Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pickle Pictures!

So even though I get the worst mother of the year award for taking a hundred pictures on a camera without a memory card for my baby's first day of preschool....I might have made up for it with these cute pickle pictures! Zoya loves dill crazy girl :) But she doesn't like cold things a whole lot so I have to run the pickle under warm water....anyways, here she is enjoying her pickle!

I have convinced myself pickle pictures are way better than first day of preschool pictures (or at least I'm trying to believe that so I won't feel as bad). But seriously, how many other moms have pickle pictures? Just sayin ;)

Zoya's First REAL Day of Preschool Pictures!!

Ahhh, I know how to draw my readers in with the word "pictures" BUT....there are none!  I eagerly snapped away tons of pictures this morning of Zoya in her cute new outfit with her way too big backpack with smiles from ear to ear and the beauty of an angel.....BUT my memory card was never in the camera.....SIGH! Well now you know how I felt when I made that discovery. But trust me when I say THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN ADORABLE!!! Soooo....I will probably be the only mom who will have "2nd Day of Preschool" Pictures to remember her first year of preschool....oh well, what can you do?

Anyways, although Zoya did go to the same classroom with the same teachers one morning a week over the summer, I was still nervous about today. I am so very thankful we decided to send her one day a week over the summer to get used to her classroom and teachers and just being away from us.  Since last week Zoya has been signing "school" and asking for "B" and "Anna" (classroom aide and teacher) and also signing "friends." It is so sweet, and I kept telling her that soon she'd be going to school more!  I love that she loves school! There were only 5-7 other kids in her summer class and it was a very lax summer program...lots of playing and free choice...which was a perfect way to introduce Zoya to school! But since it was not as structured and it was very calm and quiet because they were the only kids in the building...I was worried how she would react today when the entire building was full of loud kids! Her class has abour 16 kids, which is a nice size, but triple the size she was used to over the summer.

But she did fantastic! She was a little hesitant and clingy when I left, but was fine as soon as I was gone.  If you're wondering, the ONE time her Daddy took her to school she was just fine with no tears or clinginess! Go figure! Her teacher said she got a little sad at snack time (chairs plus food equal anxiety for Zoya), "B" as Zoya so enthusiastically calls her, sat with her and she was just peachy after that! Love that they know how to love on my girl and ease her anxieties! I heard that Zoya tried to make friends with a little girl who is pretty shy. Zoya showed the little girl her baby and then pulled a puppet off the shelf and handed it to the little girl. Hearing that just made my heart so happy. Although Zoya has a tough time communicating verbally, she is so very good at communicating through actions.  I've always said our goals in school for Zoya are not to master algebra and spelling and other academic content, but rather to learn more important life skills such as compassion, friendship, problem solving, and respect. I think she is well on her way!

For those of you wondering, Zoya is in a typical preschool classroom. She will go MWF 9-11:15, and half way through the year we may decide to keep her there until noon, depending on how she is doing.  The reason we decided to pick her up at 11:15 is because that class eats lunch in the BIG SCARY CAFETERIA with Kindergartners and 1st graders at 11:20, which we know would be way too tough for Zoya at this point, but I do believe she will get there eventually.  Shawn didn't quite understand my fears and concerns of having Zoya eat lunch in the cafeteria UNTIL he came to school for her IEP in May! On his way in he passed by the cafeteria at the exact same time Zoya would be in there and he said UMMM YAH NO WAY! LOL.  There are a couple of other children in Zoya's class with IEPs/special needs, so that is pretty cool! The classroom has one teacher and one full time aide, and another aide was recently added part time, so while Zoya is there, the ratio is about 1:5, which is not bad. I think most of the kids in the class are 4, so Zoya is on the younger side, but this works perfectly for Zoya as lots of these kids have already been in preschool and know the routine/rules, and will be good role models for her.

I requested a copy of the schedule, as well as a list of first names of the students in her class so that we can talk to her about her day and about her friends. Since she isn't able to tell us much of what happens at school, I'd like her to realize that we know some of the things she does at school, and know some of her friends names. Zoya kept saying "lay-lah" over and over and I couldn't figure it out. Every time I asked her what she did in school...she'd sign "play" and say lay-luh. Then I remembered a friend she already knows named "Makayla" is in her class and I'm pretty sure that's what she was telling me. Sooooo if I have the list and the schedule, maybe I can understand what she is telling me a little better :)

I loved seeing Zoya so proud of herself today when I picked her up. She waved goodbye and yelled "bye" and blew kisses to her friends. She knows she belongs, she knows she is valued  and loved at school. I know she may not always feel that way, but I am soaking it up now while I can! I'm so proud of my big brave girl!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Zoya Spells Her Name

I've been working a lot with Zoya on letters and her name lately. You can see a little of her hard work here. You'll have to turn your volume up so you can hear her little voice. She recognizes about half of the letters of the alphabet so far, upper and lowercase! I am also working on teaching her how to put the letters of her name in the right order. This is why I love short names for kids :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Silly Singing Girl...

