Lilypie Trying to Conceive Event tickers

Lilypie Trying to Conceive Event tickers

Monday, April 15, 2013

Turning five...

Today my baby turned five.  I am stunned that she is already five years old, and I find myself fighting harder and harder to keep her my "baby," as she struggles to assert her independence.  Needless to say, this makes for some interesting times, as well as some frustrating ones, but I can honestly say that I am proud of the person she is becoming.

Her last weekend as a four-year old was hectic.  She has been taking figure skating lessons for over a year now and participated in her first-ever ice shows - three to be exact.  The weekend was a whirlwind of costuming, make-up, hair, and breathless anticipation of the show, and RP LOVED it.  She was upset when it was over on Friday, stating that she wanted to go back and do it again - right now!  Luckily, she had two more opportunities on Saturday, which followed her ballet class in the morning, so needless to say she was one sleepy kiddo by Saturday night.

RP proclaimed Sunday to be "the best day EVER!"  We woke up and headed over to Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast, followed by running a few last-minute errands.  Once we got home we baked the brownies RP wanted to bring to her pre-school class for her birthday, and then I received the honor of frosting them and adding the candy sprinkles (because really, brownies just DON'T have enough sugar in them unless you funfetti-up the frosting - or so I've been told!).  We had the first really nice day of spring, so RP went outside to play and I soon followed, only to find myself in a whirlwind soccer game, followed by a lame attempt to fly a miniature kite (damn you Mary Poppins!!!), followed by a brief lesson in the fine-art of Frisbee tossing, and culminating in a bug hunt, complete with a march through the back yard making up a hunt theme song as we went.  I hate bugs but found myself scooping up spiders, lady bugs, and anything else that stood still for 0.009 seconds and RP and I took turns looking at them through the bug catcher the Easter Bunny was kind enough to bring (silly rabbit!).  Dinner came and went, and RP was STILL trying to perfect her hunt theme song, which took on a rock-style flair complete with electric guitar playing that rivaled mega rock stars of the 80's, and I laughed until my stomach actually hurt.  When she finally went to bed, RP declared the day the BEST EVER, before rolling over and falling asleep before I even turned off her light.

The birthday girl was a bundle of excitement today, and she stated the day with a few presents and a donut with a "5" candle in it.  I was impressed that I remembered to bring her brownies when we left for pre-school, and while she was in school I ran a ton of errands to get ready for her parties, which are being held on Saturday.  After I picked her up from school we went to Nana and Papa's so we could go out to dinner, and RP was thrilled when the restaurant staff brought her ice cream AND sang "Happy Birthday" to her (side note:  I really need to review how that whole process works, as she joins in singing the song every time she hears it, even when she is the one being sung to!).  Dinner was followed by an "awesome" Batman cake from Nana and Papa and lots of cool presents, including a soccer set, Gotham City's jail, Barbie Lego's, and a brand new set of (Power) wheels!

Tonight while I was putting her to bed, RP declared today "the best day EVER!"  I reminded her that she said that yesterday, and she simply smiled at me and said, "Yes, Mommy - yesterday was the best day ever as a four-year old.  TODAY was the best day ever as a FIVE-year old."  While this made me chuckle, what happened next brought tears to my eyes.  She folded her hands and announced that she had a special prayer to make tonight instead of her usual.  She closed her eyes and thanked god for her birthday, her presents, her family, her presents, her cake, her presents, and her home.  Then she proceeded to say, "... and thank you for my family who I love very much and who loves me.  You gave me such a special family God and I love them all, and I love you for giving them to me.  I love my home, my family, and you for everything you give me, so thank you God very much."

With tears in my eyes I kissed the top of her head, and my heart whispered the same prayer she just said aloud.  Thank you God for everything - for I am truly blessed. 

Happy birthday my little Russian Princess - Happy Birthday....

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Gotcha Day - three years later...

I can hardly believe that today RP and I celebrated our three-year anniversary of our Gotcha Day!  It truly has been a whirlwind adventure, filled with lots of laughter, tears, pain, and celebration.  One thing that it has not been filled with?  Regret.  Although the road was long, bumpy, and sometimes seemed insurmountable, I have never looked back at my decision to adopt, or the process itself, with regret.  This process made me stronger as an individual, tested my very beliefs and desires, and made me the person I am today. 

RP has turned into an amazing little girl.  I stared at our Gotcha Day picture today - the one taken outside of Baby Home #1 in Russia, and can clearly see a little girl who is lost, confused, and scared to death.  Today she is an outgoing little girl who makes friends wherever she goes and wears Mommy out with her boundless energy.  She is sweet and sensitive with a splash of daredevil in her, and she keeps me on my toes!  This last year has brought a new school for RP, a new job for Mommy, and soon a new home for us as we move into a new chapter of our lives.

