Saturday, January 28, 2012

Owego Dance {Sunday Snapshot}

A had her Owego dance at school tonight.  Owego is the name of the school yearbook, so essentially it's the yearbook dance.  The theme of the dance this year is sci-fi.  A couldn't find any t-shirts that she liked that had anything to do with sci-fi, so she and her BF wore the same shirts they wore to his tolo dance a couple of months ago.

It's a "girls ask boys" dance, so A asked C where he wanted to go for dinner.  Rather than go out, he requested a German meal that I've made when he has been over before.  I thought that was least he likes my cooking! ;)

The weren't all that cooperative for pictures tonight.  They were goofing around so it was hard to get good shots.
I hope they're having a good time!

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This May Be The Easter Dress

There is a website I like called Zulily.  It's a website that offers daily deals on boutique items.  It can be kids' clothing, clothing for moms, jewelry, items for the home, etc.  It's kind of hit and miss.  Sometimes there's fantastic stuff and then you can get on for days and not see anything you like.  A couple of weeks ago there was a few days in a row where I found lots of things I liked for Cara.  I bought her a smocked Christmas dress for next year for $17.00 and a gingham bikini for $13.00.  I also bought this dress on zulily.  It's made by Beary Basics and I think it was like $26.00.  It came yesterday and Cara wanted to wear it today even though it's cold and snowy outside.

She looks so cute in it that I couldn't resist taking a few pictures of her.  I think this may be the dress she wears for Easter.

She said, "Let me make the face I made in China."  In one of her referral pictures she was pointing to her dimples.

 I think she looks so beautiful in this picture:

Cara looks really good in lime green and pink is her favorite color.

Here's a picture of the whole dress.  It ties in the back.  She has a pair of pink tulle capri leggings on underneath, but they are a 3T from last year and are so short on her now that you can't really see them under her dress.  I think I'm going to buy her new tutu tights from here.
What do you think?  Is this a good choice for Easter?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!

Cara was beyond excited for Chinese New Year today.  She got to dress up in her Chinese silks for preschool and have her hair in "China buns."  That by itself would be fabulous, but she also got to bring red envelopes, fortune cookies, Chinese toys, color pages, and a big red dragon to her class today.  I think she looks unbelievably gorgeous in her dress.

She also got to have her fingernails painted gold glitter.  She was thrilled!  For dinner we went out for Chinese food.  When we got to the restaurant, the waitress asked her what she wanted to eat, and Cara said, "Mac 'n cheese."  So funny!  I went back to the kitchen a few minutes later to order more appetizers and the waitress was telling the other staff in the kitchen that Cara wanted mac 'n cheese. ;)

Cara's flirty face. ;)  She was making this same face in one of the update pictures the SWI sent us when we were waiting for TA.  We knew she would be a pistol when we saw this face in that picture.
She had a wonderful day.  I'm so glad we were able to make it special for her.  Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cougar Basketball {Sunday Snapshot}

Fourteen members of our family went to Pullman this weekend to watch the WSU Cougars take on Cal in basketball.  We try to make it to at least one game a year.  It's pretty fun.  I was a little bit worried about the travel to Pullman because of all of the snow we got last week.  Here is Cara and cousin L at the game.  These two played, cheered, and danced throughout the entire game.

They saw Butch, the mascot in the crowd and ran over to say hi with cousin D.  When they came back Cara said, "Remember when I was scared of Butch?"  It really wasn't that long ago.  She would barely go near him during football season.

Here's the student section reading the paper as the opposing team line up was announced.  I couldn't take any more pictures after this one.  The usher came over and said no flash photography during the game.  I figured I was better off just putting my camera away.  At half time I took the girls to the bathroom.  While we were gone, the new head football coach, Mike Leach, came out on the court and spoke for a few minutes.  Kind of sad that I didn't get to hear what he had to say or snap a picture.

After the game we went to eat at a restaurant called, "Fireside Grille."  The new football coach came in with some recruits.  The guys in our family met him at the door, shook his hand, and asked him to sign their hats.  And Mr. Leach was gracious enough to do so!  We are excited about him as a new coach and look forward to football season next year.

This is how Cara looked this morning.  So cute!  She loves to pose for the camera...most of the time.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Cara's Reading Glasses

We all went to the dentist last Wednesday afternoon.  Everyone had a clean bill of dental health.  Yay!!!  At the dentist's office they make you wear sunglasses.  Cara got cool green star glasses.  She decided to wear them while she read this afternoon in front of the fire.  I popped the lenses out for her so she could see better.  She popped them back in as soon as she was finished reading.  She's so serious...

This book is called, "Mary Had A Little Jam."  It's funny versions of traditional nursery rhymes.  She pretend reads aloud as she turns the pages.

