SS received three Lego sets for Christmas, and they are a good investment. SS plays for hours, and is very good at following the assembling instructions.
SS has pirates, city (cop and bad guy), and Star Wars. One thing we liked about them is that the parts are stored inside half of the "book" they come in. The other half of the book consists of the instructions. Much better to have them bound, than having them all over the place, and eventually not able to find them.
SS spent yesterday afternoon playing with her Legos. She first tackled the pirate set, and decided to work on the pirate beach setup.
Next was the cop and bad guy set, and SS was naturally fond of the bad guy.
She assembled the police car rather quickly.
Grandpa sent SS a four and a half foot tall bear, that thing is humongous. Her cousins also have one, and we think SS will have as much fun as they do playing with her giant bear.
I was looking for the bear, as it should not be hard to miss, when P told me he was on SS's bed. Man, it looks like someone passed out drunk. It occupies so much of her bed, that already has about a dozen other critters.
SS insisted on sleeping with her big bear, oh well, her bed, her choice. And that only applies to stuffed animals.
Grandpa also sent SS Muddzie The Pig, and she came with a story book, stickers, and a few pockets. SS just loves pockets, hers, ours, any ones. You never know what you are going to find in her or our pockets.
Yesterday SS ventured past the mailbox and headed over to the park to practice her driving skills. SS is a horrible driver, she is going to need lots of practice. P wants to take her back to the kid go carts, and have her enjoy it more this time.That is SS's incentive for learning to pay attention and staying on track.
SS woke up a little past eight, while we were placing a bow on her big gift. This might be it for today, because SS took five years from our life expectancy when she got behind the wheel of her Mini Cooper. Watch out world, she is driving, and parking. The really scary part is that we are going to be doing this with a real car in ten years.
I almost committed the ultimate faux paus, I neglected to post SS's Santa pictures. Plural, because there is always the looking back thing. This is our fifth Santa picture stint with SS, and we are incredibly grateful to have such a privilege. You read right, privilege, one that drives us crazy and pushes all our buttons at once. But a beautiful privilege. This is the first year that SS "changed" Santas. We only had one place for Santa pics where we lived, and this year we had a plethora of choices. Those choices equaled hours waiting in line. Then E's mom told me that the Outlets had little wait, and they gave you the choice to take your own or their professional pictures. When we arrived Santa was napping. It was a Tuesday and we were the only ones there. We could have used that leeway when SS had her first Santa picture. We liked their set, and we were allowed to take pictures, even though their fliers clearly stated otherwise.
SS patiently waited for Christmas eve and received her reward. Aunt C stated that SS could open her gifts tonight, and we are blown away to report that she did not even try to sneak a peek. P and I were curious as heck about the big one, it was heavy, and heavy usually means trouble. We know this because we were notorious for giving trouble before SS.
A scooter! Except that SS had no idea what a scooter was, but she was delighted. She will have to wait until we buy her a helmet (hers is somewhere in those boxes in the garage) and pads.
SS opened the small package and wow, she was a very happy girl. Aunt C gave her The Avengers stickers (safe, removable) for SS's very bare walls.
Our girl was in super hero mode. Thanks Aunt C, you really made SS's day.
Oh yeah, SS is now surrounded by The Avengers force field (totally made that up). And if it keeps her in her own bed, then we are the real winners with this gift.
Poor Sn00py, it looks like he wet his pants. We have had him since before SS came home, and it took our lazy selves this long to get him on our roof.
Same with our penguin friend and lights, all here pre SS waiting to be used.
We read The Night Before Christmas, then it was bedtime. P showed SS where Santa was, by using the Santa Track application. He was delivering gifts in Santiago, Chile, and SS needed to go to sleep so Santa could bring her gifts home. Before going to sleep SS got a chance to say goodbye to Munch, who returned to the North Pole after SS went to bed. We look forward to seeing Munch next year. SS, this is where I suck as a Mama, I practically gagged while writing the preceding sentences. Your Baba is the fantasy guy here, and I'm glad you have him.
The down side to having the tree upstairs is getting caught while placing gifts. SS was out cold, and we are planning on letting her sleep as long as she needs. We will probably post late tomorrow, but will at least post a picture and a short video.
Thursday was the last day of school of the semester. Mrs. V-P's and Mrs. R's classes gathered together to watch The Polar Express movie, decorate cookies, drink hot cocoa, and have a pajama party. SS had not seen the movie but was excited nonetheless. I volunteered to help because I wanted to share the experience with my baby. That was a gamble since we also were going to attend P's work potluck dinner. I barely had time to come home, cook our dish (ropa vieja takes time, and we tripled the recipe). It was a long day, but so well worth the effort on both counts.
Every morning the children place their card at the top of the behavioral chart. A single transgression gets their card moved to the bottom. The children have the remainder of the week to redeem themselves, and return the card to the top.
