Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good Job Zoya!

So I'm not a homeschooling mama but I am a teacher and I love teaching Zoya! She absolutely LOVES learning anything and everything! She takes such pride in her accomplishments. Recently I've seen her taking initiative and using and applying the skills she has learned and it makes me so proud of her! She knows her letters and numbers and can verbally identify all of them. The other day she was drawing on her magna doodle and she said, "Mama 'f'" and I looked down and sure enough her little doodle looked like the letter "f." I praised her a bunch and then she put her pen to the magna doodle again and did a little scribble that looked like a 2. She said, "Mama 2!" I called Shawn in because I couldn't even believe I was watching her make these connections all on her own outside of any letter lesson we did together. Do I think she could write a "2" or an "f" if I asked her? No, but she was making a connection between her scribble and her knowledge of numbers and letters and also between writing in general! She has been picking out letters everywhere we go and spelling the words on big signs, sweatshirts, her stroller, even on the buckle on the cart. She has been picking up books and "reading" them and I just think it's the sweetest thing ever! I love watching the wheels turn and seeing how she loves learning so much!

Soon I'll post Christmas pictures, I promise, but I wanted to remember this little moment first :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011


So you all know I certainly didn't have time to make this beautiful Christmas card!!! Thanks to JAE for taking the time to put together this fabulous card! The wording is perfect and the pictures are all my favorites from our photo shoot! I love blogging because all of you guys are just so full of joy for our family! Thank you for sharing in all our our miracles this holiday season!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Merry Christmas

The girls are nestled all snug in their beds...waiting for Santa to come tonight! Santa agreed to come a little early since we'll be in the hospital on Christmas for Mila's heart surgery recovery!

Zoya has been so excited and trying to open the presents under the tree for a couple days now. She keeps saying "Santa" and signing "presents" and then saying "TREE!" Tonight she prepared a plate of cookies for Santa and almost started crying when she realized they weren't for HER! So I had to give her a Hershey kiss to get her up to bed LOL. It took a bit for her to fall asleep as she was up there yelling "HO HO HO!" She knows tomorrow is a special day!

We decided to do 3 gifts for the girls this year...hey it was enough for Baby Jesus so it's enough for them.....and then Uncle Bub rolled into town with his sleigh full ;) He spoils his girls!

Truly we are so blessed this Christmas. Blessed to have so many amazing family and friends who are supporting us in every way imaginable. Blessed to have two beautiful daughters who make every day so special. Blessed to be spending Christmas in the hospital. Yep, that's right, blessed to be spending Christmas in the hospital. Because that means our jelly bean will be on the mend. That means she got the greatest gift of all....a chance at a new, healthy life. A gift of health and life is the best gift of all!

Merry Christmas from Zoya and the rest of the Basiles! (Photo courtesy of Grandma Liz)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Long Overdue Zoya Update!

Even though I have very little time these days to sit down and write, I promised myself last night I'd write about Zoya because she is just turning into such a big girl lately! It is so cool to watch all the changes that are happening with her lately. I swear she grows overnight every night because each morning she looks more and more grown up to me!

Last night Zoya and I spent some one on one time in her room reading and singing and snuggling and hugging. She kept saying "more hug" and "woo woo too" (love you too). She is able to carry on a conversation with us between words and signs and I just think it's so cool to start hearing what she has to say. She gets her wants/needs across very well and follows directions to a T! She is so literal it cracks me up. I told her to stop touching her glass Elmo ornament and just to look with her eyes. So she got her little head as close to that ornament while sticking her butt out and tried to touch her eyes to the ornament. Then last night I said "Can you watch Mila for Mama?" (I was trying to make Zoya feel helpful and important) and Zoya walked right over to her, bent down hovering over her with her eyes an inch from Mila's and just "watched" her. I laughed so hard! She is such a good girl and has really put up with a lot of changes in the past couple of months.

She has shared us gracefully (except the week from you know where) and she has done fabulous during the times we can't be here with her because we are with Mila in Pittsburgh. Shawn and I are trying to be very intentional with her and giving lots of extra love and attention at every second we can. We are also very aware that we can't take advantage of the fact that she is doing so well on the outside and forget her emotional needs on the inside. It has been so difficult to balance caring for Mila in Pittsburgh and Zoya in Erie, and it's about to get a whole lot more difficult next week. We are blessed to have fantastic family and friends who have been so willing to help us. Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa B. and Aunt Jen Jen and Xavier for helping us love on Zoya while we can't be here.

