Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Royal Night

Daddy's out of town this week. We miss him!!! Ruby is doing alright with it so far. He has had to leave 2 other times for a week each and she knows he returns. I got a great hanging calendar by Melissa and Doug and show her every day how many days until he returns. Need to get a small pic of him made to attach to one of the magnets. Today she asked for him. I explained then took her over to the calendar. Then near dinner time she went to the bottom of the steps and called up loudly "DADDY!" He always comes down from working at this time. It was so cute. She accepted my explanation again and ran back to play. We watched one of her Barbie movies just before this. I removed the scary ones from the selection and told her she could watch one tonight. When she was looking at all her movies to pick one she actually pointed to one and said "princess". I said, "Did you just say princess?" She smiled and said "yest!" We sat together and watched The Princess and The Pauper. She was so cute and soooo into it. So I decided a proper girls night was in order.  I didn't get to the grocery store so I had to scrape something together. I had organic chicken nuggets and veggies and rice for her and I made some pasta for me. So the dinner itself was nothing fancy, but I fancied it up a bit with the trimmings...
 The table was set with all pinks. I got out her princess plate, bowl, & cup, and used a cloth placemat and napkin.  I made a flower (sort of) out of her nuggets and a carrot.
 Once the table was set, I took her (doll) stroller that she loves me to push her in and wheeled it into the playroom. I told her it was time to eat and she started to protest for a second until I told her we were having a PRINCESS dinner. Then in grand fashion and with a wave of a hand, I said "Your carriage awaits to take you to dinner, Princess!" She has seen enough princess movies to "get it" and she got this BIG grin. So then I said WAIT! A princess needs her crown! And I put one on her head. She smiled. Then I said, but WAIT! What about the princesses shoes? "SHOES! SHOES!", she said. So we went over to her Disney princess shoes and picked out a pair. I wheeled her into the dining room and escorted the little royal up to her seat. "The Royal Dinner, your highness!" Oh did she get such a kick out of this!
The Princess liked her dinner...AND the royal treatment! As for the Queen...she enjoyed herself, too! :-)

Big Girl Pants & Books

Well, here they are. Ruby's first big girl pants. Went to Gymboree yesterday to pick up a few and these are the ones she wanted to wear first. We got horses and giraffes but "ICE CREAM!" was her favorite. She will surely kill me for posting this later on when I show this book to her high school boyfriend. Ha ha, no I would never do that. Hmmm...well, it depends if I like him or not. LOL. No, okay, I wouldn't. But it was a big event yesterday. After a couple accidents in her diaper Sunday and Monday - both while watching TV - we got back on track yesterday. We watched no TV, I asked her about the potty every 20 minutes, and we had a dry diaper all day. Hooray! I have to wonder if you really train them at first or if you are just training YOU to pay closer attention and get them on that pot! But low and behold, she is really getting it and even went while out at Barnes & Nobles yesterday. She knows the difference between wet and dry now and will tell me honestly which one it is. She was really proud of her big girl undies and equally proud to tell me DRY!

So on to the next subject...
Had a lovely morning at Barnes & Nobles yesterday. I've been wanting to get her more into books (and less into TV) so we went to a story reading they have weekly in their kids section. She listened a little to the first story and wandered around a bit during the 2nd two. I thought, well, maybe it's gonna take a few weeks till she really gets it. After the stories, the sweet man whipped out his guitar and did a few songs for the kids. Of course, THIS got Ruby's attention! Yes, my little groupie marched straight up to the front and stood right in front of the guy. She kept getting closer and closer and eventually had her hand on his knee. Yea, I know. I gotta work on that over-friendliness soon so she doesn't go to strangers. She doesn't go to just anyone though. It's only with people I am friendly with...or of course, anyone with an instrument. I thought she was gonna be on his lap or grabbing for the guitar by the 3rd song! Thankfully she just stayed there, staring in awe and glee. Yes, we definitely need to work on safe boundaries with people but, boy, that kid sure does love music! Mr. George finished up the last song and pulled out a parachute much to the kids amusement. He passed out a stuffed animal for them to toss on top and they shook away and bounced the little animals till they nearly fell out onto the floor. A good time was had by all. 

Not wanting the fun to end, I decided to take the little miss to the coffee shop for a snack. I let her pick what she wanted and she chose a big blueberry muffin. We snacked happily, hit the potty, and bought a nice book with gorgeous photos of baby animals. Then we went to the mall to which she exclaimed MALL! MALL! when we walked in. LOL, Mommy soooo gets it little girl. I get that same spring in my step when entering the mall!

