Thursday, October 8, 2009

Emily at Mtn School

Emily started school in the fall just like her brothers. She goes one day a week to Mtn School with mommy. She is in class with 11 0ther 2 and 3 year old children. Emily is loving her school and asks every day if it's her day to go to Mtn School. In the fall and spring Mtn School meets outdoors at various locations. Currently we are meeting in a redwood grove that has a creek and a sandbox. The kids go on hikes, participate in cooking projects, do music, read books, sing songs, do art, play in the creek and sand. It is a blast.

Fishing in the creek.

Emily and a banana slug. Isn't she just so happy to be carrying that bug?

Emily really loves bugs. Any kind of bug seeking is fun and especially when she finds them. One day we found hundreds of lady bugs hiding under the grasses. She was in heaven trying to pick up and hold the lady bugs. They were everywhere...on your pants, hair, etc. Emily did not mind, she just kept trying to get one on her hand. Finally, she succeeded!

Look carefully and you will see Emily is proudly holding a ladybug.

Here she is on a hike picking up a dandelion in the tall grasses.

We have a good friend in class with us. Here's Emily and her bud sitting on a log participating in a song. Too cute! Notice the rainboots for creek hiking.

Here she is climbing a redwood. Such a monkey!

One last photo with the puppet, Tiny Tim the Turtle. This puppet is a special friend in this class. All the children want to hold Tiny Tim. Here is Emily having a turn with the Turtle, who just happens to be her favorite animal.

School is off to a fun start. How I love this class. I'm having so much fun with Emily. Her Mtn School day is our special day together. I Love, love love time with just my girl!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Well, it looks like I took a little time off. All is well, just had a busy and fun summer. Lots to catch up on. Here is a quick photo series of my silly kids this evening.

For is a look at a photo series I took a little over a year ago. little and oh so cute! Hard to believe how fast they grow!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

An email I received tonight...

Back in Feb 2008 I was desperately trying to get a response to what happened to my I-600A. It had been sent in completed 6 months prior and I couldn't get anyone at Homeland Security to respond to me. In desperation, I sent off many emails to my local homeland security office in charge of adoptions inquiring desperately about why I hadn't received my 171-H yet. We were told we would most likely travel on trip one in March 2008 to meet our daughter and court would be shortly after on trip 2. If we didn't have that paper in the next month it could interefere with our court date. I was pretty anxious and a little desperate in Feb 2008 because after 6 months of not being able to get a response how could I in one month?

14 months later today, imagine my surprise when I opened my email to see this very short response I received with all my previous emails attached...

"Hopefully this has been resolved. If it has not, please provide me your number and the best time to reach you.
Thank you."

So if I just sat around for the past 14 months waiting for some unimportant response as if forgetting that this was in regards to a child and family's life that was stuck in limbo. And the worse part, my number was all over that email even under my name at the bottom and top. Clearly, my desperate pleas were not even read. Just a formal procedure to move around paperwork. So, here I would be again responding and then waiting to hear back from who? No name was even signed. So very, very sad! I shudder to think what if...what if I didn't get that paper?...what if noone had helped us? What would our lives have been like today without our sweet and precious Emily? It gives me chills to even consider...

Another big milestone for my big girl!

Oh sweet goodness! My little baby girl has been in big girl undies the past few weeks and has had no accidents the past 4 days in a row. We have been on the go...parks, carpooling to camps, grocery store runs, restaurants, swim lessons...she has used the potty successfully everywhere we have been. She is so proud of herself and loves wearing her big girl undies. It's's like it just finally clicked and she wanted it. She has been using the toliet since last summer. She was interested of course because big brothers are on it so frequently so it just became built into our everyday routine, kind of like hand washing and she of course was still in diapers too and just this week it's like something changed. It's like she made up her mind that she wanted to wear her big girl undies all the time and that was it, no looking back. She's so funny about the big girl undies...just like mommy she says. She sleeps with her undies and loves to decide over which pair to choose each morning. She has favorites and it's hard when those are already been chosen for the week. She is such a girl. The boys never care which pair they are wearing but Emily loves to come down and show everyone which pair today. Yeah! I'm so happy for her! Yeah!! Of course at night time she is still in overnights not undies, and I will expect acccidents to come when she stops focusing on her body and moves onto other goals she sets for herself...but it's a great accomplishment and one I don't mind moving on from. Yeah for Emily!! Three cheers for my big girl!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Still hanging around

