Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Sunday, February 22, 2009

25 Random Things about Mari

  1. Mari loves to talk, and talk, and talk, and talk. Some days she never shuts up...those close to me tell me this is payback.

  2. Mari knows all the characters on her shows and has to say bye-bye to them when they go off. Bye-Bye Taytee Town, Bye-Bye Gaga Gaga (Yo Gabba Gabba), Bye-Bye Blue, Bye-Bye Dorda and Boos (Dora and Boots), Bye-Bye Backwawaga (Backyardigans), Bye-Bye Elmo, Bye-Bye Eenie and Burr (Burt and Ernie), Bye-Bye Max and Booby (Ruby). Hmmm...yes, we do watch a lot of TV but it is always accompanied by coloring or doing puzzles, etc.

  3. Mari can do all her puzzles by herself now, including the hard number puzzle that doesn’t have matching pictures below the pieces.

  4. Mari has discovered climbing. I think she’s a little late in the discovery but she is making up for it in the actual action. She can scale her giant gate, she can climb the stools like a ladder up to the kitchen counter, she has learned how to move items where she needs them to climb wherever she wants.

  5. Mari loves coloring but is so over crayons. She prefers colored chalk and markers. Crayola makes these great little stubby markers that are perfect for her and they wash up SO easy. I’m okay with that.

  6. Mari loves organization. She knows where all her toys go and if I try to change their location, she will move them back where they belong (even if I do it after she’s in bed, she notices first thing in the morning).

  7. Mari moved into the 2s room at daycare a couple weeks ago...I was excited because they do potty-training in there. She has yet to use the potty at school (except to fall in the toilet fully dressed). On the other hand, she’s doing really well at home and even asked twice while shopping to go potty. Yay!

  8. Mari slept in a big girl bed last night for the first time. She is getting a room makeover for her birthday, so I wanted to start transitioning her to a non-crib. She did great. Yes, she climbed out in the morning at 6:15 but that was nice because, instead of me having to go get her out of bed yelling Mama, she just climbed into my bed without me getting up and we got to snuggle.

  9. Mari loves to sing. I’m uber-impressed with her singing. Even when she hums, I recognize that means she can carry a tune somewhat (I’m tone-deaf, really really tone-deaf). She knows the words and motions to countless songs and it’s really funny to listen/watch her "speed-sing" her way through them.

  10. Mari now eats broccoli. The only food I’ve found that she absolutely refuses is beets. She’s less than thrilled with bananas but will eat them in cheerios.

  11. Speaking of food, Mari now eats everything Mommy eats. We are no longer eating separate meals. This makes me very excited. About the only thing left that I like that she hasn’t had is pork chops. Now that she finally got her molars, we will try.

  12. Mari has really little feet. She wears 6-12 month socks. Her shoe size is a 5. I’m not sure what a normal 2-yr-old wears but I know her shoes are tiny compared to those of the kids around her.

  13. Mari has a new friend named Daniel. He was adopted from Russia. His parents used the same adoption agency I did. I read their blog because it said VA on the CHI bloglist. I thought the mom looked really familiar and, after she posted a picture of Daniel with a background I recognized, I sent her an email. It was really funny (especially if you hear Rachel’s telling of it) because I wrote something like "I hope you are who I think you are and if you’re not then you’re going to think I’m really weird but I promise I’m not a stalker." Anyway, Rachel and I did go to high school together. We do live close to each other. We did use the same adoption agency. Our kids even go to the same daycare...and now they are even in the same class! Who would’ve thought?

  14. Mari loves her grandparents...she talks to Grandma on the phone all the time and goes absolutely nuts for Grand-dad. Granddad works at Lowes and she loves to visit him...then I carry her out of the store screaming hysterically when it’s time to leave.

  15. Mari still loves her giraffey ("Raffi"). It was the first thing I gave her in Ethiopia and she still uses it to self-soothe, basically holding it against her cheek while her tongue licks her lips (almost in a pacifier/suckle action). I think she will do this for a very long time...I’m okay with that. It gets us through tough situations.

