Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Gifts Galore!

Some of you may think I'm referring to the huge pile of Christmas gifts that Alivia received this year, but I'm not. Two of my internet friends who have each been waiting months and months for referals for baby girls from Tver have each received their referals! One of them received hers a couple weeks ago and the other received hers just today! I'm so excited for both of them! It made me remember the incredibly intense combination of joy, fear, hope and anticipation that I felt on the day I received my own referal--just a couple days before Mother's Day this past May. For both of my friends, like me, this will be their first child. It's an unbelievably emotional time and, surprisingly, one that it's so easy to allow to fade into distant memory. My Christmas Wish for both of them and for me is that we never allow that to happen.

So today I sent out cyber hugs to my dear Web friends, patient waiters and soon to be Moms. May every Christmas of your future be as blessed and joyful as this one has turned out to be! Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years to you both!

~ Jeana

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

The last couple days have been challenging. Alivia is still sick, but is slowly getting better. She has also become very clingy and wants to be held all the time. I'm hoping this is just related to her being sick and not a new phase in her development. This morning was nice, though. Alivia enjoyed sitting in Mommy's lap and helping Mommy unwrap presents. I would rip off a strip of paper, then Alivia would rip one off. She thought that was a great game! She also liked just playing with the paper once we got it off the package. I think the paper was more fun than the presents.

Alivia loves the Winnie-the-Pooh rocking chair that Santa brought her. She sat in it and rocked for a while then wanted to sit in my lap and rock while I rocked her chair with my foot. Alivia also got a Pooh easy chair. It's not quite as much fun as a rocking chair, but she likes it, too. It's nice for climbing up and down--one of her new skills! Thank you, Auntie Gil and Uncle Justin for her lovely Pooh easy chair!

Later this morning Alivia and I will be going over to Gran and Papa's house. We have lots more presents there as well as dinner! Yum! I'll have more photos later, but thought everyone might enjoy these from our first Christmas morning together. Alivia was having a bad hair morning, but we'll fix that before we head out to Gran's.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

~ Jeana

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Busiest Month of the Year?

This past week has been a rough one. Alivia has been very sick with a nasty cold. She has spiked fevers off and on and is suffering from a ferocious cough, a nasty bout of congestion and all the other trimmings. True to her nature, she hasn't been as fussy as one might expect. She's certainly done her share of whining, but overall she's still been her sweet little self most of the time. Thank God!

Yesterday I managed to get the outside lights put up while Alivia napped. I tried to take her for a walk last night to see all the neighborhood lights, but she suddenly developed an aversion to her stroller and we had to cut it short. Even at only 16 lbs. she's just too heavy to carry for very long. Maybe we'll try again this evening. The temperature is in the 70's here at night right now, so it's beautiful weather for it!

During her nap today I wrapped all the Christmas presents. All I have left to do on Christmas Eve is put togther her Winnie-the-Pooh rocking chair. I did save out a couple gifts to give her on New Year's Day, too. Those still have to be wrapped... I also have to quit going out to the shops... I bought another gift for her today. Bed, Bath, and Beyond had these cute little table and chairs sets on sale for $20. That will be one of her New Year's gifts, I think.

This week we have lots of appointments... Alivia will be meeting her new early intervention teacher Monday morning for an evaluation of her needs. Then on Tuesday she has her first physical therapy appointment. Sometime this week (I can't remember which day and didn't write it down--I have to call tomorrow to verify) I have an appointment with my doctor. Then there are a couple work-related holiday parties to go to on Monday and Wednesday... I'm going to be ready for the holiday break by the end of the week, for sure!

We're planning to go to St. Augustine on Friday with my parents to see the Nights of Lights display. They do a great little train tour through the historic district. I think Alivia will enjoy it. Hopefully she will be over her cold by then. I'll try to get some new photos when she's feeling a bit better--and definitely some on Christmas Day!

Cheers and Greetings of the Season!

~ Jeana

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Getting into the Spirit

Well, we have almost all of our Christmas shopping done and the tree has been decorated. I'm so excited about this first Christmas with Alivia. She hasn't any idea what it's all about, but I'm still looking forward to it. I know the next few years will be even more exciting as she starts to figure out what is going on. We also got her first photo with Santa last week. She was so funny--not afraid of him at all. She took a few moments to study him (that's the photo I ended up getting) and then she pulled on his beard, bit his finger and pulled on his beard again.

I've been thinking about Christmas traditions and trying to decide what we will do. One of the things I'm keen on is saving one of her gifts to give to her on New Year's Day. The Russian tradition is to have a New Year's tree and exchange New Year's gifts. I'm also hoping to incorporate a Russian dish or two into our holiday menu. This year, at least, we will begin with Christmas at home--just me and Alivia--in the morning. Then, after we've opened up her Santa presents and had breakfast, we'll get dressed and go over to Gran's and Papa's for more presents and Christmas dinner. I'm hoping that in years to come we can move Christmas dinner to my house on occasion, but this year I'm happy to do it over there... less house cleaning for me to worry about!

Christmas shopping has been so easy this year. Since Alivia doesn't realize what is going on, I just take her with me and watch her reactions to the various toys and things. If she likes it, I buy it, otherwise we leave it on the shelf. I don't have to hide anything yet, either. It's all sitting in a corner of my bedroom waiting to be wrapped. Starting next year I'll have to be a little more sneaky, though, I think, but that's half the fun of it!

~ Jeana