "boing boing" when she jumps up and down. Her newest word is "blanket."


My daughter is a ham. She loves to be silly, wear silly hats and glasses. She likes to perform/show off her sillyness. She loves to ham it up with her brothers too. She clearly has a sense of humor. For instance, she was putting stickers on the bottom of my feet, then she would get my attention, point to my feet and just laugh. She is flexible, adaptable, happy, smiling a real go with the flow. She is pretty regular and pretty persistent. She mirrors my oldest son is so many ways it's really frightening. She has a lot of energy and loves to be moving. She also is quite imaginative and likes to make noises for things in her play. She loves books and remembers what's going to happen in upcoming pages and will act it out when we get to that page. On the flip side she is also a drama queen and if she doesn't get her way right when she wants something out come the tears and the immediate flinging of her body to the floor in full out temper tantrums. They are very brief and she is more careful these days with her body. She doesn't quite fling herself down on the hardwood floor like she did in the early days.

Large & Fine Motor:

Emily is pretty coordinated for an 18 month old. She climbs easily, balances well, can turn herself around in difficult spots. She can jump in place and follow along behind a ball and kick it repeatedly. She uses alternating feet to walk up the stairs (as she holds onto my hand) She can even buckle the top buckle on her Britax carseat and lock and unlock the deadbolt on our doors. Her fine motor is also fluid. She can pick up the smallest debris off the floor.

She can peel off med size stickers and stick them to her paper. She can hold the crayon and scribble. She can feed herself with a spoon and has started to stab and scoop with her fork with pretty good success. She also has been able to get off her socks, slip her feet in her shoes and get her pants off.

Overall health:

She is a healthy little girl. She is up to date on her immunizations. She has put on 6 lbs in the last 6 months. And stands 2'8" tall. Her hair has come in fast. She has all her teeth except her 2 year molars. She has been using the toliet since she was 15 months and with good regularity. She understands both terms and will point to the correct part of her body where it is coming out of. Emily on occasion will make the sign for "potty" and run to the bathroom. Sometimes it's before she has gone, generally it's after she has already gone in her diaper. I of course am not expecting her to be out of diapers anytime soon but it's good to know she can keep herself dry and is interested in the potty. Of course with 3 kids 5 and under someone is always using the potty at our house. Emily has been interested in doing everything like her brothers so it's not a real surprise that she is wanting to use the potty too. And of course having 2 brothers you can imagine how funny and how much potty talk flies around the house. If she just says the word "butt" the boys are down on the floor in hysterics. So she has learned if she points to her own butt or theirs and says "butt" at the same time she gets lots of kudos from older brothers. Oh dear! Oh dear!

So there you have it!! Emily is doing well and fitting in just perfectly in this crazy family. While I'm still on the watch for attachment and other issues that could suddenly surface, we really are at a place where we can begin to relax into our family of five. We are just thrilled to have our daughter and look forward to watching her continue to grow and blossom. I can't wait to see what she will be like at 2 and 5 and 15. But for now we will just take and enjoy each new day as it comes!

Here is one last shot of her with her silly older brother. Emily is so cute. Every day we walk her big bro to his kindergarten classroom and each of us give him a hug and say goodbye to him. And she does too. She will say Buh bye (insert brother's name). And all the way home she still will say every few minutes...buh bye brother's name.

She is just a sweetheart!! A total pill at other times..but a sweetheart none the less!
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