*Video Problem Fixed...
No words needed...I love this girl!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

More Life Lessons from My Wise 3 Year Old...

I've said it a million times...when I grow up I want to be like Zoya. She is so wise beyond her years in so many ways. She get is....this game of life that the rest of us are still trying to figure out.

Make Someone's Day Brighter:
She knows how to snap me out of a bad mood instantly by calling, "mama" (in a very specific lovey tone) and waiting for my eyes to meet hers and then flashing me the biggest, toothiest grin she can must up...and she doesn't stop smiling until I muster up a smile myself. And she knows if I'm faking it!

Live in The Moment:
She knows how to live in the tonight when we were at the store and she found an Elmo and Big Bird t-shirt she just loved sooo much. She immediately tried to take off the shirt she was wearing (in the middle of the store) to put that shirt on right then and there! That girl wasn't gonna waste a second...because she knows life is precious and why put off 'til tomorrow what you can do today? And if you're wondering, yes I bought her the shirt and she is wearing it to school tomorrow because I've never seen her so excited about a piece of clothing before!

Make the Best of What You're Given:
She knows how to turn a dull moment into a when I handed her the new potty seat I was buying for her to have at school....and she sat in the cart pretending the potty seat was a wheel, making car noises and tilting the "wheel" side to side (okay so she might know how to drive a little bit...maybe I let her sit on my lap and drive up and down the driveway....she sure knows how to put that baby in reverse! lectures please, we were in the driveway going less than one mile per hour...ha!)

Don't Put Off Letting Others Know How Much You Love Them:
She knows not to leave feelings unspoken...every day she gives us at least a dozen hugs and even more kisses and many "I love you's" just out of the blue (even if she does sound like scooby doo...I know what she's saying and it melts my heart).

Encourage Others:
She knows it makes other people feel good when you praise and encourage them.  So I might never go potty again without having a round of applause from Zoya...but she sure knows how to encourage!

Take Pride in Your Accomplishments:
She knows she should be proud of herself because I can see that pride written all over her face when she accomplishes a new task or meets a new milestone, even if it takes her twice as long as everyone else. Like tonight when she strung together FIVE words that went like this "More, I want that, pretzels" (sounded like "mooo-ah, I oooooott dat pehpeh" She wanted more pretzels and she got them! When I cheered for her words a smile the size of Texas spread across her sweet face.

Dance to Life's Music:
She knows when music is playin' there's no other choice than to dance. At the first hint of music her little but starts swaying and her fingers start snapping and her head starts bobbing side to side. I don't think this girl can help herself when the music starts playing. Her life story, from orphan to cherished daughter is an intricately choreographed dance that she has perfected.  She finds beauty in each moment...she dances her way through whether that moment be high or low.

I still have so much left to learn....and thus far my beautiful daughter has been my best teacher.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Sometimes I can hardly believe....
that this sweet soul
spent almost two years confined to a crib
with no love
no mama
no daddy
and no joy.
Sister is makin' up for lost time now!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Nothing Better in this World...

There is nothing better in this world than snuggling with my girl....

watching her eyes meet mine and her lips curl up at the ends in a little delightful smile as if to say "we've got a little secret-you and I-with this amazing love".....

counting her breaths as her chest rises and falls with each breath getting slower and more relaxed...

loving her eyelashes as they flutter open and closed, open and closed as she drifts off to dreamland in my arms....

smelling her sweetness as she breathes warm breaths onto my nose....

saying a little prayer that goes a little like this "thank you God for this gift that I don't deserve"....

running my fingers over her soft chubby cheeks....

adoring the way she sticks her tongue out just peaking past her lips...

wondering how I ever lived in this world without her....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

More Visitors!!

We've been very busy here at the Basile house this summer having some pretty cool visitors!! Of course you all know Summer and her family. They are in the process of bringing home another treasure! Stop on over and leave some love!  Our families were featured together in an article HERE before we actually met in real life. I first met Summer, in real life, shortly after that article was published. We had a fun time meeting last summer, and then again after Belle was newly home, so I was so excited I would get to see her again this summer! I hadn't seen Belle since she had just gotten home and I just couldn't believe the changes in her! What a love bug that girl is! (And she loved my cheesy potatoes). Summer was a rock star, bringing her three 3 year olds without her husband...thank goodness her daughter Taylor was here to help! I do think that was the first time I've witnessed a mama changing two diapers at once all while another 3 year old monkey hung on her back! She is one talented woman!

