Join us in the adventures of our family, with our Belarussian Prince, Guatemalan Princessa and Ukrainian Princesses!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Our visit to Maine and SNOW!!

Victoria meeting her brother DJ for the first time!
We drove up to Maine to spend two days with Dan's son DJ and his family. It was cold, but toasty warm in their house. Saturday night was DJ's wife's family Christmas party and we had a great time. Their were lots of kids, lots of pets and lots of good food and drink :) :0

Danny "playing" guitar while Adam played a guitar game on WII. Danny had all the moves down pat!

Victoria playing with all the santa bears and snowmen at DJ's house in Maine. She loved to roll around on the floor with them. Looks like carnage :)

Dan and his son DJ relaxing with Victoria watching football.

Danny sporting one of his presents! Spiderman rules :)

Danny sledding at his cousin's house. They went up and the down the hill for over an hour :)

Danny "helping" Grampy shovel in the snow!! He put all his layers on ran outside, turned around and yelled "mom - I LOVE the snow!" and all this at 6:30 am :)

Hope everyone has a happy and healthy new year!! :) :)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Freezing our a**es off :)

We arrived in Massachusetts on Thursday. Our flight was delayed coming in because of bad weather and visibility. We left mid 70's and arrived into mid 30's!!
Danny is so excited about seeing his cousins and playing in the snow :)
We are staying at my dad's and he had to promise to actually have the heat on at his house :) :0

Feeding Feral kitties with Grammy.

With Grampy visiting the ladies at Grampy's work :)

Danny sledding on Andrade hill with his cousins! He loved it!!!

My beautiful niece Nicole trying to play catch with Victoria, but Victoria kept scooting around to sit inside Nicole's legs :) Nicole played with Victoria the whole time we were hanging there.

My niece and nephews keeping Victoria in "baby jail"

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

The kids' first view of the tree! They were both up at 6:30 and Danny was raring to go!

This is Victoria's big present - (took me almost 2 hours to put together!)
She and Danny have played with it constantly!! :o

This was Danny's big present besides his VSmile game console and games. Danny has played with both since opening them :) Santa did good :) :)

We had a wonderful dinner with our friends Sue and Ray. They have a huge yard so Danny could run all he wanted :) We have been getting together for Christmas for years now. It started as a bunch of us with no family down here spending the holiday together and has continued every year since :) this year we had turkey though Sue usually slow cooks a pig. By February she will have a couple of baby goats and we will be back to visit again :)

We stayed there for a couple of hours and then headed to our friends Collin and Yuliya's. I used to work with Collin and Yuliya is his Ukrainian wife. They are a wonderful couple and we enjoy their company. We met Collin just before our trip to Ukriane two years ago and he was so helpful to us. God truly put him in our path and they will always be our friends.

Just can't keep my eyes open one more second :)

Danny playing with his transformer in the car

The kids playing in Sasha's room! Victoria loved this christmas box. You push a button and it lights and moves and plays music. We had a wonderful desert once again, made by Ms. Yuliya. My stomach hurt so bad I thought I was going to explode :( We got home at 8:45 and by 9:00 both kids were sound asleep and by 9:30 we were both asleep too!!
I hope everyone had a wonderful day full of love, laughter, hugs and kisses!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Saturday fun!

Dan's daughter Tracy and her husband Dan are down in Marco for Christmas. They come down every year to get out of the cold for the holiday. We usually see them a couple of times while they are here. Saturday was our first visit and we hung around the condo and then headed out to the Tiki bar for a wonderful lunch! (and by the way - it was 80 degrees :) )

Victoria signing "please"! She uses it all the time now. We are working on more and thank you now :)

I took a shower while Victoria was playing in the other room. While getting dressed I heard her Elmo car coming around the corner and thought "here she comes". The next thing I knew she climbed into the WET shower in her pj's and started playing in the water :) Dan went in to get her out and she just laughed and kept slipping away from him. So she ended up taking a shower with Dan :) :0 :)

Once the kids opened their gift bags at the condo, the clothes were discarded and the bags were fun toys. Danny kept running around with the gift bags over his head and the tissue paper wrapped around him - goof ball! :)

Danny and Victoria played forever with these pillow on the floor! Who needs toys??

Victoria playing at the condo - with a dog bone in each hand! Great teethers!