Zoya is still doing fabulous with potty and wearing underwear everywhere (even school) except for naptime and bedtime. She still refuses to poop in the potty but I think she's getting closer because she has been obsessed with putting all her babies and animals on the potty and yelling POOP! haha. Let's hope it's right around the corner for her! Her speech is really coming along and she is saying new words every day. She was on the potty the other day and I heard her yelling SHADOW! SHADOW! SHADOW! And I peeked in and she was making shadow puppets on the wall haha! She loves singing and dancing and playing anything girly! Right now she is sitting on the floor next to me playing with her doll house. I love seeing her play appropriately. She just picked up the mama and said HUG and made her hug the daddy. The other day she was very quiet so I went into the playroom to check on her and she had a burp cloth under Elmo's butt and she had a diaper out and was wiping Elmo with wipes and putting a diaper on him! She must watch pretty closely! The best part was she was being sooo gentl with Elmo and it was just so sweet! I love seeing her act out love like this because I know we must be doing something right here. School is going good and she loves going....I think she wishes she could go every day because she asks just about every day if it's a school day. She has been able to tell me bits and pieces of her day which I just love.

I've been wanting to get a good video of Zoya singing because she just loves to sing and I love hearing her. So here is Mama and Zoya's Twinkle Twinkle duet!

(if you notice her right eye turning in....she'll be getting glasses in a couple of months to fix that! Then she'll really be a fashionista!)

And here is her acting out and singing "The Wheels on the Bus"

And a cute little one of Zoya answering my questions. One of her favorite things to do is name everyone in the room and point...I hear she likes to do that at school too!

I am the luckiest mama ever to spend my days with two sweet girls now! It's not always the easiest job, in fact it's the hardest job I've ever had, but it's the most fun too!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Cuteness!

Since we weren't able to do breakfast with Santa this year because of the Great Quarantine, we had our own Christmas breakfast at our house instead. Grandma and Grandpa P. bought the sweetest Christmas dresses for the girls and so we Shawn cooked a fabulous breakfast and then we dressed the girls up in their beautiful dresses and attempted a photo shoot. It was such a sweet morning. I had hoped to do Christmas cards and send them out with Mila's adoption announcements, but logistically that's not looking too might know....I've been a little busy!
So here are my favorites of our two precious daughters. Zoya was just the best model ever....Mila was not giving out any smiles during the photo shoot but her pictures just captivate me! I look at these pictures and think how in the world do I deserve these amazing girls?? They are our everything.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Monster has Disappeared!

I'm happy to report that the monster that was lurking around here has dissapeared as quickly as she appeared. But I have to admit, I think a big part of her wild behavior was my fault. I realized a few days ago that just about the time that Zoya's behavior drastically changed, I changed the type of Ginkgo that we were giving her. She has taken the same type for a while now (helps her greatly with impulsivity, anxiety, and attention)...but the nutrition office ran out of her kind and so I got a *similar* one until they could order her typical one in. Literally the DAY I started her back on the old ginkgo, her mood swings, irritability, and outright tantrums decreased by about 95%! Now if I had made this change during a less dramatic time in Zoya's life (without the addition of a new baby sister along with all the other changes going on), I don't know if we would have seen as dramatic of a result. But I think the combination of the two was the perfect recipe for an ugly storm. So, although Zoya still needs reminders to be gentle with her sister, and although she still gets jealous at times, she is not acting like that monster we saw last week....Praise God! She really loves her sister and if Shawn or I take Zoya anywhere, she constantly asks "baby? home?" When she wakes up in the morning she asks, "baby?" She gets sad when her sister cries and tries to help by saying "Shh Shh Shh Baby"....and often it works to get Mila to stop crying! She has been such a big girl offering to help put away groceries, throwing out dirty diapers, getting wipes, and doing all of it so proudly! I hope the monster is gone for good and not lurking in a closet somewhere, but either way we'll just keep on lovin' like it's going out of style!

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Monster!

We interrupt this usually cute blog to alert you that there is a monster lurking in the Basile household. Her name is Zoya and she can be seen poking her baby sister in the eye, telling her parents NO to everything they say, having long tantrums in time out, and peeing her pants on purpose to try to get out of time out (that trick only worked once but girl keeps tryin to see if it'll work again).