Herding twenty-seven cats to Ms. R's classroom, which is so much more spacious. Mrs. V-P's classroom can barely accommodate SS's class.
O staked his place next to SS quickly.
K, who was supposed to be at the end of the line, found a way to get SS's attention. That and getting in between O and SS. SS obliged and blew on the darn dandelion, but had enough with one try. K wanted SS to try again, but she declined. O gently pushed K out of the way and said "Let's go SS," and our daughter willingly followed. That did not go over well with K, I have never seen so much anger in a child his age. I am not even capable of working myself up into a frenzy that fast. K was ready to make a dash towards O and SS, and I was really concerned. I do not make it a habit of disciplining other people's kids, especially since his mom was there (but back in K's classroom at the time). I gently placed my hand on his shoulder and said, "K, don't you even think about it. Leave them alone." I stuck close to K until his mom joined us. No way am I going to have my daughter slapped around by a jealous five year old, or any age for that matter. On a lighter note, look at the picture, anything pops out? SS is surrounded by boys, as usual.
Snack for the day was frosted sugar cookies decorated by three of the moms helping. I was too busy being selfish and spending time with my daughter. But I was responsible for one of the cookie decorating tables.
The kids were more receptive to a Charlie Brown Christmas.
Being among fifty-six banshees is not my thing. When I volunteered I darn well knew it would not be easy. I am not a social butterfly, and fifty-six kids is a lot of trouble. I really enjoyed my time among the chaos. The best part came as we were leaving. SS said that she had fun, then said "It was more fun because I was with you Mama." Talk about making my day.
Yesterday we visited Nana, and SS had the opportunity to meet her new cousin, Baby J. Aunt C spent a week due to Nana's hospitalization, and to see her settled back home. I was apprehensive about exposing SS to someone ill, especially someone on oxygen. SS is still very raw about my last surgery, and I was concerned the aftermath of the visit was going to be a major meltdown. But since SS will be home for three weeks on Christmas break, I decided to suck it up and deal with whatever may come.
I do not know if it was the novelty of meeting her cousin, but SS did not even comment on the oxygen, nor the portable defibrillator (has not said anything to us a day later). Then it could also be that just seeing us sick upsets her. It was the first time that SS held a baby, and I was praying that our klutzy child would not drop Baby J on her head. Another surprise was to see my husband hold an infant for the only second time in seventeen years (only because his sister placed her on his lap, that was funny). A bigger surprise was that SS did not push Baby J of his arms and onto the floor. P thinks that SS would have been jealous had he been holding Cousin B or Cousin H. Maybe he is right, maybe she found Baby J harmless. Baby J left this morning to return home to her brother, sister and daddy.
Baby J is three months old and weighs fourteen pounds. That is one pound more than what SS weighed when we met her at sixteen months. Baby J is a really good baby, very alert, and sturdy. The girl can vigorously kick her legs, and managed to get a good grip on my hair. She is going to be able to hold her own with her sister and brother.
We dropped off the cousins gifts in a suitcase for Aunt C to take home. SS as usual left with something, two gifts from Aunt C, She is not supposed to open them until at least Christmas eve. It's going to be fun watching SS resist the temptation.
Now on to a traumatizing morning episode for SS, courtesy of her Baba. The challenge with Munch is to find a new place for him every morning in our small house. And he did not make an appearance on Thanksgiving, as tradition dictates. Don't know how we will manage next year. Yesterday morning SS found Munch on a stocking and she thought it was hilarious. P decided to take it up a notch and proudly showed me last night where he placed Munch.
Are you serious? Hanging upside down from the downstairs ceiling vent? I was very skeptical, but P thought it was brilliant, whimsical, the stuff that elf magic is about. I should have known better, because my husband, from the day we met, has a habit of wrecking havoc, and leaving me to deal with the mess. I knew SS would find him, because she always looks up first when looking for Munch. I was packing her lunch when I realized that SS found him. She let out a wail, screamed MAMA!!!!, and the freak out began. "MAMAAAAAAAAAA, Munch tried to come in the house through the vent and got stuck! Mama, he hurt his foot Mama, now he won't be able to fly to the North Pole. He is hurt Mama!!!!! That was accompanied by tears, I wanted to to kick my husband for leaving me once again picking up his mess. But, it was funny once I was able to calm SS down, and have her buy that Munch is a very skilled gymnast and circus performer, and that he was not hurt. Our daughter is going to need so much therapy.
I am K, married to P, and mother to JJ. We are a family of three, impatiently waiting to become a family of four, via adoption from China. Of course it is a girl, what else could we want. We are creating this blog to keep our family and friends updated on our lives, then our journey to China. We should be united with S in January 2007, and right now it seems like an eternity.