Saturday Morning Help

7/31/2010 04:14:00 PM Edit This 2 Comments »
This morning I was trying to get a little work done on the computer and get a couple of phone calls out of the way before I started on the house. Poor Kaboodle was very sick last week - the vet thinks due to a sever reaction to a bee sting or bug bite. She threw up, then the next day her face was so swollen I could hardly see her eyes. Here she is a few hours after her medication and the swelling had gone done a lot.
Here she is normally. Poor thing!
Then the next day she couldn't control her bowels. Fun times! She's all better now but clearly the carpets need to be cleaned which is happening Monday.
Lexie came into my office carrying a few of her toys and I asked her to PLEASE just keep all the toys in her playroom (aka the living room) or her bedroom. A couple of phone calls later I look up and....
I had acquired two baby dolls and umbrella, her ladybug backpack, a ball and Jakie the horse complete with her crown cowboy hat. What you can't see in this pictures are two princess books, a purse and a magic wand.
Do you think she misunderstood?

The Perfect Seattle Day

7/25/2010 12:14:00 AM Edit This 4 Comments »
Lexie and I are blessed to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country - the Pacific Northwest. And today I think anyone would have had to agree. It was 80 degrees, no humidity and not a cloud in the sky. Lexie and I grab a ferry and headed over to Seattle. What a breathtaking day it was.
It was a little windy at the front of the boat but clearly Lexie didn't care. And here is what she was looking at - Port Orchard where we live.
This is looking back at our town. How blessed are we to get to see this every day!
We went inside for a little while and I thought this was a great shot with Bainbridge Island behind Lexie as we passed it.
Then we are heading towards Mt Rainier for a while. Clearly God's handy work.
Here she is my sea faring girl with Mt Rainier in the background.
We take another turn and Seattle comes into view.
And what a view it is. It's days like this when you understand why Seattle is called the Emerald City.
Here's the rest of the city from the end of the ferry.
After our hour ferry ride we are ready, set, go!!!!
I had to grab this shot as we walked along the piers to the.....
Aquarium. Lexie was very excited to go and she wasn't disappointed.
Here she is checking out a star fish through the glass. But then...
she got to experience them through live. The touching tanks where just terrific.
As you can see Lexie agreed.
Here she is pretending to be an octopus but when she saw one up close....
she was totally grossed out. We were lucky she was out of her cave. What an amazing creater. But I didn't get to spend much time watching her as Lexie was off.
This was the only kind of octopus Lexie wanted near. Help it's got her!
Eventually we headed outside to view the seals, puffins, other sea animals and birds. This reef was just breath taking. A couple hours later we were both done which left us enough time to head up to Pike's Place Market. I haven't been there in probably 5 years. I don't know why I just never seem to take the time. I'm so glad we did today. A lot has change, on thing is the walk up. It used to be dirty and felt like you were walking through smelly allies (maybe because you where.) No more.
These beautiful blossoms where planted along the walk ways and stairs to get up to the market. Nice job Seattle. We found some great local treasures. Home grown fruit especially the Rainier cherries, some cute baby clothes for Angie's twins and of course my princess found crowns. These are bridal crowns I'm told by my crown expert and she had to have one. Soon after that purchase we headed back to the boardwalk because I wanted to make sure Lexie got to ride on the famous indoor carousel.
Here she is with her new crown on her horse Princess Pink Rose. Fitting name I think! Then we were off to Ivar's for some equally famous clams - yummy. Lexie was much more interested in feeding the "e-gals." I couldn't convince her they were seagulls.
She would have thrown all my yummy clams to them if I hadn't stopped her.
A few more stops along the way and it was time to head back to the ferry. My feet were certainly ready! Here's the problem with bride crowns - they are uncontrollable.
Good Bye Seattle. We'll be back - sooner than later!
Now that was a perfect Seattle day spent with my favorite person on earth - Princess Lexie Lou.

Princess Camp

7/22/2010 12:35:00 PM Edit This 5 Comments »
You read it right - Princess Camp.
 I know most kids are going to soccer camp or girl scout camp or my niece even
went to a cooking camp. My Lexie had to follow her heart and go to Princess Camp.
It was no biggie, just 3 hours at her dancing studio but she had a lot of fun and it's
 nice she can keep up with both her interests - princesses & dance.
You've gotta love a girly girl!

Here she is trying out her best Princess pose before we left (I simply don't know where she gets it from!) They had costumes at the studio but Lexie insisted on wearing HER Cinderella costume. Who am I to argue? Of course the jacket came off before we left the house. I was informed that princesses don't wear anything that itches and it itched. See you learn something new everyday.
Here she is with her BFFs Ariel & Bell. Then it was off to fly with Tinker Bell.
Now these are NOT wall flowers, no sir. These are princesses in waiting....waiting for their turn to dance with prince charming (even though there were no boys at Princess Camp.)
From this point on it was lots of fun and games. They danced, read Princess stories, made crafts and even did some princess make up (I know that for sure since my princess had lots of glitter in her hair.) Mommies where told to leave & come back for their princesses soon after this shot was taken. So this Mommy headed over to Queen's Camp were I indulged in a Queenly mani/pedi. Now that's MY kind of camp. I came back to find.....
a very happy but tired Princess. So rather than take her to pre-school I took her home for a nap and some pool time afterwords.
Hey our pool may not be big but there's room to sit...
dance and...
and play in it. Lexie loves it and that's all that really matters. So that was our day July 21, 2010 three years after Lexie & I landed in Houston as a family after 30 hours of flying from Almaty Kazakestan. Okay I'm done with the 3 years ago today posts.....until next year.
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer - we are!!!

