Thursday, December 25, 2008

Play-dough Day

Thanks to the easy recipe from Mama Papaya we had quite a bit of fun making home made play dough. We did a triple batch and used some natural coloring and some funky neon coloring to make things a little more interesting. I have to say that both of the girls played with the brown play dough that was colored by cocoa and smelled divine, more than any other color.
Makenna decided she wanted to make something and decided on a girl. Here is her creation. She really did almost all of it herself, including the "rocking 'fro hair with a really pretty headband" and the funky lime green shoes. I was really impressed with her final results.

And, Kya, well she decided that it was more fun to try to take apart the play dough toys and to try and eat the play dough than actually do anything. Gotta love that crazy girl!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Yep, that how old my baby turned almost two weeks ago. How can it be, when it feels like she just turned three??? Waaaaahhhh!

So, Makenna is four. She is this little girl now, totally having lost the toddler thing long ago. How did that happen without me realizing it fully?? She is growing a ton, and smart, and sweet (mostly :)) and funny, and crazy. I just really and truly can not believe that she has been our lives for almost FOUR years already. The time has just flown by.
And, yet every year when this time rolls around I can't help but think about the person(s) on the other side of the world who have made heart-wrenching decisions and sacrifices that allow me to be the person she calls Mommy. Even after four years my mind just can't wrap around that. But, I am blessed beyond belief to be the one who kisses her goodnight each night and to see her smiling (usually:)) face each day. And, I forget that occasionally when I am exhausted from parenting her some days. She is a challenge for sure, but the reward is sweet. See for yourself. Some random pics of my sweet girl from the last couple of weeks(and yes I realize that it's winter where we live, but we pretend it summer sometimes and wear sundresses as evidenced below). And, no I do not make her pose all of the time, she comes by it pretty naturally--scarily naturally!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bath Time in Pictures

Usually the pics that we take at bath time never make it to the blog for obvious reasons. So, I decided to do a blog-worthy version of sweet Kya's bath time.

I love this mouth, so full of kisses.

Look at the hands on this girl-they are HUGE! (that is a duckie that she is smothering!)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Icey Africa

Looks a little like Africa right? That's what Makenna thought when we were outside playing. We were stomping on this big chunk of ice and Makenna started jumping up and down and freaking out,telling me to stop.

Makenna: "Mommy look, it's like your necklace. It's that big place where Ethiopia is!"

Me: "Africa?"

Makenna: "Yeah, I know. It's ice Africa though now."(with a tone that would imply duhhh mom)

Makenna: "It's where I lived when I was a tiny, tiny baby. I 'member it."

I have to say I was suprised she recognized it. I was proud of her for spotting it and recognizing it, and that she was proud of where she was from. I wear my necklace most days, because it keeps the girls with me during the day when I am away from them. All I have to do is touch it and I reminded of all that I have been given, and all that I have. They both love to play with that necklace as well, and Kya often holds it as she is falling asleep if I rock her. I hope they grow up with a special place for both Africa and Wisconsin in their hearts. With love for their roots and for their present.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

To Bean or Not to Bean

That is the question. We have all been sick all week, as evidenced by the fact everyone is still in their jammies in the pics below. So, I was trying to come up with some quiet, low-key activities (as much for me as for them!) that we could do. I had bought a couple of bags of mixed beans to let them play with, and to use to make some seed art projects. So, I poured the bags into two bowls, grabbed some various other bowls, measuring cups, and some spoons. Viola! An activity that kept the girls busy for close to an hour. It was great!!
I had Makenna sort some of the beans to work on some of her fine motor skills (one of the things we work on at sensory therapy as well) as well as making her cross the midline of her body (another therapy thing). She did it happily and didn't realize that we were even "working", but just thought she was getting to play. And Kya was more than content to pour from measuring cup to measuring cup to measuring cup. She was in heaven. And, so was I. :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sick Day(s)

Yep, that's what it took for me to finally make time to blog again. The girlies and I are both home sick with nasty little colds. Nothing huge, just a challenge when I don't feel good either. But, it did make me reflect on how full circle we have come in the last year. Kya actually woke up sick on Monday, and was SO snuggly when I got her out of bed. She was a ball of snot, but wanted so badly to love on me. She kept trying to kiss me, and would hug me and just plain old wanted her mommy! Finally!!!! I, of course, could not refuse the snot-filled kisses, as I have worked so hard to earn them from her. And, I really stopped to realize where we had finally gotten to.
A year ago you could not have convinced me that this day would ever come. I truly had reached one of the lowest points that I can think of in recent memory. This kid HATED me and all that I stood for. And, she had reason too for all that she had lost. Somehow I represented that for her and she resented me for it, and I resented her constantly rebuffing my efforts. I knew on a logical level that she was right to fight it, but it just wore me out sometimes. I really wondered if we hadn't just ruined her life and ours. I was completely unprepared for the intensity that our life took on for the first 6-9+ months after she came home. And, looking back, I am not sure that I could have done anything more to prepare for it, other than finding support systems ahead of time.

But now, I see her look at me and hear her squeal "Mommy" with one of the sweetest faces I have ever seen. She is so affectionate and snuggly and sensitive. She bounces through our house, finally realizing her place in our family, her forever family. She finally let her guard down enough to really love wide open with all that she is. I am reminded of it when I come home at night and she hurls herself at my legs to give me the hug of a lifetime. And when she cries when Daddy leaves a room, because she is still his #1 fan. Or when she and her sister are sitting side by side giggling at some non-existent hilarious happening. And, it starts to slowly erase the days, weeks and months of struggle when she first came home. It makes the thought of her not being here unbearable and unthinkable. And, it makes me ache to think of how much pain she was going through, and how tough she really is. It is humbling and wonderful and good. It is family.