Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Last Day of Age 2

Tomorrow is Mia's third birthday. Mind boggling, isn't it? I'm still trying to figure out how we got here so quickly.

I just watched the video that was a few posts back. I can't even believe the changes in her since then. She's a big girl now.
No more high chairs. No booster seats. She sits at the table like a big kid.

She's fully potty trained, except we still do diapers at night to make my life easier.

She knows her first and last name. And mine. She can even spell "Mia". Of course, it helps I chose something with only 3 letters. 

She's learning her alphabet, can count, knows quite a few colors and shapes. Her thought process amazes me daily. I have no doubt she's smarter than I am. And I'll be in trouble some day because of that.
She's funny. Every day she makes me laugh. Some days she makes me want to pull my hair out. But most days, I laugh.

She's confident, outgoing and full of charm. Often she'll walk right up to a sales clerk and announce "Hi. I'm Mia. Nice to meet you". And because of this, we've started reading some stranger danger books as our bedtime selections. LOL!

Her favorite color is blue... much to my chagrin. But she tells me she likes pink, too. I think she's just trying to spare my feelings though.

Her favorite foods are pb&j sandwiches, cottage cheese, clementine oranges, hot dogs and mac-n-cheese. She's going through this weird period where she doesn't want me to heat her food. She wants to eat everything cold. So I'm always sticking her plate in the freezer for a few minutes to chill it. She's quirky like that.
She's very opinionated and when she makes up her mind, she's committed. She decided a few weeks ago that she wanted to be a princess for Halloween. When I asked her specifics, she told me "Aurora" [aka "Sleeping Beauty"]. And no matter how many times I ask or how many other costume options I show her.... she has not changed her mind.

She loves music. Whether that means listening to her songs in the car, playing her Dora guitar, jamming on her piano [which is really just one of those annoying books with a keyboard on it] or singing into her microphone. And she's an incredibly passionate performer. Just see for yourself.
She has a huge imagination. This past Saturday she insisted on taking her purse with her when we left the house... as she often does. Everywhere we went she told people about the dragon in her purse and made up silly stories about it.
She starts pre-school on Monday. I'm so excited to see how she blossoms there. I expect it'll be a bit bumpy at first. But I know my girl and I know eventually, she'll love it.
She's growing up. Right in front of my eyes, she's growing up. Some days it's subtle. Some days it's right in my face. But there's no denying it. And tomorrow... she'll be 3 yrs old.

And Somehow It's 6 Months Later...

I have failed miserably at blogging this year. The truth is... life is busy. At the end of the day, when I finally get to sit down and breathe after working, running, juggling, balancing, and mothering since before the sun came up (literally)... I'm exhausted. So I let some things fall away. The blog was a casualty.

But I have regrets about that. So many things have happened. So many milestones for my girl. So much growth. So much blossoming. So many memories. And my mind is already starting to blur the details.

I need to write this down. I have to write this down. For me, but mostly for her. I want her to have this window into her childhood. And some day, when I'm old and gray[er] and my sweet little birdie has flown the coop... I'll be able to come here, relive a memory and smile about this amazing miracle I was blessed with. 

So I'm jumping back in. And I'm really gonna try. I'll start right here, right where we are. But as often as I can, I'd like to throw in some flashbacks and catch up on some of the important stuff over the last 6+ months that I really don't want to forget.

And there you have it. Finally ... the 13th blog post of 2013. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

2nd Referral Anniversary

Two years ago I saw this beautiful face for the first time.
Instantly I fell madly in love.
I'm amazed at how different she looks now.
How tall she's gotten.
How much she's grown.
How long that hair has gotten in just 2 years.
Quite a difference even from that fidgety little girl who wouldn't sit still for a photo last year.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Animal Sounds

I dumped my camera tonight and found this video from January. It was too cute not to share.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Road Trip 2

Since our Wisconsin road trip was pretty successful, we drove down to Tennessee to spend Thanksgiving with Mia's cousins. They live out in the country now. Way out in the country.
With chickens.
And cows.
And there was a horse, too. Not my sister's animals but they live on the same land she does. It was a little strange for this city girl to put Mia down for a nap and hear cows mooing right outside the window.
We were too busy having fun so I didn't get my camera out much. But Mia had a great time with her cousins. And she got to go for a swim in Aunt Carla's big bathtub with Tess.
Tatum helped style her hair.
She looks just like an elf to me in this one. LOL!
We're so excited to be making the 5 1/2 hr drive again this weekend to spend Easter there. Well, we're not excited for the drive... but we miss Aunt Carla, Uncle Bobby and all the T's. And we can't wait to see them. I'll just have to make sure to take some pictures this time....