We are still here! Just been so busy with the end of the school year stuff!! Little miss smiley is still keeping me on my toes. She continues to grow and amaze us. Her little personality is not so little! She is full of smiles and sillyness. She likes girly stuff but is also my sporty tom girl..totally into climbing, riding her scooter and bugs! And she is fast too! Full on sprints, totally fluid in her movements, she is really hard to catch! She finished off the year at Mtn School with Bubba and I was so impressed how she was able to hike up the creek with the 3 and 4 year olds! She is going to have a blast next year in her own class! She's been asking me where her back pack is. Looks like I need to get her's ordered! She is right in there with other kids. We don't have regular girls to play with as much as we have lots of boys so Emily is very interested in girls esp. girls slightly older. She has a special little girl friend that we do see at school and she always asks to play with her. They are the same age and so cute together! Potty training is still going. She picked out big girl underwear and on the mornings she keeps her diapers dry then she gets to wear the underwear after nap. She is so proud of herself and loves her underwear. I frequently find all of them in her bed with her during naptime. She loves to go through them and pick out her favorite pairs...the pink ones, of course! She refers to herself as big girl and gets really upset if her brothers call her a baby and will yell back at them, "No, I'm big girl." Ah, where does the time go?

Life is good...just busy! Looking forward to the summer and all of the adventures that it entails! The kids are all signed up for swim lessons just as soon as Boy Wonder's school is out. I'm sure Emily will do great!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Family Day!!

One year ago today a judge helped us to expand our family to include a beautiful little girl!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My little baby is turning into my Big Girl

My little girl turned 2 and suddenly it just feels like she's growing up faster. Where's my little baby? It's hard when it's your last and you know this is your last everything...last baby toddling, drinking from a bottle, wearing the little clothes, sleeping in a crib, etc. So everything she does or outgrows I can't help but feel a brief sigh of sadness. Now, on the flip side, she really is at a very fun age and it's hard not to laugh a lot and just enjoy her. She really is coming into her own in terms of personality, humor, language, style, etc. She has become pretty interested in what she wears, knows what she wants, wants to do EVERYTHING her self, and has a memory of gold so be careful of what you and say and do in front of her. She tells everyone she's 3 not 2, is on the go all day and her language has gotten so expressive that it's really funny to hear what she has to say.

And she likes to shop! This is a new one for me because neither of my boys enjoy shopping or any kind of errands. In general I do most of that stuff on the weekend and leave them home to play with dad. Not Emily, she loves to go and it's been fun to have a buddy along. Today Emily and I spent a couple of hours out shopping. Both her brothers are having back to back birthday parties in the next few weeks so it's become the mad rush to plan and prepare for their parties. She was so funny..she runs to get her sweater, picked out flip flops to wear (It was in the 80's here today) grabbed her pink sunglasses and her purple phone and she was good to go. I just never know what she's going to do when we get ready to leave. We went to Target and Michaels (right next to one another) and she just made her self at home in the shopping cart. Of course she is funny, she likes to hold everything first before you can put it in the cart. "I hold that." And she has an opinion about everything too. We were on the toy aisle looking at a hot wheels track for Bubba and of course she wants to see everything too. She tells me.."that one mama," pointing at a car on the shelf. Which one Emily? There is a whole wall of cars and I couldn't tell which one she is pointing at. "Pink one," is her reply. This lately is her color of choice. Which one is the pink one I ask...none of them are pink. She points to a light purple car..."that one." And when I'm too slow to respond she just wiggles out of her seatbelt and gets it herself. She really keeps me on my toes. Her other new saying is.."that's cute." in reference to something I pick up. She's just a crack up. Errands of course are harder to do with a little one in tow, but oh it was fun today.

Also today we hit another big milestone for Emily. Emily's side rail on her crib came off. She is now sleeping in a big girl bed. Emily was excited...mommy was a little weepy...last baby in the crib stage is over... Over the past month Emily has climbed out of her crib a few times but nothing on a regular basis but in the last few days she has climbed out pretty regularly and when she showed up by our bedside quietly at 7am this morning I knew it was time to take the rail down and really baby proof her room, lock down her bathroom door, baby proof her bedroom door, etc. Who knows how long she had been up. I'm a really sound sleeper and unless someone wakes up screaming bloody murder I will not hear them. Emily showing up quietly at my bedside did not sit easy with me while hubby and I were snoozing and she had the run of the upstairs and since she was able to get out of her room I just worry about her getting down the stairs and going outside. Yes, she has mastered how to unlock all the doors in our house and even though our doors beep when they are opened, if I'm sound asleep I won't hear it. I never even hear my husband get up, shower and get dressed and I sleep right next to him and our bathroom. We also sleep upstairs and even though we have a baby gate at the top of the stairs I would still feel much more comfortable if I was awake when she's out of her room roaming around. I'm a nut, I know. So when our kids are under 3 they get a door knob cover on the inside of their door so they can't get out. It's like their crib has just gotten a lot larger and is now the entire room. We have monitors in our bedroom of all 3 kids' rooms so if the littlest one is awake and needs us she will just call for us just as she did when she would wake up in her crib and I can continue to sleep soundly knowing she can't get in any trouble. Generally by 3 I feel better about this and the cover comes off, but at 2 years old, I just don't.

