Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Week 7 of 52

Little behind posting the week's pictures.

2010: 02/18
One of the many art projects Mari has done lately at school.
Hoping the sparkly flowers will bring good luck to those awaiting referrals.
2010: 02/17
Colorforms - who knew they still made them?
Mari calls them "stickers" but who cares?
2010: 02/16
Icicles mean that the snow is melting off the roof.
Slowly, but surely.
2010: 02/15
What a layer of fresh powdery snow looks like on top of mountains of old hard snow.
2010: 02/14
Happy Valentine's Day - Bah Humbug!
Mari swung the turtle around by his head and snapped his neck.
The turtle was a very good patient while I sewed it back on.
2010: 02/13
One of the best pictures I've ever taken.
This picture reflects my entire life.
Like mother, like daughter. (tears!)
2010: 02/12
The coolest jeans ever!
So cool that, during circle time, Mari's friends decided to see if the teddy bear was removable.
It is if you pull hard enough!
Don't pass out from the excitement that is our lives, folks!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Week 6 of 52

2010: 02/11
Mari and her new love...jigsaw puzzles.
Hours (and I do mean hours) of quiet time!
2010: 02/10
Snow Day from work!
Blowing, blowing, blowing away.
2010: 02/09
Trees in the backyard barely hanging on.
2010: 02/08
Maybe my favorite picture of all-time.
Mari's favorite shirt - Rainbow Shirt.
2010: 02/07
Mari loves the idea of earrings.
Here she tries out Mrs. Potato Head's jewelry.
2010: 02/06
What to do when Mommy's been shoveling 20+ inches off the driveway for what seems like hours....
2010: 02/05
Snow again??
Be sure to scroll down to the next post for a wordy update on our exciting lives!!

My Little Angel Demon Angel

Long, long overdue for a real update. This is long and probably boring but this blog is to document our lives, so here goes...

I’ve used the term “developmental explosion” before and we are certainly in the midst of one now. These are usually accompanied by horrendous behavior but when life settles down again, it usually means we are at a totally new stage. And a new stage we are entering - a seemingly calm, quiet one. Shhhh….