Road Trip 1

Back in Sept, Mia and I took our first road trip. I was nervous. Driving nearly 8 hrs alone with a 2 yr old was more than a little terrifying.
I timed our departure right at nap time. So I got the first 2 hrs of driving behind us without issue.
We stopped to eat our picnic dinner and burn some energy at the halfway point.
Mia traveled much better than I expected. I was very proud of her. Finally we made it to Wisconsin. The next morning, I got to introduce my daughter to her great-grandparents for the very first time.
They were so excited to meet her.
We spent a couple days hanging out while she got to know them a little better.
We went to the zoo and Mia experienced her first Wisconsin cheese festival.
She also met her mommy's Aunt Deb.
And Uncle Mike.
The trip threw Mia off kilter for a few days once we got home. All the driving, being in a different place, out of her routine and off schedule did not bode well for my girl. But she bounced right back once we got back into her normal groove.
My grandfather had a stroke a few years ago and is unable to travel now. Time is never promised. So it was important for me to get Mia up there to meet both my grandparents. I'm so glad we made the trip.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More Than All The Stars

During the 5 years that I waited for Mia, the stars took on an important role for me. I'd look up at them every night as I stood on the deck during Griffey's last potty break before bed.

It was a place I felt really connected to Mia. I knew she was eventually going to be somewhere on the other side of the world... but under those same stars. That gave me comfort. The stars helped me to find some peace in the insanity of the wait.

I said lots of prayers for her there. I prayed she would be healthy. I prayed she'd be referred to me very young so that she wouldn't spend much time in the orphanage. I prayed I'd experience as many milestones with her as possible. I prayed that a caretaker would love her. Because I knew she'd be better cared for if someone loved her. 

I imagined what she'd look like, what her personality would be like, how our life together would be.

And I talked to her. Well, I actually talked to the stars as if they were her. But it seemed to help.

So eventually, professing my love out into the sky for the hope and dream of my daughter evolved into me saying
"I love you more than all the stars in the sky".

I said that a lot over those 5 years. 

After we came home and read "Guess How Much I Love You" where Big Nutbrown Hare told Little Nutbrown Hare that he loved him "to the moon and back" it changed again.

"I love you to the moon and back. And more than all the stars in the sky. Forever and ever and always."

That's what I've said to Mia for the past 21 months just before her last kiss goodnight.

It became our thing. Our special little catch phrase. I knew someday she'd probably repeat it after having heard it over and over. 

I was surprised to find that happened much sooner than I expected. 

For the past 3 nights, my almost 2 1/2 yr old has broken out in a big grin when I start. Then she joins in and repeats the last of it. She says "stars in the sky. Forever and ever and always."

I tried not to let her see me cry the first night. The second night my heart grew ten sizes. And by the third night, I knew more surely than I ever had before what true love and happiness really feels like.

And I thanked my lucky stars for it.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Trick or Treat 2012

The weather was awful for Halloween this year. Hurricane Sandy was hitting the east coast and we felt some of that here as well. I ended up taking Mia to an indoor trick or treat event at a local mall. Unfortunately, every other person in the state of Ohio had the same idea. Or at least it seemed that way. 

We didn't last long. It was elbow to elbow and the lines were ridiculously long. Here's a photo of Mia with her candy. Yes... that's it. That one piece before I called it off and headed for the door.
And how ironic that I stopped to grab a photo not even paying attention to the Xmas display in the background... already up at Halloween. 