Guess the honeymoon is over folks.....
I guess after having your parents gone for weeks and then having them return with another little being that is getting just as much of her mama and daddy's love, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Hoping we're on the upswing of this after a brutal past 2 days!

Off to pour more love into my devil angel-child :)

Mila's First Thanksgiving! (and Zoya's Second)

What perfect timing to have Mila home just in time to celebrate Thanksgiving! We are so thankful for her. We are thankful we decided to trust through the pain and loss of Laina and continue on so we could understand that Mila was God's plan all along for our family.

We just hung out here (we are keeping Mila on quarantine until surgery as to minimize her risk of getting sick). Grandma and Grandpa P. came for a visit and even brought Thanksgiving dinner with them to cook for us! It was lovely!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Zoya is a Big Sister!!

I've gotten so many comments/emails asking to please update on how Zoya is doing as her role of big sister! We've been a bit busy but I'll do a quick little update!

Zoya is doing far better than we anticipated. I thought since she is the center of our universe, she might have a little more trouble adjusting to baby sister Mila. When Zoya met her at the airport she just loved her instantly. She is constantly around her wanting to touch her and love her. She sometimes needs reminders to be gentle, but overall is doing fabulous. We have been trying to intentionally make extra one on one time with Zoya to make the transition smoother. We've regressed her a little bit in some areas, such as holding her more than normal, snuggling her, and baby talking with her. We even gave her her own bottle because she was so interested in Mila's and got upset when she couldn't have it. As soon as we gave her her own she didn't want it any more ;) Reverse psychology at it's finest!  She thinks the extra attention and treating her like a baby is funny and just eats it up. Some of you might be thinking why would we do thing we found with Zoya is when change is present, or we are seeing anxiety, if we just regress her a tiny bit here and there she does fabulous. The first day home we noticed some whining and pouting and a few tears, but in all fairness to Zoya she was up late from the airport arrival and also sick. Hopefully this trend will continue and Zoya won't have any huge adjustment issues. I am thankful she is doing so well! I am so proud of our Zoya girl, she has dealt with all the changes from us being gone so long, all the way through sharing us with Mila. Having a baby really puts into perspecting how fast Zoya is growing up!

Usually when she comes home from school she runs right to her iPad and yells ELMO, because she knows if she had a good day at school she gets to watch Elmo. Well Shawn picked her up today and she came running in yelling "BABY!" She ran right over and was so excited to see Mila. She is still working on perfecting saying "Mila" so mostly she is calling her baby. Mila cried the other day and Zoya said "Mama, baby ba-ba." She could probably run the show if I needed to leave for a bit ;) Just kidding! Just as I thought Zoya is such a good helper. She will grab diapers or wipes, throw things out and even keep Mila entertained for a few minutes if I'm making a bottle!

*And after I typed all that Zoya kicked Mila and had the mother of all tantrums in time out. Ya win some, ya lose some....LOL!

Now what you all wanted to see....some sweet pictures of our beautiful daughters. We are so stinkin' blessed!

pretending she is a baby saying "sssshhhhhhh"

Practicing on the freaky life size doll (the doll is bigger than Mila LOL)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Aunt Jen Jen's Pictures :)

We are so thankful for Aunt Jen Jen and Xavier who moved into our house and took fabulous care of Zoya while we were gone for THREE weeks! And also to Grandma and Grandpa B for doing some weekend duties! Jen knew our hearts needed to see pictures of our sweet girl daily and see how happy she was. She posted updates on facebook almost daily and it was so nice to get a peak into what our girl was up to! Here are some of my favorite pictures:

Zoya was a ballerina for her school halloween party

Isn't she just a beautiful ballerina?

Having more fun than everyone else because that's the way we do it!

Sweet girl in the halloween parade...

With big brother X :)

Getting ready for Zoo-Boo with Mario

Cute kitty cat and Mario

Zoya and her pumpkins before pumpkin time

Painting her white pumpkin (good idea Aunt Jen Jen!)

EEEWWW guts! Jen said she actually liked it, I guess this picture just shows her Ukrainian Babushka face she likes to make now and again! LOL

Sweet jammied babes!! Xavier is such a good friend to Zoya and takes such good care of her!

I had a couple pictures of Zoya and Grandma and Grandpa but they were so blurry because Zoya was running circles around them but they are burried in my horrendous email somewhere. :) But I hear Zoya had a fabulous time being spoiled rotten by them!