  16. Temper tantrums are plentiful and very tiresome. I am learning how to tell the difference between her angry/attention-seeking tantrums and her frustrated/scared hysterical ones. They need to be treated very differently by me and things are going a lot better. Ignoring works great with the first kind but is very detrimental with the second...only hugs and raffi help the second kind.

  17. Mari has learned that "pee-pee?" accompanied by the sign for potty will get her out of anything she doesn’t want to do. Mommy has learned that Mari uses this to get out of timeout. That ploy no longer works. I’m onto ya’, kid!

  18. Mari has become very attached to Ollie-dog ("Oyyie" - I guess she’s doing the Spanish double-L pronounciation!). She has started to have hysterical tantrums when we leave him behind. We had to stand in the vet’s parking lot in the freezing cold for 10 minutes the other day until she was calm enough to get in the car seat (hey, if she doesn’t want to bend, you can’t force her!).

  19. Mari is getting tubes in her ears on Wednesday. I’m hoping this will eliminate all her poor earaches. Maybe help her speech too...I don’t know if she is getting lazy because of her language explosion or if her pronunciation is slipping because of her ears. We will see.

  20. Mari hates having her picture taken now. This is a complete 180 from a couple months ago. I have to make a big stupid fool out of myself to get pix of her. She freaked at school for the school pix this go-round. (The current picture at the top of the blog is what her school pix should have been)

  21. Mari LOVES lollipops (pop-pops) and will do anything for one. This is a very handy trait, especially in the checkout line at Wal-Mart. I always have lollipops in my purse. She is very good about sharing licks too.

  22. Mari loves to blow her nose. She has the mechanics down but isn’t really effective yet.

  23. Mari has a boyfriend at school. His name is Garrett but everyone calls him Archie. Mari is so in love with her Aw-chee. It motivates her to go in the morning and as soon as we top a certain hill on the way to school, she sing-songs "aw-chee, aw-chee, aw-chee". I think the feeling is mutual...he comes running to the gate as soon as she gets there. They are in separate rooms now but they still greet each other...he should be moving up soon.

  24. Mari’s re-adoption is almost finished. One more signature is all we are waiting for...and that document in on the judge's desk. Just waiting on it to be signed. We are almost done with paperwork.

  25. Mari says "I wuv you Mama" all the time. And appropriately, I might add. I will never get tired of hearing that.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tagged - 4th picture of the 4th folder...

So I was tagged...supposed to pick the 4th picture from the 4th folder on you computer. Well, I subdivide and organize mine so this is the 4th picture from the 2nd folder (only 2 in this subsection) of the 4th folder. Anyway...

According to my computer, this was taken January 8, 2008 at 7am. This would have been almost 24 hours after landing back on US soil. If I remember correctly (from my haze at that time), we had been up for several hours and were getting ready to go back to bed...jet lag.

What I can't get over is how devastatingly clean that highchair is (was)!
So I tag Cousin Madi and Malachi and Nataly and Daniel.

Friday, February 6, 2009


14 kids under 7! To a single mom!

I have many opinions on this situation. None of them very nice. As it is not my place to judge, I will not give a blow by blow about why this is SO wrong. I will keep those feelings to myself (for now).

I was already outraged and incensed by this story...a mother of six kids under the age of 7 has 8 more. When there are so many children in this world needing homes and families.

Then I found out she was single. I'm not sure I have ever felt more like punching someone in the face more. I, too, am single. I, too, have always longed to be a mom. I, too, have grown up my whole life believing that motherhood was my ultimate dream.

I made the choice to fulfill that dream by sharing my love with a child whose dreams were filled with uncertainty and fear. I chose not to bring a new life into the world when there are so many children already in this world who want a mother. (I do not shun those single women who do responsibly choose to have artificial means to bring a biological child into the world, that is their choice.)

I fear that these 14 children will grow up feeling like they are living in an orphanage with a single nanny. Why bring a child into this world for a subpar existence?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Trip to the Park, Updates, Etc.

I know, I haven't been keeping up very good lately. Only one excuse...Facebook. So I'll try to catch you up on what's been happening.

