Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunny Days

You know you are a happy, sappy new momma when the Sesame Street song "Sunny Days" can get you to tear up! I had the most wonderful day with Ruby yesterday. My friend, Charlsey, invited me to come to Sesame Place with her and the kids. I didn't even know it was open this weekend since it's a water park in the summer. Well, it was just the greatest day! Remarkably warm for this time of year and sunny. The park is so cute and Ruby loved the bouncing area where she could take her shoes off and run around. She was just so happy that it warmed my heart through and through. She got to see her first show with all the characters up there dancing. So cute. She was in awe at first and then would point or clap or dance around a bit. I was teary.  It was so sweet. She rode the carousel and loved it and then we stayed to watch the parade. She seems to like it, except when the characters came to shake hands with the kids. She was NOT having that thing touch her! Clutched me for dear life! We missed her nap, but she was fine all day. Just super happy and loving it all. Great, great day!

We all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and Ruby was fine with the 2 nights at Grammy & Pappi's and side trips to see the Kimmels, Grandma Donna, and Grandpa Jim. She loved playing the piano at both Jeff's parents house and my Aunt Lu's. Her and my brother, David got to meet for the first time and it was so sweet. They sat together and played the piano together. We were going to get her a little one for Christmas, but my Aunt Ann had one from her girls and it is now hiding in my trunk waiting for "Santa" to stick it under the tree. So excited for her to see that Christmas morning!

Speaking of which...I am off to clean the house and get it ready for holiday decorations!  Yes, my friends, these are some sunny days and there are more to come!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Happiest of Thanksgivings

Today we will head off to our hometown to have not one, but two feasts. One at Jeff's parents in the afternoon, and another at my aunt LuAnna's with my mom and her whole family. We are so blessed this year. For many reasons...and, of course, one BIG one. We have a great big family cooking us wonderful home made delights, but most of all, we have our baby girl HOME. There is nothing on earth like it and no words to accurately describe how wonderful it feels to be her parents.

To dearest little Ruby we say this to you today -
Thank God for you, Ruby! Thanks for being in our life and being all we could ever dream of. Your sweet smile in the morning and good-natured personality brightens up our every day. All the snuggles and hugs and kisses you give freely make our hearts sing. The way you are learning things and are so determined to do things yourself make us soooo proud. And all the funny, silly, little things you do and say bring us so much laughter and joy. You are our greatest gift, little girl, and we are so grateful to have you in our life and to love you. And OH, how we love you so, so much!

We are also thankful today for: all of our friends and family, our health and our baby's health and hearing, that Nancy & John are traveling next week to get their son, that Nadine is there now to get her daughter, for Sherry who finally got her referral, for Kerri who finally found out they have a baby!!!, Terri & Chris traveling soon for baby Mia,  all of those getting closer and closer to bringing their children home and those who just got home (Nicole, Liz, Kam). We are grateful to those who care for orphans and needy children worldwide and those who care for the sick. And we are grateful for the angels watching over our angels until we can get them home. The list could go on and on. Suffice it to say, we are pretty darn thankful today.

Wishing you all the happiest of Thanksgivings and a nice big feast!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me!

Well, what a difference a year makes. Last year I turned 40, had no baby, not much of a career left, and was thoroughly depressed about all of it. This year, I have all I need. Our beautiful girl is home and there is nothing greater than that! My husband went out of his way to make it a nice morning for us, my CD is about to be released, and I am still in talks with Disney about my song. (I think it's actually gonna go through! Last I heard, they want me to record in early December!) But oddly enough - as cool as that is -I don't really think about that much. I spent my whole life working on my career and now it is like this nice little thing. Like the icing, but not the cake. Great, but not a necessary ingredient to my happiness. What I have at home is so much more than anything else going on right now.