Last night after dinner, instead of popping in a video or putting on one of her shows I asked her if she'd like to read her new animal book with me. I expected a protest or plead for TV, but she said yes! Not only did we look at that one but also a counting book, picture book, and then she let me READ 2 Dr. Suess books to her! Wow, maybe she DID get it! Her favorite was "Hand, Hand, Thumb, Thumb" She thought this was wildly amusing since it had a few of her favorite things - monkeys, drums, and making noise!

Reading books and using the potty! Serious progress this week...and it's only Tuesday!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Let's Talk About Adjustment

You know, I was reading another blog the other day and it got me thinking. The blogger was saying how hard the adjustment is and how anyone that says it isn't is just not honest. Okay. Let's talk about that. Is being positive considered denial? I wondered, hmmm, do people think that of me? That I am just painting a rosy picture? When I look back on the last 6 months, what sticks out? Is it the tired mornings, arguments with my husband after Ruby was in bed, or the disorganization in my home and life that I will remember? Surely I have complained about my house being a mess and my being tired. But, no. That isn't what sticks out. It's the morning cuddles, the big smiles, the random hugs and kisses, a million laughs, the family weekends, the little accomplishments and the big ones. Those are the things that have colored the last 6 months of my life. And they have been incredible.

In my "6 Months As A Family" post I said our adjustment was easy. In many ways it was. Far easier than I ever imagined. But that was probably because I read so many horror stories that I was expecting it to be a hell of a lot worse! Yea, there was adjustment. Times she didn't want to listen and many times she didn't want to sleep. I often posted about the complications but I didn't view them as a horrible adjustment. It was just an adjustment. I didn't talk about my husband and I bickering, because, quite frankly, I was embarrassed. We have a happy and strong marriage and I couldn't believe we could be arguing during the happiest time of our life. But it was stressful at times. I'd say that was our biggest adjustment. Being Ruby's parents was the easy part! Trying to juggle working in the home with our beautiful new child home was a challenge for Jeff. He was so torn and stressed. I also leaned on him a lot in the beginning and as much as he wanted to be with us, he needed to get some work done, too. As new parents do (and I have asked around) there is not only an adjustment but also a power play. Who is doing more, needing more help, etc. Sprinkled throughout those first few months, though, were also some of the happiest and most amazing times of our lives. I choose to blog about the positive and happy times because that is what is important and what sticks around in the long haul. Jeff and I are stronger for it and we have learned and grown much these last few months.

Ruby was pretty easy. I didn't exaggerate. And yes I know how rare this is and how lucky I am. Sure she has her moments and tests my patience. All kids do. But we were blessed that she attached to us right away and hasn't had many issues. I am well aware that lightening probably won't strike twice and #2 may give us a run for our money! Our main issues were health and giardia and striking a balance between work and family, sleep and play, spoiling but not spoiling too much, teaching but not pushing too much. There were days that were exhausting and days of sheer bliss. Days (even now) when she will challenge and days were she is so good I just have to pinch myself that I get to be her mother. But in case you were wondering if life really is THAT rosy around here, well, I'm gonna have to say YES. Being around Ruby just brings it out in you, no matter what else is going on. Kids make you slow down and appreciate things more. The simple things. The rainy days and the sunny days. Cause after all, isn't every day sunny when you stop to appreciate how truly blessed you are?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Little Miss Songkran

