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Sunday, May 31, 2009
The Morning After

Last night, Jim set up a "campsite" in Sera's room. It was the first time that Sera was loose on the 2nd floor after bedtime. As expected, she experimented with her new found freedom.

Jim had told her that if she needed to go potty, she could just go to the bathroom now without having to call us. She was very happy about not having to go potty in her crib. By the way, she rarely has an accident, but did have one on Friday morning. It was fresh on her mind.

After putting her to bed, Jim went down to the basement for his computer time. I was in the living room going through an awesome new site I found, but I kept hearing the pitter patter of little feet and doors opening and closing. She called down a few times and when I answered and asked what was wrong, she'd say nothing. I'd then tell her to go back to bed.

When we headed up for the night, it was obvious she'd had fun, but no major damage. She'd found a stash of clothes in the guest room that are either too small/too big or the wrong season for her and some stuffed animals I'd pulled out because of a lack of room. They were spread out on the bed. She'd also gone into our bathroom and investigated my stash of feminine products. A few were scattered on the floor. And in her room, she'd completely emptied the butterfly hamper that holds all her stuffed animals. All in all, not too bad.

We had a mini repeat at nap time today that ended quickly because I relocated upstairs and a very cranky day due to lack of sleep. The campsite has been dismantled, and she's back in her crib for the night. She needs the sleep. We've just been waiting for summer break to transition her. The furniture straps have been ordered, and we just need to buy her a mattress. The crib will be coming down within a week or two.

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Friday, May 29, 2009
Last Day of School

Jim got a much better picture on his camera, but we have to download it. Marcia, Sera is absolutely loving all of Ava's clothes. She picks out a new outfit every day.

Daddy usually handles bath and bed routine, but he had errands last night. I have to say that Sera is hilarious in the bath. After we had her all washed up and she'd played with her bath toys, she took the bucket we use to rinse her hair and her wash cloth. She then started dipping her cloth in the bucket and scrubbing the tub while singing Sing Sweet Nightingale. For those of you unfamiliar with the song, it is the one that Cinderella sings as she scrubs the floors on her hands and knees. Sera completely scrubbed down the entire tub, the built-in shelf on the side, and the faucet. When the water finished draining, she then scrubbed the bottom of the tub before declaring herself done and ready to towel off.

We had an unexpected day off on Wednesday because daycare sent Sera home on Tuesday with directions that she couldn't return until Thursday. They thought she had pinkeye. Her eye was read and goopy. I made a doctor's appointment for first thing on Wednesday morning. The doctor prescribed the eyedrops, but she and I were both pretty sure it was allergies and not pinkeye. We're going to try Zyrtec at bedtime to see if that helps. She has some other allergy symptoms as well.

Since we visited the doctor, I have updated stats. Sera is now 27.8 pounds and 35 ¼ inches. Don't be confused though, she'll be the first to tell you that she's a big girl, and she's growing taller.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Last Week of School
Here it is the last week of school and the last week of daycare, so what how do I begin? For the first time, I forgot to bring Sera's pillow and blanket to daycare. They send it home every Friday to be laundered. I even made a point of making sure they were washed last night, but never gave them a second thought until we walked into the building this morning. Doh!

We had been planning to head down to the Atlanta area on Saturday to visit my sister, Marcia, and her family. We've postponed the trip, but hadn't told Sera yet that we were going to go. We don't tell her until the day of or the day before a trip as time is different in her world. It's either now or later with later meaning anything from after her nap to next year.

This morning in the car, I was asking Sera what she wanted to get her cousin, Ava, for her birthday. I was planning on bringing her gift with us, but now we have to mail it to her. She wants to send balloons and a tea party. That could be challenging. Then she told me the following:

After school day, we pack our suitcase and go see Ava, okay? That's a great idea, mommy. You pack Sera's suitcase. Daddy pack daddy's suitcase. And you pack your suitcase, and we go see Ava. Okay, mommy? That's a great idea, mommy. We go movie (drive-in). We go pool. We go camping. We go see Ava. Okay, mommy?

We'll be calling to pick a new day, Marcia. Sera wants to come visit.

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Monday, May 25, 2009
Still Here
I know that I haven't been posting much, at all, lately. I've just been busy with the end of the school year and in a little of a blogging slump.

I've been working on a new template. You might see some funky things going on, but I'll get it straightened out as quickly as I can.

If anyone is still checking in, I'll be back.


Saturday, May 23, 2009
Taking a Bow

After singing and dancing for the fish in the aquariums.
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Princess of Cabela's

We're on a minor road trip to buy Jim some pants for summer school.

Princess Sera selected today's outfit and dressed herself. I helped a little bit with her hair.
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Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Frozen Terror
Sunrise in Mesick, MI
May 11, 2009

We are so very lucky. I know this. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that we're in the minority. Virtually everyone I know who has adopted has had to deal with far more than we've experienced. But just to keep us on our toes, we do get to experience something every now and then that I'm sure is adoption related. It's really a fine line between wanting to be aware of any issues that could be adoption related, but not wanting to over-analyze situations either.

Last week, we took a personal day on Friday and extended our three-day weekend into four. Monday was a Snow Day. Three snow days are built into our school calendar. They're placed in as three-day weekends in between Spring Break and the end of school. We used two days this year for actual snow days leaving us one spring three-day weekend. It's like a little bonus.

This weekend, besides being Mother's Day was also the 50th anniversary of the Mesick Mushroom Festival. Mesick is Jim's hometown. Its downtown is about 3 blocks long, and one of those blocks is the school. Mesick calls itself the Morel Mushroom Capital of the World, in case you were wondering where that was. There were a lot of activities planned, and we thought it would be fun to visit.

