Saturday, April 25, 2009

New Chairs

Guess who loves her new chair? And guess who has a chair just waiting for her to get home?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

School Days

Isabel and I have been attending an Early Childhood and Family Education (ECFE) class on Tuesday mornings since last fall. The class runs from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The mommies spend the first half an hour in the room with the kids. Then at 11:30, the kids gather for a snack while we trot across the hall for 45 minutes of adult time to discuss child development, joys and concerns of parenting, etc. When we return, the kids are usually playing in the sandbox. Finally, we gather in a circle and sing a few songs, and it's time to go home.

It's been fun to watch all the kids progress and develop throughout the year. Last fall when we started, Isabel was just taking her first tentative steps, and another little girl wasn't walking at all. Now they are all walking (make that running) and talking. Play is still fairly independent though they have begun to notice each other a little more, and from time to time there can be a little territorial tussle over one toy or another. There used to be a lot of crying when the mommies would separate and go across the hall. Now the kids actually gather around the snack table without being told and barely notice when we walk out the door. Every once in awhile a little one will cry at separation time, but not very often.

Here are just a couple of pictures I snapped the other day right after we mommies came back into the room. The kids usually greet us happily, but then they gather around the sand box for some fun. The teachers fill it will couscous or cream of wheat or oatmeal, and the kids just love it. In fact, I made a mini sandbox for at home play. I filled an underbed container with a large box of couscous and a strainer, some measuring spoons, a few funnels, and a couple of scoops. We can play with it indoors on a rainy day (just lay down some plastic...the couscous stays fairly contained unless you have a couscous tosser), and sometimes we even take it outside if I don't want to have to bathe Isabel after playing (which I have to do after she plays in the real sandbox).

Here is Miss Ibby at school:

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Indeed it was. Easter is most definitely a day to be thankful, but Richard and I felt especially blessed this year to have one little girl home and one little girl very close to coming home. Last year, we spent the week before Easter Sunday in Guatemala with Isabel, but we left before the actual holiday, so this year marked our first real Easter celebration with our darling, darling girl. We started out by coloring eggs on Saturday. Isabel is a sticker fanantic, so although the dyeing of the eggs was somewhat interesting, it was the chance to fancy up the eggs with stickers that really tripped her trigger. Note the deep concentration:

Today we meant to go to church, but we ended up not making the early service because Isabel slept in a bit...7:30...and she really had a ball hunting for the special eggs (each filled with an m and m surprise) the Easter bunny had "hidden" (rather conpicuously) around the house. So we just enjoyed some time together as a family and said a little prayer to thank God for all of the wonderful blessings he has bestowed on us. After a healthy breakfast of eggs, bacon and banana bread...oh, and m and ms...we got gussied up to meet Grandma Sandy and Aunt Susie for an Easter luncheon. Isabel doesn't really sit still anymore for the camera, so we have a few shots of her on the run, and a few quick poses we tried to catch before she looked away or turned around or wanted to scoot down. Here are a few shots we took at home before meeting Grandma and Susie.
Here's the best posed shot we could get:

Isabel was much more interested in running around the coat!

I love my daddy!

Two cuties...well, one for sure anyway!

Then it was off to lunch. We had a great time visiting with Grandma and Aunt Susie. Isabel was a good girl, as usual, and especially liked the brownie she got to share with Daddy for dessert. She's a girl after my own heart...she looooooves her chocolate. She doesn't get it very often, so I'm sure she felt pretty special today getting to have sweets TWICE in one day. Ibby was quite talkative during lunch, saying all of her new words for Grandma and, uncle, hungry, oh and good girl, among others...and she especially liked watching all of the people in the restaurant. We took a few cute pictures of her with Grandma and Sue after lunch.

So. It was a glorious weekend, not only because spring has finally sprung in Minnesota, but because we were so happy to celebrate this most special of holidays with our dear daughter. Next year will be twice as nice!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Travel in June?

I just spoke with a person from our agency. The good news is that our application for Madeleine's visa is on its way to China. The bad news is that this part of the process (waiting for all documents to be received and processed by the consulate in Guangzhou and for the CCAA to issue travel approval) doesn't move so quickly...or at least as quickly as I would like it to. Though I was really hoping we would be on our way to China in May, June is looking more likely.