Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pre-K talk

I have to write these down or I will forget:
  • Cooper to Kara:  "I'm gonna get my costume on and give you a ticket!" (referring to his Halloween police costume)
  • Cooper when he's mad at me, Jim or Kara:  "I put water on you!"  - taken from Wizard of Oz - water killed the witch!
  • Cooper still says wellow for yellow
  • Kara still calls Cooper, Pooper
  • Cooper on his play cell phone:  "911, hi, Fireman Sam? yes, please come.  Thanks, bye"
  • Kara trying to say that she's already washed her hands:  "I ate" - everything is "ate" if she's already done it.
  • After reminding Cooper that Santa Claus was always watching him, he says "Where's the video camera?"  (there are video cameras at school).
  • When Cooper wakes up from a nap, he almost always says "I sleep 7 times!" meaning he slept a long time.
Obviously I have more Cooper talking stories but Kara is definitely getting better since her ear tube surgery.   She tries hard to get her point across. 
She still loves Elmo but her top favorites are princesses and Barney. 

In other news, I'm redoing Kara's room and will post pics when I'm done.  It's sooooooo fun and my creative juices are flowing wildly!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Jesus!

God has blessed us with tons of laughter, happiness and joy with our two precious little ones. 
There is more love and joy in our house than ever before!

God is indeed good and we are truly thankful for the blessings we have.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December so far -

So what's been going on over here you ask??
Well - my last post said that Kara would not use a public potty - it's gotten a tad worse but yet a tad better...
She now refuses to use ANYone's potty (including friend's homes) but she did have a breakthrough while we were at the allergist (3 hours by the way).  She peepeed in their potty - crying the whole time but still she did it!
I have been carrying a potty in the back of my SUV for such incidents.  She has no problem going in the car so that's what we do for now.  It's rather easy, I just put a disposable bag down and she goes right in it then I throw the whole thing away.

I think I've mentioned that Kara's been stopped up for the past few months non-stop.  So I took her to the allergist (have I mentioned that we were there for 3 hours?? AND it was snowing outside??  AND I had crazy Cooper with me too??) Anyway, our visit there was to do skin prick test.  She did fine for the 1st half but the 2nd half, where they inject you on your upper arms under the skin, 10 shots on each side...she screamed and cried.  A lot.  Yes, they numbed her for both sets of tests.  Turns out, she has 15 different allergies.  Year round allergies.  After that visit, I had to go to 2 different pharmacies with 7 prescriptions!  In the snow, in Houston, where it snows about 1/8" every 10 years and people can't drive when it sprinkles much less when it snows.

So here's littlebit with her hippie bong, I mean nebulizer -  she actually liked it!  Yikes.

Other happenings... we (Kara and I) went to her friend Ben's birthday party at Gymboree. 
Wow, you really think your kid has come a long way until she refuses to participate and only does her own thing. 
See the little girl in the pink dress all by herself?  Yep, that would be Kara.

The party continued and she played on all of the equipment but just didn't want to sit down - maybe it was because of all the excitement and newness..  she did sit for the cake and ice cream though.

Would someone please tell Kara that the party is over?  So funny, especially considering that she doesn't even like sweets!  BUT she does like the option!

In other news - we went to our friend's house for a little Christmas party and Santa came to visit!  The kids were so excited.  Cooper in a good way and Kara NOT!  Coop ran up to Santa and sat right on his lap and told him he wanted a choo choo train - a black one.   We were so proud of him!
Kara was horrified at the thought of the big red guy and absolutely refused to go into the room where he was!

Oh well, maybe next year...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

New Dilema

This little monkey-girl refuses to use any public restroom!

How do I fix this one??

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Santa Makes a Practice Visit

Daddy Jim dresses up like Santa so the kids can get used to the idea and practice sitting on his lap. They were up for it unlike last year where they screamed their heads off. Both kids promise to sit on Santa's lap and not cry this year - we'll see when the time comes.
I'll definitely keep my camera handy when the real Santa comes to town.

Stef beat both kids to Santa's lap - she was cracking up!

The kids wanted to try on the Santa suit - They really look so much alike here!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm thankful for my beautiful daughter who woke up this morning at 5:00 and peepeed in the potty in the dark (of course making a ton of noise). I'm thankful that she's potty trained.
I'm thankful that she ate 1/2 can of spaghetti 0's, 2 yogurts, apple juice and milk for breakfast this morning! (her choice of course).
I'm thankful that she feels great and is talking more than ever.

I'm thankful for my amazingly smart little boy who is so curious about everything and asks a million questions a day.
I'm thankful for him asking me yesterday if I took the helicopter to the hospiddle -and all of his other funny questions.

I'm thankful that I have a wonderul, sweet husband who is the most hands-on, helpful and caring father I could have ever asked for.

I'm thankful for my sweet sweet doggies who help keep me sane.

I'm thankful to God for all I have. I'm so extremely lucky.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Kara's had several ear infections in the past year. Everytime we bring her to the doctor, she seems to have an ear infection.
She never pulls at her ears or complains so there's no way of knowing when she has an infection but she constantly has a runny/green nose and a yucky cough every day. She sounds like Tony Soprano. If you listen to her monitor at night, you would swear that there was a 500 lb man snoring away in the room but it's just little 29 lb Karaboo all stuffed up as usual.

The ENT checked her ears and she had middle-ear fluid in both ears - not an infection, but "old" fluid meaning that there's no air going in or our like it's supposed to. She failed her hearing test and failed the test where they vibrate the ear drums - nothing moved. This is also a good indication of why her speech isn't improving by leaps and bounds like it should be.
They did an x-ray of her adenoids and they were fine, so it's just ear-related.
Sooooo the doc recommended tubes.