We made the four-hour drive Friday morning arriving in the afternoon. Jim set up camp, and then we headed to the carnival. Sera was not content to ride the kiddie rides; she insisted on riding the ferris wheel. We wandered around the carnival (another story to come on this event), eating really bad carnie food, and checking out the flea market before heading back to our campsite for a bonfire and s'mores.

The forecast showed rain coming around 11:00 pm and staying through Saturday evening. The lows for Saturday were forecasted to go into the low 30s. We agreed that was not optimal camping weather and had made reservations in Traverse City, about a 20-30 minute drive, for Saturday night at Great Wolf Lodge.

The rain came right on time and lasted all night, but had stopped by the time we woke. We dressed and headed to town for breakfast. Since the rain seemed to be taking a break, we decided to postpone heading to Traverse City until after the parade. The rain held off, and Sera got to enjoy her first parade. It was very tiny and perfect. Some of the noises were a bit overwhelming for her, so the intimate size was perfect. She was a big fan of having candy thrown her way, too.

After the parade, Sera fell asleep in the car, so we drove north of Traverse City and explored. We saw the Sleeping Bear Dunes, Sutton Bay, and some really cute little towns, one of which looked like it was still the year posted on the buildings, 1850. Finally, we headed to the lodge and checked in. Our time there is its own story.

Sunday afternoon saw us heading back to our campsite. We were quite relieved to see our tent still mostly standing. Two stakes had pulled loose from one side, but Jim quickly remedied that situation. Sera went down for her nap, and Jim and I enjoyed some quiet time by the fire that afternoon. He'd ordered three bundles of wood to get us through the night. I was surprised to see we had so much and was sure we'd be leaving some behind. But then it got cold. Surprisingly cold as the forecast had shown it would warm up on Sunday.

As the sun was near to setting, Jim added the last of the wood to the fire. I joked that it looked like we'd be turning in early as our fire wasn't going to last. Sera and I headed to the bathrooms to brush our teeth and make one last visit before getting ready for bed. She and I share one bed, and Jim takes the other. Jim puts two sleeping bags together for Sera and I to share, while he uses one. In retrospect, Sera and I should have shared one that night as we had far too much space inside. The night grew cold. Very, very cold.

Before I go on, I should give some background information. Sera does not like to be covered when she sleeps. She insists on her blankets in the car. She insists on being covered when she's put to bed. In fact, she'll sometimes ask for multiple blankets. But as soon as she's ready to actually sleep, she kicks them all off. During the winter, I make sure she's in heavy, fleece footie pajamas because I know she will not stay covered.

Our sleeping bags are rated for temps down to 20, so they are really very warm. Because it was so very cold, I was worried about Sera climbing out of the sleeping bag. She had snuggled in the crook of my arm, and I was making sure she was inside the bag. In her sleep, she'd struggle to get out, but I'd make sure she stayed covered. Of course, this meant I was not sleeping well, or at all.

Sera started whimpering and moving. The next thing I knew she was all out flailing and kicking the top of the sleeping bag away from her. I pulled it back and sat up thinking something was wrong. Sera sat up and was screaming. She was screaming about not having to go potty and something about diapers and wasn't really making sense. She kept yelling no when I'd ask her if she needed to go potty, or did she want a diaper. She was kicking me and hitting me trying to push me away. After a few horrible minutes, she collapsed, rolled to me, and snuggled in with her face in my neck shuddering as her sobs faded back to sleep.

This happened two more times. I finally realized during the third occurrance that she was having night terrors. She had never had them before, at least to my knowledge. I realized that she wasn't really awake and that what she was shouting out made no sense. She was screaming things like she wanted her tent or her campsite or chocolate milk. It was hard to figure out because it seemed like she was responding to what I said, but I realized she really wasn't.

By 6 am, I couldn't stand it anymore and braved climbing out of the sleeping bag to run to the bathroom. I jumped back into the warm sleeping bag and started to drift to sleep when Jim got up, took that beautiful photo, and started the van. He got the van warmed up and woke us up to climb in and get warm and get some breakfast. He took a sleeping Sera, while I got dressed.

We didn't want to wake her, so we stayed in the van until she woke at 8 am and got some breakfast. She was her usual happy self. I asked her if she remembered waking up during the night. She looked at me blankly. I then asked her if she remembered crying during the night, and she told me no. She had no memory of the three horrible events. She had stayed warm and toasty, so she didn't even remember it being cold while she slept.

I thought about it, and I really think it was the cold and having to sleep so covered in the sleeping bag that triggered these events. Sera is from one of the hottest provinces of China, but her village is in the mountains and is actually quite cold. We know that the orphanage is not well heated, and the children were bundled in many layers to keep warm. I think the combination of very cold temperatures and being covered with heavy flannel sleeping bags triggered memories that brought on her night terrors.

We've been home two nights and back on her routine. Everything is fine and back to normal. I could be wrong with my theory, but something deep inside tells me I'm right. These incidents serve to remind me that I don't want to overreact, but I must not be too complacent either. Sera's life before us does impact her. She does remember things, and it cannot be ignored nor erased. We have to respect her experiences and know they are part of her, too.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009
HMD, Part Two

Daddy prepping dinner he's cooking over the fire while Sera plays hide-n-seek behind a pole.
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Happy Mother's Day

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Friday, May 08, 2009
1st Night Camping in 2009

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Sunday, May 03, 2009
Daddy Day
Daddy and Sera went to the zoo, and Sera found a new friend.


Saturday, May 02, 2009
And The Emmy Goes To...

Isn't he amazing? I'm already sad that the season is almost over.


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