We celebrated our 3 year anniversary with Nana and Papa tonight with a huge home cooked meal, something that I enjoy doing but don't do nearly often enough, and Nana and Papa brought us a beautiful cake that said, "3 years ago today..."  Three years ago today I took RP for her first car ride, her first airplane ride, her first night in a hotel, her first bath in a huge bathtub, and most importantly, her first night with her FAMILY.  Three years ago today I slept very little as I kept getting up to check on her in her crib, touch her just to make sure I wasn't dreaming, and thanking God for the blessing I was given that day.

I was scared to death that first day, and especially that first night.  Three years later that fear has subsided as I realize that parenting is something that you learn as you go, and no one can tell you the "right" way to do things, but that fear never goes away.  I still slip into RP's room every night (sometimes several times a night), just to listen to her breathing peacefully as she sleeps, fix her blankets, and kiss that sweet cheek just one more time.  I whisper "I love you" into her ear every night before I go to bed, as well as every chance I get during the day.

These last three years have flown by, and I continue to beg for time to slow down so I can enjoy these days with RP.  Despite my repeated requests for her to do so, she won't remain my baby forever.  In only a few short weeks she will turn 5, and I long to have my baby back and to get an opportunity to relieve these past three years again, but since that isn't going to happen I am going to live for the moment and enjoy watching her continue to grow into an amazing, beautiful, and dynamic little girl.

I love you my little Russian Princess - with all my heart, and all I have to give.  You make me proud to be called your Mommy...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fall fun stuff!

I find that I am continuing to start my blog posts with the "I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted" statement, and this one is no exception.  I can blame being a busy, single mom with a full-time job and a pre-schooler with a more than full-time calendar, but the simple truth is that while yes that is true, I simply choose to use what time I have available either playing with her, or trying to find a moment or two to actually relax (no easy feat!).  The fall is whisking by us, and I can hardly believe they are calling for snow showers tonight, let alone the fact that Thanksgiving is only a week and a half away!

The fall was eventful, and more of the same is on tap for the remainder of the year.  Our yearly pumpkin patch visit with close friends was fantastic, although it was weird to go to the pumpkin patch when it was almost 80 degrees outside (can you say "unseasonably warm" that day???), and we actually visited a different pumpkin patch about a month later with different friends as well.  It seemed as if every weekend was booked with some event or activity, and this was in addition to RP's five days a week in Pre-K, ice skating, gymnastics, and ballet lessons!  She tires me out, and I am thankful for an uber-supportive family who assists me with RPs comings and goings - I don't know what I would do without them!

Two big decisions have also manifested themselves during this time frame.  First, our housing situation.  Being laid off for over 8 months, then taking a job which cut my salary almost in half, has pushed me to the point that I am now working on trying to secure approval for a short sale of my home.  I should have done this a LONG time ago, but stubborn pride prevented me from taking this course of action, and I am now left with no other real choice.  Many tears have been shed over this decision, but I know in the end it is the best decision for myself and my daughter, and I am optimistic that this signals a new beginning for us.  Now, if I could just get the bank to stop dragging their feet and actually make a decision...

Second, my employment situation.  My current job definitely has the perk of being a "work from home" role which allows me some pretty great flexibility.  The downside?  I spent about 2-4 hours a day in the car commuting to my job as I need to be in my centers each and every day.  I have been looking and trying to find something new over the last few months, and this search continues stronger than ever as we head into the winter months - I REALLY don't want to have a repeat of last year when it took me 5.5 hours to get home in a snowstorm!  I know in finding something new I most likely will be giving up a lot of the flexibility and autonomy that I have in my current role, but I need to find something more stable (and hopefully providing more income!), and I am willing to accept that trade-off for the RIGHT role.

Heading into Thanksgiving, I can't help but reflect on what I am most thankful for, and at the risk of sounding redundant, here is just a sampling:

- I am thankful for my family.  They have been there for me, comforted me, and kicked me in the a$$ when the need arose.  Without them I would be lost, and without them I would not be the person I am today.

- I am thankful for my daughter.  She makes me laugh, she drives me crazy, and she has shown me that there truly is no limit to the amount of love you can give to another human being, nor is there a limit to the amount of love you can receive.  She teaches me something new every day, and she makes me proud to be her mama!