We tried again the next night but it was chilly and drizzling rain. So we only went about a block and a half. Hopefully, next year the weather will be a bit more cooperative. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Fall Farm Festival 2012

I scrolled back through the blog and see that I failed to mention the big move that happened late this summer. Which is why some people might have been confused when I said my sister, her husband and the T's drove up from Tennessee for Mia's birthday party. 

You see, they live there now. My sister graduated over the summer and became a Certified Nurse Midwife. Unfortunately, there isn't a big market in this area for that job. She had to look elsewhere for a place to start her career. And so now, Mia's beloved cousins - more commonly known as "the T's" - live 5 hours away.

Yes it sucks. But it is what it is. My sister is hoping to return home at some point once her career is more established. We're hoping, too. For now, we've been lucky enough to still visit once a month or so.

While the cousins were in town for the birthday party we decided to keep our annual tradition and make the trip to our favorite fall farm festival.
That's Tess above, in the owl hat, checking out the new baby calves. Below, Tatum is holding Mia up to see, too.
They rode the green tractor train again.
Just like last year...
Teagan wanted a turn riding with Mia, too, this time.
Auntie Carla helped her on the trike. She hasn't quite got the hang of pedaling.
Tess liked the horse swing made out of old rubber tires.
Tatum helped Mia go down the monster slide.
It's a really steep, long tunnel. My little daredevil loved it.
And yes there are 2 other T's in my sister's tribe. But Travis and Tanner are at that teen/tween age where it's no longer cool to hang out with the little kids. Plus they're too tall to fit in the wagon anyway.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Best Day Ever

I have to interrupt my regularly scheduled blog catch up to mark a very big milestone. 

Tonight during dinner, Mia leaned over and laid her head on my arm.
And for the first time ever
 I got a completely out of the blue, totally unsolicited
 "I yuv ewe, momma."   
And I'm pretty sure it was the most amazing moment of my life so far.....

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mia's Birthday Party

Because of other obligations, Mia's birthday party was pushed back to October 20th. I knew it was risky to plan an outdoor party in Ohio in the middle of October. But I had faith the weather would cooperate. 
I was wrong. It was a beautiful sunny day. But it was chilly. Very chilly. And the wind was ferocious.
I learned a very valuable lesson. Either have an outdoor party. Or decorate with a bunch of crafty Pinterest creations. But you can't do both. The wind wreaked absolute havoc on my decorations.
Because of Mia's love affair with reading, I chose a bookworm theme. I made a mini book garland and matching birthday banner. The garland was supposed to drape the food tables but the wind kept blowing the tablecloths up so I ended up just sticking it to the wall.
I spray painted tin cans to make vases and made these adorable little bookworm picks.
Each vase had a different reading/book related quote framed in scrapbook paper that matched the book garland and birthday banner.
I saw an idea on Pinterest about making a number shaped pinata and thought "Hmmm... that looks pretty easy. I bet I could do that."
It was absolutely gorgeous when it was finished. But I cursed it for the hours and hours... and hours... it took me to make it.
My sister, brother-in-law and their T's drove up from Tennessee to help us celebrate.
That made my birthday girl very happy.
My frustration over the pinata was totally worth it in the end though. 
The kids loved it!
It was definitely the highlight for them and for us... just to watch them have so much fun.
This photo cracks me up.
Tess and her over the head full force swing.
Here's Teagan taking his whacks.
Braeden seemed to have a softer approach.
But Travis meant serious business when it was his turn. Just look at his face. LOL!
Every kid had a turn from smallest to biggest. Travis was the last and he was determined to bring it down.
And he did. Then it was a mad dash for all the goodies inside.
Mia was attached at the hip to Tatum quite a bit that day. She misses her cousins since they've moved away.
Her cake was absolutely amazing. I can't take credit for that one.
I may be crafty... but a cake decorator I am not.
Mia loved having everyone sing to her.
But she may have loved eating the cake even more.
So did Tess.
In spite of the windy cold weather and the decor not turning out how mommy had planned, it was a really fabulous day.
We had a lot of friends and family who braved the elements to celebrate my girl. I really appreciated that.
And Mia had fun. She was happy and really enjoyed her party. In the end, that was all that mattered.