Thai Princess for a day! Proud Mommy and Pa get to hold her for a brief second before she is off running again. Think she was getting rather tired of having her picture taken at this point but we couldn't resist a quick family shot! We went to a Songkran Festival yesterday in NJ - way up near Allentown, PA. It took us a good hour and half to get there, but it was worth the drive. Here's how our day went:
At home in her Thai outfit before we left. I am really glad we took the time to get this in Thailand. MBK was so crowded and Ruby was melting down here and there. We thought about giving up, but now I am so glad we didn't! Only wishing I bought more in bigger sizes. She was oh so excited when I put it on her. I also let her wear an amulet that was a gift from Anna and her family. It is a monk from NST where she is from. I put it on a chain for her and she smiled big and said thank you. She was very proud of her "neckess" and pretty outfit. 
Mommy and Ruby. I got a little festive myself and wrapped a Northern style Thai wrap around me and over one shoulder and paired it with a longish black pencil skirt. It was so nice to feel all glam for a change, but I gotta tell you, it's not practical Mommy wear for bending and scooping up a toddler! I was tugging and tucking in the shirt all evening. Needed about 3 more pins, but managed to keep it all in and no flashing, thank God! As much as I LOVE to dress up, I have to admit by the end of the night I was so ready to ditch the high heels, complicated top, and layers of Thai jewelry for my pj's! LOL! 
Daddy and Ruby. She is proudly holding a pink ribbon they gave to the little girls. Daddy didn't have anything Thai-ish to wear so he wore a pink shirt in honor of the king. Mommy thought this was very cute of him!
Trying to get a group of kids to all pose together is mission impossible, but they are so cute you gotta try anyway!
Now there's the happy smile we know and love! 
Sawadee ka!
Beautiful Thai dancer. Ruby was mesmerized.
This dancer she liked even more. Maybe the colorful costume or sweet smile on the lady's face. She watched intensely, as if studying every move.
...and then started imitating her. She was so serious and focused, it cracked us up.
Pretty little princesses!
These are the real Miss Songkran contestants and they let all the little ones in on it. It was so sweet. Ruby liked this one girl on the end and stood with her a long time.
A better view of them all together. People would come up and adorn them with "flowers" (ei: a lei). It was so loud and crowded that it took us a few minutes to figure out what they were doing and where they were coming from. Whoever gets the most "flowers" win. I am guessing they do this with real flower lei's in Thailand.
Finally, we found the lady selling them for a dollar and put a couple on Ruby. Others put them on Ruby, too, and she looked at it strangely at first and then seemed to like it. She would say thank you to most every one that gave her one. Especially sweet was a cute little boy that came over to give her one. Wish I was quicker with that camera but there was a flurry of activity going on and everyone trying to take pictures. Tried to capture Daddy giving her one, but he was too quick!
Quite a collection! We gave them back though before leaving. No luau planned for our immediate future! Maybe when she is older, but a princess party is next year's theme! 
All the girls were beautiful, but this year's Miss Songkran was the one in the middle with all the lei's. She got the biggest crown and bouquet of flowers, but all the girls got a crown - such a nice touch! The older girls also all got flowers.
Getting "crowned" by Ammara, the lovely lady that is the VP of the North East Thai Association and the one who invited us there. I should have gotten a picture with her. She is so nice and I have to add that her outfit was gorgeous. So many of the ladies had such pretty traditional gowns on. I may need to get me one next time we go to Thailand!
Showing off her crown for the admirers.
And trying to keep it on.
I called to her and asked for one more picture and in true princess fashion she did a curtsey! I never taught her that. Think she got it from Little Einsteins. What a character! What a fun time! Slept a little in the car on the way home and then like a rock when we finally got home. We did, too!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

1st Swim Class

We had our first Mommy & Me swim class today and it went real well. She had a ball and wasn't afraid at all. Even went under water! I think I was more nervous about blowing in her face and putting her in than she was. The first time she just came up with eyes as big as saucers and in shock. I was like okay? And she said AGAIN! Guess we are going to enjoy our swim class!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Too Much To Write, So Little Time

Gorgeous weather lately. Lots of fun things to do. Not as much time or too tired to write. I have so many things to post about and pictures to put up soon. Too sleepy right now to make it a long one so here are the highlights.

1. A dear friend finally got news on her adoption case and should travel by July! We are SO happy for them, for there wait has been entirely too long and their little girl entirely too precious! Congrats!!!!
2. Started potty training this week. Monday was a challenge. Tuesday a little better. By Wed, she was going 4-5 times a day on the potty. Yesterday and today she has had a dry pull-up for all waking hours. I am so proud of her!!! Even doing it when we are out. This week she went on the potty while at the park, at music class, Little Gym, and even when out for dinner tonight. Super proud!!!
3. Counted to 13 the other day and I haven't the slightest idea where she even heard 13 cause we haven't gone over that yet! Must have picked it up from one of her shows, I guess.
4. She is trying to sing the ABC song a lot lately and it is so funny. Goes something like: ABEEEHIJKLMNPRSHIJKLMNPQRSTV and then she sings Now I eh eh ACE, eh eh la la sing la la. Or something like that. Hilarious. God bless her she is really trying!
5. Shhh's me often when I am singing because SHE wants to do it. Upstaged by a 3 year old, LOL! Loves singing a couple of the lullabies I sing to her. I was singing her some lullabies at nap time today and she stopped me and requested Bu-mun. I had no clue so I started singing something else. She'd say NO and ask again. This went on for a couple minutes as I ran down the list. Finally, I sang my song - the one I wrote for her - and that was it! Butterfly Moon. How sweet is that? I haven't done that one for awhile and can't believe she remembered it. I sang a little bit than she shooshed me again so she could sing it. Didn't know the words but got some of the melody and a few syllables right. It was really darn cute!
6. Ruby was talking and singing up a storm in the car tonight on the way home from dinner. She was on a roll and just went from one song to the next, stopping briefly to count and talk about this or that. Jeff & I just turned the radio down and listened and cracked up. Oh, how we love that funny little girl!

(LOL, I notice here that even my abridged version of our recent events are still quite lengthy!)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gummy Bitch!

