Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halloween Preview

Count Kai and Lady Snow
Why are you standing so still, smiling when you could be jumping around like me?

Pumpkins my students made

Kai playing plinko at the school carnival
Exiting the very scary haunted house at school

Wait until she finds out about the candy!

Gammy and Cassi
And now for my next act...

My sign at school

Blogger wears me out because it won't let me click and drag photos like the old days, so I'm going to post them and explain what they are in this one big paragraph! :P Anyway, last night was the Fall Carnival at Kai's school, so Kai and Cassi got to wear their costumes for the first time. Kai was Dracula, or excuse me "Midnight Vampire." Cassi was Snow White. They were both adorable, if I do say so myself! I will try to post the video of Cassi running around like a crazy baby, so you can see what I was contending with in trying to get these pictures. At one point, I told Kai to just stand still and to keep smiling because eventually Cassi would stand by him and smile, too. It finally worked! Cassi kept saying, "Cheese!" but she would crouch way down like she was going to jump. Too funny! I'm also going to post a picture of Kai coming out of the haunted house at the school and also of him playing Plinko for the first time. Talk about a generation gap, he didn't know how to to it! lol

This is Cassi's first Halloween home and I'm so excited to take her out next week. Oh, by the way, this will tell you how influential sports are here. Instead of Halloween being on the 31st, they have MOVED it to the 30th because there is a big game on the 31st! What? I give up...

I'm also posting some re-takes of Cassi in her Russian shirt from her "twin" Dagny as the last ones were so cloudy from "someone's" fingerprints on the lens and Cassi' hair isn't as fro-like as the last pictures showed. lol That is my mom holding Cassi in the one shot.

We had Cassi's 2nd post placement report last Saturday. YAY! So, on top of painting the house, going to the U2 concert, we decided to throw that in, too.

I'm also adding a picture of my classroom sign because I love the apple theme at the school. And, my kids all decorated little pumpkins and we have them on display outside of the door. They turned out so cute! I only have 5 students in case you are wondering why there are only 5 little pumpkins. And, the stuff hanging in the doorway is spiderweb.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One Year Ago Yesterday...

The Day We Met You! :) Age 10 1/2 months, Moscow City, Baby Home #14
She is looking at the photo album we brought her to leave behind and get on the final trip.
...we met our Russian Sweet Baby, Cassiana! :) I would have loved to have posted yesterday, but between working a full day, power washing the house getting it prepped for painting over the long Fall Break weekend (love these teacher vacations!) and then getting the kids to bed, I just couldn't do it last night. Plus, I had the flu for 2 weeks and only recently started to feel better.

My how our lives have changed since this time last year, all for the better! Cassi was still an orphan, 10 1/2 months old, Dan was a stay-at-home dad, I was working in sales, traveling all the time, and Kai was in kindergarten. Now, Cassi is almost 2, doing fantastic, Dan is finishing his degree and working part time, I am an elementary deaf education teacher (love it!) and Kai is a big first grader.

One year ago yesterday, was an amazing day! We went to the Department of Education, completely jet lagged, running on adrenaline and met a table of 5 Russian women who showed us the picture of our future baby. She was not was I was expecting, with her sparse dark hair and deer in the headlights big black eyes (see picture to the right)! She looked very scared in the picture, but you could tell she was a cutie. So we went to meet her.

Walking up to the baby home for the first time was so exciting! I was not particularly nervous, more anxious about, "Would this be our baby? Would we know right away?" We were led inside by Max and escorted into the big music room. Masha began to go over the medical history with us and in walked the baby home worker with a beautiful baby girl with coal black eyes. She had her bottom lip sucked in because she was so scared and I remember being concerned that her lip wasn't formed right--lol! She had on baby blue boys clothes and big black boots, probably a size 4. I know now that she wore a size 1 or maybe smaller (she still has tiny feet--only wears a size 3 now!). I wonder if they were trying to conceal her teeny feet? The worker handed me to her and she began to cry, so I walked around the room and talked to her and kissed her sweet cheeks and hair. She soon calmed down and let me sit with her snuggled to my neck, while we tried to focus on what Masha said about her history, as this would be the only time we would hear it! Talk about difficult! All I wanted to do was see my new baby, head to toe, and to tell her how much we already loved her! She was definitely our daughter, no doubt!

That day, we took about 1,000 photos and several videos. We got to see her the next day and then signed the intent to adopt and it seems like we saw her one more day and then had to go back home until court November 10th. That was tough leaving her, however, they had kept her safe this long and I figured they could do it a while longer.

Here is Cassi the day after we met her, a year ago today...

And from the other day, by the way, her hair is NOT that big! lolol This shirt is from her "twin" sister, Dagny, who has a matching one. So sweet of Dagny to give the shirt to Cassi! :) They were in the same groupa at the orphanage and we are still in touch and will meet in person one day. Dagny and Cassi knew each other before we knew they were our daughters! :)