Saturday, May 30, 2009

Home 5 months...

Wow, this last month flew by! Vera has now been home with us for 5 months. Vera is still doing really well. I don't think there is a language barrier at all anymore. You can tell her to do about anything and she knows what to do and does it, if she wants to!

She loves being outside. The weather has been great this month, so we have spent a lot of time outside. Every day before Kiara left for school, we would play outside and wait for the bus. Vera was never very happy when it was time to go inside.
We celebrated our first Mother's Day with Vera. She stayed in the church nursery for the first time and they traced her hands and then she "colored" on it.
She still eats well, but not quite as much as she use to. Just the other day, we discovered she knows how to do a somersault! I don't know what made her think to do this, but she just put her head down and rolled over. Then, she kept doing it over and over!

Vera loves bath time. She goes crazy in the tub. I think she will enjoy the pool this summer.
Vera loves Kiara. They play together a lot more now! It is great to watch. Vera loves to give hugs and kisses. I think the only person she spontaneously gives them to is Kiara. But, sometimes Kiara can be a little overbearing for Vera!
We did our 6 month post placement report this month. Since they base the 6 months on our court date that was December 12th, June 12th is our 6 month mark. And, the report has to be in Russia by that date. We only have 3 more of those and then we are done. Kiara, Vera and I made a trip to the capital the other day to get the reports apostilled. It felt kind of strange having Vera there, since all the othe times I was there before was when we were working on our dossier before we even knew who she was! Here is a pic of me and the girls at Target after we were done sending off the report. A nice lady saw me trying to take a pic of the girls and offered to take a picture of all 3 of us.
It is so strange for me to think that Vera has only been a part of our family for 5 months. I can't imagine her in any other family and I can't imagine our family without her. It is hard to describe how I am feeling. But, I know that God knew all along that Vera wouldn't be physically born into our family, but was born to be our daughter forever.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The pool is OPEN!!!

The weather today was sunny and in the 80s, so we headed over to my parents house to swim. They had just opened their pool for the season. My parents have only had their pool for a few years, but it has been such a blessing to Kiara's swimming ability. Kiara has gone from a child that couldn't get a drop of water in her eyes to one that jumps in with no fear. She is even a pretty good swimmer for a 5 year old. I can't take any credit for that, that all goes to my parents. They have done an excellent job of teaching Kiara to love to swim, and we hope they will be able to do the same with Vera.
Vera loves her baths. She will splash, kick and poor water all over herself. So much so that Kiara won't take a bath with her anymore since she splashes so much! So, my fear was that Vera would just jump in with no fear. But, she hasn't been as eager to swim as I would have thought. But, she enjoyed some time in the pool and I bet next time she will be eager to get in.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Arizona...

Finally, here is a summary of our fun week in Arizona to visit my sister and her family. It was a great trip and we had a lot of fun.

We flew out on Friday afternoon. We didn't get to the airport as early as we planned, so between standing in line and going through security, we basically walked right on the plane. Luckily, my parents were there to help us with all our carry ons, stroller, children, etc. The girls did well on the plane. Luckily, we had a laptop to play Vera's favorite show.
When we got there, my sister was there waiting for us looking as beautiful as ever! We ate at the Elephant Bar that night and settled into our rental house. The first 2 days were spent at Dani and Bobby's house hanging out and playing in the pool. It was a lot of fun. Sunday, we got to see Kyndall and Megan for the first time. They are becoming more and more like young ladies every time I see them.
Kiara was a fish in the pool!
The only bad part about the weekend is that we found out that Vera is allergic to dogs! She loved them and would let them lick her face. But, on Sunday her face was red, blotchy and a bit swollen. When we kept her from the dogs, it slowly went away. She also had a rash all over her body. I don't know to attribute that to the dogs or the sunscreen I put all over her body.
My poor baby girl. Here is Vera giving the doggy a kiss through the sliding glass door.