No I am not speaking profanity or even describing some strange woman. This is how Ruby says "gummy fish".  It was kinda funny the first time we heard it since she has no idea what that word is as we have never said it in front of her.  However, even "fishy" sounds like "bitchy" so I really gotta work on that! Her F's often sound like a P or a B and the SH sound is, of course, difficult at this age. I really hadn't noticed it cause she sort of mumbled the word and the focus was on a long CH sound at the end. When her EI teacher pointed out a couple weeks ago that fish sounded a lot like b-i-t-c-h we both just chuckled. But as she is learning to speak more and trying harder to say what she wants it seemed to only magnify the pronunciation. So today after lunch I heard a loud and clear, very excited "GUMMY BITCH! GUMMY BITCH!" All with a proud smile on her face for asking for what she wanted. Mommy smiled, too, but oh my we better get that speech therapist working fast! :-)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Productivity & Fun: A Mother's Match Made In Heaven

We had very productive day today! Ruby was SUCH an angel which is in complete contrast to the last few days where she has been restless with sleeping and a tad challenging at times. Could it be the terrible 3's? She's had a serious case of "MINE! MINE" lately as it pertains to just about everything. So I have been working on this. Maybe yesterday it sunk in or maybe it was a hiatus. LOL, I'm hoping it was the first! Could it have been boredom? We stuck close to home to start potty training and she did seem bored at times despite my best efforts. Ah, how to tell what's going on in the mind of a toddler! Also wonder if  naps could soon be on their way out already? I think she still needs one, but it seems harder for her to fall asleep lately and this time I know it's not the giardia. Sleep at night has been restless, too, and I think it is from a movie she watched recently. (Although she actually said "MINE! MINE!" in her sleep one night. Uh-oh!) Still, I gotta shelf some of those Barbie and Disney movies till she is older. She keeps pulling them out and begging to watch and well, sometimes I cave. Not anymore!

Anyway, today was one of those perfect days where everything went better than planned and Mommy and Ruby had tons of fun, too! First we had an evaluation today with Bucks County Intermediate Unit. It went GREAT! After a child turns 3, you have to go to the county for a reevaluation to see if you qualify for more Early Intervention. So, we were there for 1-1/2 hours and Ruby did very well. They confirmed that she is no longer delayed and is right where she needs to be at her age. She not only caught up but is at a 3-1/2 year old level on some things. Hooray! However, her articulation/pronunciation still needs work so they are getting us a speech therapist. I am so thrilled. I wanted to make sure we were doing all we could to help her clearly communicate and I was feeling like maybe I am the only one (and Jeff, too, of course) that could fully understand her some of the time. So we will meet again in a few weeks to get all the info and start. I am so happy to have this service. Early Intervention has been such a God-send in this process and the people we have met through it have been just wonderful.

In the afternoon, Jeff, Ruby, and I stopped over at her pre-school. It was also great. The people there are all nicer than nice and I made sure we went on a day where they had a full roster of kids so we could see what it's really like. Both teachers were nice. Both sets of kids were friendly. We agreed that either classroom would be great, but we loved the mix of international kids in the first class and especially liked how polite and friendly they all were. The teacher I was not sure of was in the corner, sweetly taking the time to fix the pony tails that fell out of one girls hair. Okay, I like her. I was sure she was a good teacher but was hoping for a little warm and fuzziness, too, and that was nice to see. One little girl in that class is adopted from Guatemala and I like that, too. They met twice at the school and once at our local Pets Plus (jokingly called The Free Zoo of Langhorne) and remembered each other. They were smiling and playing a bit. It was so sweet. I am so happy with this school and the director said even if she is not fully potty trained yet, she can still do 1-2 half days of summer camp in June. It's a perfect fit in every way! Jeff finally had a chance to see the place and loved it and Ruby is so happy there. Think it's going to be such a positive experience for her! Still hoping to potty train this month and get it over with. Sticking around the house is tedious and a challenge but I will do the best I can. Ruby learns fast so it's just a matter of her WANTING to do it. I am hoping to motivate her even more and keep it a positive experience.

After the school visit we hung outside for the rest of the day. So fun! It was a gorgeous day and we spent a few hours roaming the yard, looking at the tulips, playing ball, swinging at my neighbors, riding her bike, etc. It was pretty warm out so I called the hubby down and we put together her new water table. BOY, did she love that! Best investment ever! I see a lot of hours spent with that this summer! The pics say it more than any description I could come up with so stay tuned. I will put them up in the next post.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Under Construction

Don't mind the look of the blog. It may change daily. I got on here today to put up a nice spring-y background but couldn't find anything I like that actually worked with all my info on here. Any advice is welcome on where to get great backgrounds. In the meantime, the clean look of this lay out grabbed me. And then, of course, I wasn't content with the basic white so I had to change it to red at the last minute. Stay tuned...

Stop The Meds & Go Swimming Kitzmillers!

