Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday Fun

Previously I've mentioned how Emma hates getting her picture taken. Everytime we tried to take a picture, we would have to sneak out the camera and try to get a shot of her. If she had any inkling that we had the camera in our hands, there would be no sign of her. We're not too sure why that is. Maybe because the orphanage took regular photos and it wasn't very pleasant? Who knows! Anyway, things have sure changed in that department. Now if we dress Emma up or dress her dolls up, she asks us to get the camera and take a picture. She'll even put on shows for us so we can video her. This was absolutely unheard of before! It's nice, though, that I can actually get a decent picture of our cutie's face now! Oh ya! And she poses too!! Quite a character we have on our hands!

Emma loves church. It's one of her favorite places to go. Everytime we pull into the parking lot, she claps with joy and shouts "yes, mama, yes!" She loves the loud music that is played. Everytime our pastor asks us to stand up for worship, Emma races down the center aisle and yells "standin up everyone!" She then takes her place at the very front of the church where she claps, raises her hands and dances to the music. And if she knows the words to the song, she'll sing them at the top of her lungs. Thankfully the music is loud enough to drown her out. And members of our congregation find her more an encouragement than a distraction. They are all happy to see Emma so joyful and excited. I snuck our camera into church yesterday to take pictures during worship (Bad Tara!!!) I just had to though! Unfortunately, I couldn't use the flash and the lighting was awful, so the pictures aren't very nice...but you can get an idea of how church goes for Emma......

After church yesterday, we decided to take Emma to West Edmonton Mall's Galaxyland for some fun. We played in the children's playplace most of the time (Talk about wearing mama and papa out!) Then we thought it might be fun to take Emma on a ride. I've always been a little leery of doing this. Once I put Emma on the teeter totter at the park and she completely freaked. Galaxyland has three rollercoasters...small, medium and large. Terry wanted to take Emma on the medium one. I insisted we start on the small one and work our way up. Before the ride started I asked Emma if she was scared and she said no...and she wasn't kidding. Once that rollercoaster started going, she had both her hands in the air and was squealing with delight...probably the most exciting thirty seconds she's ever had! :) We decided next time we go, we will purchase all day passes and try Emma on all the rides. I think she'll have a blast!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


You are still checking the blog? I guess that means I'm obligated to continue writing! Nothing too exciting going on, just a small update today.

Emma continues to talk more and more english each day, especially this last couple of weeks...seems like everything just seemed to click in her head and she just started speaking in sentences. She's discovered the power of the words "Can I have a....." She realizes all she has to do is add what she wants to the end of that sentence and she usually gets it. So I hear a lot of "Can I have a water? Can I have a toys? Can I have a help?" Not perfect grammar...but she gets the idea! She also has some funny little phrases that make me laugh. My favorite is "just a bittle." (just a bit OR just a little...she just likes to combine the two!) It's also cute when she gets words mixed up. Today she was trying to tell me to smile and she said "mama, sneeze!" Even though she hasn't got it all down, communication in our household has gotten a lot better. Emma pretty much understands everything we say and she can usually put together enough words for us to understand what she is saying.

That being said, Emma thinks now that she can speak the language she can tell people what to do. That doesn't fly very well with mom and dad and we have to keep reminding her that we're the parents and she's the kid. We're really enforcing "listening" which she completely comprehends. She knows if she doesn't listen, there will be a consequence. Unfortunately, her new attitude is getting her into some trouble at school. Teacher told me today that Emma likes to try and run the classroom and isn't taking instruction very well anymore. When she tries to discipline Emma in some way, Emma cries...which seems to get all the grade ones in a tizzy. Seems teacher has her hands full. Not much I can do, being they won't allow me in the classroom. All I can do is offer my sympathy and remind her to stick to her guns and not let Emma get away with anything.

As far as learning goes, Emma is improving. I get quite discouraged sometimes when I see kids her age or younger doing such simple things that Emma can't seem to wrap her mind around. I have to constantly remind myself of where she was only two and a half months ago, and what she can do now. There has been a huge improvement, it's just that she was so behind. Really it's like starting with an infant who is seven years old. Emma can count to 29 on a good day (apparently after that comes twenty-ten, then twenty-eleven, etc!) ABC's are no problem (even L-M-N-O!) Her problem solving skills are improving (puzzles, block patterns, etc) When we first met her, all she could draw was a squiggle. Now she is starting to draw stick men, shapes and can almost write her name. Recognition seems to be our biggest problem, but she is starting to know a few shapes and numbers. We know the ability is there and we continually work with Emma to help her improve.

Emma is sleeping alot better at night (I type this as I hear her chattering to herself in bed!) Well, alot better for the most part! Bedwetting is very rare and there isn't as much sneaking out in the middle of the night as there used to be. I think the fact that it gets dark earlier helps. I also think she is starting to realize that her toys will still be there in the morning. Every once in awhile she'll still sneak an odd thing under her pillow. My favorites have been her slippers and a dish towel!

