Not flesh of my flesh
nor bone of my bone
but still miraculously my own.

Never forget for a single minute
you didn't grow under my heart
but in it!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gabriella's First Movie

Gabriella saw her first movie today. She saw Disney's, "The Princess and the Frog" with me and Grammy and cousins Andrew and Isabella. The fact that her first movie was the one in which Disney introduced it's first black princess was very momentous to me. Gabriella was immediately engaged once the previews started rolling and this continued for the beginning portion of the movie, but then her attention span rapidly depleted which I was not unprepared for. She spent a bit of time fooling around with Isabella and playing in the empty row of seats behind us. I let her expend a bit of her energy and then reeled her back in to watch the rest of the movie. She did well through the remainder of the movie. The large container of popcorn was a very welcome added bonus for her!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Double Ear Infection

One of the factors that may have played into Gabriella not enjoying the snow yesterday is that she has a double ear infection. Poor baby. She had been up off and on throughout the night the night before last. She said, "Teeth" when I asked her what was wrong. I believe she is cutting her molars and attributed the fussiness to this. She was up again last night, though, so I had to take her in to the doctor to get her checked out. The poor baby was in a lot of pain. So much so that on the way to the doctor's office, she vomited all over herself in the car. She is on antibiotics now and hopefully she is well quickly and hopefully certainly before Christmas. We DO NOT want a repeat of last year's Christmas in which she was hospitalized.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow

We had our first significant snowfall of the season today. I asked Gabriella several times throughout the day if she wanted to go out and play in it, but she was not interested in doing so. That is, until Grampy came over and she saw him outside shoveling. It took me longer to bundle her up than she actually stayed outside! She spent ten minutes, at most, outside before she wanted to head back in!
Helping Grampy:
NOT enjoying herself!:
My little snow bunny!:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Enchanted Village

Grammy and I took Gabriella and Isabella to see the Enchanted Village at Jordan's Furniture in Avon, MA and we loved it! It was very cute and is definitely a Christmastime activity that I hope we will do every year.
Enchanted Village is a holiday display with 28 holiday scenes and 250 animated figures. It was originally created in 1958 for the Jordan Marsh Company. The display was originally displayed in Jordan Marsh's Downtown Crossing store in Boston until 1972. It remained closed from 1972 until 1990. Then, in 1998, when Macy’s purchased Jordan Marsh, the display was sold to the City of Boston for a City Hall Plaza display. In 2003, the display was moved to the Hynes Convention Center and by 2006, Boston stopped displaying The Enchanted Village altogether. In 2009, the Village was put up for auction and Jordan’s Furniture purchased and restored it. The display now includes 18 holiday scenes and 59 animated figurines.
We even saw Elliott of Jordan's Furniture and I felt like we saw a celebrity! Of course, I had to take a picture!

After seeing the beautiful holiday scenes, we saw a laser light show set to Christmas music that was pretty cool as well. We are already looking forward to doing this again next year!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

School Christmas Party

Since I have been home from work, I have been cherishing my time with Gabriella and have not been sending her in to school. Not knowing that today was the school's Christmas party and class's Christmas performance, for the first time since the summer I sent Gabriella in to school to play for a little while. If I knew of these festivities I would definitely have sent her in with Christmas attire on, but I had no idea.

The kids sang and danced for their parents. Gabriella is not shy and performed along with the children even though she had not previously rehearsed with them!

The children wore reindeer hats, but Gabriella was not interested in wearing hers at school. She did, however, model it for me tonight and the hat slid right over her eyes!
After the performance and before snack, Gabriella snuck off to the corner to read a book...:
...and then had a visitor!:
This kid's got good taste in girls! Gabriella was extremely uninterested in the attention and I LOVED how she just turned her head! Hopefully this disinterest in boys will remain in tact until she is forty!:
She's my girl!:
After her quiet time, Gabriella joined in for a Christmas snack feast with the class!:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Holiday Gift Bazaar to Benefit Mayan Families

We hosted a (what we hope to be annual) Holiday Gift Bazaar today from 9 AM to 2 PM. We were fortunate to be able to host the event in the building of my mother's daycare center, Learning Step-by-Step Day School. The idea for a fundraising bazaar was conceived about two and a half weeks ago and, after quick planning and coordination by my friends Kathy and Kerri(without whose help this event would never would have happened) and me, we orchestrated a very successful event. We were able to earn a profit of $1400 which will be donated to Mayan Families to purchase ten beds (frames and mattresses) for families who currently sleep on the floor or hard boards. The outpouring of support from the community, friends, and family was unbelievable.