- I am thankful for my friends.  I don't tell them often enough, and I know I don't show it, but my friends have shown me that you don't need to be family to show love.  Like my family they have shown me support, compassion, and kicked me in the a$$ when I needed it (are you sensing a theme here???) and I love them all to death.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea.  Headed into the holidays I am going to try to post more and get back to keeping this blog up-to-date, as I know one day I'm going to kick myself for not keeping better records of RPs life before she is all grown up!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Early fall...

It doesn't seem possible that fall is already up on us - where did summer go?  As usual, I have been woefully remiss in keeping this blog up-to-date, and I can't believe I haven't updated this since June.  Yes, I think that officially makes me a slacker!

RP continues to amaze me as she is getting SO big now.  Her chunky baby face has now melted into a cute little pre-schooler face, and while she is still tiny for her age, I sometimes can't help but stare when I see her because a true little girl has replaced my toddler. 

Summer was a busy, but fantastic, time.  We spent as much time as possible outside swimming, playing, and bike riding, and had a lot of great outings with family and friends!  RP completed her 3-year pre-school year at LA and moved over to a P-8 school for Pre-K.  Crazily enough, she is going to the same school that I graduated from, which makes me feel both old AND proud at the same time!  She LOVES Pre-K and comes home every day chattering incessantly about the new things she has learned.  I think the best thing I did for her was enroll her in school every day, unlike last year when she attended pre-school only two days a week.

Fall has already been chock-full of fun stuff to do, with more on the way.  RP and I took Nana up to the huge outlet mall to do back-to-school shopping, and my baby got her ears pierced the same day!  She was the one who wanted them done, and she did not shed a single tear during either piercing!  She also started ballet classes at a dance academy, which, when coupled with her gymnastics and ice skating lessons, makes her ONE busy busy girl!   We were also able to attend three NASCAR races and one MLB game this year, and have our annual pumpkin farm visit planned for the end of the month with good friends.  Then there are at least two more birthday parties to celebrate before the holidays are upon us, and they certainly are approaching fast!

Here's a flashback to our summer fun:

Splashpad fun in the Quad Cities
NASCAR cutie!
Sunflowers in bloom!
Jumpie fun with the cousins!
Pre-K Orientation Day!
First Day of School!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Updates at last....

I have clearly been lacking in the update department, as I have gone over a month now without posting a thing!  It seems that there is either nothing new to post (which is not the case) or that there is never time to post it (also, not the case - I've just gotten lazy).

I still can't  get over the fact that my baby turned four almost two months ago.  I'm not sure where the time has gone, but I sure wish it would slow down!  She is getting bigger and bigger every day, and I am in constant amazement of the things she says and does.  The alphabet and counting are coming along well for her, and she certainly has a flair for the drama as evidenced by her play habits as well as her endless requests for me to take video of her just being silly.  She continues to love her figure skating class, although now that she has moved up beyond the basic class she certainly has her work cut out for her, as it's no longer about staying UP on the skates, but actually learning to glide.  I think she could do it if she just put her mind to it, but my little peanut apparently has quite the competative streak in her and for her its more about being the first to get somewhere on the ice, not how she managed to do it.  She also continues to enjoy her gymnastics class, and I was kind of excited to have skating and gymnastics flipped for the summer so I can see how far she has come in the last year.  She does fantastic on the balance beam, can almost do a complete cartwheel by herself, and is fearless about spinning on the bars and jumping into the foam pit.  This past weekend she took a nasty tumble off an inclinded mat, however, and landed on the side of her neck and I almost had a heart attack!  Luckily she wasn't really hurt and she popped right up and tried it again, but it took the rest of the class period for my heart rate to return to normal...

Speech is still the area RP has the longest road to climb in.  While I can understand most of what she is saying, she still drops her "s's" in the beginning of words and "l's" in the middle of words, so I know speech therapy is in our future.  I thought the pediatrician was going to call in a referral to have her tested again, but since it's been almost 8 weeks and I haven't heard anything, clearly I am going to have to take control of this issue and get her started.  Her pre-school teacher actually doesn't seem to think it's a big deal, but she is going to start reading soon and I want to be sure we are on a good path before she hits kindergarten and has to read out loud for the class - kids can be cruel enough without giving them something to be cruel about.

I guess the other big update is that RP and I have had two heart to heart conversations about her being adopted.  She has always known she is from Russia, but she now understands that she has a birth mommy there and didn't come from my tummy (although, she is still struggling with that one too, since she just keeps telling me that babies can't possibly come from the tummies of mommies unless the mommies ate them, because that is the only way ANYTHING gets in our tummies!) but rather was born in my heart.  These conversations have been difficult for both of us - her in understanding what I am talking about, and for me in reliving what were some very painful times before the joy of having her in my life finally came true.  She has seen me cry, and asked me about those tears, and I hope she truly understands that it was a labor of love and that those tears truly ARE the happy kind - the kind that fall when your heart is so full of love that it doesn't know what else to do.  I know these are only the first of what are MANY discussions to come, and I'm just hoping I don't screw them up too badly!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Four years old already?