Third Dance Recital

7/10/2010 01:34:00 AM Edit This 5 Comments »
I can't believe Lexie has been home three years and she just had her third dance recital. And I SWEAR I am not one of those moms from Toddlers & Tiaras (I only know the show from the previews which I find horrifying.) Lexie & I first took the Mommy & Me dance class when she was about 18 months because I thought we'd have some wonderful bonding moments - which we did. I also discovered my little princess LOVES to dance - big surprise. I was shocked to find out that they were actually going to be in the recital. And that she actually knew the steps - more or less. Of course she was adorable. Here she is at just 25 months waiting to go on.
She had a ball and keep asking me when she could go on the big stage again. Naturally she took dance the next year and had even more fun. Except when I first put her costume on her....
I'll have to admit I wasn't too keen on it myself but come on! This is actually one of my favorite pictures of her. It certainly tells the story. But by the time she needed to wear this on "the big stage" she was lovin' her little elephant costume.
So this year she was one of the "experienced" dancers if you can say that about a three year old. Two of her best girlfriends from last years class where back along with 7 new friends. She had a much bigger class this year and really started to blossom as a dancer. She was even in the middle position for recital since she knew the dance so well. And here she is my little ballerina....
bear! Believe me when I say the other elephant moms & I have made it very clear to the teacher that we will not be back if they are animals again! We want princesses. In fact we want Disney Princess like the adorable Jasmines that went on just before us or the adorable Cinderellas at the end of the show!
Okay - they still looked cute...
Here they are waiting for dress rehearsal (and we're actually missing two of the girls here!) This is her after her first show. She was so proud of herself!
This is her during dress rehearsal when I was allowed to take photos. There was nothing shy or nervous about my little teddy bear.
And here they are just before they went on the second night they preformed. Yes, they have such a crowd for these shows that they have it on Sat & Sun. Crazy!
How sweet are they holding hands! And here she is with some of her best buds at the end of the "run." As you can see there was no forcing any of these girls to go on and have fun. You'll also notice no eyeliner, blush or lipstick either. All our moms just wanted the girls to have fun and be kids. I really enjoyed this years group of moms. We are trying to get in the same class next year.
And for any of you who want to see her big performance here it is (sorry about the shaky camera but I had to sneak in when it was dark and sit on the floor.)
I know it's too far away but you get the general idea. She is in the very center 5 bear from the right. I'm so darn proud of her!

Three Years Ago Tonight

7/03/2010 11:49:00 PM Edit This 5 Comments »
It's hard for me to believe that three years ago tonight was the last night I sleep without the sweet little soul of Lexie down the hall (or more often than not right next to me.) Could it really be just three years since I looked into those big brown eyes and knew that I was looking into part of my soul? I really can't believe how much a part of me she is and how much I have grown with her in my life these last 3 years.
This is a picture I took of her the last time I had to visit my daughter at the baby house. It's strange to think she was my daughter except for a technicality of a few hours yet I still could only visit her. I remember when they picked Mom & I up after that visit to go back to the apartment and Flora said I could take Lexie home tomorrow (one day sooner than expected.) I was a little sad that I hadn't made it more of an occasion. But the big day was really the following day, July 4th. I was officially her mother and no one could ever change that. At the time I just wanted to get her out of there. That night Mom & I got the apartment as "Lexie safe" as we could considering......well everything! It was hard to sleep that night knowing it would be my last one without her. As I put her down tonight I couldn't help but see how much we've both grown and to feel even more blessed than I did three years ago.

Here she is last week at our state capital in Olympia. I had to drive down there to get her last post-adoption social worker approved report apostilled so we walked around the campus.
Of course, here is her more natural pose.
Or maybe this one. Clearly the child is confident in herself and curious about the world around her. She has grown in so many ways I can't believe she is the same child.
Here is something I have sung to Lexie almost every night since our first one together.

I Love you Lexie Lou
I Love little Lexie Lou
With your button nose
And your eyes so big & bright,
I love Lexie day and night.

I Love you Lexie Lou
I Love little Lexie Lou
With your dancing toes
And your silly little giggle
I love you just like a pickle

I love you Lexie Lou
I love little Lexie Lou
With your sweet kind heart
And your big smart brain
I love you in the sun and the rain.

Okay, a poet I'm not but my Mom has been bugging me to put it down in writing. I've clearly added the verses as she's gotten older and now she sings "I love Mommy" then makes up whatever she feels like that night. Those are my favorite verses. I sing (I'm using that term loosely here) this to the tune of that song Barney always sings at the end of his shows.  I also sing Bingo to her like this:

There is a mommy who has a baby
And Lexie is her name oh.
And Lexie is her name Oh.....

You get the idea. And the Oscar Meyer song goes like this in our house.

My Alexis has a first name, it's L E X I E,
My Alexis has a second name it's F A L E N,
Oh I love to kiss her every day
And if you ask me why I'l sayyyyyyy
Because Alexis Falen is the sweetest
Girl in the whole U S A - Hey!!

And the last song of my Lexie repertoire is to Row Row Row Your Boat:

Lexie Lexie Lexie Lou
What a funny girl.
She loves ballet
And then she'll play
Then next she'll draw a swirl.

Yes I know - it's the worst yet. But Lexie finds them all comforting and that's all that really matters - right? Plus I don't sing them in public! I have to get credit for that at least. So there you have them Mom. No one will ever forget them now. And no one will ever hire me as a song writer either.
Happy Adoption Day Lexie Lou! I can hardly wait to wake up and hear what you have to say tomorrow.