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!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Is Blogging Correlated to Gabriella Being Sick?!

I truly believe there is strong correlation between me blogging and Gabriella getting sick! Gabriella had a rough time with sickness from the time she arrived home until about February. While I was on "blogging-hiatus" she was not sick. Well, I am back to blogging and Gabriella spiked a fever last night (Sunday). Wouldn't you say there is a weird correlation here?!

Yesterday her eyes looked heavy and watery. She spiked a fever in the evening and when I was getting her ready for bed she was burning up. Other than the fever and heavy eyes, she was acting as she normally does and she was not fussing or giving us any indication that she had not been feeling well. We started her on Motrin and had a pretty rough night. Her fever was down to 99.7 by morning. I kept her in bed all day today. She was very tired and was napping frequently and her fever broke. She pulled at her ear one time this evening and her temperature is back up. She will be seeing her pediatrician tomorrow.

We were supposed to be taking her to Pennsylvania on Wednesday for the long weekend to visit Sesame Place and Six Flag's Animal Safari in New Jersey, but the plans are up in the air now depending on how she is feeling.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Cookout at the Italian Social Club

My brother and father are members of a local Italian Social Club. This evening they had a cookout at the club. Actually, they had "meat on a stick" that they cook over a big fire pit. It is delicious! Gabriella was fascinated with the grill and the fire. Gabriella loved socializing, watching people play ball, playing ball herself, and spending time with family. She LOVES being with family. Probably because she is the center of attention and everybody gloats over her!
Gabriella enjoying a good, healthy brownie dinner!:
Gabriella with Tito (Tio Michael) and Gabriella's new dolly. There was a baby at the cookout that Gabriella was quite amazed by. She kept "visiting" the baby and even gave the baby her dolly two times and walked away from it. I was quite impressed with her great sharing!:
Gabriella playing with Tita (Tia Candace):
Gabriella got to play horseshoes...:
...and ladder ball...:
...and bocce ball!: Taking a break with Tito:
Gabriella was not ready to leave when it was time to go home. While we were driving she said, "Walk, Tita." We had to call Tita and tell her we missed her!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gabriella's First Swim Lesson

Gabriella had her first swim lesson today. We went with Ken, Aunt Kathy, and Ava. Gabriella has never enjoyed the water. Each visit trip in Guatemala and each vacation since she has been home, she hasn't liked going in the pool or ocean. I can only remember one day of one visit trip that she enjoyed her time in the pool. My goal for her with these swim lessons is not necessarily for her to learn how to swim, but for her to be able to enjoy the water. To top it off, today (and each day of the past month!) it was cool, overcast, and drizzly which doesn't make for a pleasant swimming experience in itself.

Waiting for the lesson to begin:
Gabriella didn't want to be in the pool so I was trying to bribe her with a pool toy! Great parenting tactics, huh?!:
This is the closest to "swimming" that we got!:
Ava was a little fish! She loved it and did great!:
This was Gabriella's favorite spot during the lesson! Gotta love the crossed leg! It sends the nonverbal message of, "I'm comfortable here watching everybody else, I am not interested in the pool, and don't bother me!":
Saying goodbye to the instructor at the end of the lesson. Notice the thrilled look on Gabriella's face!:
Gabriella and Ava after the lesson in their warm, dry clothes. It is so cute how Gabriella is snuggled up to Ava! Gabriella was so much happier when the lesson was over and when she was out of her bathing suit.:
Enjoying a snack after the lesson:
After the lesson we went to lunch, an eye doctor appointment for Gabby, and then to run some errands. Like last Thursday, Gabriella missed her nap and was exhausted, so she took a quick cat nap on the way to Aunt Kathy's house!:
When we got back to Aunt Kathy's house, Gabriella made herself comfortable in Aunt Kathy's and Uncle Al's bed!:
Playing with Ava in the bed:
Playing with Aunt Kathy in the bed:
Dancing on Aunt Kathy's belly!:
Just like last Thursday evening, we ate a quick dinner when we got home and then Gabriella was sound asleep by 6:45 PM! Mommy loves these exhausting days when our nighttime routine is so easy and Gabriella is more than willing to go to bed!