I woke up to hear Jeff shuffling around downstairs. On the kitchen table next to a big cup of java, sat a vase full of gorgeous pink roses and a beautiful card with the promise of a spa day inside. (Not sure I am ready to leave Ruby for that long, but maybe I could try to go for an hour). Jeff made us breakfast and then we were off to Music Round to make up a class from last week. She really enjoys it and had a good time. She was particularly talkative and funny this morning - probably because she is feeling better. The both of us had bad colds last week and missed all her fun classes. Felt so bad for her to miss them, but didn't want to spread our germs around to all the other families.

Saturday, Jeff's parents came up and cooked dinner for us. Had my brother Jason over, too, and a nice night was had by all. The weather was nice on Sunday so after the in-laws left we headed over to a new park I heard about from a friend. It was huge and very toddler friendly with rubber paving. Ruby & some cute little boy started flirting with each other and following each other around. It was the sweetest thing! She is quite a social bug and I am already wondering what it will be like when she's a teenager! Ha ha! But for now, we are enjoying our little love bug every minute and milking up the hugs and cuddles and toddling years! She is napping now. Even though I had this whole list in my mind of what I wanted to do during her nap today, I couldn't tear myself away from her side for a half hour after she feel asleep. I just laid there beside her thinking how very lucky I am. So happy birthday to me. A very, very happy birthday indeed.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Are. We. Ever. Spoiled with the sweetest little love bug on the planet (based on our very biased opinion, of course). Spoiled with the happiest days of our lives. And Spoiled with a great, big, beautiful family! My cousins, Angie & Chrissy threw us one amazing shower/welcome home party on Saturday. It was incredible! So great to see all my family members and family friends that I haven't seen for SO long. Wonderful for them to meet Ruby and for me to share her with them. As these things go, it went by way too fast and I long to talk to all of them for a much longer amount of time. (Looking forward to Christmas so we can do it again!) But it was just a really great day and Ruby did fine with it all.  In fact, I think she rather enjoyed it! The pic above is Ruby running to check out all the presents waiting for her.

She was (appropriately) shy when we first arrived, but then warmed up to everyone as the afternoon went on. My cousins were so sweet to be sensitive to it being Ruby's first big bash. We are a big, huggy, kissy, kind of family and I know it took great restraint to not lunge forward and try to pick her up! Thank you all for giving her some time! They set up a small table just for the Grand-mom's, Ruby, & I in the corner so she could eat with the people she knew and get used to it all. So thoughtful! It even had a little "reserved" sign on the table which I thought was just the cutest touch! Chrissy's basement was all done up with pretty, shiny, red decorations that the girls put up. My darling little cousins (well, NOT so little anymore!) Lessi, Nina, and Morgan not only decorated, but made cards and cupcakes and beautiful favors. Nina made these special little desserts with mini-marshmellows and a teddy bear on each one. Ruby went for it immediately and my "no-sugar rule" makes me laugh at myself once again. She ate 3 of those yummies and had chocolate all over her face, but still ate her dinner and tried a bunch of new things including turkey, baked beans, spinach dip, and salad! Ang, Chris, and the family baked all the food and it was excellent. So incredible for them to do this for us! The favors were beautiful little red glass votive candle holders filled with hershey kisses. But the most special thing about them was the card. My sweet cousin, Alessia (Lessi) looked online with her mom to help her find just the right wording. This is what it said: 

"Welcome Ruby to our world
How brave of you to come
We are here to welcome you
As your journey's just begun"
How sweet is that? Even sweeter, though, was how Ruby took to her. After about an hour, Ruby was stuck to her like glue. I even went upstairs for 5 minutes without her noticing I was gone! Talk about a change! She knows who Mommy is and is definately attached so I just reveled in watching her bond with her cousin. They were adorable together! She was happy to see Grandma and Grammy, too, of course, and she gave hugs and kisses to everyone before we left.

