Sunday, January 23, 2011

Christmas, New Years, and other updates

I promised to fill you in on Christmas so finally I am getting it done.
I was sick the whole week leading up to Christmas so our preparations weren't quite what I had planned and my decorating barely got done but in the end it didn't matter--Hannah held nothing against me. When I got the tree up and turned on the lights Hannah looked in wonder and asked, "Mom, how did you do that?" She thought it was magic.
My first day of feeling half way good was Christmas eve so Hannah and I headed out that morning to finish our shopping and then had lunch out together. She is not a shopper but did wonderful that day and she is becoming my favorite eating out partner always making it fun.
We went to church that evening and she made it through that well also. I just love the Christmas eve service. I took Hannah to the early service because I thought the midnight mass just wouldn't work. However they save all the really great music and special stuff for midnight so I missed out on that but having Hannah with me for her first Christmas made it more special than any other Christmas for me.
Making a special dinner for a four year old was something new for me too but I think I succeeded with ravioli, garlic bread, veggies, and ice-cream. Hannah and I enjoyed it.
Christmas eve she got to open her presents from me. She was so precious as she opened her box and exclaimed, "shirts and pants--PERFECT!!!!!" She also opened the ones she got in the mail from Uncle Dan and Aunt Kristin. After opening them she danced around the living room singing "Thank you Thank you Thank you Dan and Kristin" and then made kissing noised into the air. I should have had the video camera out. Of course we put out cookies and milk in the kitchen and reindeer food outside. And she went to bed great. I swear I got the best kid ever.
Christmas morning when she woke up I said "Hannah I think Santa came". She still didn't equate it with presents but just wanted to know which window she could look out of to see him. She soon however discovered the presents and was very excited. She got a Loving Family and dollhouse with dogs and a van. Also got a Barbie with a pony and some lego. She was excited with everything she opened and very appreciative. What a sweetie. It was basically all over by 8:30am and we just played the rest of the morning. We had a quiet day and just spent it together.
Sunday after Christmas we went to my sisters in Wisconsin and Hannah got cross country skis and went out for her second time--It was so fun to watch her as she had smiles and giggles the whole time--even when falling. I guess my Siberian born beauty was made for those cold weather sports.
Our family Christmas was New Years weekend at my sister's house. We had another great weekend. Of course presents were a big hit but the main thing for Hannah was the time she spent with her cousins. She absolutely loves that and made connections with each one--even my nieces boyfriend who was a great sport. It is so fun to see her with my family. One of my worries is that she will be alone if something happens to me but she has already made her own connections with my family and talks about them all the time--she has a big family that loves her. I am also happy that at the end of the day she always wants me at bedtime and is happy to be going to her own home again.
I have to say thanks to my sister for a great weekend at her house.

The rest of our winter had been pretty normal.
Hannah has developed quite a social life. Between my friends and her friends in daycare she had five birthday party invites in January so we have been going to fun places all over town--Chuck E. Cheese, Godfather's pizza, House of Bounce,and Jets gymnastics. One party was actually at the kids house which is unusual these days. I am already feeling the pressure for what I will do in April.
The cold weather lately has kept up indoors more than we like but swimming helps break that up. Today was 9 above zero and sunny so I did take Hannah out cross country skiing for a bit. She did great. It was a bit comical as I am not a skiier so when she would fall down the best advice I could give her was "Get back up". the only other thing I knew to say was "don't cross your skiis." At least we got out and had a few laughs.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's a wonderful life

One year ago today I was sitting in a court room in Russia and was nervous as all get out because my future life depended on what the judge would say. She finally said "Yes--I grant your petition and you are now the girl's mother". I remember that moment as if it was yesterday. My knees went weak and I had to sit down as soon as I walked out of the courtroom. It was so amazing. Then 11 days later, the orphanage director brought Hannah to my hotel, handed her to me, and we have not spent a night apart since.
When I look at Hannah every day I am amazed that she is really my daughter. How can I be so blessed? What would my life be without her? As I look back on our last year I know there were some difficult times and some were very recent but quite frankly I can't remember the details of them. I just remember how much better my life has been, how much fuller, and how much more enjoyable.
To celebrate our day, I left work at noon and picked Hannah up from daycare. We went to "Yogi Bear"in 3D, then went swimming at a little waterpark for a couple hours, and then out to eat--complete with ice cream. Hannah probably thought I was crazy because I kept telling her it was our special day--just Mama and Hannah--and I was pretty mushy sometimes but she did great. She told me "That was really fun" and about three diffent times she would hold my face in her hands and say "You are my Mommy" and then give me a kiss--she was so sweet.
At night she usually picks out some books for me to read but tonight I picked the books and read three adoption related story books to her and she fell asleep on my lap as soon as we were done.
A perfect ending to a perfect year.
I love you my Hannah!