Friday, June 25, 2010

Beach Bound!

Well, by this time tomorrow we will be at the beach. In fact, I am hoping our 6 happy feet will be frolicking in the sand by somewhere around 2ish in the afternoon. Woo-hoo! Oh, how we love the beach. Relaxing days, fun nights on the boardwalk, cook outs with Grammy and Pappy, fresh fish at a quaint local eatery...maybe even a date night for me and the hub! Glorious sun and cool ocean breezes await us. I can hardly wait!

Ruby is excited, too. I found a great Elmo video at the library called "Summer Vacation" that pretty much explains a trip to the beach. I was looking for a book but found this instead. Perfect. Shows kids playing in the sand, splashing in the ocean, protecting their skin from the sun, and all sorts of things. I explained that we were going to go this weekend and she was very happy about this. Wait till she gets there! We really think she is gonna love it. She was saying BEACH! BEACH! all day. And actually, when I was putting her to bed tonight she said it again and started to cry a little. I think when we were talking about it she somehow thought (or hoped) we were going tonight and she wanted to go NOW. I promised her we were leaving first thing in the morning and she cheered up. We read her a book and off to bed she went by quarter to 8. Yea! We are pretty much packed and just have to put everything in the car in the morning.

As an added bonus, we got her a tv for the back seat. We tried it out last weekend on the way to Harrisburg and she was THRILLED. I said I would never, but she can a bit restless towards the end of a 2 hour drive, let alone 3-4 hours to the beach. And who can blame her? LOL, I can barely sit still for that long! So we got a cute little strap over the seat TV (only $70 at Walmart!) that only works while plugged into the car. (Therefore avoiding her wanting to take it everywhere with her.) It is for long car rides only! Going to be a chill ride for us and a dreamy Barbie watching ride for Ruby! Bethany Beach - here we come!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Father's Day

Click here to preview book!

Jeff's Father's Day present arrived today. I worked late nights for weeks to make it just right and then I realized that even with overnight delivery it still wouldn't get here on time. He didn't care. He already has the best gift on the planet and that's a wonderful daughter (his words...but mine too!) The book was real special for him, though, and I was so happy to give it to him! There are pictures from Ruby's first minutes with Daddy all the way through until now. It says things like: my Daddy and I like to do this or my Pa taught me how to do that. Ruby really likes it too and I thought it'd be a nice thing for them to read and in the future.

We were in Hbg for the weekend visiting family and it was a great time. Got to see and spend time with both of our wonderful Dads and extended family as well. Hope the day was very special for all the dads out there! Especially those celebrating it for the first time!

To my hubs, Jeff: You are a wonderful, kind hearted man, my best friend, and an incredible father. The best Daddy on the planet! We are so lucky to have you in our lives and love you so much!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sleeping & Lifebook

Well, she slept through the night. I'm NOT gonna say we are sleeping well yet, but I was glad we all got some rest for one night! The hubs and I were up late tonight. Hope I don't really regret that in a few hours. :-) I took a chance and showed her both life books today and told her her story again. She listened with interest and seemed to get it more this time. I also added something new. I showed her video we took at the orphanage during our first meeting. Her reaction was real sweet. She kept saying Ruby, Mommy! Mommy, Ruby! And then when she'd hear Jeff talking (cause he was holding the camera) she'd say Pa? And I'd say, yes, Daddy was holding the camera and took our picture. She likes this and how he kept saying she was so cute and when it was over she said "AGAIN!" I showed her again and then played one more which is with the nannies and other kids. She was a little more quiet and seemed to be thinking and maybe recognizing, but perked right up when she heard - and saw herself acting out - the Chaang song. Very cute. I think she was alright. I asked her a few times if it made her feel happy or sad or if she was ok. She said ok or happy. I told her while looking at the books and videos that if she wasn't happy it was ok to feel that way but she kinda looked at me like "why wouldn't I be happy". Not sure how much she understands but I tried to explain that she was home now and would stay home. So I felt like it went well, but I guess we'll see how the night goes!

So, this one may be a dumb question, but does anyone have a clever way of explaining the words "always" or "forever" to a 3 year old?

UPDATE: She slept all night and we are starting to think the great mystery is to skip naps! The saga continues! Until next week, folks! Have a great one and hope you are enjoying sunshine!