Miss Ruby is already quite spoiled by the family. They got her the most beautiful things. We thank you all SO much for all the gorgeous clothes, stuffed animals, books, yoga cards, hats, coats, accessories, etc.! Ruby is going to be seriously warm and stylish this winter! (And probably next winter, too!) I am especially excited to see her in that snowsuit! Angie & the girls got her a play set of princess slippers with little heels and she put them on immediately and started prancing around in them. (This was an instant crowd pleaser and the oo's and ah's she got made the little one even giddier). She is STILL wearing them and has had them on all day today and a lot of yesterday at Grammy & Pappy's. It's the funniest thing to watch her walk around in them like the bell of the ball! I have to say the shoes may be Ruby's favorite thing, but a close second and third would be the awesome tone bells from my mom and the big, red chair with her name on it from my friend Liz. Such wonderful things for our little love! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Here is a funny shot of her sporting her new santa hat and her fancy princess shoes while checking out the big screen. 

We did and overnight at Grammy & Pappy's house and she did great there, too. Was very tired and didn't nap in the car so she slept all night IN THE CRIB. The in-laws were so sweet and had little things all over the house for her. Her crib and changing table all ready for her...some toys and books to play with in the living room... a doll, teddy bear, and football in her crib. Woody will want me to mention, I'm sure, that she grabbed the football first! LOL! They even had a pink rubber ducky in the bathroom. The next day Jeff's Grandma and Aunt Donna came over to meet Ruby. Another great day with some awesome family! 

Ruby is so comfortable with us and now with the grandparents too. It's wonderful to see. Great Grandma (Gigi) brought her some stuffed animals and a beautiful little necklace. It's a gold bow with a little ruby in it. Ruby looked at it once on and said "suay nma! (means beautiful). So funny cause I hadn't heard her say that in a while. She wanted to put it on right away and wore it all afternoon, but now I have it put away for a few years down the road. Aunt Donna has been bringing toys and things up that were her Grandkids so we could really want for nothing. What a great family! We feel loved and blessed and oh so lucky. But, seriously, folks, go easy on Christmas! We have all we need and most of all our little Ruby is home and loved. It's going to be the best holiday ever!

Thank you all so much for being in our life and welcoming our little Ruby home! We love you!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Milestones & Mysteries

First, the milestones. Ruby is adding more words than I can remember to write down. I am going to repeat them all here so I can keep track and report to the doctor how many she is saying:
Mommy, Daddy, Pappy, Grammy, Grandma, bear, peguin (pe-kin!), dog, cat (also says Max), Wonder Pets, Snow White, yum, mmm-mmm, I love you (sounds like I ow uu), eat, brush teeth, good girl, good job, hair, ear, nose, eyes, teeth, snack, alright, up, down, hi, bye-bye, night-night, good night, lullabye (now sounds like na noo nye!), spoon, cup, ball, shoe, sock, snack, clap, chair, all done, hot, brrr, (for cold), kiss, potty, bath, poopy, apple, pumpkin, and home. And finally last night she said and identified a few colors: orange, blue, and red.  I'm sure I am forgetting a few! UPDATE: I did forget a, monkey, frog, flower, bee and butterfly. Ha ha, except for bee. Instead of saying buzz she says beeeeeeeeeee. Very cute!

She can now identify (when asked) and will point to: hands,  hair, eyes, nose, mouth, lips, teeth, tummy/belly, legs, feet, arms, heiney (she loves this one and thinks it's very funny), ball, book, bear, pequin, doll, table, chair, bib, fork, spoon, cup, bowl, water, bottle, Mommy's bag (the one full of mum-mum crackers and toys!), book, stroller, car, home, coat, shoes, phone, bee, flower, butterfly (ba-ba-fy), pumpkin, red, yellow, blue, circle, crackers, apple, orange (the fruit), bread/toast, towel, tickle, and potty and probably more her also. Loves animals, too, and can identify both the animals and the sound they make. She knows cat, dog, frog, bird, fish, frog, bee, duck, and monkey.

She understands (and will respond accordingly) when we say: kiss, hug, smile, tickle, potty, blow nose, eat, drink water, put away/put back, up, down, go upstairs, go downstairs, see Daddy, give to dog, give to cat, go outside, going in the car, want your water?, where is your ball?/water?/snack/etc.