This was the subject line of my email from Dr. Jane. The giardia test results came back...and they were all negative! My baby is free! I am so happy. Dr. Jane is the best! The woman is busier than busy, yet she always take time to write you a personal note. We have a follow up appointment with her in a couple weeks. Really looking forward to meeting her and thanking her in person.

As for Ruby, she now has a clean bill of health! Hooray! We are focusing on potty training now and signing up for swim lessons! Oh happy Spring!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Songkran. A celebration of water. A time to remember ancestors, respect elders and those in need, do good deeds, and splash a lot of water! There are many customs on this holiday. From the sacred...
(children pouring scented water over the elders hands)... to the not-so-sacred tradition of water spraying and splashing...
Ha ha, I love how they even get the elephants in on the fun!

A friend of mine, Mireille has a great couple posts about Songkran on her blog HERE. Check it out!
There was a big ceremony at our local Thai temple this past Sunday, but we missed it. Heard they had a huge turn out - like 500 people from the tri-state area! Was bummed to miss it, but it was on Ruby's birthday and we were all so wiped out from the party on Saturday. I guess if we knew earlier, we would have planned for it. Usually, Songkran is around the 13th or 14th of April but I was thinking it was later in the month this year because we were invited to a big festival on the 24th. A friend had told me at Ruby's party that there was a big celebration on the 11th, but we already had a house full of family staying over and didn't feel up to being out all day on Sunday. So, we'll have to catch it next year. In the meantime, we still have the Songkran Festival on the 24th and a brand new water table for splashing! Hope those of you celebrating it had a wonderful time!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Easter Back-log

Okay I filled in all the dates I missed. Photos posted below posted dated April 1-4th. There is a post for Pre-Easter Fun, Easter Fairy, and Easter Sunday. Putting pictures on here now as I am tired of doing 2 blogs. It's private anyway, so why worry? Going to find time to make them into one and print into a book (finally!)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Party Pics!

Well, you asked for pictures! LOL, I must have taken a hundred photos this weekend! For the first time ever I actually filled my flash card and had to download before I could take more! Was just having a ball and wanted to capture every bit of it! My camera was acting up and stopped taking pics for an hour or so. Then at one point I got it working then dropped it and it stopped working AGAIN. So I don't have a pic of all the kids at the table or together. Like that would have been possible with all the fun and running around going on! Anyway, I still managed to take..oh, well, just a few shots, LOL! Also worked on this for a couple hours in bed so they should all blow up for a closer look. Thanks to Jessica for the tip to go upload to Windows Live.

And these are before and after birthday shots:
Little duck breakfast to start the birthday theme, riding her bike we gave her Sunday on her actual birthday, and my little spa girl having a laid back day and enjoying her pink toes compliments of Mommy. Hey, every girl needs a pedicure on her birthday!

Party Details:
Invite: Cute barn invites found at either Birthday Express or Birthday in a Box. Glued a little snapshot of Ruby in a cowboy hat on one side and stuffed a pinch of staw in before sealing the envelope.

Party favor box.
Made a ball pit on porch with hay stacks, balls, and balloons
Used it as a great backdrop for photos and tried to get each kid in a shot w/Ruby to put in the thank-you cards (the kids also enjoyed playing in there!)
Cut out "barn doors" for the front porch and had my brother paint them for me. As an added touch, he cut thin pieces of cardboard and painted it white to create the authentic barn door look. (Great job, Jase!)
Bought 14 bales of straw and used as decoration and extra seating. The kids loved it!
Borrowed animal signs/stakes from this sweet elderly couple down the road and put up the driveway and around the yard
Snacks were out early -soft pretzels with dips, animal crackers, fruit, veggies, and nachos.
Had custom farm animal lollipops made from someone on Etsy. So cute! (will post link later)
Dinner at 5 after animals were gone. I served the kids (healthy w/no trans fats) chicken nuggets and rice with veggies (which they actually all ate).
Drinks for the kids (mini waters and juice boxes) were in a big red wheel barrow filled w/ice.
Adult beverages were in a big oversized pail with ice.
Adults were self-serve. Greek salad, potato salad, mac-n-cheese, burgers, and picky food. (thanks to Kelly for the homemade mac-n-cheese!)
Made my life easy and used all red paper plates, napkins, and plastic red utensils.
But wine was served in nice wine glasses. I can never make my guests drink wine out of a plastic cup!
I used red and white checkered table cloth on my dining room table, but used plastic table clothes for the tables outdoors. Had red on the adults tables & cow print on the kids tables.
Favor boxes had 3 small balls, bubbles, 2 animal lollies, farm animal tattoos, a plush cow or pig and a farm animal activity sticker book. Plus they all got a cowboy hat & stick pony. Stick ponies were a HUGE hit...even by the big kids and they were only $1 from the Dollar tree! (Forgot to get a picture of the favor boxes. They were so cute!)
Rented a helium tank from Party City for only $30 and bought balloons online. Made my own bunches up and had them up all over the indoors as well as outside. I think about 60 altogether.
Got a picture of a cow cake I found online & gave to my local bakery. They used cupcakes to create the feet and ears. I was so happy with how cute it turned out!
We did two games: Pin the tail on the Cow and a farm themed Bean Bag Toss. (Thanks to my seasoned moms - Charlsey & Melissa -for running the games for me!)
Bought most of the supplies and decorations online at Oriental Trading Co, Birthday in a Box, and Amazon.com, including the games. Had all little kids music on the cd player. Little Cowpoke, Buck Howdy, Party Like A Preschooler, and Ella's playhouse were all in rotation.

