Sunday, April 10, 2011
5 years old
My baby is 5 years old and is quick to tell me that she is a big girl. She has progressed through all the stages so fast since coming home that it seems like I had such a short time with her as a little girl so I miss that and yet I enjoy her more and more every day so I can’t wish her to stop growing and changing. It just keeps getting better which seems impossible because it is so good now.
We had such a fabulous birthday weekend. Now I am sitting here on Sunday evening with my baby sleeping and quietly enjoying the feeling of how perfect it was. It is hard to imagine life getting any better.
Friday was the actual birthday day and it started out with a visit to the International Adoption Clinic for a one year follow up assessment. We talked a lot about Hannah, what she is doing, how she is acting, how our days go, etc. We had a two hour visit and our Doctor was amazed. She confirmed to me that Hannah is transitioning and bonding very well and appears to be a very happy and stable child. She does not see the normal concerns that come with institutionalization or the possibility of alcohol exposure and is was very pleased with everything she observed and heard. At the end of our assessment she really validated me by saying “We have talked all about Hannah but this is not all about her--this is about you too, You are a great mom and are doing a great job.” Of course, that made my day. She did not recommend anymore follow up with the International Adoption Clinic unless I felt the need at some point. Yay!!
She is really growing since coming too--at five years she is 75% for height and 90% for weight. Guess I am feeding her a little too well!
We had to travel to Minneapolis for that visit and it ended just about noon so we walked to Applebee’s and had Hannah’s birthday lunch. I had French dip sliders with a spinach/shrimp salad--so yummy--and Hannah had Mac N Cheese. Then she got a free brownie and ice-cream for her birthday. When we got done, Hannah said “That was a really yummy lunch Mom-thank you.” She is so sweet. She napped most of the way home and we had a fun evening just playing together.
Saturday morning was a whirlwind as we ran around town picking up birthday cake, balloons, and last minute details for her “My Little Pony” party. I was a little nervous but it all worked out so well. My sister and her daughter came for the weekend. Her daughter is 8 years old and Hannah just idolizes her so that made her birthday that much more special. And the cake--it turned out cute. When we went to the bakery Hannah described what she wanted by saying “horses with grass and flowers and clouds”. The lady taking the order seemed a little perplexed so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. The cake decorator must really understand kids because it turned out better than I could imagine. Hannah absolutely loved it and was so excited that it had “just what she wanted”. I love that bakery.
The party was at our local Nature Center and we had 17 kids enjoying the fun. The Naturalist at the party did a little show so the kids got to learn about toads, frogs, and salamanders and also touch them all. The Naturalist did a great job. He captured all the kids attention and kept all 17 kids orderly, quiet, and entertained for about 40 minutes. Then we had pizza, cake, and ice-cream and about 10 minutes of kids running around like crazy before the party was finished. The kids all had a great time and Hannah was so happy which made me happy. Most of the parents stuck around too and they all seemed very pleased. Several of the kids and their parents stayed after the party and enjoyed the animals and small museum that the center has. It gave Hannah more time with her friends and kept her busy while I cleaned up the party room. Overall a huge success.
I have a group of local adoption friends that all have younger kids than Hannah. Including them with our class party would have been too much but if I could add anything to the Birthday weekend it would have been to get together with them also. They are such good friends and have been great support to me.
Saturday evening we attended our Civic Theatre’s production of “Beauty and the Beast”--the Broadway Musical version. We went with my sister and her daughter and a good friend of mine with a daughter Hannah’s age. It was beautifully done. The girls were enthralled and we all enjoyed it. A highlight for Hannah was getting to talk to Belle after the show. The one bummer for me was that I didn’t bring a camera so I couldn’t take a picture of her and Belle.
It was about 10:15pm when we got home so Hannah fell asleep in my arms during our prayers. When she woke up in the morning the first thing she said to me, “Mama--can we see Belle in the show again later?”
Sunday was church of course and she was very well behaved--my big 5 year old girl. Then another meal out for Hannah’s birthday--this time breakfast at Perkins. Then back home for more playtime with her cousin which was the best part of the whole weekend. Watching those two girls play was heart-filling. They had toys spilled out all over the house and were very creative in their play. Most of the time they were playing together but occasionally separately (side by side) but they were always content. It made me realize the value of siblings. I never once heard “Play with me Mom” or “Can I watch a movie” which is what I hear when I can’t play with her. My sister and I were able to enjoy conversation time without interruption.
Since a sibling is not in the plans, I have resolved to make sure she spends more time with cousins--there is nothing better than loving family.
It was a sunny day with temps in the 70’s and despite the strong winds, it felt like a summer day. Hannah and I went to the park after my sister left. She seemed really ready to just play with Mama and we had a fun time--the playground equipment is our castle and sometimes she wants me to be the mean king that chases her and sometimes the good queen that saves her. Since it rained all last night we came home from the park a little muddy so a bath followed right away. Then on to swimming lessons which is a highlight of her week always.
It was almost bedtime when we got home and I had one happy but tired girl so bedtime was easy and once again she fell asleep in my arms--this time she made it through prayers but just barely.
So…as I said at the beginning of my post…I am sitting here recounting what a perfect weekend we had and wondering how my life got so good. I believe other parents who say it just keeps getting better but right now it is hard to contemplate “better”.