She understands that a pen is to write with and will grab one and start scribbling (on any available paper) at any opportunity so I have to be quick to snatch them up before she does! She is mildly obsessed with washing her hands and brushing her teeth and loves any chance to get up to the sink. I got her a small step stool and she will carry it around the 2nd floor and use it to climb on things. Ah, how quickly they learn! She can un-d0 the "safety locks" we have on the kitchen cabinets and hand them to us while pointing at the cabinet and go "eh". We have to put them on REALLY tight now and she double checks them to make sure. Then she smiles and walks away like, okay, it's locked now. All is in order in my world again. So funny. So smart. Maybe too smart, LOL! I have to be on my toes!

And a BIG milestone...she is using her potty most every day now! That is if we are home at the right time. But it has happened 5 times so far. Only once a day, but we are very excited about this progress. She will either make a face and/or I'll ask if she has to go potty. She usually responds "potty" and will run towards the stairs. (Potty is upstairs in her bathroom). One time she looked at me and pointed to her butt and said "eh, eh!" Wow! She is really getting it! Boy, you know you are a mom when you can get all excited about potty time, right?

Another milestone is we are still sleeping! Woo-hoo! Since I moved her into bed with me, she just goes down every night and sleeps all night through. (Knock on wood). Yay for Ruby...and yay for Mommy, too! 

And now for the mysteries... 
I gave bananas another try the other morning by putting them in a cute silicon baking cup flower. As usual, she handed it back to me. So I said, fine, Mommy will eat them! Yum! I squished the cup to squeeze them to the surface and ate it that way, right off the top. Well, she thought this looked like great fun, tried it, and now loves banannas. Go figure! Down side - she wants to eat her oranges like that now and it proves to me a big juicy mess! LOL!

She ate pasta twice now after refusing it for a week and even and tried a few bites of avocado today. Eating like a champ once again and baffling Mommy all the time. But hey, this is good so I better not question it!

Her mystery rash is back and I wonder if it's the giardia coming back (can be a first sign) or just exzema. Have to keep a close watch.

Last, but not least...a milestone AND a mystery...she went down for her nap with no problem today! Hooray!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Sucker Is Born Every Minute

...and the sucker is I! Oh, how Ruby can work me. Tried to get her down for her nap today with no success. First of all, she is on to me. She knows that if she falls asleep in my arms (which she still does sometimes if really tired) she will end up in her crib. So she usually fights it and wriggles out of my arms and lays beside me as she does when we go to bed at night. Well, then, she quickly figured out that Mommy also snuck out when she took a nap in the big bed so no matter how she laid (and she changed positions like 10 times) she made sure an arm or leg were draped over me. Finally, I was like, hey, Mommy is tired, too. (We got up at 5:30 for her audiology appt. this morning). So I laid down and got under the cover to show her I was going to nap, too. I closed my eyes and stayed like that as long as possible, but, boy the kid pulled out all the stops! 

First she snuggled all close and lay there stroking my face. Then she played with my hair for a long time. I'd open a eye every once in awhile and sneak a peak and she was just delighted and wide awake. She was so cute I could hardly stand it. She would hold my hand, snuggle closer, go back to my hair, face, etc. Next she recited all the parts she knew of my face (eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, hair, ear)... THEN went on to say any other word she could to impress me - bear, flower and bu-fly (as in the ones hanging on the wall). She is too funny. Finally,  she climbed up on me and started kissing all over my face. She had me hook, line, and sinker! She also said I love you a few times and this sucker could not resist her adorableness a second longer. We both laid there giggling and I decided to give up on the nap. She had won this one. And really, she had worked for it! In the end, we had the sweetest, snuggley-est hour of bonding time and really, that is far more important than a nap in the grand scheme of things.