  • We will be making Mari’s 3-yr-old appt soon (her birthday is in about 5ish weeks) but right now she is about 36 inches and 34 pounds. Still a little hefty but her legs are growing longer and she is losing her pot-belly. She is now sliding easily into 3T clothes and for once, her pants are starting to fit lengthwise (not such a shorty anymore). This is especially good news because with the question of her possibly having had Ricketts, there was a pretty good chance that she would be pretty short….we are jumping up on the growth curve now!
  • Dressing - Mari can dress herself, as long as you lay everything out perfectly. She has some trouble with shirts because of her awesome hair…it gets in her way sometimes! She LOVES wearing jeans and has a favorite shirt (tie-dye) that she calls her Rainbow Shirt. We will actually be using her Rainbow Shirt as an inspiration for her birthday party.
  • Mari LOVES doing art. Her art desk (a Christmas present from her grandparents) has been a huge hit. She loves to color with markers, chalk, colored pencils. We watercolor almost everyday. Just mentioning “art” to her sends her in a tizzy. “Art. Art. Can we do art Mommy, Please?”
  • Mari has recently mastered jigsaw puzzles. We had a couple 9-piece ones that we have been working on since Christmas. She would get SO frustrated with them and give up, even after I outlined the shape of the pieces on the cardboard back for her. A couple weekends ago (while snowed-in, again), she sat for 2 hours just working them over and over again. And over and over again. So we went to Target and bought a couple more 9-piece ones and a 12 piece one. She immediately sat down with the 12-piece one and put it together by herself straight out of the package…no help, no lines, just Mari being very diligent about matching pieces and turning them until they fit. She was so patient. And so sedate that SamSam (the cat who usually avoids her) actually started rubbing against her until she absentmindedly started petting him!!
  • We also love cooking - Mari will make full-out meals in her little play kitchen but she mostly loves to help Mommy in the kitchen. She is pretty adept with the whisk and even the electric mixer (eeek!). Her favorite job is cracking eggs and she always reminds me “I have to wash my hands after the eggs, Mommy!” She helped me make a potpie the other night and then actually ate it…so that little piece of wisdom about getting kids involved in food prep increases their chances of eating it - yup, it works!
  • I taught her how to carry her fork with the tines pointed down (she has to take her stuff to the sink every night after dinner) and she makes a big production out of getting my attention and turning the fork around to point down and then carrying it carefully to the sink. Hilarious! She is so proud of herself!
  • Language is off the charts. Mari has always been a talker but she BLOWS ME AWAY with the conversations we have. Her manners are becoming super-duper awesome and I very rarely have to remind her to ask nicely. Everything starts with “Please, may I…..” Unfortunately, she is having a hard time understanding that asking nicely doesn’t always mean you get what you want. She often tells me that she is being a “good listener because I’m cooperating.” ???!!!! And she has an amazing grasp of things like pronouns, plurals, noun-verb agreement, and neither/either…not that she has perfect grammar by any stretch of the imagination, but it is pretty amazing. Her current favorite phrases are: when you tell her to do anything, “if you say so, Mommy” and if she wants you to play with her, "we can do it together, Mommy!"
  • We are working on recognizing letters. This has been harder than I imagined. She has known her shapes for a long time (including the hard ones like hexagon, rhombus??, diamond), so I didn’t think letters would be that big of a stretch. She is very good with the letter sounds…D says duh duh duh, T says tuh tuh tuh, etc. But the recognition is tougher. She knows A O W R I (strange combination, huh?).
  • We are very into counting. We count EVERYthing. She can count objects up to 20 as long as they are not all jumbled up - then she loses her place. She knows her numbers up to 10 in Spanish (although not always in the right order!). She knows up to 3 in Chinese (thank you, Kai-Lan!) and she can fill in the blanks with Amharic if I help her. Again, though, the sight recognition is tough.
  • Behavior…I mentioned that with each developmental jump comes behavior issues. It’s been a tough month or so. It started with all the snow and the holidays. Too much going on, too much being stuck in the house, too much schedule interruptions, etc. It was too much of too much. Plus, her best friends at school are not the best behaved in the world (not that Mari is either, not saying that!) and she will come home and echo things/behaviors that she saw some of these children getting away with at school. Most of the times she gets in trouble at school is because she was caving to peer pressure (oh, it starts early!).
  • She is in a very difficult stage right now…she recently discovered that she was a baby once - didn’t realize that this would be such an epiphany, but it was. She struggles with this and the fact that she wants to do EVERYthing herself. So we are either having meltdowns because she doesn’t want help at all or because she wants to be a baby and make me do everything. She has even told me that she “wants to be a baby” and that she “doesn’t want to be Mari anymore.” Break my heart. We’ve had meltdowns because the moon was broken (it was a half moon!) and because her boo-boo was missing (it was never there in the first place). Whoa is me!
  • Discipline has taken on a new twist. I put my foot down and will not allow any lip, no tantrums, no whining. It was a tough couple of weeks of mean mommy, it was heartbreaking. But it’s working. Mari is only allowed to whine, cry, tantrum, etc. in her bedroom. I tell her to go to her room because no one wants to hear it….she actually will walk to her room on her own now, even while verbally protesting.
  • We have started a new phase of the smiley faces (yes, they are still around) - now she has to actively earn them and when she gets 5, she gets a prize out of the prize jar (mostly erasers, koosh balls, stickers). Thank you Angie for this idea. She is very proud of her prizes…she currently has a blue koosh ball living in her pocket! It goes everywhere with her!
  • On adoption issues - something I haven’t mentioned in a LONG time - we’ve had some new developments. In talking more with her about her birthmom and sister, the question of her father and her brother have arisen. I tell Mari that her father is in Ethiopia (that’s all I know) and try to explain to her that she doesn’t have a brother - she is convinced, though, that every family should have a brother. I agree. Maybe one day. I asked Mari recently if she wanted a little brother or sister, she told me she wanted a blue one. So we are currently looking for an adoption agency that works with the Smurfs. If anyone has contacts, let me know!
  • Several of my friends that completed adoptions at the same time that I did, are in the midst of their second adoptions. It has been hard not going through this with them, but I know 100% that we are not ready. We are getting closer, but not ready yet. I have very much enjoyed the anticipation, the excitement, the celebration (and hoping for more to come soon!)….it is nice to be a part of the process without having the personal angst and anxiety. Although, I’m pretty anxious for them!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to see my friends’ families growing larger and being blessed.

Okay, this post is way too long and I could go on and on and just chat and chat but you are bored and tired of reading (if you still are, at this point!). The reason that I could finally sit down and write a long post - MARI HAS BEEN DOING HER NEW PUZZLES THIS ENTIRE TIME! Guess what she’s getting for her birthday?? Harder puzzles!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Week 5 of 52

2010: 02/04
Our forecast for the weekend. 20-28inches.
Keep in mind, we already have 8 inches on the ground.
We already had a 30ish inch snowfall right before Christmas.
We're done. Mari doesn't even get excited about snow anymore.
At least I'm getting my $'s worth out of those snowpants.
2010: 02/03
(Okay...cheated a little. Took this picture on the 4th. GASP!)
But I did the hairstyle on the 3rd, it just looked cuter with the doodads in it the next morning.
I love this style, it will be repeated.
2010: 02/02
Just when I'm complaining that I worry about Mari not doing pretend play and "nurturing" dolls....she whips out a long game of doctor. Here she is giving Kai-Lan a check-up. Kai-Lan had a bellyache because she ate too many mooncakes!

2010: 02/01
This picture represents our daily lives. After bath and lotion/jammie time, Mari always gets a popsicle. Not sure why, that's just how we roll around here. It's a mini one, it's sugar free, what's the harm...
2010: 01/31
The snow storm that left us about 8ish inches on the ground. Mari played in it for about 20 minutes while I shoveled the driveway and made no protest when I told her it was time to come in.

2010: 01/30
Maybe I should have named this "Hair Week"
Bantu knots - sort of.
Dealing with some dermatitis in her scalp, having to work with her head every night means a new hairstyle quite frequently.
2010: 01/29
Mari is fascinated with violins.

Another riveting week down....thrilling!!!!
I'm sure next week's post will be snow. Snow. SNOW!