Girls on Ice, Girls on Waterslides, Girls on Horns, etc.

I love the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. The days just seem a little less hectic. I did end up taking the Christmas tree down a bit sooner than I planned. The reason? Our foster puppy was swinging from it by his teeth. So, down it went. I'm still finding pine needles everywhere. I found one in my hair when I took a shower last night.

Hightlights of the week:
  • I took myself to a movie on Wednesday night. I went to see Les Miserables. I would have gone with my husband but his eye started to twitch when I mentioned that it is a musical. So, I went alone. Although I can't for the life of me understand why someone would cast Russell Crowe in a singing role, I loved the movie in general. Amazon had the soundtrack on MP3 for five bucks so I downloaded it and have had "Do You Hear the People Sing?" stuck in my head ever since.
  • On Friday, P and I went to dinner and a show. The show was a work event that was rescheduled from the week before (because of a snowstorm). The show was a Christmas production so it was a little weird to be watching it three days after Christmas, but it was pretty good.
  • On Saturday, I ran a gazillion errands and took the kid to Target to go shopping. I explained to her that my Grandma, her Great-Grandma, had sent us a check for $100 to share. This was our Christmas gift from her. "You can spend $30.00," I told her.  She paused for a moment. "What the heck? Thirty plus thirty plus thirty is ninety. Where's the other ten dollars?"  I tell you, we liked her better before she could read and do basic math.  Anyway, she used the money to buy one of those ugly Monster High dolls. She gets really mad at me when I say, "Hey, you left your ugly doll in the dining room."
  • On Sunday, we went to church and then the foster pup had a visit from a family that would like to adopt him. Augie gnawed on all four of them, but they have decided to adopt him anyway. P is ready to pack the pup's bag toute de suite. In the afternoon, I took the kid and two of her friends to an indoor water park. I floated in the lazy river for the better part of an hour while the girls went from one attraction to the next. Then I moved into the whirlpool and sat in there for as long as I could stand it. After a couple of hours, one of A's friends started clutching her stomach and saying she might vomit, so I decided that it was as good a time as any to head on out. When we got home, A lost yet another tooth. I tell you, they are flying out of her head like crazy lately.  The Tooth Fairy needs to be mindful of this and do a better job of keeping cash on hand at all times. 
  • My company wasn't closed on Monday, but I used my last available vacation day so that I could stretch it into a four-day weekend. P had to work, so I took the kid out to lunch and then we went ice skating. She did better than I was expecting. In fact, I couldn't get her off the ice even after they'd shut off the music and announced that the open skating session was over. I told her I would take her back sometime. I didn't fare as well as she did. During a single hour of skating, my left skate managed to rub a blister on the back of my heel, pop the blister, and then rip the skin off the blister. I don't mean to be a pussy, but ow. I gave up and sat on the bench while my daughter continued skating counterclockwise around the rink. The day was going well until we got home and discovered that A lost one of her new gloves at the rink/parking lot/somewhere-in-between (I should add that the rink isn't vaguely close to our house so it's not worth a trip over there to look for it.)  I must've told her a hundred thousand times to put her gloves and scar on vs. trying to carry them out. I mean, it was all of 18 degrees out. Anyway, because I am the meanest mother ever, I made her give me her tooth fairy money back so that I can go out and buy her a new pair of gloves. Will she be more careful next time? I doubt it. But you can't blame a mom for trying.
  • The kid invited a friend over for a sleepover for New Year's Eve.  So, it was pretty crazy up in here last night. The girls ate brownies, almost a full bag of Doritos, and some s'mores. A friend of mine gave us a cute little s'mores-making kit for Christmas so we tried it out. P and I set up the girls in the living room with their sleeping bags, noisemakers, and Cabbage Patch dolls, while we retired to our bedroom to watch a movie called Looper. It was a good movie, although the plot is very complex and, if you decide to watch it, you may want to make sure you haven't had a couple of mixed drinks ahead of time. In my defense, I had two screaming second-graders in my house. One has to wonder what I was thinking when I bought the girls celebratory New Year's noisemakers.
We all made it to midnight, although I did crash right at 12:01 because I knew I had to be up for yoga this morning.  I could still hear the girls wailing on the cardboard horns as I drifted off to sleep.

Happy New Year!

So long 2012.

As I reflect on this past year, I can't believe it is has gone by so fast.  When we were waiting for Kerri, it seemed time stood still.  And ever since she joined our family, it seems time is now on fast forward constantly, sometimes at warp speed.

This year, Kerri graduated from occupational therapy and started gymnastics.  She became a Brownie circle leader in her third year of Girl Guides.  She learned how to use her asthma inhaler by herself and she gained independence (and the confidence to attend meetings without Mom waiting in the wings).  She joined the choir, and danced in a play.  Kerri took cooking classes, and began reading full chapter books.  She created and completed her first bucket list (in Toronto).  She learned how to deal with her dyslexia and learned how to write letters and numbers correctly.  And Kerri spent quality time with friends near and far.  Kerri became a powder monkey, and received her pirate name "Wee Lady Thunder".  She learned to knit, tie shoelaces, zipper and button clothing by herself.  And she no longer lets me pick out her clothes.  Kerri learned more about Judaism and Catholicism.  She learned that love has no bias.  And she started third grade with an IEP and the support of awesome teachers.  Kerri started to learn cursive writing and keyboarding skills (not taught at school, to my surprise).  And she outgrew Scooby Doo and became a One Direction, ICarly and Victorious fan.  Kerri decorated her room with posters, and decided she wanted to learn how to swim (so she took a few lessons).  She visited several museums and learned more about the things that interest her (mostly rabbits, spiders and dolphins).  And Kerri decided boys are gross.  She learned all about sexuality, anatomy, and puberty.  Which is why she thinks boys are gross.  And this year, Kerri dedicated herself to doing charity and random acts of kindness.

I could go on, but you get the picture.  It has been an amazing year of growth and change for Kerri - and for us.  Our dream to become parents was fulfilled when Kerri was placed in our arms in China.  And it has been anything but boring.  We have watched our daughter continue to overcome some pretty big challenges, and grow into a beautiful, smart and funny young girl.  She is 8 going on 21. But she will always be our baby.  Adopting Kerri was the best thing we ever did.

So goodbye 2012.  I can't wait to see what life with Kerri will be like in 2013.

Life with Kerri wishes everyone a safe, happy, and healthy New Year!