Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008!

This time last is where I was!

What a way to start a new year. Luckily, I was able to spend last NewYear's Eve over the Atlantic and not in the Atlantic (as I was terrified would be the case!).

I'm saving the "big" post for Friday (our official Forever Day). But here is a cute story to keep you happy. Mari's Ethiopian name is Roza and she was very aware of her name when we met. Calling her Roza brought the biggest grin in the world, so I started calling her Mari Roza as a slow adjustment to her new name. Well, the Mari Roza has stuck and I call her this a large part of the time. When we are in a silly mood, it gets lengthened to MariPari RozaPoza. We were watching Dora the other night and I learned that mariposa is butterfly in Spanish.

She has also started (well, a couple months ago) to call herself Mimi. She can't quite get her mouth around the R in Mari and she has learned about "me and you" at school, so Mimi became her name whenever she sees her pix or reflection. I was reading a book about Ethiopia the other night and found that little boys are fondly called Mamush (which I did know thanks to a certain boyfriend) but I did not know that little girls are fondly called Mimi!

Here's my little butterfly, Mimi!
This has been the best year ever! Here's hoping 2009 is just as great!

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mari's First Christmas

Post #200! Here it is!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve

One year ago, I spent Christmas Eve alone, wondering what the coming weeks and months would hold for me. It was only a week until I flew and I was scared, scared about everything. Tonight, I read my daughter the Christmas Story (This is the Stable--great book!) and rocked her to sleep. And then rocked and stared (and cried, of course) at the most beautiful blessing I could have ever imagined.

Here is a short video to lighten the sappiness of this post. More to come after the festivities...this is post #199. I guess #200 will be all about Mari's first Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Memories

One of my favorite memories from childhood is making cookies with my Mom for Christmas. I had my own set of little Tupperware cookie cutters and Mom would give me my own dough to make cookies for Santa Claus. One year, my Dad even painted mud hoofprints on our woodstove and in the living room and they crumbled up some of my cookies to make it look like Santa had been there munching away. At least that is how I remember it.

One day, I'll look at these pictures below and remember the first time Mari got to help with Christmas cookies. I'll try to forget that I cheated and used Pillsbury refrigerator cookies. I'll try to forget that there was colored sugar EVERYwhere. I'll try to forget that Mari screamed for 10 minutes after I took the cookies away to put in the oven. I'll try to forget Mari's bright red feet that were stained when her sweaty feet stepped in the pile of red sugar on the carpet. I'll try to forget the language I used when the vacuum cleaner did not want to suck up the pile of red sugar on the carpet. Hopefully, I'll remember those 3 minutes of pure excitement of Mari shaking the heck out of the sprinkle container and the 5 minutes it took her to savor her first warm, fresh-out-of the oven sugar cookie. In the words of the Pillsbury doughboy...Teehee!

Enjoy the video...after the cookie pix, there are some other random ones from the last few days. And be sure to check out Glimpse Photography for a sneak peek of the pix we had done last Thursday through Celebrating Adoption.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pre-Christmas Pix

Nothing exciting to tell you. So, here are some pix (that's all you guys want anyway!).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New Post

I was thinking today that I seriously need to catch up my blog...then I looked at the ticker and realized that 11 months ago today, I met Mari. 11 months. I have known Mari longer than her adoption process took from decision to "gotcha". And all those months, I never thought it would ever happen. It is completely unbelieveable.

So, how is Mari these days? Well, healthwise, she is doing okay...we cleared up some of her monsterness by discovering that both her ears were infected. No other symptoms, just being a monster. Unfortunately, while the irritability left with the infection, the disobedience stayed. She is a little rascal lately...purposefully disobeying and then saying "NO"! Tonight, she was splashing her hand in her soup bowl and keep sneaking peeks at me to make sure I was looking. Argh!

Potty-training is going well. Still not there because daycare refuses to start potty-train until she is in the next room and they won't move her up yet. So, at home we do great most of the time. She has started actually telling me now when she needs to go (instead of me just guessing) and sometimes that is too late, but usually not.

Daycare is a whole different ball of wax. She is on her 4th teacher since September which does not help with trust/attachment issues (might explain some of her recent naughtiness). The curriculum has gone majorly downhill...she has gone from doing cool art projects with glitter, glue, tissue paper, paint, etc. to literally coloring everyday. Last week, they handed me 5 pages of coloring, 3 of which were the same picture. And she only scribbles on them with one color. At home, she will sit and concentrate on coloring and use lots of colors. They also are not nearly as active, they used to have dance time every day and she would come home exhausted. I think her misbehavior at school is boredom. Toddlers can't handle free play all day...they need direction. Okay, off my soapbox and I didn't even get into the food/allergy issues (let's just say it took an act of Congress for them to NOT feed her cheese...lactose issues).

Developmentally, Mari is taking off again. Another developmental spurt. She is doing much better with a spoon and can eat soup and cereal/milk now (actually easier because the food floats and she has the most problem with scooping). She can drink out of an open cup, just stand back! She talks ALL the time and sings ALL the time. She knows UP, DOWN, IN, OUT, OPEN (sounds like apple, though), and CLOSED and uses them appropriately. She knows some of her colors: BOWN (brown), BURPLE, YEWWOW, PIK (pink), BOO (blue) all of the time. She gets RED and GEEN right about half the time and just can't say orange. She can count sort-of. If you say one, she will say two, if you say three, she will say four. I did hear her count 1, 2, 3 with Blue's Clues tonight but she won't do it for me. Which is another thing, she is starting to interact with the TV. She will talk back to Blue and if Dora says "say Backpack" she will say "BAK-PA." Very cute.

Other things...Thanksgiving was great, had a really fun time with all the family. It is really sute to see Mari and her cousin Madi interacting so well together. Little Abigail was awake and happy and looking so cute. Over the rest of the weekend, I (with the help of my brother Todd, my Dad, and my babysitter Mom) redecorated my bedroom and bathroom. I'll post some pictures soon...I'm still hanging stuff on the walls and I want to do a before/after show but the computer ate my old pix so I'll have to reload from CD...ugh. Christmas shopping is done. I'll be putting up the tree this weekend...Mari's first tree! We are going to get pictures done on December 11th. It is through Celebrating Adoptions and we found someone semi-local. Looking forward to that!

On to some pictures!

This is what the outfit looks like by the time you wear training pants all day...oops!

Slurping Soup.

Brushing teeth with Mommy's toothbrush.

Sleeping with a big-girl pillow and blanket. When did she grow up?
The Thanksgiving table set with Ethiopian tablecloth. Mom you did an awesome job.
Poor dogs, they weren't invited to the table.
The whole family.

Abigail in her little bear suit.
The little kids table. First Thanksgiving dinner for both (last year Madi was too little and Mari was still in Ethiopia).
Just for a little reminder of how dreams do come true. This is a picture of Mari last year at Thanksgiving taken by a family traveling (Thanks CH).
Mari with her nanny.
This year, Mari with her "nanny". Actually my Mom prefers Grandma but it makes a nice comparison.