PS - The audiologist appointment went well. Her hearing (as we knew) is pretty good.  A bit of mild hearing loss in one ear, but they think it could be temporary and due to fluid and congestion in the ears. Seeing and ear/nose/throat specialist next to get to the bottom of it.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sleeping Sound In The Big Bed

Not supposed to post pics until we finalize, but I figured we could get away with this one! 

Well, Ruby is sleeping with me full time now and goes down like a happy little camper. She must have just been scared and/or confused waking up in the crib in the near dark. I have a new night light in there, too, which is brighter, and she smiles so big when I tell her she is sleeping with Mommy. (Hopefully, I am not jinxing myself here by saying how we have been sleeping!) I have to admit, it's so sweet having her all snuggled up next to me. We read books with Daddy, then he leaves and I sing lullabies and tuck her in. The full bed in there is not big enough for the 3 of us with the littlest family member flip-flopping around all night! (But I think Daddy doesn't mind too much sprawling out on our bed by himself!) 

Anyway, as night time has improved, nap time has become a struggle. Probably my fault as we had a busy week and we weren't on schedule all the time. One day I let her sleep in the car on my way to somewhere, one day we got back from Little Gym class and went right down, and one time we had errands, got home late, then she didn't want to nap at all. I ended up letting her nap in the big bed twice (vs the crib) and the pic above is what I found when I crept in to check on her. She actually falls asleep like that sometimes and it's really funny.

New words and progress this week! She is not just repeating now, but saying them on her own. This morning, I said, should we go saying morning to Daddy? She jumped up and said Daddy! She comprehends so much and the other night when I said, "hmm, should we sing some lullabies now?" she nodded her head yes! I was like, wow! Last night we went up to bed and she ran to the bathroom and said "brush teeth!" It's only been a few days that she has been saying 2 and 3 words together, other than I love you. She says, Bye-bye, night-night, good-night. When we went to have dinner last night she said EAT for the first time. She likes to say the word "alright!", too, and this morning when her favorite show came on, she squealed with delight and for the first time yelled "WONDER PETS!!!" Yea, I know. Mindless television. But if you saw her little face light up when she sees it, you'd know it is okay. It makes her happy and is a real cute show.

She is singing more and loves "Old MacDonald". She says "ee-i, ee-i" (but not the oh) and today she sang along with an Ella song that says "I love you" at the end. She says "clap" when she wants to hear" If Your Happy & You Know it". Currently, she is helping Daddy vaccum. She thinks the vaccum is very fun and follows us around and has to hold the chord or help push it. God bless her clean, organized little self. If I leave a door or drawer open, she says "oh!" and runs to close it. Everything needs to be in order in this little ones world! How cute she is and what a joy every day is with her in it!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Toddler Not A Fan Of Mommy's Cooking

I had been concerned about Ruby the last week because her normal hearty appetite had been replaced with picky eating and not a big appetite at all. Well, tonight we ordered Vietnamese and it seems it wasn't food she didn't want. It was MY food! LOL. Didn't like the baked ziti I ordered in the other day either. Guess the food transition will be slow and brown rice is out the door for now. I was so proud of the fact that I steamed a big thing of brown rice, steamed veggies, cooked some chicken, and then made her a home made soup with it all. Had enough for a week and she was, well, not a fan. Tonight she ate 2 big bowls of noodle soup with white rice with a big smile on her face! Back to the old drawing board for me!

Another funny thing...we were up in my closet tonight and I caught her (just in time) trying to put on one of my highest heeled shoes. A snakeskin, peep-toe pump. After I said no, no, not for Ruby. She just smiled this "I am up to something" smile and then came over and insisted on putting them on Mommy. So I sported them with my PJ's for a couple minutes before distracting her with something else. She is too cute for words. Daddy is back home and we are all very happy.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Anniversary Hubby!

Just another real quick post...wishing a happy anniversary to my beautiful hubby. Today we celebrate 14 years of caring, sharing, love, and friendship. So much we have been through and shared together! Ruby & I missed you so much this week! 