We had a raffle of donated items, ...:

...we sold donated food and beverages, ...:
...and we had 32 vendors.:
Of course, our mascot for the event was Gabriella!:
It was a long, rewarding day but we were more than ready to "ship out" at the end of the evening!:
We know that the fruits of our efforts will have a significant impact on ten needy families in Guatemala. We are already looking forward to an even more successful fundraising event next year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

First Trip to the Voting Polls

Gabriella "voted" in her first election today! Today was the U.S. Senate Primary in Massachusetts and we were proud to vote for Martha Coakley! Gabriella helped me submit my ballot.:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cinderella's Christmas

Today we went to see "Cinderella's Christmas" at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston. It was a fun day with good company. We went with Grammy, Aunt Gira, Cousin Stephanie, and Cousin Bella. The show, on the other hand, was pretty bad.

The show contained "humor" that was inappropriate for children (even though it was supposed to be a show for children) and "violence". We were expecting a girly, Christmas-themed, princess show, but got the opposite. The two "step-sisters" were calling each other "fat pig" and saying things like "I'll kick you in the head." They were physically fighting; screeching at one another in really high, shrill voices; and their microphone volume was much too high. Within 5 minutes of the show starting, Gabriella started crying and wanted to leave. She said, "Home. Car." I immediately took her out of the theatre and when we got out she said, "Bella." She was nervous that Bella was still in the theatre. It was very sweet. Gabriella and I stood outside the entrance to the theatre during the performance and walked in to watch the parts that the "step-sisters" were not in.

I LOVE theatrical shows and Gabriella has enjoyed every other show that I've brought her to. She sits intently and pays close attention. I was most angered by this show because I was nervous that Gabriella would have a negative association with theatre performances going forward.

Following are pictures from our day.

On our way:

In the elevator:
Today was Auntie Gira's birthday so we had a birthday lunch at Maggiano's prior to the show.:
Isabella and Gabriella being silly!:
Auntie Gira bought the girls light-up butterflies:
Gabriella enjoyed a cookie at intermission. She was licking the sugar sprinkles off the top!:
The two scary, evil step-sisters, who ruined the show, are on the right!:

Despite the inappropriateness of the show, we enjoyed spending the day in good company with family. Happy Birthday, Aunt Gira!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving 2009

Gabriella celebrated her second Thanksgiving home today. She was feeling under the weather with Bronchiolitis, so she was not too interested in eating, but her sickness didn't stop her from having a blast with her cousins! One thing I did learn today is that she LOVES eggnog! Cousin Isabella's birthday is tomorrow, so we celebrated it today with a cake and gifts. Gabriella and I gave Isabella this dollhouse and the kids loved playing with it. Gabriella could play with a dollhouse for hours. I talked to Santa Claus and his Elves are working on the same dollhouse for Gabriella for Christmas!Happy Thanksgiving!

Mayra Receives a Blanket

Mayra, one of the children I sponsor through Mayan Families, and her family did not have enough blankets. Following is a photo of the blanket she received from a donation I made to Mayan Families.

2010 Guatadopt Calendar

Gabriella's photo made it onto the back cover of the 2010 Guatadopt.com calendar (top right corner, orange shirt with white ghost on it). You can order a copy of the calendar through Monday (11/30/09) at http://www.do-good-stuff.com. There are so many beautiful Guatemalan children in the calendar and it is a wonderful tribute to these beautiful faces of Guatemalan adoption.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

2009 Christmas Portraits

Every year since my oldest dog, Riley, was a puppy, it has been my annual tradition to get my dog's photos taken for Christmas cards. Last year was Gabriella's first Christmas home, so last year was the first year for photos of Gabriella with the dogs. As you can probably imagine, it is no easy task getting three dogs and a toddler ready, to the portrait studio, and set-up for some good shots! Thank goodness for Tita Candace's help! Luckily, we were able to capture a few cute pictures. We, unfortunately, did not get any photos of Gabriella alone, though, like I had hoped, because Gabriella had a meltdown at the end of the photo shoot! These are my favorite shots!: