Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wow! Another post only four days after the last one! Today is our Second Gotcha Day Anniversary! We cannot believe it’s been two years. Here is a picture of our first Gotcha Day and then one we took today! My, how she has grown.

Congratulations to Russ, Monica, and Micah on their Gotcha Day Anniversary also!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wow, summer is over and I’ve been back to school for three weeks. I have a lot of summer adventures to catch up on!

We spent a week on Lake Michigan. The Canestraro family was spending time there also, so we met up with them for a weekend. We had Grace and Micah together on almost the exact two year anniversary of the date that we each met them! Of course, we got a picture of that. Then Greg, Grace, and I continued enjoying the coast. We went from South Haven to Saugatuck to Holland to Grand Haven. We had really nice weather. One morning of rain, but we spent that driving to our next destination. We went to Windmill Village in Holland. Grace got some wooden shoes. She calls them her cloppy shoes. She loves to dance in them like the dancers we watched at Windmill Village.

We came back home for just a couple of days and then we headed to Columbus, Ohio for our second annual Astrakhan reunion. The Roberts’s family was unable to join us this year. We really missed them. We had the Tassey-Woods family, Canestraro family, Beadle family, and us. Thanks again to Phyllis and Craig for hosting this year! We had so much fun! There were six children who were adopted from Astrakhan all around the same time! Here is a picture from last year’s reunion and this year’s. My, how they have changed.

We headed back home for laundry and two nights sleep in our own beds, and then Grace and I were off to North Dakota with my mom. We went to visit my cousins who live there. We had a really nice visit! After a week with Grace, my cousin Marcus (age 10) decided he really didn’t want a younger sister after all!

We went Up North for a long weekend. We stopped in Midland on the way up to break up the drive a bit. The annual dulcimer festival was going on and I wanted to check it out. It so happened that my cousin and her husband were there. We spent the afternoon walking around with them. We drove the rest of the way up to Torch Lake the next day. The town of Alden was having an art fair, so we spent most of the time around there. We stayed at Shanty Creek resort. It was a short trip, but it was very nice!

Grace no longer has a binky. She got a rash on her face by her mouth and I didn’t want her to have a binky with it. She only used the binky when she slept and always left it in her bed before she got out. I wasn’t really worried about her use of a binky. But I figured if she wasn’t going to use it because of the rash, I might as well get rid of it forever. It has certainly not been easy on her or on us! Her naps have shortened to an hour to an hour and a half, when they used to be an hour and a half to two hours. She has not been sleeping through the night. It has been a month and a half now and she has only slept through the whole night four times! We figure that this can only last for so long, right???

Probably Grace’s biggest achievement this summer is being able to pump on her swing. She is so proud of herself! Swinging is all that she wants to do now! She could easily just swing for an hour at a time.

Grace started dance lessons a couple of weeks ago. She is taking a combination tap and ballet class. She was so excited – at first! At the first class, parents were to put the tap shoes on the kids and then leave the room. Well, that’s what I did. Grace did pretty well for the tap section, then it was time to switch to ballet shoes. I heard Grace through the door that she wanted Mommy to change her shoes. The teachers tried to talk Grace into letting them put the shoes on, but Grace was adamant that Mommy do it. Grace started crying as soon as they brought her out to me. So, that was the end of that week’s class. The next week, she started crying as soon as we walked into the studio. I told her that I would stay in the class with her. She stopped crying. She did the “dances” that the other girls were doing, but she did them standing by me and only joined the group a couple of times. This week, I told her I would go in with her again, but she had to do all the dances with the other girls. Well, it went better. Grace joined the group a few times and did the other dances at a halfway point between the group and me. There were some tears when I was trying to encourage her to join the group. It’s progress, but I’m just not sure whether we should continue or not. She seems so excited about it during the week. She does the moves and sings the dance songs throughout the week. She tells people that she goes to dance class, like she’s so excited about it. I guess we’ll try a few more classes and play it by ear.

We met with our social worker for our third post placement report. It’s so hard to believe that it’s been almost two years. Everything went great and we easily got it off to CHI in plenty of time.

We went to the Hands Across the Water’s (our home study agency) annual picnic. We met Shannon and Tia there. We had not had a chance to get together all summer. It was so nice to see each other. Tia and Grace had a good time playing with each other and Shannon and I had a good time catching up!

It was hard going back to work after having the summer off. Grace and I had so much fun together! It was hard on Grace too. I had taken her to school a few times with me when I was just getting my classroom ready or just short meetings. She did not understand why all of a sudden, she couldn’t go to work with me. I know she loves it at her daycare. When I picked her up after school, she was always all smiles. But those couple of days of tears in the morning were so hard!

Well, I think that pretty much catches us up!