Friendships Bloom

So sweet to see Ruby with her little friends! I don't know if it's the age or the familiarity at this point, but she is interacting with them so much more. Especially with my nephew Ryan and her friends Brianna and Ava. She has known these 3 from the time she got home just about. This is Ava and Ruby with "Zoey" at Sesame Place on Tuesday. They were so sweet and kept hugging each other!
Love this shot! Ava just ran up and hugged her and I got their attention. Ha ha they are both such little posers. Just like their moms.

They played on this slide for awhile and it was so cute how Ava was helping her up.

They would wait for each other and go down the slide together almost every time.

Running back for more fun!
And this is Ruby and Brianna at our house one day...

...and at Sesame on Thursday. We are surely getting a lot of use out of that season pass!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Never Ever Ever Say How Well You Are Sleeping!

This should be a mommy blogger rule. You are sure to jinx yourself! Last night I stayed up til midnight. Ruby woke up crying at 1am and subsequently every hour afterwards. Ended up sleeping in there with her as she tossed and turned something awful. Actually, I should say she flip-flopped... like a fish out of water, thrashing around on the bed, kicking me out of the way at times and reaching out for my hand at others. Around 7am she started crying again and said in her sleep "WAKE UP! WAKE UP, MOMMY!" Poor thing. Did she dream something happened to me? Was she having an adoption related dream or was it just the overactive mind of a toddler? Gotta wonder. I tried to reassure her that I was there and that oh, yes, I was definitely awake, but she didn't seem awake at first. Then Jeff came in and she opened her eyes and looked at him so I knew she WAS awake. It was a slow minute until she seemed to realize she wasn't in her dream. She was okay then and was back snuggling in my arms and we slept till nearly 10. I never let her (or me for that matter) sleep so long but we were both exhausted.

Not too many adoption issues have surfaced so far. She is pretty happy and agreeable most of the time. Went she does get upset, it's either because she is sick, overtired, or just wants her way on something. If it's the later, it's usually over pretty quick. But still, I know her feelings are buried in there somewhere. Maybe it just comes out at night. We can go a week or so without incident and then the nightmares start again. Sometimes for a day. Sometimes 2 or 3 nights in a row. I am always trying to go back over the night or day and see what we did different. Was it a busy day, a movie we watched, did she eat dairy, is she sick? I can sometimes find a reason but rarely can pin point it to a common denominator. Last night we did have a snack before bed. I read somewhere that this is good for kids to help them sleep (having a full belly). However, if I eat before bed it makes me dream more vividly so why shouldn't this be the same for a kid? Who knows? Trying to crack the case of the non sleeping toddler is like trying to solve any of life's greater mysteries. Tough!

 I just hope I am doing all I can in the case of buried adoption/abandonment issues. She's not very interested when I show her the life book I made and pictures of her at the orphanage. She never seems sad or annoyed with them, just uninterested and seems to not recognize much. I thought maybe she has forgotten already or is too young to get it. Any thoughts out there? I am curious if other kids out there are having nightmares and how to know if it's adoption or normal toddler stuff. My nephew is biological and goes through the same thing at times so I wonder how to tell. Also, how often do you (or did you) tell your toddler their adoption story? How often do you show the pics? We've only been doing it once in a while because she is so disinterested.  It seemed age appropriate, but maybe I should do it more?

Uh-oh, it's 11:30 and she just woke up crying...only 2 hours after she went down. I went in and sang a song and she is back asleep now. Still this is not a good sign. Better try to go get some shut-eye in case it's a bumpy night. :-)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Weekly Highlights

So, so much going on in a given day, let alone week. It's hard to record it all, but still, I'll try hit on the highlights each week. Summer is here (although not technically) and we are out and about every day. LOVE IT! The shore is just a few weeks away so I try to get us to the park a few times a week. Momma needs her exercise. It has been far too long and shopping for bathing suits was an eye opener! So we go to this big park and first she gets a stroller ride while I get a power walk in and then we hit the swings and slides. Everyone is happy!