Yup - the guys ate raw oysters! bleccchhhh :)

Victoria, Tracy and Danny looking at the boats

Friday, December 21, 2007

fav foto friday!

This is Victoria's signal for "yes, I am stinky" ;)

I know, I know! She was being quiet for 5 minutes, I should have checked up on her sooner :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Beginning to look alot like Christmas!

While Danny was at school and little missy was napping I pulled out my christmas boxes and started decorating. I put on the christmas music channel and had a great time! I did not put all our ornaments on the tree since the little one is liking it too much! It also helped that it was only 42 degrees this am - bbbrrrhhhh!
Danny was so excited when he saw all the christmas stuff up! It was so worth it!

We promise we are just looking!! :) They both love the lights.

The kiddos stockings!!

These toys all play different christmas songs and the penguin jumps - she loves them all! She claps and starts bopping! She lined them up herself :)

Showing sissy the tree!!
If you ask her where is the tree she whips around and points to it!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

FFF (Favorite foto friday)

This is little missy while we were waiting for the holiday show to start and Danny's bus to show up!

This is Danny at a local high school. They invited the ESE preschool classes from two local elementary schools and had them in for milk and cookies, Santa and presents and a holiday show!! How cool is that! Danny got a matchbox set from Santa and was so excited!!

I don't know why - but I am just not in the holiday spirit this year :(
I usually love this time of year and last year was so exciting as we spent Christmas in Guatemala on our second visit trip.
I have been waiting for 3 years to have Victoria with us at Christmas and don't understand why I am not over the moon :(
I am sad that time is going by so fast, she is almost walking. I am sad my mom moved already and we are still here waiting! I feel like I have been waiting for one thing or another forever!!
We had to take Danny to a psychologist yesterday so we can get testing done so we can get a better handle on what he needs to get him ready for kindegarten. It is so sad that it is so hard for him and it is not his fault! We do everything we can for these kids, but we can not change that he was in an orphanage for 20 months of his life with so little stimulation :( He has come so far but still has so far to go.
We already did the Connors testing for ADD/ADHD and it showed he is not ADD/ADHD. But he has a problem with impulsiveness, over stimulation, calming himself, can be very emotional and immature. He has done really well with the ESE preschool class he is in. So we will see what happens with this testing, it should take about a month for all of it to be done.
We are heading up north after Christmas and they have had so much snow already! Danny is so excited about playing in it, but we are not looking forward to having to drive in it as we have not done that for over 12 years!
Enough of this pity party... gotta head out to lunch with my gals and gossip! That always makes me feel better!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Another Dannyism :)

So the other day Danny asked to do my hair, which usually means putting as many hair clips in as he can :) so I say sure!
Danny disappears in my bedroom and I hear him getting stuff from under the sink.
He stands behind me on my chair and starts brushing my hair and puts in about 3 hair clips. He then runs off into my bathroom and returns and starts rubbing something in my hair. He tells me he is gelling my hair. I don't think anything of it :(
It smells kind of flowery so I keep playing with Victoria.
He then gets a cup of water and is patting my hair with his damp hands.
After a couple of minutes he runs back into bathroom and returns once again. The next thing I know he has plugged in a hair dryer and is drying my hair! I do not use it so I don't know how he even knew how to use it!!
I reach up into my hair and feel suds?!?!?!?
So I ask Danny what he put in my hair and he says "gel" so I ask him to show it to me.
Danny runs back into my bathroom and returns with a large bottle of Soft Soap and proudly says "see mom, gel" :( :(
Hopefully I have learned my lesson :)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday!!

She just suddenly climbed up in this chair and sat down and was so proud of herself!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Time is just flying!