I think she's adorable; even in neon green star glasses. ;)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snow Day

Have you heard about the storm hitting the Pacific Northwest?  Yep!  That's us!  It started snowing yesterday morning and has either snowed or we have had freezing rain pretty steadily since then.  School was canceled today and we are not sure yet what tomorrow will bring for either school delays or closures.  I did go in to school this morning at 6:30 to answer phones and run out to cars and tell parents who didn't get the message that school was canceled.  J drove me in and came and picked me up at noon.  Once I was home he took the girls sledding out in the yard.  Cara still doesn't understand which way to lean on the sled, so she leans one way and A leans the other and they both get dumped off the sled.

Look at the snow coming down while J waits for the girls to climb back on.  It's actually snowing harder here now than when I snapped this pic from the front door.

And Buddy, our dog, just trails along after the girls.
It's a lot more snow than we normally get.  We live in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains, so we don't get a lot of precipitation here.  At least the kids will get to enjoy playing in the snow at their house for the next few days rather than having to drive up to White Pass to ski or sled.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Baby Jake

On December 21st my husband woke me up as he left for work at 5:00 a.m.  He said, "Good morning, it's baby Jake's birthday."  I kind of popped up and said, "What?  How do you know?"  He said he had been receiving texts from my brothers since 2:30 in the morning.  So A and I hurried up, showered, and headed to the hospital.  A and I got plenty of pics and video footage, but this pic is my favorite from that day.  Laying on his mommy's (my sister) chest the first thing he does is pop his thumb in his mouth. 

Today I got to take some more pics of baby Jake for his birth announcement.  These 3 are my favorites.  Love the look on his face in this one:

He seems to be saying, "Hello world, here I am," in this shot:

I like this one, too.  I can't believe he's almost a month old already.
He's a sweet little thing.  And he only peed on us twice while we took his picture! ;)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Building a doll house {Sunday Snapshot}

A got a doll house kit from Santa several years ago for Christmas.  It never got taken out of the box.  She found it under her bed while she was cleaning her room during the break and decided it was time to start putting it together.

A, Cara, and Daddy have been working on it off and on for a couple of weeks and it's slowly starting to take shape.

Cara's job is to hand A the shingles to glue on the roof.

She takes her work very seriously.  Love those eyelashes!  They were so short in China that I thought they might have actually cut her eyelashes off.  Now they're long.

Pretty, pretty A:

And beautiful Cara, who loves to ham it up for the camera:
I wonder how long it will take for them to finish this dollhouse.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

A and C pics

A's BF C is a senior this year.  His mom already took some senior pictures of him, but she wanted some more.  He doesn't really like having his picture taken, but he agreed to let me take some yesterday afternoon.  We stopped at a local winery first, but the gate was locked.  I snapped a couple of shots just in front of the gate.  Let me preface these shots by saying I am by NO MEANS any kind of professional photographer.  My philosophy of taking pictures is just to take a lot and hope a few turn out.

I snapped this one right before we left.  I think it's cute.

After leaving the winery, we went out to the farm to try and find some interesting textures for a background.  This was taken in front of a prop pile.  It's C's mama's favorite.

This one is my favorite.  The white building is a mint still.  This ladder is what you climb up to attach the device from the still to the top of the mint trailer to take out mint to be stilled in order to remove the oil from the leaves.  I don't remember what the hose is for.  Mint prices aren't good and my family stopped growing mint several years ago, so now the still is just used for storage.

This one is cute, too.  One of the last pictures I took before we left.  It was pretty cold outside and my fingers were numb.  We'll take more a different day with C in his letterman's jacket.  There is another galvanized shed that I think would make a good background for those shots.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

And now I've held her longer...

I wasn't sure how I wanted to title this post.  Cara was found at around 15 months of age and today she's been mine for 15 months.  At first I thought about, "And now I've loved her longer,"  but that wouldn't be true.  Her birth family will always have loved her longer.  Because I believe in my heart they still love her and think about her every day.  There's no way anyone who has met Cara can NOT love her.  She's funny and twirly and girly and cute.  She dances and sings and grins and cuddles.  She's fantastic.  She's deliciously naughty.  And stubborn.  And a little bit spoiled, I must confess.  And now she's ours.  We are so lucky!

She's been a part of our family for two Christmases.  Two Halloweens and Thanksgivings.  One Valentine's Day, Easter, and birthday.  We've taken her to parades, the movies, parties and New Orleans.  We've been there for her first day of preschool and her first parent-teacher conference.  We will get to experience a lot more "firsts" with Cara.  And I'm sure there is a mommy on the other side of the world that weeps for the loss of the firsts.  I think of her often.  I cannot imagine making the choice she did.  But I'm so very thankful that she did.

