She is 5

Livi made me a Mommy. Five years ago yesterday, I was in labor, with an epidural looming. Around 8:30pm Livi splashed in to the world and changed all of our lives!

Livi has taught me so much in her short five years and I couldn’t be happier being her mommy.
Turning 5 was a very big deal. She has been looking forward to it all year! I think watching all her friends in preschool turn 5 she was anxious for her turn. I also think she believed turning 5 was going to magically make her a ‘big kid’ who could do everything.

While she can’t do everything, she can do a lot! She can crack eggs, measure ingredients, put peanut butter on her toast and almost has the hang of the honey too. She can cut some of her own food and write her name. If we tell her the letters she can write any words. She knows her alphabet and numbers up to almost 60 I think, her address, her phone number, and 911. She can do a head stand against the wall and almost a solo one in the middle of the room. She can do back and front somersaults. She can jump in to the deep end of the pool and swim back up to the side with out a floaty. She can get across the monkey bars. She can wash her own body in the shower. She knows a lot about dinosaurs and insects and animals and manners and our body and life in general.

Livi is a passionate and vivacious child. She puts her all in to everything. She is emotional and excellent at telling us her full range of feelings. She is very articulate and speaks with all of her body. She has some anxiety and feels over responsible some times but she comes by those feelings honestly. We are trying to help her through some of that. She loves being a sister and is AMAZING at it. She has so much love for those in her circle and lets us all know it. She is confident and aware. She has no fear. She keeps trying, even through tears. She is accepting and empathetic. Livi is incredible in so many ways. She has taught me more than she will ever know.

Since we had her party, joint with Sofie, in June we had a low key day. On Monday we had taken her and Sofie to the water slides, which was part of our family birthday celebration. I made her requested dinner, which was ribs. That decision was between salmon sashimi and ribs, by the way and took her a week to decide. I also made a cake in the shape of the number 5. This was not a surprise. Her helping me bake is as much fun for her as eating the cake. Then I took her out for her annual birthday photo shoot. She is pretty easy to take pictures of and I loved the lighting in the evening!

I love you Livi! To the stars and back and around the world one hundred million, eighty three thousand million times plus one ūüôā

Happy Birthday 5 year old!
And because I didn’t have a Mac back when Livi turned 1, she gets a five year old slide show!
You amazing!

Two Years Later

These two weeks are filled with celebrations in our family. The most ongoing is Sofie’s Two Years home! August 1 marks the day we first met Sofie. August 4 is our Gotchya day. The day we took Sofie out of the orphanage and in to our arms forever. August 14 is when we arrived in Canada and the 15th is when we woke up all together as a family!

Two years later she is flourishing. Our social worker comes for her final update to send back to Bulgaria in a few days. I’m excited for her to see the change in her. Sofie is so much more than the shadow of the child that we met two years ago. I was reading back in this blog from our first weeks with our second daughter…. (Check out my archives from August and September 2011)

Sofie is developmentally at a 9-12 month old baby with a 3 year olds strength and agility. She hits and pulls hair.
Sofie is developmentally around 2 year old with the strength of a 4 year old. She still hits a bit but knows she shouldn’t and understands it hurts. She no longer pulls hair.

She still prefers baby pablum cereal but we are pushing other food and this morning discovered she loves mushed up banana and Cheerios! We even got a few sips of chocolate milk in her!
She will eat anything but does not like raw veggies or fruit much. I have to work to get that in her. She LOVES chocolate covered almonds though! She feeds herself and drinks out of a normal cup, though she can be pretty messy with it.

She is really starting to understand the signs for ‘more’ and ‘all done’ and uses them correctly when it suits her…..¬†We’ve really only heard “aaaahhhh’s” from her but today she whipped out a few “bababa’s” and even a few “mamama’s”!
Sofie understands most of what we say and can say or sign well over 100 words. Not everyone can understand them but she is saying them! She communicates making her choices known. She has choices.

She does do some self stimulating rocking thing on her back. It looks like it is a symptom for being bored at the institution
She still rocks, but only when she listens to music. She doesn’t click her teeth anymore like she used to either.

Right now she is the top of a 12 month old and the waist of a 9 month old… I think she is too tall for 9 month pants though.
She is comfortably in size 4! Still skinny but she weighs 32 lbs, up for 19.5lbs when we first got her!



Sofie has come such a long way. When she first came to us she was just surviving. Just existing. She sat, still. Like she was in a cocoon. I literally watched the child inside her break free and take over the shell it was hidden in. She grew from the inside out. She emerged. It was a long process and there is still some remnants of her past but she is alive now.

She has experienced trauma. Real, gut-wrenching, how-can-there-be-people-who-would-do-that-to-a-child trauma. Neglect. Starvation. All types of abuse. We don’t know everything. I’m not sure she will ever fully be free of the effects of some of it but she is a conqueror. We are winning the battle the against the hurt. Together.

She knows love now.
She knows Mommy and Daddy.
She knows family.
She trusts.
She laughs.
She cries.
She moves.
She eats.
She sings.
She dances.
She is alive.

Sofie is our monkey. She grabs a hold of us with her whole body to give the best hugs. She is silly. She likes to climb. She wants to do everything her ‘big’ sister does. She makes her wants and choices known. She adores her sisters. She loves music. She loves to dance. She loves to be with people. She is smart and knows when to make her DS work for her! She loves the water. She loves the feeling of being thrown up in the air. She loves the trampoline. Sofie likes babies. She loves chocolate. She likes tickles. She likes to bake. She loves to hug. Sofie is a free spirit.

We Love Sofie to the moon and back. I can’t imagine life with out her! She keeps us on our toes and shows us what love can really accomplish. We are so blessed to love her.

7 Months

Evie is really coming in to her own. Her personality is shining through. For the most part, she is such an easy going baby. She doesn’t like to be alone, but as long as some one is close she is usually content.

Evie is very much on the move. She army crawls her way all over our main living area and just yesterday was able to push herself up from laying down to sitting. I like that she plays in the toy room now too. I went through all the toys and took any major hazards out so it is mostly safe.

She got two more teeth this month… at the same time! It was a little rough but they are through and life is good again. We can sleep more than an hour at a time. She now has her two front teeth on the top and bottom. I’ve also started feeding her more which has helped a bit with the sleep. Well, helped stabilize it maybe. She still wakes up twice. She doesn’t mind all the new foods though. She likes her cereals the best but is totally enjoying all her new fruits and veggies.

Raspberry blood bath!

¬†Bath time is not her favourite, but that may have to do with the fact that I’m bathing her with her sisters most of the time now. They are not as gentle or quiet as she might like.

¬†I love that she is keeping her blue eyes. I was sure all my girls would have brown eyes. Her hair is still straight and very fuzzy. She loves being outside. I’ve even stuck her on the patio to quiet her teething whines and she will play for ages.

She is still a huge 7 month old but I think she is slowing down a bit, finally! With her moving around she is burning more calories and building muscle! She is 20.2 pounds and getting taller. I haven’t measured her but some of the 12 month cloths are getting too short for her.¬†

My baby is growing up and I’m not sure I’m ready for it!