Well things have been great and just go go go.  I will back up and give some catch up!  Thanksgiving came and went.  We had about 14 people there.  It was our smallest Thanksgiving in a long time and it was actually quite nice to be able to sit and chat with everyone.  Deb and I prepared most of the food early in the morning so it simply needed to be heated and served.  We used plastic utensils and plates and well..  it all still worked out fine.  Everyone was fed and happy!  Vera and I ended up spending Th and Fri night at Debs.  She was having so much fun hanging with her cousins and I admit.. I was having fun hanging there as well 🙂

The following week, on Nov 30th, we headed to Tahoe for 5 days.  My boss has a cabin that he graciously gave us for those days.  Vera and I went along with my sister, her hubby and their kids.  It was so much fun!  The cabin is huge (like 3k sq ft) and it is in a resort community.  There is a playground and a kids club.  There the kids can do arts and crafts, play, color, etc.  Vera did so good.  The 4 hour drive with her was cake.  She was singing and then napped a bit and watched a little sesame street.  During the time there we just hung out as a big family and laughed and played.  She had fun with her cousins and really enjoyed having her momma around all day for 5 days!  It was really a fun trip!

We got back on the 4th and Dec 5th was my 38th birthday.  By far it was the best birthday ever.  Having Vera here with me and being her mom…  Nothing, no gift could be better than that.  She and I celebrated with some pasta and cookies.  We clinked our glasses and I rocked her long after she fell asleep.  Just staring at her and feeling so happy and grateful for the wonderful life I have.

I didn’t do any advertising this holiday season for photo business, but I had several people contact me to do their pictures, so I think I did about 10 families.  It was great because most were repeat clients and very eager to meet Vera.  She is my little photog assist.  She loves it because a lot of the times we are at parks, so we photograph the family and then PLAYTIME.  She loves the slide and this past weekend.  She literally went down the slide no less than 200 times!

So now that you are caught up on the happenings, a little about Vera.  Well she is home now 2.5 months.  She continues to thrive.  She is speaking english words and randomly uses them throughout the day.  We still use Nyet though.  She says it so cute and the whole family actually likes using it so we have converted.. our No is now Nyet.  Its pretty funny.  My niece Ava is very interested in Russian so often times we look up phrases and words.  Anway, back to Vera talking, often times she babbles to herself when she is just playing other times it is when she wants something.  She will even walk up to me and say Mommmma or show me a dog or cat or point out the eyes on her doll etc.  She knows a few phrases , her favorite being “press the button?” which she uses anytime she sees a button.  She has her shapes down and loves to point them out.  Food wise, she will try anything.  She doesn’t necessarily like it but she will try it.  She will let you know if she likes it.  She eats pretty much what I eat.  When I say pretty much, I mean everything except beef and she isn’t fond of carrots that are not mooshed.  She will eat ground beef, but steak or trip tip.  When she has it, it just turns to moosh because she chews and chews and chews never actually getting to swallow it.  Weird.

She loves the lights on the Christmas tree and we will go see Santa next week.  She is still very attached to me.  I am so lucky that we never had a bonding issue.  She still isn’t really thrilled when children try to touch her.  Sometimes they want to hold her hand and say follow me (not Ava and Ryan, she will let them, but say friends kids).  This makes her very nervous and she will always fuss and turn the other way to get away.  She doesn’t go or interact with people she doesn’t know.  If we are with friends she doesn’t know, she won’t let them hold her.  She still only wants momma all the time, even over family she likes (like my sister, my mom, etc).

She will mimick EVERYTHING I do.  If I stand on a chair to clean the top of the fridge, she is finding a stool or box to stand on to do the same in her kitchen.  She still really loves music and dancing.  She loves when I rock her to sleep and sing our special song that I made up.  Her nightime bottle started somewhat robotical (her part, hop in arms lay back open mouth and drink).  But now, it is a much more nurturing hold and filled with her holding my hand or my face or looking deep into my eyes.

She has her two year old moments.  She gets frustrated at a toy or something and throws it and then pouts at it.  Or if she sees something she wants and someone has it, she whines and fusses.  But at this point, things continue to go smooth.  She did discover a pacifier when Nyah was born.  I remember seeing a little boy at the orphanage with one.  I bet they had one and they passed it around because she knew EXACTLY what to do with it.  I wish I had taken Trisha’s advice and brought one to Russia!  As I think back, it always seemed like she was wanting something that I didn’t have.  But she never cried.. sweet baby.  Anyway, we have compromised on the pacifier.  After she finishes her bottle at night I let her have it.  Then I pop it out after she is sound asleep.  She then can have it as a treat when I pick her up from my moms.  She has it for the car ride home and then maybe a little longer.  She does however get it much more often when we are around my sister and the baby.  She sees Nyah and it brings up this need to be a baby so I give in.  She asks for it often, but I simply say it isn’t time for Bobo (the name we use for a paci in our family).  Oh and she is not fond of my holding Nyah.  Once I do, she immediatly stares me down and asks me to pass Nyah to Aunt Deba (what she calls my sister) or will hop in my lap to cuddle too.  Once I do pass Nyah off, Vera then hops in my lap and wants me to hold her like a baby… so I gladly oblige 🙂

What else….  Oh she gets cuter and cuter and sweeter and sweeter each day.  Every morning when she wakes up, I go in and sing her our good morning song.  If it is a peepee free diaper (normally it is) we peepee sit and she goes potty.  We go back in her room and we open the blinds and say Good Morning Everyone.  She smiles and I hug and kiss her and she giggles.  Its just amazing that in 2.5 months we have a routine and we are both so happy.  I used to have this space in my heart that was open and empty and ached.  That is gone.  I am complete and so so happy! I know Vera is happy too.  When she gives me kisses, and snuggles her head on my shoulder I feel the love.  She trusts me.  She knows she is safe.  She also does this cute thing.  When we pull in the complex, she will clap her hands like “yay we are home”…. so cute.

Well, since there was SO long between posts, I have LOTS of pictures (I’ll save the videos for the next post)!  Enjoy!

This is Thanksgiving Day

Day After Thanksgiving.  Notice the bow still in the hair?  She played til she literally CRASHED!

This is in Tahoe, the first day.  The snow is old but it was quite chilly outside.  Low/Mid 40’s that day.

Ava playing…

Ryan being a good sport with his broken arm.  Only so much play he can do!

Holding some snow with the cabin in the background

Group Ipad Fun Time

Thinking she is cool stuff with the tree behind her!

Loving on Belle Kitty 

Doing a holiday shoot at my sisters and someone slipped (while sitting mind you) off the stool.  I couldn’t resist capturing that face.
Hugs were given after the taking of this picture.

All dolled up so we can take some pictures so that her likeness can be displayed on fireplace mantles of family members and friends 🙂


My Niece Ava (7 years old).


Ryan (5 years)

Nyah (6 weeks)

Cute even napping in the car!


5 thoughts on “Holidaze…

  1. Oh my goodness, you have the most precious Christmas gift in the world. She has the most precious gift also. She is such a sweet little soul in her pictures and how wonderful the bonding has gone so well for you both. Cherish and enjoy this first of many Christmases together, oh happy belated birthday.

  2. This might be my first comment, though I’ve read your blog for some time. Just have to say I love, love, love! the part where you write about the feeling of love you get when she snuggles into your shoulder. : ) so sweet! Vera looks right at home with her cousins. Happy Holidays to your family!

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