Wonderful Adoption Storybook Recommendation

This may be of interest to other adoptive families. I found a wonderful storybook that I highly recommend for you to share with your Guatemalan-born children. It is titled, "Sophia Allesandra's Story, Guatemalan Born - American Bound." The author, Mary Beth Wells, placed her first child for adoption and then later adopted a daughter from Guatemala. She founded Precious Doll Company. This book not only shares Sophia's adoption story and journey home, but also celebrates the story of her beautiful country where she was born. I believe this book will help me share Gabriella's own story with her.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gabriella's First Report Card

Gabriella got her first "report card" today from school! She got mostly "M's" for "Most of the Time", two "P's" for "Part of the Time" and one "N" for "Not Yet." Good work Gabriella! You are a very smart little girl and we are so proud of you and I couldn't be happier that you are my daughter!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Praying for Aviana

A Facebook friend shared a tragic story with me today about another adoptive family that is currently experiencing a complete nightmare. Jennifer and Dave Hodder's Guatemalan-born daughter, Aviana, who is a little over two and a half years old, was struck by a car last Wednesday, June 17, 2009. She suffered severe head trauma and is currently in an induced coma. I am reading Jennifer's blog and crying like a blubbering fool. What a horrific nightmare. I smooched Gabriella extra hard tonight. Just as I experienced during my car accident in January 2008, you never know what tomorrow will bring. My heart and prayers go out to the Hodder family. Please pray for Aviana.

Pictures of precious Aviana:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all dads, especially to my dad, Ken, and Papa who are all such amazing "dads" in my life and I am so happy to celebrate them today. Gabriella is also blessed with a wonderful Godfather, Tio (or "Tito" as she says it) Michael. All wonderful men that we are so lucky to have in our lives.

Ken is the most incredible dad I know, except for my own dad and my papa, of course! I am so blessed to have Ken in my life and Gabriella is so blessed to have a dad that is absolutely and completely head over heals for her!

Gabriella was very excited to give Ken his Father's Day present this morning: After Ken opened his present, we went to breakfast and then to visit Ken's Dad, Grandpa Floyd:
Ken and Gabriella being silly while visiting Grandpa:
We then went to lunch with my father, Grampy, along with my mother and brother. This is Grampy, Dada, and Gabriella outside of the restaurant:
Dada and Gabriella:
Grampy and Gabriella:My grandfather, Papa, who is obviously Gabriella's great-grandfather, sharing his dinner and dessert with her:

Gabriella playing with Tio Michael:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day Out With Thomas

Today we went to "Day Out With Thomas the Train" at Edaville Railroad in Carver, MA. We saw Thomas the Train and got to ride a train pulled by Thomas!
Walking to the train with her giant Thomas train whistle:
On the train getting ready to leave the station:
Gabriella waving while the train was chugging:
Gabriella got a Junior Engineer Certificate while on-board:
In front of an old steam locomotive:
Looking pretty in her Thomas dress. On the train we were sitting across from a family with two little boys. The mom complimented Gabriella's dress and the little boy said, in a whiny voice, "I want a Thomas dress too!":
Posing while taking a little break from walking!:
Taking a leisurely stroll through the park!:
Getting ready for a ride on a smaller train:
Gabriella was so excited by these hand-powered cars. She tried moving her car on her own, but couldn't, so...
...Ken got in a car behind her and pushed her. She loved it! They took several laps around the track like this until Ken was completely exhausted!:
Ken and Gabriella on a bulldozer:
Playing in a giant sandbox:
Gabriella was being so silly. She was walking on Ken's feet while peeking through his legs laughing. She was cracking me up!:
Pointing to the train:
Watching a wood-carver:
While we were walking Gabriella found this speaker in the ground. She sat on it and thought she was so funny!:
When it was time to leave Gabriella didn't want to go. So she planted herself on the ground in protest!:
When we got home she was pretty tired, so she made herself comfortable in a lawn chair and said, "night night!":