Hope this is helpful to those of you who might want to do a similar party! I can tell you ours was a blast and worth every bit of the effort! Was really fun to plan and see it come together. And watching Ruby and all the kids enjoy it made it just the best day ever!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweet Baby!

Our little angel. Our sweet Ruby. It was your 3rd birthday today! We celebrate and embrace this beautiful day you were put on this earth! The world is a better place with you in it...especially OUR world!

After the fan fair of yesterday, we were all a bit tired. Happy, but lazy, so we spent the whole day just hanging out at home together. We started the day in your room the way we usually do - Ruby and Mommy. Daddy had gotten up early and crept downstairs to get some coffee and start his day. Mommy and Ruby rested a little while longer. You woke up cute but groggy, as always and we snuggled close. Even after you are awake you like to lay there and hug and cuddle and giggle before getting up. So this we do almost every morning and I just love this time together! But today, I also told you a little story. About a beautiful young lady in Thailand and how she had a beautiful baby girl on this special day. You laid there sweetly as I told you the story and then we snuggled some more. Behind your back I shed a tear for the mother that didn't get to hold you today. I said a silent prayer for her and then focused on how lucky I am to be the one that did get to hold you this sweet morning.

Soon we got up, got dressed, and joined Daddy, Grammy, Pappy, & Grandma downstairs. Even before breakfast you remembered the presents so we rushed in to open them all and play a bit before eating. Such fun for you! You received lots of great gifts and fun things. Your favorites seemed to be the violin from Grandma, your Dora doll and Hello Kitty rain boots from Grammy & Pappy, and your housekeeping cart from Mommy & Daddy. (You were still "cleaning" the windows before bedtime! LOL, this is a habit we hope you continue as you get older!) Oh, and your bike! You loved your bike! And your pretty pony that you call the "mommy" and the little horses, too. Also you have been asking for an umbrella and were so excited to see the Hello Kitty one from your friend Brianna. But back to our brunch...

Grammy made a quiche and fruit salad plus we had lots of left overs from the party. It was a beautiful, warm and sunny day today so we set up our feast outside. So nice! When we said grace, we went around the table and everyone got to add something to the prayer. Everyone said how much they love and are grateful for you in our lives! You are loved by so many little girl!

By 1:30, the grandparents had all headed home and it was just the 3 of us again. We watched you ride your bike around the porch awhile, played with the balls, and then just sat together eating soft pretzels. Me in my rocking chair. Daddy in his. And you in your new matching white mini rocking chair that was a birthday present from Grandma. Such a relaxing afternoon and just what we needed after all the excitement of yesterday. You spent a good couple hours of bonding time with Daddy today, too. It was so sweet. I was cleaning up but poked my head in to see you two snuggled up on the couch together. And at another point I guess you were having a pretty good time playing cause your laughter filled the house and poured into the other room where I was working. I joined you before dinner, then we ate, and snuggled up to watch a show together afterwards. It was a documentary on Buddha on PBS and, amazingly, you watched it with great interest. You were also so cuddly and cute tonight, jumping from me to Daddy for hugs and kisses and then back again. We were more than happy to give 'em! It was a great day and a relaxing end to our weekend.

In another couple hours your birthday will be over my sweet baby. But the love and the fun remains. That is a constant and my promise to you. To always do my best to fill your life with love and fun and laughter. I love you, sweet daughter. We both love you very much!

(NOTE: The above picture is just a teaser. More pics from the party will be posted soon!)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Party A Success!