Well, that's all for now. All boring stuff, but you are still reading it, so you must find it interesting!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Snow Suit

Emma got a new snowsuit for her birthday. The day after, we decided it would be a good idea to try it on her to make sure it fits. We're not sure if she's ever worn a snowsuit before. When we asked if she would like to try it on, she wrinkled up her nose and shook her head no...she does this when she doesn't like something. When we convinced her to try it on (well, not so much convinced, but told her it was the way it was going to be!) she reluctantly pulled on the snowpants followed by the jacket. Terry and I had to have a little chuckle as it is a little big on her...(good for a growing girl!) She looked like she had a great big torso and no legs. See picture below....

The second picture is taken about ten minutes later. Emma was so-not-impressed about the snowsuit until we told her to go look in the mirror. Well, this changed everything! After that, she didn't want to take it off! She INSISTED on wearing it while she watched her Cars movie...too funny. It was all fun and games until she ran up to me and said "mama, Emma go pee!" She always leaves peeing until she can barely hold it anymore, so we had to rip off the snowsuit in a hurry!
At that point, I hung the snowsuit up in our front closet to save it for a cold snowy day. But when it came time to go out later that afternoon, Emma ran to the closet and told us she wanted to wear it. It was a very warm fall afternoon, and it took quite a bit of convincing Emma that she would look a little crazy wearing her snowsuit in the sun!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Emma!

This past Thursday was a very big day for us...Emma's first birthday in Canada. She turned seven. When she woke up that morning I told her "It's your birthday, Emma....Happy Birthday!" She looked at me like "huh?" She may not have understood that, but she did understand when I told her after school she would get a treat and a present. That morning her Auntie called and sang her happy birthday over the phone. Once again Emma gave me that "you Canadians are crazy" kinda look. But, by the end of the school day, she came bursting out the doors singing "Happy birthday to You!!!" Obviously the kids were singing it to her. She also came home loaded with some treats and prizes she had got at school. She knew she was beginning to like this birthday thing!

That night, we had a small celebration with just Terry, Emma and I. After supper, we gave her a twinkie with a candle in it and let her open our present. She LOVES baby stuff, so we bought her twin baby dolls with a stoller, swing and bassinet. She went absolutely crazy. It was almost unbearable for her to watch as Terry and I tried to put together the most complicated of toys ever. We'll know better for next year....assemble before wrapping!!!

Her big party was yesterday (Saturday) We rented a great big jumpy thing with a slide (see pics below) to keep Emma and her cousins occupied during the day. Despite the chilly fall weather, the kids had a blast. In fact, by mid afternoon, many of the neighborhood kids came to play. It was a hit! Playtime was followed by some greasy fast food chicken for Emma and the family (yum!) and a "Cars" cake. Emma's a girly-girl, but she also loves her cars! She couldn't wait to blow out the candles so she could take the car off. After that, it was present about wild!! This was the most stuff Emma had ever gotten at once and it was a little overwhelming to say the least. We made sure to tell her who each present was from so she could say thank you and give hugs. Emma didn't quite seem to think the thank you part and hugging was as much fun as opening presents, so she unfortunately had to have a time out in the middle of present opening. I think many of our guests were shocked and maybe a little appalled at what we did. Thankfully, Terry and I were on the same page. We know Emma best and we try to handle these situations as best as possible.

Aside from that, I'd say Emma had a pretty good day!

Emma and her cousin

Friday, October 3, 2008

Oh Canasna!

A couple of nights ago I was giving Emma a shower. She totally loves shower time and is constantly singing while she's in there. Usually, she sings some strange russian concoction that I don't understand. But this night it was something different. She was singing and singing and suddenly I realized that I recognized the tune, yet I still couldn't understand what she was saying. I stopped and listened for a few seconds, and sure enough, she was singing Oh Canada!! I think out of the whole song she correctly pronounced about three words. But she definitely knows the tune and makes the right sound of each word. It was quite hilairous! And by the way, it wasn't "Oh Canada" was "Oh Canasna." I sure hope Emma is enjoying her new life here in Canasna!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Blood Tests

After seeing the adoption specialist, she gave us a pile of tests that need to be done on Emma. There were several requisitions for bloodwork, so I informed Terry that he would be coming with me this time. I know since we've been to the lab before, Emma would put up a huge fuss because she would know what's coming this time. But I had a plan....I also had to get bloodwork done. Terry suggested that I go first so Emma could see that it didn't hurt. "Oh no," I said, "Let me go after Emma and watch what happens." You see, mama has learned the power of distraction!!

So, we throw Emma on Terry's lap and try to get her to stick out her arm. As I suspected, it wasn't just wimpering this was an all out brawl! The lab tech immediately shut the door as Emma started screaming. She refused to stick her arm out and started kicking and trying to wriggle out of Terry's grasp. So Terry firmly wrapped his arms around her as one of the nurses forced Emma's arm down so the other could draw her blood. Unfortunately, they had to take five vials of blood and Emma screamed the whole time. When all was said and done, she decided to throw herself on the ground and have a little tantrum. That's when my plan kicked in. Over the screaming and wailing, I loudly say "mama's turn!" and walk over to the lab chair. IMMEDIATELY Emma stopped crying and watched as I sat down and the nurse prepped my arm for the blood test. She ran to my side and grabbed my hand and said, "Mama, don't cry!" It worked! She was completely mesmorised as they drew my blood and stroked my arm the whole time. Afterward, she and I happily picked out some stickers and all was well in the world again! :)