We made it home safe and sound from Jacksonville, the ride home was actually pretty good. We stopped in Bradenton for lunch and hung there for about an hour, gosh we were not happy to get back in the car again!
Can't believe we have been home over 6 months!
We just passed the magical day where Victoria has been with us longer than she was in foster care. I know it is just a mental date, but for some reason so very important. She just turned 14 months old!
She is just blossoming! Her 9th tooth, a canine, just broke the skin and #10, the other canine, is very close to breaking through.
We have been transitioning to one nap per day and it has been tough. But we have started walking the dogs again in the morning so she may nod off for 1/2 hour then and she barely makes it through lunch she is so tired. But the good thing is that her nap is about 2 1/2 hours now!!
We tell her "hand, walk" and she reaches up with one hand and grabs onto our finger and pulls herself up and will walk, walk, walk! She is getting so much better with her balance.
Just yesterday she suddenly started standing all by herself, even bent down to pick something up and got right back up again!
Today she took her first step without holding on at all!!
We are really concentrating on getting her to eat more table food and the poor thing is constipated :(
We are still working on the sippy cup deal, she just does not like them. I have several different kinds and have been trying one per day. We had lunch out today and she had a bit of egg and a bit of tuna and liked both.
Danny really seems to be finally getting the hang of school! He has had a week of great days and has been in a great mood every day. The alphabet and numbers are finally starting to stick and he gets his colors right 80% of the time.
My babies are growing up! sniff, sniff
We just booked our flights to visit family up north between christmas and new years. I had to go on ebay to get winter clothes!! It will be a nice break and then we will be ready to be back in the warm weather!! :)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Hola from Jacksonville!

Monday afternoon Victoria and I headed up to Jacksonville with Nana to help her with her move. The 5 1/2 hour trip was long... Victoria did very well.

Watching the movers...

Walking around the neighborhood to check it out!

Victoria camouflaging her walker!! :) :) She knows we are on a military base :)

My Mom's best friend, Marge, helped so much by keeping little missy busy so we could get more stuff unpacked!! If you ask Victoria "where is Aunt Marge?" she whips her head around and points at her!! Marge drove 2 hours to stay with us for two days! What a godsend!

Victoria absolutely loves this chair! she has even fallen asleep on it! Whenever we needed a bit of time to unpack we plopped her on the chair with water and snacks and she would sit and watch us!

Dan and Danny drove up after Danny got out of school on Thursday to help out too!

The kiddos taking a tubby together! Looks like Victoria thinks Danny is crazy!

The kids helping Nana unpack! :)

Dan & I visited with a realtor on Friday to check out some areas of interest.

The first house we looked at - built in 2007, never occupied.

Second house we looked at - built in 2005, really pretty!

The dock to the river :)x

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What a great weekend!!

Thursday - Turkey Day!!
We had a great day with lots of relaxing and cooking and eating!! We had lots to be thankful for - not only did we have Victoria home, but my mom and dad were both with us for chow!! I so love the smell of turkey baking for hours!! :)

Danny "helping" Grampy with the turkey :)

Victoria snacking while we get the turkey ready!

A Victoria kissing sandwich!

The most amazing Ukrainian dessert made by Julia!! It was scrumtious!!

Victoria playing with Sasha! They got along so well, Sasha almost got her to sleep!

Friday was a kick back and relax kind of day! We swam, ate and headed out to Fort Myers Beach to have a drink and watch the sunset! We then headed out to dinner at California Pizza Kitchen at the mall - great time!!

Good Morning my Grampy :) (Poor baby is teething again! I was up from 3:30 to 5)

This adorable blue sweater was hand made by a friend of my dad's who had heard about our journey. Beautiful!!

Danny riding the wave!

Our two chillens!! Having a ball at the beach!

Victoria eating a pretzel with a little bit of sand and shells :)

Saturday was boat day! We spent the day on the river - so much fun :)

Victoria helping Grampy steer!

Boating can be very tiring! The others had all gone for a little dinghy ride to check out the lock and talk to the lock master.

Grammy entertaining Danny while Grampy make a thimble for us on our boat lines :)

Family photo on our boat anchored by the Franklin lock in the Caloosahatchee River.

Victoria playing with Grampy's hat :)

I love this picture of my dad with the kids! They were watching Frosty! ssshhh, don't tell my dad that it is connected to christmas :)

It is very fitting that we spent Thanksgiving with my dad and step-mom as they were with us one year ago on our first visit trip to Guatemala and we had Thanksgiving dinner at the Radisson! I can not believe it has been a whole year that Victoria has been in our lives :)
Nana leaves tomorrow to move to Jacksonville and Victoria and I are going with her to help her get settled in. Dan and Danny will join us later this week and we will drive home next weekend. I hope the weather is really nice :)
Poor Danny was very sad tonight, Grampy and Grammy went home and Nana is leaving :( He was sound asleep at 7:30!