Whew. We did it! We threw one thoroughly fun birthday party today. I am so tired, but also relieved and very, very happy. Gonna sleep like a rock tonight! After my afternoon post, Ruby decided to play with her doll again, then start chatting. I put my computer down and played dead for the longest time. My eyes closed but my mind racing just thinking of all I still had to do. After wasting a good hour trying to get her down I gave up. She was just too excited. And who could blame her? She knew we were having a party for her and that her friends were coming. So we got up, I sent her off to the park with Daddy and Pappy, and then ran like a mad woman. We were an hour behind now so I really had to move. By the skin of my teeth (and with help from mother in law) I got the house decorated and balloons and gifts placed by Ruby's return. She was delighted with the balloons and ball area! I then whisked her off to put her B-day outfit (which she also loved, thank God), grabbed a quick shower, and threw myself together. Leaving me 20 minutes to get all the snacks out on the table b4 guests arrived. I was still putting stuff out when they got there, but the place looked good, Jeff was helping out and taking care of things in the back, and I was able to greet each one and take pics on the porch as they arrived. My mother in law helped cut up the fruit/veggies for the animals and also to decorate. My bro came over early with some seriously cool "barn doors" for the front porch. He also helped with parking and all sorts of things. It was great. The hubs and father in law ran yesterday and all morning to make sure we had last minute ingredients and the right wires to make the stereo work outside and throughout the house. A great collaborative effort!

The weather really was good for us, too! No rain, no mud. A bit chilly at first, but nice and sunny. Couldn't have been a better day for running around the yard! I set up a little photo op on the porch with hay stacks and balloons for when the guests first arrived. I want to include a photo with the thank you's that has each child in it with Ruby. I think I got pics of most of them.
The animals were a HUGE hit. Ruby LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the pony! Held on by herself and went back again and again to ride it. She was still on there at 5 minutes to 5 when they were leaving at 5! She hated to see him go but gave Dr. Suess (the pony) a kiss on the nose and said goodbye. It was so cute. How she loves animals! She kissed the beautiful doves they had and one of the fuzzy chickens, too. There was a cool alpacha that wasn't super friendly. It hadn't gone to anyone the whole time. Ruby was very calm and sweet and just stood very still looking at him. He walked right over to her and put his head down for her to pet him. Then he licked her hand. It was very cool. She is great with animals.

After the animals left, we ate, the kids played games, had wagon hay rides, played ball, and ate cake. Oh what a great job they did on the cake! It was adorable! I could go on and on about the day but I am so needing to go to bed right now. Suffice it to say, the party couldn't have gone better. I am so happy. It was everything I wanted for my sweetheart and more. She really had a good time and we did, too!

Pics and more details coming soon!

The Day Is Here!

As I write, the little miss is laying beside me. By some sort of miracle, she agreed to come up for a nap much earlier than usual. She is not asleep yet but laying quietly. With any luck, she will be out in a few minutes and I can go get a shower, decorate, and put the snacks out. Everything else is done. The yard and tables are set up and the hubs came up with a brilliant idea for the seating. I've been toiling over having enough seating for the kids and hated to buy another kids table when we already have one and wouldn't need it after the party. We could use Ruby's craft table we have but we didn't have enough chairs. So what to do? Well, Jeff suggested using the straw bails and oh my does it ever look cute! Also seats ten that way! So we are good to go! I got up early and did alot of the balloons blown up. They are hidden in the living room. The dishes are clean and everything in place. All I need is for her to go to sleep in the next few minutes and it will be perfect. Ah, she rolls onto her belly...this is a good sign. Holding my breath.

Before The Excitement Hits

Before the balloons and fan fair and cake and presents. Before I set out the food and all the family arrives. I just wanted to take a quiet moment to be thankful. Two birthdays went by and we couldn't be there for you. Oh, how we wanted to! How it hurt to not be with you! But this birthday, my sweet little love, you ARE here. From the bottom of my heart, I thank God for you. You are everything we have ever dreamed of and so much more. We wish you so much love and happiness on your birthday and always. We reflect on how much effort it took us to get to this point and how brave and strong, yet easy going you have been through all the changes. I've said it so many times, but it feels like you have always been with us. It's just that strong a bond and that comfortable. So deep is our love for you! Yet we know your life hasn't always been easy and we think about you and your beginning. We also think of your birthmother. What will she feel and think of that day? We will always think of her on your birthday and be thankful to her for giving you life.

I received a beautiful book of poems from my Aunt Sophie and found this perfect prose for you my dear:

THIS IS MY WISH FOR YOU by Charles Livingston Snell

This is my wish for you...
That the spirit of beauty may continually hover about you
and fold you close within the tenderness of her wings.
That each beautiful and gracious thing in life may be unto
you as a symbol of good for your soul's delight.
That sun-glories and star-glories, leaf-glories and bark-glories
flower-glories and glories that lurk in the grasses of the field;
glories of mountains and oceans and little streams of running waters,
glories of song, of poesy, of all the arts may be to you as sweet, abiding
influences that will illumine your life and make you glad.
That your soul may be as an alabaster cup, filled to overflowing
with the mystical wine of beauty and love.
That happiness may put her arms around you, and wisdom make your soul serene.
This is my wish for you.

and to this I will add... we wish you joy and laughter and love always..and a super fun birthday!
Love, Mommy & Pa

Friday, April 9, 2010

I Love Thursdays!

