Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Cup of Tea

Those of you who know me know that I do not drink coffee or tea. So what exactly is my cup of tea? Planning a little tea party for Kamryn and her playgroup friends!

We get together most Fridays with our Chinese playgroup. I decided to host right after Kamryn's birthday and have a tea party in her honor.

It was so much fun! I think I had just as much fun the whole week prior just planning it out. It sure warmed my heart more than the weather was warm that week! At first I was just going to have a cake and ask our playgroup friends to sing to her; after all Kamryn is young enough to not really know the difference between a playgroup and a party right? But then in conversation with my sister, she mentioned, "you've been waiting a long time to plan a little girl's party." She had a point. Plus, soon enough Kamryn will probably want to go some place to have her party.

So I started making stuff for games like Pin the handle on the teapot and sheets for musical teapots. Planned on singing I'm a Little Teapot which we did at the end of the party with a few of our friends. The girls played a quick game of pass the hot teacup.

The boas were out, the mini heart turkey sandwiches, scones and fruit were out and tea (pink lemonade) was served.

The girls made a lacey paper fan and then kept busy by playing with legos! We passed out flower pens (which I made) and a homemade coloring book with tea party pictures inside. It was a very fun morning and lucky for us, we replayed the whole party when a friend stopped over in the afternoon.

I can't believe she's four!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Kamryn's actual Birthday Day

Kamryn's birthday was Jan. 14th, a Wednesday, and she was supposed to go to school. Lucky for us both, they canceled afternoon school due to the weather which was good because I had already decided that I wasn't going to take her;) We stayed in and made - yes - cupcakes together! (Look at her holding the scoop we use to put the batter in the pan. She's pretending it's a guitar!)

We were supposed to go to Brendan's first band performance that night but it was canceled too. We were also supposed to have my family over for a celebration dinner since it's also Lauren's birthday on this same day but my sister's family can not shake the sick bug:( So instead it was a quiet evening of dinner with just the five of us and opening some presents.

Grandma Dianne and Grandpa gave her a cheerleading outfit for Bitty Baby which she just loves! See - now her "Summer" bear and Bitty Baby both have cheerleading outfits like she does - remember her halloween costume?

She got some new outfits from us for Summer bear. Pj's so she can dress both bitty baby and bear like her at bedtime and a pretty dress and sparkly shoes just like Kamryn's.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A New Year, A New Routine

Change . . . it's defined as many things. But as a noun, one way to describe it is a variation or deviation: a change in the daily routine.

I generally dislike change. Not to say that I don't like to be spontaneous, but I do get comfortable in my daily routine. This new year brings a new routine for Kamryn and I.

Back in late November, our speech therapist mentioned that Kamryn just might qualify for the at-risk program offered through the school district. It's a "preschool for all" program that is funded by a grant through the Illinois State Board of Education. It focuses on providing high-quality educational programs for children who are determined to be at risk of academic failure.

Of course my initial reaction was "No thanks, I'm happy with her preschool. Plus, her speech isn't that bad, she probably won't qualify. My child is smart." I told them no to the free screening. After talking with some friends (who are also moms to girls from China), I decided that I may have made a mistake. I happened to call back the school days before a new screening was about to take place due to new grant they received. (which means they could add a new class)

Later the next week our speech therapist called to say that Kamryn had qualified. Both she and the woman who run this program were a bit surprised because during the screening, Kamryn's speech was actually pretty good. It was her "at risk" factors though that gave her enough points combined with her speech that made her qualify. (being adopted, having had ear tubes, possibly being a premie)

So instead of preschool Tuesday mornings and Thursday from 9-3pm (art class in the pm, bye bye to my long day!), she is now going to preschool 4 days a week and some weeks 5 days for 2.75 hours a day in the afternoon. I really am not ready for her to be gone every day:( But how can I deny her the (free) help if she really needs it? I know, it's not about me. But she was really liking her art class and preschool too . . . see it's a whole new change for us both.

She's adjusting okay. Last week she missed two days because of the weather and even on day two though she asked one morning after running errands if we were going home. I had to say, "No honey, you have school." She let out a big sigh. So how long does it take for something to become a habit? Five weeks? The first few days she cried when I left her, which was hard for me, but she did better as the week went on.

Hopefully this change will prove to be good. I do look forward to her speech exploding like the speech therapist predicts it will do after being in this program.


Before Christmas, Kamryn kept saying she wanted a cupcake for Christmas. I thought how easy is this? Well a few days before Christmas while we were watching "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" on TV, a commercial came on for some cupcake decorator thing. Kamryn got so excited and said that's what she wanted. A cupcake MAKER, not just a plain old cupcake. Aw shucks, I need to go back shopping!

At times like this, I notice her speech "delay" . . . she gets lazy and will try to just minimize what she has to say to get her point across. Ugh! At a time like this, it doesn't work to her advantage. Good thing I saw this commercial with her!

So I'm at Wal*art because it was a Wal*art commercial. I find the cupcake maker and decide it's way overpriced ($25) for some plastic thing that pushes frosting out onto cupcakes. I'm not getting it. I have a frosting decorating thing (see I don't even know kitchen tool lingo) that I've never even opened or used already at home. So I scour the aisles for something else. Low and behold, the perfect alternative and only $10.

It's a cupcake holding plastic cupcake tins, cupcakes, play boxes of frosting, a stick of butter. Close enough. Now will she be happy?

Yes! Thank goodness!

Fun Pictures from our holiday gatherings

Sitting on Santa's lap at the Christmas party with our Fox Valley adoption group.

Singing at the Western Suburbs Adoption Playgroup party. (above picture. Look how tall Kamryn looks!)

Our Friday morning playgroup at Emily's house. Her mom was brave enough to let the girls decorate cookies. It was so much fun. She had lots of candies and sprinkles for the girls to decorate with. Look how serious the girls were!

We met Aunt Cathy and Uncle Marc and the cousins up at Dave & Busters one day for some food and games. It was an awfully cold day but we had fun inside!

New Year's Eve at my friend Heather's house. The little ones definitely stayed up until midnight and had lots of fun ringing in the New Year together!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I promise

I will not be quiet for much longer! I have so much to share. Finally . . . a new background! Looks good huh?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My "baby" is four!

Where does the time go?! Kamryn turned 4 today. More coming about her birthday soon!