Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More "one year later" photos

December 2008, Babyhouse No. 2, Almaty, Kazakhstan

December 2009, at home in Michigan

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A day to remember!

One year ago today, Josie and I met for the first time, beginning our journey to become a family : )

People ask me what I thought when I met her for the first time. My answer is that there were no specific "thoughts," just an wonderful, all-encompassing, deep to the bottom of the soul feeling of rightness. "This is MY daughter. SHE's the one."

Apparently some families meet several children before making what must be a heart-wrenching choice. I never even thought to ask the people at the baby house if I could meet other children. Once I saw those beautiful chocolate-brown eyes and that sweet, serious, curious little face ... Total love at first sight.

Anyway, we celebrated tonight with spaghetti (Josie's favorite) and the coziness of an impending snowstorm. Here are some pictures of my little sweetheart, then and now. awww.

Very first photo - look at those eyes!

Josie's Halloween party photo ...

Making "happy face" for Momma and Grammy ...


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

So, what's with all this cold, frozen stuff, anyway?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow day

So, winter finally arrived, and since Josie was still tiny last year when we came home (and it was late February), this is her first real snow fall. We went out to get the mail in light flurries yesterday and she was fascinated with the whole experience. This morning the ground was covered and by mid-afternoon we had 8 inches of snow. Felt bad that J was sick, since she would've loved to go roll around in it. Oh, well, the stuff doesn't stop falling until Spring, so she'll have her chance : )

sick days ...

We've been home sick all week with a "killer" virus (and double ear infections for Josie that are taking forever to clear). Poor baby is miserable and not sleeping well and we're really a sorry sight (no photo, for obvious reasons)

I do, however, have photos of her two best buds MacKenzie and Gracie (the cat girls). MacKenzie has been gentle and generous in allowing Josie to "pat pat," hug, squeeze and otherwise terrorize her with only a mild protest or two.

Gracie, up until now, has been more distant (literally). Her defense was to pretend to be invisible, and oddly enough, it worked. Josie left her pretty much alone. This week of togetherness has breached Gracie's natural reserve, however, and she allowed the occasional "pat, pat," tail tug and hug. (Which she is now probably regretting as she's become the ultimate prey for my tiny cat chaser - and, as you can see from the photos, the cat girls are always a little iffy about the embraces)

Of course, this has escalated the game - chasing down the cats and being heartbroken when they escape ... Kunzeee!!! Gakseee!!! ... Mama!!! ... sob.

Thus is the life of the cat lover : )

Monday, November 30, 2009

Winter fun

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow ... Okay, I guess we'll call it winter fun, since Thanksgivings past have seen the white stuff in massive quantity (mostly as my leaves are still falling, making for a soggy thaw cleanup just before Christmas). Josie's been doing the family thing, first with her oldest cousin Ashley (photo above) and all the family, then Thanksgiving with everyone local. Both extremely nice times for both of us.

Other photos above: fashion fun, basket fun, shoe fun and a glimpse of "Baby."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Momma ... pup, pup!!!"

btw, this is NOT the potty seat : )

For a while now, Josie has been "telling" me when she has a poopy diaper - "Momma, pup, pup!" along with a crotch grab. Her new potty seat was well received, although more as a novelty than a useful object. Which is okay with me - I'm not trying to hurry her along. She needs a few more words and a little more self-control before we end our diaper dependency : )

Last night was our second night actually "using" the new potty seat and we had success right away - although Josie was quite surprised that something other than a "pup" came out first (I know, Val, TMI). I was WAY more excited than she, and we called Grammy to fill her in - Josie "telling" in pantomime, which would've been a cool video.

As fun as that was for me, I thought I'd update on what Josie really enjoys:

dancing - she still LOVES music;
feeding "Baby" and putting her to bed (there's still just the one Baby (capital B) ... the other four babies have been "napping" in Josie's room for a week or two);
putting on shoes (anyone's);
"talking" on a phone (pretend or real);
chasing kitty cats;
hugging stuffed animals (and MacKenzie when she can catch her - but not Gracie, who stays far, far away);
playing with her Fisher Price "Little People" (has quite the village of people, animals and vehicles);
sorting shapes;
reading books;
setting the table in her play kitchen
playing "dress up" and going bye-bye with her purse
wandering around the yard looking at leaves, rocks, bugs, and searching for the neighbors' dogs ("bow wows")

Yes, we're quickly approaching the Terrible Twos, but she's a sweet, smart, loving, well-balanced and funny little girl. I marvel at her personality and beauty every day. What more could any parent ask?

As we come up on our first "one-year" marker (when we met on Dec. 9, 2008) I find I can't imagine life without her anymore. When I first started this blog, I quoted another wise adoptive parent, "Keep your eyes on the prize." Well the prize I got is way more than I could ever have imagined : )

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More fall fun with leaves and apples

As you can see, Josie's having a great time with the warm fall weather we're having. No snow yet, and it should be in the 50s until at least Thanksgiving : )

Pictures of Josie and her activities:
- playing in the leaves;
- eating dinner (look at that action with the fork and spoon!) and carmel apples (than you, Melissa!);
- "Harvest" party at daycare (her costume was an MSU cheerleader. She didn't get to go trick-or-treating because she had the flu);
- brushing her teeth (this is her favorite thing to do, aside from feeding the cats)
- playing the piano (lots of talent already : )
- riding the "bike" at Grammy & Bampa's house
- reading books
- getting a haircut with Alexis
- trying on hats and coats
- playing on her slide and with toys
- The Running of the Wild Thing, parts 2 & 3
(Some of the photos are screen captures from videos, and kind of low resolution, but I couldn't pass them up).

All in all, a very fun fall season for Ms. Josie. I'll update more later ...

Fall Fun

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Row, row!!!"

Last night in the bathtub, Josie said her first understandable sentence. Okay, "said" isn't quite the right word, but it was definitely a sentence.

Josie's daycare teaches the infants and toddlers a number of words in baby sign language and her spoken vocabulary is also increasing every day. Last night I sang some of her favorite songs to her while she had her bath and she turned to me and signed "more, more, more" "please" and said "Row, row!!!" followed by some vigorous rowing motions. Thankfully, I was familiar with not only the signs, but the song and we spent the next 10 minutes with (the only verse of) "Row, row, row your boat."

I'll need to get a songbook from her daycare (and learn a few more signs) if I'm going to keep up. Tonight she asked for a different song (I think) and I couldn't figure it out ...

Thursday, September 24, 2009


A special salute (Cheers!) to Josie's best friends and biggest supporters: Grammy and Bampa, with whom we spent tons of time with this summer at Glen Lake. They've been loving grandparents since 1991, when cousin Ashley was born, and are kept on their toes by Miss Josie and her antics. Here are a few of their summer highlights!