For months now Ruby & I have had a Thursday play date. Been meaning to post about it, but I am always so busy doing something (?) that I just didn't get to it until now. I met Dawn at the mall last summer. She was with her mom and her adorable daughter, Brianna (from China). I was by myself ready to burst because we were still a few months away from travel. I couldn't resist going over and saying hi. So glad I did!

Fast forward a couple weeks and I found her email. Fast forward months and we were home with Ruby and settled in a bit. We started taking a weekly Music Round class Dawn suggested and have made it a luncheon or play date as well. Sometimes after class we go for lunch. The girls love hibachi ...and so do we! If it's warm, we pack a lunch or pick something up and head over to the park. No matter where we go, it's always a great time. The girls are SO sweet together and really get excited to see each other now. It's so nice. Dawn and I also get along great and have much in common. It's great to have some adult conversation and have the kids have a blast. So yay, for Thursdays! Our happy fun day!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Crunch Time!

The porch is clean. The hay is here and set up in various places. The hay/ball pit on the porch is nearly complete. Just need a few more balls. The wagons, wheelbarrow, and outdoor furniture has all been power-washed. The schedule of events has been typed up and the check lists are being checked off. Feels good!!! The dishwasher decided to work yesterday and hooray for that! It was really starting to drive me crazy to see it all cluttered in the kitchen. So once again, my kitchen is starting to resemble itself. More tidying up to do, Easter baskets and stuff to put away, and groceries/balls/etc. to buy today, but we are really getting there! So exciting! It is 4:30 am as I write this and I am up because I remembered 2 presents I didn't wrap, laundry I could do, and misc. stuff that I could easily check off the list this morning. The schedule is tight around here this week, but certainly doable. So I will catch up on sleep in a few days after the party and get things done now. I am actually too excited to sleep. My baby is finally home. We are not missing her birthday this year. And it's going to be grand!

Will back-track and post about Easter and post pics soon. It was a beautiful weekend in every way. Hope yours was too!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday

A beautiful day. A wonderful time spent with Jeff's family.
Ruby and Chloe.
The many moods of our dear toddler.
And last, a group shot of the family on Easter.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Quick Update

Been a very busy and hectic couple weeks around here and I just haven't had time to blog! Truth be told, it's been a little challenging, as well. Not with Ruby. She is doing fine and after a few days where she seemed to feel worse, she is now doing pretty good and sleeping through most nights. Still on meds for giardia and yet another cold is on the way out. But the dishwasher valve broke and poured into the basement. Sears is a pain in the neck and never sent their adjuster out. They are impossible to get on the phone! Put me on hold for 15-20 minutes 3 times and then hung up on me! I gave up and am giving the task to Jeff. I am so not dealing with them anywmore! So I've been hand washing dishes for days and it's really time consuming. Plus the dog is sick. Poor dog has a cyst on her paw and diarrea and we find out Tues or Wed what it is. They already ruled out aggressive cancer, but it still could be some type of cancer or bad infection. I have been worrying so much about both Ruby and the dog's health and also my little brother who is autistic and not doing so great these days. Much on my mind and cleaning up a lot of messes - between the dog, cat, mold in the basement,...and then there was Ruby's tests. I had 7 viles of poop to collect and get to the lab by 3 pm each day which made naps very late and one day we had to skip altogether. Add a messy house to the equation (with a trip away this weekend and a full house and party next weekend) and I was rather stressed out by the time my mom got down here! Jeff went to FL for the week for business and my mom (God bless her!) has been here all week to help out. Once again the laundry is caught up and the home somewhat in order. She even babysat a couple times and Ruby did good but would not nap for her. Still, it is progress, and my mom was a HUGE help! (THANK YOU!!!!)

One week till Ruby's party and I am getting really excited. The invites went out a week or so ago and we have a head count. So far, it will be 9 kids (7 being toddlers), and 25 adults. Maybe one kid and parent more. Very manageable and I feel ahead of the game right now. Of course, there are still a zillion details to attend to, but we are getting there. The favor boxes are done and look way cute. Ruby's presents are all wrapped in cow paper. I still have to grocery shop next week, pick up hay, the cakes, the helium tank, decorate and all that jazz. Not sure if I will let Ruby help with the decorating (if it's fun for her) or have Jeff take her to the park so she can come home and be surprised. Thinking I will do the later. More soon...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pre-Easter Fun

Happy it's-almost-Easter breakfast
Painting eggs...and fingers!
Egg hunt at our friend's neighborhood.
Playing piano with Grammy and having fun at Grammy & Pappy's house.

Fun with Mommy. Shopping and opening up Easter basket.