So by this evening her room was stripped of all the decorative things, diaper creams, toothpastes, hair clips, even the paper books, etc were removed, bathroom door locked down for the night, closet cleared of anything dangerous, night light removed. We had our same routine as usual and then I laid Emily in her bed, tucked her in with her blanket and stuffies and kissed her goodnight. I lined her open ended crib floor with soft pillows in case she rolled off the bed and then I turned the lights to very dim. I ran to my room and watched on the monitor. Would she turn over and go to sleep? Would she hop off the bed and play? Emily just turned over and went to sleep. That's my big girl. Of course it's only the first night...and of course there's her naptime tomorrow. I'm betting she won't fall asleep during her nap tomorrow...

Update...Emily's been asleep for about 4 hours now but she just turned over and rolled off the bed. Poor thing!! She temporarily sat up, confused about how that could happen, I'm sure and then she just laid back down on the pillows on the floor and went back to sleep. My poor baby is sleeping on the floor. Should I pick her up and put her back in the bed where she most likely will roll back out or let her stay sleeping on the carpeted floor on the pillows? Looks like I'll probably be investing in a bed rail. (I don't remember Bubba ever falling out.) Quick search on the internet...One Step Ahead carries them. Bed rails for the crib are so tiny!!

Emily in her crib for the last time.

Emily in her new big girl bed.

As daddy was taking off the rail Emily kept saying.."no daddy, no break bed." She was really concerned daddy was destroying her bed. We explained daddy was taking off the rail to make her bed into her new big girl bed and when she saw she could climb up and down with out having to go over the rail she was all smiles. She kept saying..."big girl bed, big girl bed."

I know this is getting long, but one other cute sidestory...Emily has become very interested in babies. My sister is due in the next few weeks with a baby girl. We are all very excited. Emily is very interested in Auntie, her tummy, and the new baby. She knows the baby's name, knows that the baby is living in Auntie's tummy and will soon arrive..or "pop out" as she refers to the baby's arrival. She recently got to feel the baby kicking and it was explained that the baby was kicking inside Auntie's tummy. You can see her trying to process this. "Baby kick Auntie, mama?" Yes, Emily. The baby is inside Auntie and when she kicks Auntie can feel her. Emily. "Kick Mama." And she makes her silly face and tries to kick me. No silly, you are not inside the tummy anymore. And we've talked about how every person was once a baby inside their mama's tummy. And that when Emily was a little baby she was inside her Russian mama's tummy and when she would kick, her Russian mama could feel her too. A few times Emily has even crawled under my shirt so she was completely covered and would say "baby kick" and kick my shirt. She's such a smart cookie. The other day my almost 6 year old asked me what airline did we fly on when we brought him home. (He knows we flew on Lufthansa to bring Emily home.) Kind of funny I thought, as I know he's seen his baby pictures of me pregnant with him, and him in the hospital with me and daddy and him. So I just assumed he remembered that. So I have started to talk with both the boys too about what it was like carrying each of them and how I would feel them inside me too. Now my oldest is getting wise as he asked me the other day how are they going to get that baby out of Auntie's tummy? I like my sister's response to her own 3 year old son for this question. When the baby's ready to come out she will find a way out just as you did when you were born. My oldest needed more info so we briefly talked about the two different ways a baby can be born.

Anyways, back to Emily. So everyday we have conversations that go something like this. Emily will say, "Auntie baby pop out?" Not yet..Auntie's baby is still in her tummy. "Auntie baby hiding mama." Yes, she's still hiding inside Auntie. Are you going to play with the baby Emily when she's out. "Play beach. Auntie baby beach?" Yes, she will get to come to the beach with us too. Yesterday during naptime Emily announced she had a baby in her tummy too. "Feel my baby mama. Baby tummy." And she rubs her tummy. Is there a baby in your tummy, Emily? "Yep, baby mama. Feel. Baby kick, mama." I asked her if there was a baby in my tummy? I was curious if she thought there were babies hiding in all girls' tummies. The answer was a quick no. Oh well, daddy will be happy to hear that. We went back to admiring Emily's baby and feeling the baby kick. :) I think Emily will be really surprised when she sees how small the baby is as she still tells me she is a baby too and I think she is thinking this is going to be someone to play with her right off the bat.

Monday, April 13, 2009

My Birthday at the Beach!

I had a wonderful birthday spent at the beach. My hubby made me a cake and with help from the family kept an eye on the kids so I could have the day off to relax. My mom bought me my favorite flowers, pink tulips and made me my favorite dinner...TACOS!! And there were presents too! What a wonderful birthday!

My oldest loves tacos just as much as me.

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