Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Girls Have Moved

Now that Mallory and Peach have been Masha and Autumn for a few years, it is time to move them into the family blog. They still get their own page, Love Adopted, and you can still subscribe to just posts about them if you'd like. Come visit them and see how they are growing.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Still Here, Still Cute as Ever

I hate it when I go out to the RR Already Home page and click the blog links to check on the babies I advocated for, donated to, and generally fell head over heels for, and they are gone. The last post is from forever ago and I have no idea how those children are changing.

And don’t you know, I am guilty of it myself. It should not be hard to keep up a blog that is mainly bragging about and celebrating two of the most awesome orphans-no-more but it is, and I apologize for that.

Masha Grace

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Well, Masha turned five last April and celebrated in style with a cupcake extravaganza photo shoot given as a gift to her by Amber of amberjphoto.com. Over the summer she graduated from Pre-K.

Seriously, go click that link and see the rest from her photo shoot...
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Her transition into Gen Ed Kindy went more smoothly (for her, not me) than I had hoped. She has an aide and gets pulled out here and there for specials, but she is doing great in her class. Her vocabulary has blossomed, and though she is still very difficult to understand (apraxia most likely) she is speaking in three to four word sentences.

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Masha is our one-girl-band. Doesn’t matter the type of music, she will wiggle her thang... jam on her air guitar, and sing at THE TOP OF HER (rather powerful) LUNGS... which is pretty hilarious when the song is something like Skillet’s I Feel Like a Monster...

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She is also a clothes junkie. Doesn’t matter whose they are... if she finds them laying around she will put them on over whatever she is already wearing. And jewelry? Ha, her husband better have a fat trust fund because this baby likes her sparkles. Nail polish? Shoes? Gosh, she is the ultimate girly girl and I love it.

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Masha is healthy. We had a little scare a while back but thankfully it was just that, only a scare. She gets colds and sometimes has trouble breathing when she is all junky, but aside from that she is tough. In fact (knock on wood) she has never thrown up or had a case of diarrhea in the two plus years she has been with us (which cannot be said for the little reflux puker we adopted with her.)

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Masha has an iPad and it has a camera on it which she has figured out how to use. Her self-portraits are adorable and I know that one day she will be making duck faces and posting them on her own Facebook account, lol.

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Autumn Rose

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Autumn Autumn Autumn... where to begin... she is the most charming child on the planet, and I still cannot believe she was gifted to me when she was just a little baby. Whereas Masha’s parents can see her whenever they want to (via our continued connection with her grandparents), Autumn’s blood mother has no idea if she is alive or dead. She has no idea what an amazing little girl she gave birth to, and the more I love Autumn the more I wish her mother had the peace of knowing it.

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Autumn started attending a reverse integrated preschool this past September and turned three in November. She loooooves school and I am impressed at what she is learning and how she participates in the activities. (Reverse integration means there are more typical children in the room than children with identified special needs.) As you can imagine her teachers are head-over-heels for her.

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She is a talker. Her vocabulary is beyond my lazy ability to track, and now she has begun combining words... “wat dat?” “want dat” “where daddy?” “stop it” “hi mama” “bye cat.” She speaks very clearly for a toddler and so most everyone is able to understand her. Autumn also loves music and loves to dance. Any toy that makes music is a friend of hers (and any toy that looks like an animal and moves on its own is an enemy... yeah, Zuzu pets were NOT a hit.)

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Autumn feeds herself using utensils and is quite adept at it. Lately she has started licking the bowl or plate if it something she really liked, so I have to be quick to take it away as soon as she is finished. She likes most foods and (perhaps due to being in failure to thrive for so long) has no off switch, so I have to be careful with her diet. As you can tell, she is a bit of a chunka munka but she fits in 3Ts so I figure she’s doing ok.

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She is also a very healthy child... nothing beyond a runny nose since her reflux cleared up two years ago. But she is sensitive... she cries easily. And she cries hard, uncontrollably, and a long time over almost nothing sometimes. I am hoping she grows out of it :-) Anyway, because of this it is hard to tell when something is seriously wrong with her or if she is just testy.

Go away Santa, I don’t like you...
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Waaaah, where’s the beach?
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Autumn is still the queen of kisses. I get kisses when I wake her up, kisses while she sits on the potty, kisses when I put her shoes on, kisses goodbye, kisses hello, kisses pretty much anytime she is within two feet of me and I love it. She is generally affectionate with all of us and even those who are just acquaintances are treated to hand-blown kisses. Although, unlike Masha, Autumn does not buy into the kiss your boo boo and its all better routine.