Mari is growing by leaps and bounds. I keep measuring her thinking she is getting taller by the day; she has grown some more but I think she is just standing up better now and also really losing her baby looks. She talks nonstop (nothing new) but almost everything she says now is purposeful (not just babbling). I can't understand it all but she manages to get her point across most times. I'm amazed at her understanding more than anything. She answers questions now and even asks them sometimes. She has started this new (very cute) thing of attaching a title to every sentence..."look Mama," "thank you Mommy," "get down Ollie," etc. I love that she is interchanging Mama and Mommy and she is saying I love you a lot now, unprompted. She loves singing and has several songs that she sings along with (as well as doing the motions), I love to look back in the car and seeing her just beebopping to the Wee Sing CD. Some of her favs are Hokey Pokey, If You're Happy and You Know It, EIEIO, 6 Little Ducks. She also knows exactly which song is coming up next on the CD and starts singing it as soon as one song goes off before the next one starts...impressive considering there are 47 songs on the CD. She does the same thing with her Nick Jr DVD that we have...she can say some parts of the Dora and Lazy Town ("Tay-Tee Town") episodes right before they do. Okay, maybe that's not smartness, maybe that is too much TV!

Her manners are impeccable. She says please most of the time, loves to say thank you, and will cover her mouth and say "eh-muse me" (excuse me) every time she burps or toots. I may not have the most well-behaved child, but she definitely has good manners. Speaking of behavior...zowee! Crazy almost-2! She is very whiny, every other whine is a "boo-boo," doesn't want to potty anymore, does this little thing where she has her head pointed at you but slides her eyes to the side (toddler version of eye-rolling, I assume?), etc. etc. etc. She is very manipulative and calculating, knows how to push your buttons but stops short of actually getting in trouble. I'm gonna have my hands full! But we are making strides...consistency being the key. The threat of timeout actually means something now, we have almost broken the hitting and throwing habits (almost, but not quite), we are now working on spitting and scratching. Oh, and the ever-famous Ethiopian scream...totally ignore that one and she will stop after 2-3 short bursts.

Healthwise...things are going good. We've had a lot less respiratory issues this year (knock on wood), occasional use of the nebulizer but not bad. We just finished antibiotics for her 3rd ear infection since Thanksgiving. I counted up as many as I could remember since we came home a year ago, and I remembered 8 (I think there may have been 1-2 more, but I didn't write them down). The peds office still didn't think that was significant so I called and made an appointment with the ENT doc myself. We saw him on Friday and as soon as he entered the room he said that based on her records, he had already asked his nurse to check the OR schedule...before he even looked in her ears! So Mari is FINALLY getting tubes on February 25th. I am one happy mama!

Well on to some pix. Today was a very nice day...warm and sunny so we made a trip to the park. Considering we had yucky icy/sleety weather earlier this week, it was a nice break. Mari was initially scared of the ducks and the fishies but she warmed up pretty quickly. She enjoyed the swings and the slide on the playground. She even went down the big curvy tunnel slide!
I'm sure there is more great stuff that I'm leaving out but I can't remember!

Future Olympic Ski-Jumper?
Nite-Nite Mickey

Are those braids or little antennae?

Trying on my snowsuit and boots from my friend Kaili. They fit great, now we just need some SNOW!

Snow day at home with snow, but we did do art!

Hmmm....markers and Mari. Not a good combination.

Snow day lunch. Grilled cheese and noodle soup.

Mari's new best friend. The cow from Dr. Seuss' Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? One of our favorite bedtime stories. BTW, the cow's name is Moo! (bet you're surprised!)

Park Trip

Mari was scared to death at first of the ducks and the giant fish in the duck pond.

Taking it slow in Mommy's lap. (We are singing 6 Little Ducks, that's why my hand looks funny, we are "quack, quack, quack"ing. It worked, she seemed to understand what those funny green-headed things were after that!)
"Qack, Qack!" Mari's version of quacking at the ducks.
Feeding the ducks.
Loved this little guy. He was definitely the most beautiful duck we saw today.

The sweetest sound in the world!
If you missed the big Hair Post, see below. Warning, it's long and boring but has some useful information in it.