My baby went in to Texas Children's Hospital this morning at 8:00 and at 8:15 the doc came back to say everything went perfectly fine. All the gunk is gone. At 9:00 a.m. we were on our way back home - we stopped by to see her daddy at work and then to the grocery store. She's as normal as can be and NOT ONE tear was shed the entire time. She awoke from the anesthesia looking around like "where am I?" but she saw me right away and asked for apple juice. She watched The Wizard of Oz on the DVD on the way home and sang to her favorite songs... just like nothing ever happened.
I was absolutely amazed.
Right now it's nap time but she's yapping away playing with her babies dressing and undressing them, happy as can be.

Great experience for both of us! Texas Children's Hospital is the best!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Birthday... again??

Well a princess deserves several birthdays right?

First was her actual birthday - November 3 - we had her little school party.
She had a great time until we lit the candle. Seems littlebit is a little bit afraid of fire!
Cooper came to her class to help her celebrate.
Watching us with anticipation....

Here's the very pink cake- even princess Barbie's skin is pink!
Then when we got home, we had our little family celebration - her favorite meal, a nice little cake and she opened her presents from us.

Her main present was her trike which she can finally ride!

Her 3rd party was the big one - a jumpy party at The Ruckus Room with 19 of her closest friends.

The staff there was fabulous! Everyone had a great time - they jumped, ate pizza and chips and of course had cake - an AMAZING cake by Melissa Costanzo. Here are some pics of her other creations. The girl makes the best cakes in Houston. I personally chose an almond flavored cake with a chocolate ganache filling.... mmmm soooooo good!

There were friends to greet...

big bouncy things to jump and slide on...

balloon-animal-makers to watch...

and of course, the fabulous cake to eat!

After naptime, it was time to open all of the thousands of presents!

of course, Steffi had to get in to the action

Stef wowing over the gifts!

Kara's showing Fritz her new toy
This is one happy three year old girl!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday Kara!

On November 3, 2006 a beautiful little baby girl was born in a remote village in northern Russia.

On November 3, 2006 a nice couple named Jane and Jim were just beginning the process of adopting two children from Russia.

After 2 years, 102 gagillion pounds of paperwork, a gagillion dollars, a ton of emotions and a lot of tears (some good, some not), the little baby and the nice couple were brought together by the grace of God.

Happy Birthday to our sweet, beautiful, smart Russian Princess, Kara.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Kara and Cooper October 2008~
First of all, do you remember these kids? I barely do!
The policeman turned into Spiderman and Elmo turned into a princess!
What a difference a year makes.
Last year they had only been in America for 8 days - they were a bit bewildered about the whole proces but this year... different story. After Kara would say "More!" and Cooper would say "Are we done yet?".

Every Halloween, there's a parade of sorts in our neighborhood with a real fire truck leading the way. The fire truck (Fireman Sam as Cooper calls it) sounds it's horn and that begins the 'parade'. Cooper totally remembered it from last year and couldn't wait. All the kids and parents walk along the street to the end of the cul-de-sac then the firemen pass out candy then all the kids go trick or treating. It's small but fun for the kids.
Pics in our back yard before the festivities: I'm hopeful that next year I can get them to match somehow.
Here's Kara's reaction to the firetruck horns:
Coop loves the firetruck, noise and fanfare, Kara hates it. Always opposites in every way.

Trick or treating. Yes, they remembered to say thank you!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


We had a great time at ZooBoo in Houston. The kids got a chance to wear their costumes and were so excited- Cooper was Spiderman and Kara was a Fairy Princess.
How did they choose their costumes you ask? Well, Cooper knew from the beginning that's what he wanted to be and never deviated. We went into one of those huge Halloween Expre$$ stores and showed Kara several different options. She would walk past something, take a slow look and say no. We showed her cute puppies, bears, lions, raggedy Ann, etc.
She walked up to the Fairy Princess, stopped and declaired "MINE" and walked straight to the register! It was too funny - the girl knew!

We met Susan and Artem and Amy (her sister in law) and baby Charlie at the zoo and had a lot of fun! Artem was an adorable little train conductor and is seriously the best behaved little man there.

As always, check out our pics - I'm sure Susan has better ones - my camera bites AND she's a great photog!

Kara, the prairie dog

Cooper the prairie dog

Artem the prairie dog

Kara very gentle with the goat

They actually posed for the pic!

Cooper finally enjoys a ride on the carousel 'horse' that goes up and down! He said, Mom, I not scared, it fun!!

Cooper loves the goats - and actually kissed this one on the head!

Picking out a pumpkin to paint

Sunday, October 18, 2009

1 Year Family Day Anniversary

October 15th was our 1 year anniversary as a family!

We celebrated by having Russian Stroganoff and watching the video of our trips.

It's unbelievable that it's been 1 year already~It truly feels like the kids have always been with us.

They are right on target with everything as far as development except Kara's speech is about 6 months delayed but improving daily.

Cooper is still a crazy/smart/funny little boy who makes up stories all the time.

Kara continues to LOVE her baby dolls and treats them so delicately, it's truly precious.

We went to see Thomas the Train in Rusk, TX this weekend and the kids had a ball. It was a great experience - I recommend it! Kara was NOT fond of the loud horns and it was a little chilly so she could have skipped the train ride but loved the jump houses and eating and tatoos, etc. We stayed with my brother who lives about an hour away and it was great seeing him. Here are some pics from our little weekend trip:

Cooper, brother, Kara (yes, he's my brother - 19 years older!)

Kara NOT enjoying riding on Thomas!

Cooper loved it!

The happy family of 3 and Kara

Sweet kids on the way up - holding hands for the pic (UNprompted!)