Thursday, December 11, 2008

And the Classic Elf Dance...

Couldn't resist doing another one...
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Alivia the Christmas Elf

I played around with this a bit last year--it's really cute. This year they've added a couple new dances for your elves. Here's one of my favorites starring none other than my own dearest Alivia...

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I realize it's been forever (well, since September anyway) since I've had any time to post and I do apologize! This has been an incredibly hectic term at work and we've also been busy with Alivia's doctor appointments, vacation travel, and, of course, Livi's school.

This week I'm wrapping up three of the four classes I had on my teaching schedule for this term. I can't believe how much work it was keeping up with the grading and the discussion boards for these classes! It's been really crazy! I'm hoping things will slow down at least a bit after the new year... Since Spring is generally my busiest time at work, we'll just have to wait and see how that works out! Ha!

Back in October we went on a wonderful cruise with my parents and some of our friends who are also families formed by adoption--the group we get together with each year in St. Louis. Alivia, Grace and Kelly all got along great, as usual, and had a wonderful time! We did a dolphin encounter that was so much fun for the girls! We moms all tried scuba diving--tried is the operative word there. Let's just say that it's not a hobby I'm going to be taking up. I did okay during the initial training session, but when it came to the deep water dive, my ears wouldn't clear and I couldn't go down past about 15 feet. I ended up injuring one of my ear drums and I never did get what I would call "comfortable" being under water like that. I'd much rather stay in the boat and drink margaritas...

Alivia is still loving school. She adores her teachers and get's excited every morning when it's time to leave. And she's got a boyfriend! She and one of the boys in her class, Brandon, are "an item". It's so funny to watch them together. They insist on sitting by each other at lunch, they play together, talk all the time... it's the cutest thing! He's in a wheelchair (cerebral palsy, I believe) and let's her climb all over him and ride with him on the back of his chair. They're just adorable together. Even the teachers comment on it all the time.

We are dealing with some behavioral issues at school, though. Livi just can't seem to resist biting. We're trying some new ideas to try to nip her nipping, but so far we aren't seeing much success. We actually have a team of about eight people working on this right now! She also likes to pull hair, but they've given the other kids hats to wear which seems to block that activity pretty well.

She also has difficulty sitting still and paying attention and the teacher has asked about having her medicated for ADHD, but we're not going to go that route. Livi's still having problems gaining weight and the drugs for ADHD kill the appetite. Not the direction we want to go for her at all! I think her attention span can be managed by behavior therapy so we're working on that right now, too. Academically, Livi is doing well, it's just the behavioral stuff that's a problem at the moment.

I got Livi's holiday photos done--and I'm delighted with how they turned out! She can photograph so beautifully! She's still so tiny that most people are shocked to find out she's almost 3 and half years old now. Of course, in photos it's hard to tell how small she is, but she's still wearing 18 month sizes in most things. She's the smallest kid in her class--and probably always will be.

I decided not to do a Santa photo this year, although Livi has been to see Santa twice. She never seems to photograph well in those rushed kind of situations. She really needs a photographer who can take his/her time with her and then we can get wonderful photos like these. I'm looking forward to the photogenic baby contest again this year for that very reason. The photographers they use really seem to know how to engage the kids and the photos we got from them last year were great!

Mom, Dad, Livi and I are planning a little jaunt up to Savannah over the holidays. We're going to go to Lady and Sons Restaurant and tour the historic district. That will be a nice little break. Otherwise we plan to take it easy and relax. I've got all my Christmas shopping done--most of it was done online--and now I just have to get everything put together and wrapped. I'm SO looking forward to Christmas this year! Livi is now starting to "get the hang of it" so to speak. She loves seeing Santa and is excited about getting presents. It's going to be so much fun!

~ Jeana