We've had a lot of play dates, family visits, and fun lately. Here are the highlights:
Cute cousins Ruby and Ryan playing at the table on Saturday. They play so well together! I love that they love each other so much. Great weekend, gorgeous weather, lots of eating and socializing. So fun to sit and watch the kids play all weekend. Ryan and my bro stayed over Friday and Sat and my cousin Lauren came up with her husband on Saturday. We all had a great time. Jeff blew up the pool for the kids and we put her slide in it so they could splash into the water. They must have gone down that slide at LEAST a hundred times! It just never got old! (Will post pics of this when I get them from my cuz). Yesterday we tried to blow up the pool again and the dang thing was flat an hour later. Haha. The kids wore it OUT. Wondering how many of those inflatable pools we will buy this summer. :-)
Monday morning was story time and music at Barnes & Noble. Ruby loves this and loved it even more when her friend Brianna and her mommy showed up! We took the girls to lunch afterwards and they really enjoyed it. She was very funny at the book store. Was trying to pet the girls hair in front of her so we had a little talk about not touching people we don't know. She loved Mr. George (playing guitar) so I told her "no touching" his leg this time because while he is nice, we don't really know him. I said only friends and family we touch. I wan't sure if she was totally listening or got it but when she ran up to hear the music, she put her hands behind her back! LOL! She stood there in front of him watching and often smiling but kept her hands in that position the whole time. How cute is that?
Today was a busy day! We started out with our Little Gym class and it was "graduation" again - what they do at the end of each 10 week course. So cute. The kids all get a medal and were oh so excited/roudy! It was a big class today and it was as if the kids all new summer was here and cause to celebrate!  There wasn't much structure, but it was a lot of fun! Can't believe how big Ruby is getting. Jeff & I looked at this tonight and were just like, WOW. She really did get tall!

After class, we hit the park. Home for lunch and nap. Mommy got a whole hour and a half in the sun during nap time doing nothing but tanning and reading a mindless fashion magazine. It was lovely fun and I didn't feel one bit of guilt for it! Then off to wake up the miss, get her dressed, and hit the car for Sesame Place for a few hours with her friends Ava & Logan and their Mommy - my friend Charlsey. We were at the park from 5:30 to 8pm and packed up a dinner to eat there. It was so fun and the kids had an amazing time playing together. (Pics to follow)

Another big highlight was I got to sleep in my own bed with the hubs 5 whole nights this last week! Been skipping naps and taking her up early. Most nights this works well and she still gets 11 hours, but some days she is tired so I give her a nap. Try to just pay attention to her and make sure she gets enough rest. Slept through the night all but 2 times last week so this is also real good. She loves her big girl "princess" bed and has slept in it every night since we put it together, barring a nightmare of 2 when she hopped in with us in the middle of the night. Still, we are making progress!

Oh! Almost forgot! We go our test results back and no one has giardia around here! Ruby's stomach thing must have just been a virus and she is all better now. Hooray!

A million more pics to post. Trying to find time to put them all together and post. Will probably be on other blog so in dated order. Stay tuned!

...and have a great week!

Friday, June 11, 2010


That's the way I would describe our Tuesday. Just plain old happy. (Of course, I could say that about many days, but that day was particularly special). Met up with some friends visiting from out of town and we took the kids to Sesame Place for the day. SO. MUCH. FUN! It was so great to see my friend Liz and her kids and Ruby was the happiest camper ever. Started off with a show. Ruby was mesmerized. She was sitting nicely on my lap when all the kids started rushing the stage. I whispered in her ear "hey, you wanna go up there?" It took her all of 2 seconds to jump off my lap and run to the stage!
Yes, that is my daughters pigtails way up at center stage. My sweet little groupie tried to climb up stage left and I had to go get her! I let her stay up by the stage but stayed with her. She was so cute at the end when Elmo left the stage...she started to cry. "ELMOOOOOO!" she cried. Ha, ha -her first crush! I reassured her we'd see him again later and gave her a gummy and she quickly recovered. (Incidently, I found healthy organic gummies made with tea extract and loaded with antioxidants. Look for Teavana Menage a Gummies on Ruby loves 'em!)
Creating a little keepsake art...that turns into this:
Ruby could pick any animal and she wanted fish. So we will hang this in her bathroom. Very cute.

Cookie Monster wall. Hey, how many places can your child climb the wall...literally?

They have this great area, too, where the kids can just run and build and jump, then there's another section that is just one big 'ol jumping bounce house. The kids had a blast!
And then the rides. I went on one and then OMG I can not believe I let her go on this one. I was gonna go with her (though I know I would have gotten sick) but they had only one seat left when we got up there and they assured me she was fine to go alone. Ruby couldn't care less if I went. She just kept saying "UP! DOWN! UP! DOWN" and pointing to the ride. So up and down she went. I put her on and stepped back to watch. Thought I was gonna have a panic attack there for a minute. Surely they wouldn't let her go on if she wasn't safe? But I just looked at her little legs hanging off and nearly ran back to snatch her off there. But then the ride started. She was ADORABLE and laughing her head off the whole time. This kid cracks me up. She is such a dare devil!
So excited to meet "COOKIE!" as she calls him.
And of course, she HAD to get her face painted. She saw some older girls with this rainbow design when were waiting to get on the ride and had to get the same thing. They did her lips red and she was beside herself with giddiness. Must have said "Look! Lips! Ruby's!" like a hundred time before and after they did the make-up. When she took a sip of water 15 minutes later she stopped suddenly and said "uh-oh! LIPS!" I assured her they were still red and she lit up again. This child is such a glamour girl! I love it!
Happy on the "horsey ride" as she calls the carousel.