Jeff had to go on a business trip for a few days and it was his first trip away from Ruby. We were all sad that day, but thankfully my mom came down to be a huge help and a pleasant distraction for Ruby. She just loves my mom. Well, and heck, so do I! We had such a great few days and my house is actually back in order...for now, LOL! Come back soon, Mom!!! Jeff gets back tonight and it will be a great weekend! Hooray!

Monday, November 2, 2009

One Month Home!

Hard to believe it's been a month already! In some ways it has flown by. In other ways, it feels like we've been here as a family forever. Ruby is amazing how she has just adapted and adjusted to so many new things. She is a miracle. I am in constant awe of her. Someone casually said to me "have a good day" as I left a store with my little love bug the other day. I thought to myself - every day is a good day now!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween & Five Star Morning

Hope everyone had a good time with their little ones yesterday! We weren't sure what Ruby would make of trick or treating, but she really had a good time! She looked so sweet in her Snow White costume and was happy to wear it all day. Yesterday was a blurr of activities. We had a rough night of (not) sleeping, and so we got up late. So we hopped out of bed and got moving! Got the little miss a bath and breakfast and then headed to our little town's "main" street for a parade and harvest festival. We were late and missed the parade and it was raining lightly, but at least we got to see our friends, hear some music, and look around a bit . After that, we hopped back in the car and went over to the mall where they have trick or treating for the kids. It was a mad house and a bit overwhelming for Ruby I think (and for us!), but it was fun, too. In hindsight, working harder to get her a nap might have been a better idea, as she was too worked up and didn't take one later. Oh, well. I guess we were just so excited for her first Halloween that we didn't want to miss a thing. 

Around 5pm, we headed over to our good friends house (Charlsey & John) to join them, their kids, and their great neighborhood friends (who we have gotten to know) for trick or treating. The weather ended up to be great. Stopped raining and was fairly warm for this time of year. Perfect for the kids to run around! It's funny how Ruby just stepped right in and after a few houses, just ran up to the door with all the other kids, all excited and putting out her pumpkin for a treat. She was so cute and giddy and the funny thing is we haven't given her any candy so I don't even think she knew what she was getting! Just excited to be getting all this "stuff" in her pumpkin! She insisted on carrying that pumpkin around even when pretty heavy so I kept sneaking stuff out to lighten the load when I could get away with it. LOL. It was great fun and our friends hosted a wonderful party. 

We left early to get the little one to bed and she slept pretty good - only waking once in the middle of the night. I brought her in bed with me and she let me hold her close. (Usually, she will cuddle in my arms when going down, but then when she is really ready to sleep she often sprawls out and doesn't want touched). It was so wonderful. We fell asleep all snuggled up like 2 spoons.  She woke up around briefly around 6 am and I was ready to just get up until Daddy crept in later to remind me about daylight savings time! An whole extra hour! What to do? We let her fall back to sleep and he took my place so I could come down and do dishes, laundry, and the like. They are still sleeping at nearly 8. Woo-hoo! Funny what my idea of a 5 star morning is now: The luxury of 6 hours of sleep, Ruby getting enough rest, being able to straighten up my downstairs, do laundry & dishes, and a bit of computer time. Yipee!

Update on the Giardia: Ruby is half way done with her medicine and it has made a big difference. So happy she is getting better! She didn't eat a lot yesterday, but her symptoms have been dramatically reduced and she doesn't seem to be having stomach cramps like she was. Yay! AND we had a BIG milestone here this week, too. She actually went on her potty TWICE! We are super proud of her and made a big fuss. She is so eager to learn things and is understanding us so much more every day. It is awesome to see. As for me...I am doing okay, too. Back is fine and I may not have giardia. Still not sure, but things are definitely getting better! (Another thing that makes this a 5 star morning!)

And last, but certainly not least, we heard AWESOME news the other day from our friends, Nancy & John...they are getting their beautiful boy in time for Christmas!!!! HUGE congrats to you guys on getting travel dates! We are soooo happy/giddy/excited/elated for you!!!