And many of you know Teri (The Mac's House) who is such a great advocate and source of support for so many Reece's Rainbow families. Teri and I have been emailing long Teri?? Well since before we met Zoya I do believe! a long time! Teri is one heck of a woman let me tell you. She has encouraged me many times when I was feeling down and celebrated with me many times as well.  It really does feel like she is family! She is one of the most generous women I have ever met and it amazes me to see how dedicated she is to helping RR families through leaving encouraging blog comments, donating to fundraisers, and just being an awesome cheerleader! She is a perfect example of how God calls ALL to take care of orphans.  Even though she is not adopting a child herself, she goes above and beyond to help others in their adoptions!  Her granddaughter, Izzy, and Zoya share a birthday and that shared birthday must be the reason they are so alike! Izzy loves seeing Zoya's pictures and videos on the blog so she was so excited to come and finally meet Zoya. You would have thought this girl has visited every day for the last year with her friendliness and hugs! She just can't get enough hugs...sweet angel! Soooo I was REALLY excited when Teri said they were coming to visit family close by us! Of course we had to plan a get together so we decided that Teri and her hubby Dan, their daughter Bri, and their granddaughter Izzy would come and visit WITH Summer, her daughters Taylor, Sara, and Belle, and her son Owen....WE HAD A PARTY!

One of the most amazing things about adoption is how it brings people together...families and friends, and people who you would have never met otherwise. I just love that part. So many of my close friends are friends I've met through adoption! During Zoya's adoption, and now with Laina's I am reminded how blessed we are to have all of the support that we do have!!

Here are some pictures of our fabulous party!
Zoya waiting for her party guests...

I think Teri was confused...she must have thought it was December 25th or something....she bought Summer and I beautiful bracelets!! And she brought toys for all the kids!!

Super Owen is strong enough to push a car!

Belle is the only one looking...she is saying thank you for the cheese potatoes!

Zoya just LOVED Dan! Excuse her mouth full but it was such a cute picture!

The Chaos!

Where is Shawn??

Anybody home?

Zoya wanted to wear her life jacket...I just go with the flow....

Girls playing ball with Mya
My beautiful girl...

Oh the fun of a tunnel! Even Mya wanted to play!

Shawn doing the "disappearing Owen act."

Playing together...

Super Mom with the three 3 year olds!

Love how Shawn loves on Belle!

Zoya and Daddy...
Bri lovin on Bellie :)

The June 3 birthday girls...

Giggling with Mr. Dan!

Everyone smile!

Another attempt...

Here comes a hug, Zoya-style!

Looks sweet and innocent right?

I think Izzy met her match in the hug wars!

Did you notice there is not one picture of Teri? She somehow missed all the shots!!! And I wish I would have thought to get a picture of myself with her and Summer...oh well that just means we have to do this again!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Catching Up....Camping

We have been so busy around here lately with normal life and with Laina's adoption preparation. Things are moving quickly! 

We have been having SOME fun though! We joined Shawn's family for the day where they were camping :)

Here are some pictures of our fun day! Somehow Grandma escaped all the pictures!

Me and my girl :)

Grandpa's girl...

Pretending to kiss Grandpa and licking him instead! She thinks this is hillarious...we are just waiting to get a call from school asking why she is licking people! Umm maybe because we laugh every time she does it!

Zoya and cousin Mattea looking scared after the ride started.

More Grandpa time

And more...Look at that smile!

Lovin' her some Daddy!

Hangin' with Aunt Kim

Taking a little rest in the shade!

These two cousins thought it'd be funny to crawl in the dog kennel...I think Zoya started it!

Let us out!

Taking after her Daddy loving the John Deere

Silly Girls

Taking a break

I guess we know who the ham is....

Trying to get a comparison picture from last year

Okay that is ENOUGH!

Just kidding, that was all a show, I was never really upset, that was my "fake cry" face
See? Happy!

This girl would prefer to always be in someone's arms...velcro girl!

Smoochin' on Daddy

Mattea was so funny posing for me to take pictures

Senior portrait?

How's this "hold the arm" pose Aunt Sarah?

I think Zoya is tired from such a fun day of camping!!!

More fun posts to come (if I can find another hour somehwere)!!!