"Being a family means you are part of something wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. No matter what." ~Author Unknown

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My New 12 Year Old

Lexi turned 12 this week. It suits her well.


In this past year she’s started showering daily, knows how to use a straightener, and sprays herself with some sort of perfume daily.  She has learned to study for tests and look ahead at her schedule to make sure she gets everything done.  She is blossoming into such a beautiful, responsible young lady. 

We sang to her Monday night at Sof’s gotcha day celebration.  A little pre-birthday dessert with the cousins.


Tuesday was her real birthday, and dinner of choice.  She of course wanted Cherry Blossom.  I’m so happy that’s her favorite restaurant cause’ I love it too!


She had a couple gifts to open, one being a pair of Steve Madden combat boots.  They ended up being too big.  We were right across from the mall, so we decided to go over there and exchange them.  While there, we gave her the choice of anything in the mall for dessert.  No surprise what she picked…


Lexi the sugar addict! 

She has made a very nice group of friends at school this year.  It was one of my biggest wishes for her, and I’m so pleased with who she’s surrounded herself with.  They decorated her locker for her birthday!


On Friday we had them all over for a birthday celebration.  We started the night at Melting Pot for dessert.


Adrienne came to keep me company:)



They brought her a plate with her own candle and everything!


In a risky move, we planned to go to Skyzone after filling their bellies with chocolate.  Lucky for me, no one puked, and everyone had a great time!







We got back to our house around 11:45, and the girls were actually tired from all that jumping!  Lexi had some gifts to open, and they got settled for bed.


I was told in the morning that 2 of them made to the end of Frozen, but the other 3 fell asleep! 

Lexi’s friends are just like her.  Sweet, thoughtful, polite, and kind to each other.  I hope they can stick together throughout their schooling careers.

Happy Birthday Lexi!  You bring such light to our lives.  You are always thinking of others, and always go out of your way to help our family.  We always know how much you love us through your actions.  I’m so proud of how hard you’ve worked at school this year.  You are such a smart, kind, and beautiful soul.  We love you so much!  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Gotcha Day

Today we celebrated Sof’s 3rd Gotcha day.  She doesn’t care yet what it means, she only knows it’s a celebration day for her!  Monday is usually my day off, but because of all the snow days I needed to work this morning.  That was just fine with Sof because she got to bring treats to school!



Her teacher prompted her to tell the kids what “Gotcha Day” is(we talked about it several times over the last few days).  Sof said, “When I was a baby in Russia”.  Her teacher again prompted her to tell more.  She said, “Babies cried a lot”.  Her teacher explained it and she passed out her treats.  Safe to say she doesn’t quite get it yet. 

I picked her up before nap and we spent an hour at Chuck E. Cheese.  She loves it, and it gave us a little time just the two of us. 


Lucky for me I had a bribe to get her out of there!  She’s been obsessed with watching You Tube videos of “surprise eggs”.  With Easter around the corner there has been similar versions in the stores that she’s been eyeing.  I bought one yesterday and told her she could have it as soon as we got home:)


Monday night is dance, so we can’t skip that!  We made a plan to have everyone at our house for dessert right after dance.  Sof was over the moon excited for her presents and singing!  Right as we got home the doorbell rang.  It was flowers from Grandma Linda(who happens to share a birthday with Sof’s Gotcha day and St. Patrick’s day)!

P3174755  That started off the opening, and we couldn’t hold her off any longer!



She was so excited to get Littlest Pet Shop toys!  She’s been wanting them for awhile!  Her and Kaitlyn didn’t waste anytime getting to playing with them!


Finally, it was time to sing.  She loves this more than anything! 



Three years later it still feels amazing to think of how she came to us.  All the paperwork, the waiting, the money, the travel, and the unknowns.  The eyes that made you wonder if she’d ever really be “right”. 

St. Pete Trip 3 103

Love and time was all she ever needed.  Low and behold, we gave it to her, and found on the other end of it we were the ones who were blessed. 

P3174762  We couldn’t love you more sweet baby girl.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


I’m finally getting a minute to do the February recap!  For a short month, we sure did pack a lot in!  Sof continues to love the iPad.

IMG_7902  IMG_7983

I was starting to get a complex about how much I let her stare at it.  I believe I’ve mentioned before that she watches these weird videos of people narrating their play with toys.  Almost like they’re critiquing the toys for the company.  Just as I was thinking I might actually have to be a real parent and start limiting her time, something good began to emerge.  All of the sudden she started to have an interest in play.  That sounds weird, but up till now she really hasn’t shown much interest in role playing type toys.  She likes crafts and games and gross motor activities, but not role play.  Lately she has been spending hours playing with her toys and making them talk.  She also loves to make play doh clothes for her little animals and dolls.

IMG_8205She took a box from a shipment and made it into an ice cream shop for her Squinkies.


What mom can resist using the iPad at a restaurant? 


To my defense she was coloring while she listened to her videos!  This happened to be the night of the opening ceremonies for the Olympics.


Me: Look Sof, that’s Russia on the TV!  That’s where you were when you were a little baby and Mommy and Daddy came to get you!

Sof:  At the Olympics?

Lost in translation.


This particular iPad scene had a very important purpose.  Mark and I wasted countless hours spent lots of quality time together watching “Breaking Bad”.  It’s addicting.  On this Saturday morning we wanted HAD to see another episode.  So armed with the iPad and a cereal box to block her view, we parked our kid at the table so we could watch TV.


When she’s not staring at the iPad, we really do encourage enriching experiences!  Like the science fair at Lexi’s school.  Coolest. Science. Fair. Evah.





We also play games.  Her current favorites are Hi Ho Cheerio and Chutes and Ladders.


We’ve also been loving our library.


While there Sof wanted to play on the computer.  I suddenly realized she does not know how to use a mouse.  It’s never occurred to me that all she uses at home are touchscreens!


Valentine Randoms…

Sof wrote me a letter at the mail station at school:)IMG_7991

Happy Hearts week at dance with Miss Kelli.


Valentine Tea in my classroom that Sof attended.  We were doing a dance!

P2124555  P2124556

Also Valentine themed, we held a fundraiser 31 party.  I say “we”, because the girls really helped and got excited about it.  Adrienne sold raffle tickets at the dance studio, and Lexi helped with preparations.  It was a wonderful night of ladies supporting ladies, and we raised a nice amount of cash for Grace and Ryan.  No one should have to battle breast cancer AND go in debt while doing it!


Plus Sof got some time with Alexander!  They played well together all night!


How about some sleeping Sof pics?



Of course there has to be some grown up night out pics too!



Wanna see the cookies from Sof’s cookie and cream ice cream?  Too bad, she wants to show you anyway.


We had dinner out with Grandma Linda.


We had lunch out with Grandma Linda.


We had lunch out with mommy.


And we had lunch at home.


I had lots of making turkey burgers and yogurt with granola for Adrienne’s dance dinners.  I make em’ and drop them off, she eats em’.


Volleyball is back!  We play this Friday for Make a Wish.  Good thing the money raised doesn’t depend on us winning!


My crazy, fun, supportive colleagues.  Still wearing our pink shirts on every other Friday in support of our PE teacher who just finished her last round of radiation this month!  Woohoo!


We did a lot of good, fun, things in the month of February!  If only we could see some little glimpse of a break in the weather!  It has remained so cold the kids can’t even play in all the snow we have!  The girls braved it one day, but I wasn’t willing to go out for the picture.  Only through the glass!


This particular day it took me over an hour to get to work.  I was LATE!  The teacher was LATE!


Two weeks into March and we had a snow day today.  No. More. Snow.  Go away winter.  I am done with you!