So, this past weekend we celebrated RP's fourth birthday. I can hardly believe my baby is already four years old! Every day I am noticing that she is less and less my little baby, and more and more a true "little girl." Her chubby cheeks and hands are giving way to a heart-shaped face and skinny little hands and legs. She is talking up a storm, and asking "Why?" about a million times a day, and she definitely has developed her own little personality - outgoing all the time, borderline sassy some of the time, and totally lovable!
The birthday weekend started Friday at 6:30 a.m. when a little finger poked me and said, "Mommy, I need to get up now. I'm too 'cited to s'eep!" RP knew her birthday party was scheduled for school that day, and lucky for me there was no dawdling in getting ready to go - she was up and at 'em, and zipped through our morning routine so she could jet over to school for the day!
While she was partying it up at school, I was running around like a crazy person getting last minute food, decorations, and beverages for the party, then had to head back to school for a 4:30 parent-teacher conference (RP is doing wonderfully and is among the top in her class - go figure!). After school I took RP for Mommy-'n-me pedicures where she had her toes painted a delightful shade of blue, and alternated between being excited to be there, and moaning that Mommy's toes were taking too long!
Saturday was a frenzy of activity in getting the puppies boarded, finishing cleaning, decorating, and food preparation, and before I knew it the first guests were at the door. Parties are always bittersweet for me because I love having everyone over, but there is so much to do that I always feel like I never truly get to talk to anyone, and I felt this way on Saturday. The kids all seemed to have a good time, judging by the amount of noise and toys on the floor, and the fact that RP crashed so hard after the party that I undressed her for bed and brushed out her hair and she never so much as fluttered an eyelash, so I hope the adults felt the same way (good time, not passing out cold!).
Sunday was another bright and early day as we headed to RP's ballet class, then left for RP's final "secret surprise" which was an overnight trip to Key Lime Cove (in keeping with our beach-themed birthday). We picked up Nana and Papa and headed north for almost 24 hours of fun at the waterpark, and we were not disappointed! RP is a little water baby and had a blast splashing around the pools and braved waterslides that made bigger kids cry! Even Mommy got in on the fun - I have never been so wet or so bruised in my life but I have to admit, we had fun!
Today was RP's first day in several that there hasn't been a celebration in her honor, and she took it in stride. We headed off to gymnastics class where I was impressed as to how much she has learned since the last time I saw her class, then had lunch out, and ended up at RP's four-year physical where she had to have one shot, which left her sore, grumpy, and terrified of doctors (yet again!). After the doctor's office we went for ice cream, which redeemed her faith in humanity (and especially Mommy), and all was right with the world again.
I can't believe my baby is four, and that in less than a year I will be planning her fifth birthday party! How can we slow down time - it's going by MUCH too fast for my liking!
RP celebrates turning two!
RP celebrates turning three!
RP celebrates turning four!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Day at the Aquarium

Since Uncle C and her cousins were on Spring Break this week, RP was invited (along with Nana and Papa) to head into the city to visit the aquarium today. I should mention I was invited as well, but couldn't take the day off as I'm taking a few off already in a couple of weeks for RP's birthday, and it was tough to not be able to experience this with RP, as we have never been to the aquarium before (well, I have, but she had not).

It was also tough for me to truly let go and let RP head into a big, metropolitan city without me. It's not that I don't trust Nana and Papa, it's just one of those things. RP was truly excited about her upcoming adventure "to see the fishies," so much so that I worried about her wandering away or getting snatched away while in among the crowds. I gave Nana and Papa the stroller and her monkey backpack and knew that she would be alright, and most of all, that she would have a BALL.

I wasn't let down. The grin on her face when she saw me tonight and her animated descriptions of what she saw and did today was priceless, as was her death-grip on her new stuffed shark. She loved the penguins, the dolphins, and the whale and apparently was enthralled with the "Happy Feet 3D" presentation they had playing in one of the theaters. Bedtime tonight was a nightmare due to her incessant chattering of how her day went, and filling in the details as she recalled them - and it was so much fun for me to hear her re-live an experience she so clearly enjoyed, and while I still do hate having to miss out, I know that this won't be the last time it happens, and its good to know that she is so happy to share those details with me.

Now if only I could get her to provide this same level of detail when I ask how school is, I'd be set. As it is, the response is usually, "I don't know," which then requires me to almost yank teeth to get any sort of answer out of her...