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Overall both our girls are doing fine. Thank you for still caring enough to stop by here and see them :-)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

You Can Take the Girl Out of Ukraine

But can you take the Ukraine out of the girl?

The other day I took Masha to her follow-up eyedoctor appointment. It was hot out, really really hot out. When we returned to the van afterward and the side door slid open, virtual flames poofed out at us. Masha said, “hot” and I agreed. In fact it was so hot that I worried that she might overheat while I was strapping her into her carseat and whatnot before I could get the AC going. As I was inserting the clips into the buckle, she reached down and pulled up my NY Giants fleece blanket that I keep in the van. I pushed it away and reminded her that it was HOT. She pulled it back and tucked it over herself, up under her chin. Seriously, Masha, seriously? Only a Ukrainian girl (okay maybe an Eastern European girl) would put a blanket over her on a hot summer day.

That got me thinking about how much Masha is still a little Ukrainian. She has a thing for my sexy heels. She does not like to be undressed, and will in fact layer herself in her own and anyone else’s clothes she can find. She mothers her little sisters and scolds us all as she sees fit.

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She calls me “Mommika”. It happened about six months after she came home. She was in her crib and she wanted out... I heard her calling to me, “Mama... Mama... Maaaaama... Maaaa---ma... Mommika.” There it was... my sweetheart name. Though we did not change her name, we never called her by the sweetheart version of it. She did not get this from us. It is something she remembered from her native culture. And I love it. I love to hear her sing-song voice calling to me when she really wants me, “Mom--mi--ka.”

And yet, she is an American girl. I heard her in the livingroom one day yelling at my oldest son, “I want Wii!” Ever since my girlfriend babysat her and spoiled her with ice, she wants ice cubes in her cup, and she will not stop pestering me until she gets them. Now she eats what she likes, and leaves the rest. She has even learned how to hold and eat a hamburger sandwich. And she looooves ice cream.

Yum!
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Brain freeze?
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Soccer girl
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Easter basket delight
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Gift from Grandma and Grandpa in Ukraine
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Strawberry picking
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Walking with the Gecko
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Friday, June 15, 2012

Then and Now

Remember baby Peach?

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My how she has changed. She has grown from a tiny 10 month old pile of mush into an adorable toddler... who has a bold side. She is walking and talking (and signing). Ask her almost any question and she will answer you with a "Yah." If I had time, I'd make a video of her answering all sorts of silly questions like,

"Autumn, is mommy the best mommy in the world?"

"Yah."

"Autumn, have you been naughty?"

"Yah."

"Autumn, is daddy crazy?"

"Yah."

"Autumn, are you a chunky monkey?"

"Yah."

"Autumn, is it bed time?"

Silence.

She pulls out her ponytails, and breaks her bracelets. She cries while the water is filling up the tub and then screams laughing when the bath is ready. She is working hard on potty training and sometimes she will tell me when she has to go.

She is a daddy's girl through and through, and even calls me daddy. If I am holding her and she sees him, forget it, she is gone. She looks all around the house for him while he is at work.

Autumn has enough kisses for everybody. She will plant one on you if you get too close, or blow you one if you are out of reach. She is a social butterfly and loves attention, but waves me away and says, "No!" when I point the camera at her.

I got her today though with the long range lens...

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Piano Lessons?

At least once a day I am summoned to the living room by Jade screaming at the top of his lungs, “I. can’t. hear. the. T.V.!” Usually it is Masha or Autumn putting on a lovely and loud piano concerto.

But today I had to laugh, and run for the camera because it was Masha and Autumn playing doubles. The living room was alive with crazy notes and vivacious singing (and a very unhappy audience of one yelling above it all that HE CAN’T HEAR THE T.V.).

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Autumn has actually figured out that if she sets one of the little wooden chairs up backwards at the edge of the piano, she can stand up and reach the keys from a better angle.

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I am pretty sure I'll be looking for a piano teacher in the near future.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Just One of the Boys

I used to think how lucky Masha is that she has two big brothers to protect her... Now I think how lucky they will be to have her as a backup :-)

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pictures as Promised

Masha's First Year of Pre-K Graduation
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Kimani "reading" to Autumn
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Masha at soccer practice
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Masha's twins
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Autumn turns two
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Double cold at the soccer tournament
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Masha feeding the goats
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The apple picking field trip
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Upsidedown Autumn
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The daddy train
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Making gingerbread houses
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Autumn playing piano
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Princess Autumn blowing kisses to her fans
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Now children, please tell Santa you want a nanny...
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Christmas morning (minus Kimani who wouldn't stay in the picture)
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Christmas stocking time
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Masha our rock star in training
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Autumn understood the whole present thing this year
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Autumn and grandpa
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