Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Time Has Come...

to close this blog. I want to end this story only to begin another. Our new blog, about our family adventures, is The Magic of Monkey Feet... where the jungly fun has just begun. .

Please come join us.

Amanda, Ed and Gabriella

Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Cousins are Here! My Cousins are Here!

Well, it's true. Gabi's cousins are here!!! These are her only first cousins, Spencer and Griffin. They are so smart, so sweet, so much fun. We have had a ball. They arrived yesterday with Aunt Hilary and Uncle Steve in tow. I am so impressed with the kids. The boys are so sweet and patient with Gabi. They hold her hand, they help, the look out for her and they kiss her.

The kids were in the pool for most of the day today. Griffin learned how to swim with his water wings by himself. Before he needed to hold onto someone. Not anymore!!! Once he started doing that, he spent a lot of time in the spa swimming back and forth and back and forth. And then he would swim across once, kiss Gabi across the separating wall and swim back to the other side. He did this over and over. Adorable!!!

We also set up an obstacle course for the kids this morning. There is a circle upstairs because the bathrooms between two of the bedrooms is a jack-and-jill. They would run around from the playroom, bedroom, bathroom, other bedroom and back to the playroom. We set up the tunnel and Gabi's ladybug chair as obstacles. They had to go through the tunnel, jump over the chair, yell "hooray" and then through the rooms. They loved it. Occasionally, Gabi would sit in the chair so they couldn't jump over it. In that case, they either had to kiss her or give her a high five. They had the BEST time! We wore them out. And the exciting part is that I can tell already that Gabi is becoming more social with her peers. She is playing WITH them, not next to them or by herself. At this age, that's so common, but she is already playing cooperatively with them. She thinks her cousins are sooooo funny!

Unfortunately, Hurrican Gustav is headed right for us, so they are going to have to leave earlier than planned. We are disappointed, but certainly understand their predicament. We have to hunker down. GG is supposed to arrive on Monday to stay for the week. We're not sure she'll be able to get in, but we'll see.

The pics aren't in a logical order. But enjoy them anyway...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pics from Dante's Inferno

Oh, she's gonna kill me for this one.

Interesting Early Word...

When my sister, Paige, was little, she talked... a lot! Her first word, so the story goes, was pickle. She walked around repeating it as fast as she could--- pickle, pickle, pickle. It's funny since she later grew to love a pickle of virtually any nature. Another squirrelly word that she used a lot was "budla." According to Paige, a budla was a washcloth. Well, Gabi takes after her aunt in a lot of ways. She talks a lot, she sleeps a lot, she's bright and she has crazy hair. Although it isn't an invented word like "budla", it is an odd word to use in your early repertoire. It's "bucket" and it's critical to Gabi's every day conversations with the world. The only things she talks about more than her bucket (from Aunt Sue and class) are her mama and daddy.

Enjoy the video...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Promised Pics

The Playground for Toddlers and Preschoolers

The stables, paddock and cow beside the Toddler House-- they have an equine program
The pool
Big Kids playground

Gabi's last day with AMZ and MK
Getting ready for school--backpack and 1st day dress
Playing before school
Worn out after lunch and all that learning

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gabriella's First Day of School

Well, I did it. I took Gabriella to her new school this morning. She was supposed to go yesterday, but she was under the weather. In fact, all of us were. However, she was able to go this morning. It's a better situation for her to start today. She'll only go from 9-1 today and tomorrow. On Friday, she'll have to go all day. I'm not looking forward to that. She will have pretty long days with someone else.

The bright spot is that I met her teachers and they are wonderful. She got down from my arms, walked right over to Ms. Maria and sat in her lap. She's really into saying "mama" now and after a couple of minutes, she was showing Ms. Maria her mama. When I went to give her a hug and kiss, she started crying. That'll break your heart and make you feel like a terrible parent all rolled into one. But I know she's doing great. I was ecstatic to hear that they teach Spanish in their classroom as well. Woohoo! That was the only thing I was bummed about with this arrangement. I am so excited about this school, I could just flip.

I have pics to post of her from before school, but I thought I'd take some of her in her new classroom today when I pick her up. I just hate that she's big enough to go off to school already. But she is one cute student!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

BIG News at Gabi's House

Gabriella Lilisol has had a major accomplishment! She went peepee on the potty this morning after her nap. She has been waking up from her naps dry and I wanted to make certain that we didn't miss the opportunity to cash in on this little development. Yesterday, MK and Amanda Z and I went to Target to do some important shopping. The big item on the list was a new potty chair for Gabriella. I waited until this morning to show it to her. She practiced sitting on it in the living room before her nap. After her nap, we had major success. And she's very excited.

Immediately following the big girl potty incident, I ran to yell downstairs that she pottied. When I ran back in to the bathroom to do a dance with Gabi, I ripped my pants. I'm telling you-- it's a big day!

Our Gabi girl is growing up so fast!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Playing, playing, playing with silly friends

Gabi and Daddy blowing on hot food.

The Girls hanging out with Levi the Bear

Gabi has been so lucky this week. With Mary-Kelsey (aka Our MK) and Amanda Z here, Gabi has gotten an obscene amount of attention and cuddles. It's a bit ridiculous. We tried to take a lot of pictures today because we've been so busy that we keep forgetting.

Also, yesterday we had the first meeting of our Guate playgroup. We were not aware of one in our area with other Guatemalan adoptive families, so we started one. We hosted the first one. We had burgers from the grill and were able to swim after the rain subsided. It was great to meet some people from the area and watch these adorable kids interact. It looks like the group might be a success. Unfortunately, I was so busy hosting, I didn't get any pictures. Next time...

Here are some photos from today. Please note Gabi's beloved Levi. This is the bear that Gabi's cousin, Emmie, very carefully and lovingly picked out for Gabi long before we even met her. Gabi loves this bear so much that there is rarely a moment when she doesn't have Levi. She kisses him, hugs him, says "bear" and loves on him all day long. He sleeps with her and we think we're going to have to find Levi Dos--just in case.

Gabi's newest spoken words are "book, bucket, GG, car, bear, go."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Big, Big Friday!

Amanda Z and MK are here! We are having a lovely time hanging out in the pool, playing with Gabi, shopping, eating and avoiding the August heat.

Today, we went downtown to the Galleria to shop and get Gabi's ears pierced. Let me say that Gabi is a trooper. These pictures show her crying. However, she cried during the prep process and was barely bothered by the actual piercing. She didn't like having to hold still and she didn't like me holding her head so the woman didn't pierce her brain. That was what made her so angry. She stopped crying within 15 seconds of the actual piercing and was giggling. She is so cute with her new pierced ears. I wanted to get her ears pierced because it is customary to pierce infants' ears in Guatemala. She is beautiful!