And last, but not least...the highlight of her day...meeting the infamous Elmo and giving him a hug!

This one they super-impose so it looks like she was on Sesame Street. It's really taken in front of a green screen, like this one:
I had the hardest time deciding between the two so I bought them both. Much better than the shots I took. I actually liked the green background so I had them leave it. But I especially love her sweet expression in this one and how happy she was to get a hug from Elmo. 

She was happy and silly the rest of the day and slept very well last night. When we first got home, she ran up to Jeff and said LOOK! LOOK! FACE! and pointed to her face painting. So funny! We put Elmo's pic (the one on Sesame St) in it's new Elmo frame by the TV in her playroom. She was so proud! And to think we have season passes and can go back again and again! It was a beautiful, sunny day but too cold to swim so we still have the whole water park section to see next time! Boy, it's gonna be the best summer ever!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Keeping Busy!

I was making dinner one night and I heard Ruby babbling in the next room. Not really making sense but just laladadeeda kind of thing. Yet very animated as if really saying something. I went in to find her "reading" The Toddler Busy Play Book.  LOL, I wonder if my book reading sometimes sounds like jibberish to her! And furthermore, I hope she found some great rainy day ideas that we haven't done yet. :-) Haven't seen that book for months actually. Guess I left it in the playroom and she dug it out. She sat there studying it for some time and for the life of me I can't figure what she found so fascinating about it. It has no pictures! Ah, the creative minds of a toddler! She was playing with her star fish vitamin this morning and started tapping on it. She smiled at me and said "computer". Oh, is it a computer? Yes, she said with pride. And then it was a piano that she played on. Oh and she still insists her poop looks like a hippo. LOL. No lack of creativity here!

But back to being busy...we have had so much fun lately and I have a zillion pics and stories to tell. Will be up to my usual tricks and am back-dating so be sure to scroll down and check the other blog, too. Trying to keep in dated order for the book I hope to finish sometime in this millenium!

Monday, June 7, 2010


Our Thursday play date has become a wonderful and important part of our week. As Dawn and I have become good friends, so have our daughters. At first thrown together by us, they now look forward to seeing each other and call out the other's name. It's so sweet to see them interact and hold hands and have fun together. Brianna will light up when Ruby comes in and yell "Ruby! Ruby!" And Ruby will often grab her hand and hug and kiss her unprompted. It's the sweetest thing!

Last week it was too hot and sticky to hit the park after music class so Dawn had the brilliant idea of going for mani's and pedi's after lunch. The girls LOVED it and I must say we mom's sure did, too! Ruby & Brie sat still for the longest time and had a ball. Both chose shades of pink and got a flower design - Brie on her nails and Ruby on her big toes. Boy, were they ever proud! Both have been showing everyone they know (and don't know) their newly painted fingers and toes all week. What a fun mother/daughter/girlfriend thing to do!
Wish I got a better picture of it, but we've been running ever since. This is a shot RUBY actually shot of her toes the next day. 
Monday we did a picnic in the park and then got a little exercise for the momma's and stroller ride for the cutie pies. Both were angels and their patience paid off with a trip the swings and slides at the end. Another great outing!
I love how Ruby is playing with Brianna's hair here and she isn't minding it one bit. They are really comfortable together.
I was just about to put the camera down but they were still sitting like that together so I just had to take one more. How lucky we are to have these sweet girls in our lives and how great to make such good friends! Life is good!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Catch Up!

So much fun. So little time to write. As we head into summer I am thinking my blog posts will get shorter and shorter or just less of them. SUMMER! Can you believe it's here already? I can't believe how the time has flown by. We love being outside around here. Love eating out, grilling, being in the garden, watching the little miss splashing in her pool or water table, having friends and family over, etc. Memorial Day Weekend was wonderful. Will post about that later. For now, I have gone back to posting on Little Miss Ruby temporarily so I can add pics in dated order. Check them out here.