 She's goofy:

She's a pirate (Go Cougs!):

She's a kissy face:

She's our sweet baby girl:
I love you, sweet Cara, and I am so very happy to be your mommy.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Continued Language Development

Cara's language skills continue to improve at an unbelieveable rate.  Every once in a while she will ask a question about something and we realize she doesn't understand quite as much as we think she does, i.e. wondering how we were going to take a shower at Olive Garden for a baby shower.  But for the most part, she understands quite a bit of what is said.  The meltdowns/tantrums over lack of words have greatly subsided.  She still does it a little bit with B because he doesn't always take the time to explain things to her.

An excellent early literacy activity to do with toddlers/preschoolers is to sing nursery rhymes.  It teaches kids about language and helps them to understand rhyming.  At Cara's fall conference, her teacher mentioned that the only nursery rhyme she knew was "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."  And I felt bad.  My entire training as an educator has been on language development and literacy.  I should know better!  We had been teaching Cara what it's like to be part of a family; how to treat others and how to act in various social situations.  To me, that took precedence over academics.  And I still believe that stuff is more important than academics.  But she's ready for the pre-literacy activities now.   She loves them!  We used to snuggle in bed and I would tell her stories.  Now she wants to recite nursery rhymes.  She should be all set for spring conferences! ;)

Se still has some pronunciation issues:  "Eating their curves and whey," and "She stanked them all soundly."  But I think she's doing pretty well considering she's only been speaking English for 15 months and came home at 3 yrs and 4 months.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ski Lesson #2 {Sunday Snapshot}

We headed up to White Pass this morning for B's second ski lesson.  A decided after watching B last weekend that she would like to take lessons, too.  So B took lesson number 2 and A took lesson number 1.  We got to the pass and A and B hopped out of the truck and went over to the ticket stand to get their lift tickets for the day.  J and I took Cara into the lodge to find a place to sit.  I wasn't really planning to spend any time outside, so I didn't dress for the snow and neither did Cara.  Once we found a table, J left quickly to go help the kids go back to the truck, get their ski clothes, boots, skis, etc.   And Cara freaked out.  Like "panic attack" freaked out.  She couldn't catch her breath, she was crying, she was in my lap with her legs wrapped around my waist and fingers knotted in my hair.  She kept saying, "Where's Daddy, where's Daddy!"  I repeated to her over and over that if she would calm down and stop crying I would tell her, but that she couldn't even hear me over the panting and crying and I just held her close.  Then the guy at the table behind us left his 5-year-old little boy at the table and went to go throw his trash away.  And Cara freaked out even more.  "Mom!  That guy just left his little boy!  He just left him there!"  So I tried to explain that he was just throwing away their trash and the dad would be right back.  Thankfully he returned quickly.  That helped Cara settle down enough for me to tell her that her dad would be right back, what he was doing, and that we could text daddy and ask him when he was coming back.

J came back and then Cara was fine.  She was hungry.  She wanted chocolate milk and yogurt.  I've never seen her act like that.  I guess it's true what they say, attachment in adoption is one step forward, two steps back.  Normally we tell her exactly what's going to happen before we do anything.  We didn't think to do that today in a new situation and we got to see how traumatic it was for her.  We will try not to make that mistake again.

After Cara ate, she wanted to go outside to watch her brother.  While she was watching him, a man asked her if she would like to try snowboarding.  The man had brought his 4-year-old son snowboarding and he was getting a little tired.  So he volunteered to take Cara up the "magic carpet" and down the hill a couple of times.  I didn't think she would do it considering the episode she just had in the lodge, but she wanted to give it a try.  She didn't have snow pants and had to borrow her uncle's gloves, but she gave it a go.

Her tongue hanging out the side of her mouth is her concentration look.
 She loved it!
 She was so excited!
 Now she wants to go snowboarding. ;)  Thank you, kind stranger, for making Cara's day!
 B's teacher was better this week than the one he had last week.  That's him behind B.  I could definitely see an improvement by the end of lesson #2.  I hope B gets him as a teacher again.
 Awesome job, B!
 I couldn't get any front shots of A in her lesson.  There were tons of people all around.  It was difficult to get the shots that I did get.  Here she is, listening to her teacher.  A's teacher was really good this week, too.
 A got to ride the pommel up the hill on her first lesson.
A's teacher said she could skip lesson 2 and go straight to lesson 3.  B's a bit green over that! ;)  We will be back up at the pass next weekend for more lessons.  I'm thinking of leaving Cara with Grandma and Grandpa this time and spending the hour in the bar at the lodge!

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