Monday, most of us went to a Cubs game. Vera and Kyndall stayed back with MiMi & Pa. Unfortunately, the Cubbies didn't win that night, but we had a great time. Ryan went back to see the Cubbies on Tuesday with my dad and by himself on Wednesday afternoon.
The one thing that Kiara wanted to do when we went to Arizona was to go horseback riding. So, on Tuesday, Ryan, Kiara and myself did just that. I was a bit nervous, but it was a lot of fun. Colt was our trail guide. Kiara got to ride her own horse, and it was white, jut like she wanted. Colt led Kiara's horse, I was behind them and Ryan behind me. After I got over my initial nervousness, it was very relaxing.
Kiara looked so cute in her riding cap!
The rest of the week we got to do some miniature golfing, go carting and bumper boating, shopping, hiking and more swimming. We also got to do some great eating. Elephant Bar, Firebirds, Pei Wei, pizza, ballpark food, etc.

Kiara loves Bobby & Dani!

We had a great time and can't wait to go back!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day...

I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day! I had a great day. This will sound strange, but my wonderful husband got up before 6 AM to go get me the Chicago Tribune! I have become a major couponer and the Tribune gets much better coupons than our local paper. I have tried to pick one up, but they are always out of them by the time I get there. Ryan got to the gas station around 6 AM and there were only 4 papers left. Plus, he got me a People magazine and a card. I had no idea he even had gone anywhere! We all went to church together. Vera gave me her Mother's Day gift by staying in the nursery without me and she didn't cry! Yea!

Kiara had brought me home a beautiful flower from school on Friday and brought another one home from Sunday school. She had been making me cards and pictures all week, too. She is a sweetheart. Although, she thought we should have done something fun on Mother's Day like go to Chuck E. Cheese!
After church we went to brunch at a local restaurant. Then, Ryan took care of the kids and I got to go shopping by myself. I only have one pair of dress pants, so I feel like I am always wearing the same thing to church. I had another pair but on our first trip to Russia they ended up with a huge slash through the rear end. I really hope it didn't happen while they were on me because I didn't notice the slash until I went to pack them! I hate buying pants, it is always so hard to find ones that fit me right. But, I did find a pair at New York & Company and some shirts to go with them. It was a great shopping trip.

When I got home, Ryan had taken the girls for a bike ride and was at the house of friends of ours and the girls were playing. So, we got Jimmy John's and had dinner together. It was a great evening.

I still need to blog about our trip to AZ. I will do that very soon, it just seems like the days are flying by!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Beautiful days...

I finally got to use my double jobbing stroller for the purpose I bought it for! When Kiara was an infant, I wanted a jogging stroller and decided to buy a double one because I figured we would have another child sooner rather than later. Little did I know, it would be 5 years before our second child would come into our lives. Luckily, Kiara isn't yet over the weight limit for the stroller.

This week we have had gorgeous weather, so we have spent a lot of time outside. It has been great. Here are a few pics!

I think Vera would like to go on the bus with Kiara!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Home 4 months...

We have now been home 4 months and Vera seems to be learning new things everyday! She is now a steady walker, for the most part. She also goes up and down stairs easily by herself. She can now say, Ki-Ki (for Kiara), I do, Elmo, Meow, Woof-Woof, nana (for banana), and maybe a few more. Even though she doesn't talk a lot, she will make herself heard! She doesn't like to be told no and will grunt as loud as possible when you tell her no or redirect her. She does not give in easily, which can wear me out at times. If I am consistent, she will learn, right???
I have taught her a tiny bit of sign language. She has been able to do the sign for "more" for awhile. During vacation, I taught her the sign for "please". The sign is rubbing one hand in a circle over your upper chest. Vera will take both hands and rub her belly. It is so cute, I will have to get a video of it! I think she now rubs herhands together when she is all done eating. I doubt that is the proper sign.

She loves to explore any cabinet or drawer she can find. I finally got smart and put rubber bands on the ones I could! She loves to be outside and especially loves the little house behind our swing set. She will scream as soon as you push her in a swing, but will go down the slide by herself.
video
She loves animals, but we think we discovered this past week in AZ that she is allergic to dogs! My sister has 2 and she loved them. She would let them lick her face. Then, her face got blotchy, red and swollen. She also got a rash all over her body, so I don't know to attribute that to the dogs or maybe the suntan lotion, dry air, heat, or what.
We can't imagine life without her. I will do an update on our trip to AZ soon!