I just can't keep up the pace. Work, kids, work, house, work, laundry, work, cleaning, work, paying bills, etc, etc, etc. So I find I'm missing photo ops and posting opportunities. I hate that I missed getting pictures downloaded for Valentine's Day. I went to Maria's speech therapy for the first time on Friday the 13th and haven't posted about her updates. And I went to two cute little Guatemalan's Valentine parties at school. I did get some pictures, but just haven't had time to download them.
And I hate that I missed posting about Maria's FIRST Gotcha Day!! Friday, February 13th was the one year anniversary of having Maria join our family. I know some don't like the "gotcha" term, but that's exactly what happened. We got Maria. And Maria got us. So, I took the day off to just play with my girls! I had completely forgotten at first that Maria's speech therapy is on Friday's, so I actually got to go with her, and the therapist made handprint hearts for me and for Gran (she is used to Gran bringing Maria, so we couldn't NOT make a handprint heart for her now, could we? If only I could remember to give it to her .....)
We had such a blast! After her speech therapy, I took her back to school only because I had taken miniature cupcakes for her class to celebrate V-day. They weren't going to do anything other than exchange cards with each other, but Maya's class was having a Valentine party, so I decided Maria's class needed to do the same and I volunteered to bring everything. So we had mini cupcakes, juice boxes, and pink napkins. They were so cute! Maria, not used to having me in her class, wouldn't get out of my lap to eat her cupcake. If you know Maria at all, you realize how HUGE that is. Maria is not one to miss a meal, or a snack. All you have to do is ask her if she wants something to eat, and she'll immediately stop whatever she is doing and nod and head for the kitchen! So cute. But she finally sat in her chair long enough to eat her little cupcake (and eat it all she did. Some of the kids only licked at the icing, and some ate a little bit, and some, like Maria, polished off the whole thing). Her little classmates are so cute ... it's amazing the difference between the kids at this age. But they are all adorable!
Then I had to leave her there, because her class was going to make something for the mommies and daddies, and I wanted to go to Maya's party next. So I got to her class in time to help put out the lunch food ... heart-shaped jelly sandwiches, cheetoes, M&Ms, grapes and a heart-shaped cookie. ALL of her favorite foods! I hardly ever see my girl sit still that long or eat that much in one sitting. But she ate it all except the cookie (it wasn't chocolate with filling ... :-) ), and she asked for more cheetoes twice. My job was just to bring the juice boxes. They never ask me for anything complicated in that class ... bless them! I had such a great time. And then Maya was so excited because I told her she was going home with ME after the party. Mrs. Catoe, bless her heart, is such a sweet lady, and she volunteered to go get Maria for me, so I wouldn't have to leave Maya, go get Maria, come back and get Maya and then leave. They have a rule about not letting the big kids on the little kids wing, which kind of makes sense if you think about the big kid germs and noise level while little kids are sleeping. So Mrs. Catoe brought Maria over, and I don't know who was more excited, me or my girls! And the day was just beginning....
We went home for naps, and after naps Auntie Lisa came over and we were took the girls to Build A Bear to continue with our Gotcha Day celebration! I sort of cheated there ... a friend of mine at work gave the girls gift certificates for Build A Bear for Christmas, and we had not used them yet. So we used them Friday. Maria picked out a gray kitty cat, and Maya kept going back to the zebra because he looks like Marty on Madagascar. The zebra cost more than most animals as it was for some animal rescue fund or something like that. So I tried to get her to select a less expensive animal, but she wasn't having it. So the zebra it was. She was a little difficult to keep focused on the task at hand, so between not paying attention when we were trying to pick out outfits for the animals, and hers costing more to start with, she did not get an outfit for her zebra, which of course is named Marty. I helped Maria pick out a cute pink outfit for her gray kitty cat, which we decided to name "Sandra" in honor of Maria's birth name. It was her special day, after all. But it was MY special day, too ... I enjoyed every second! A long, 3-day weekend and it just flew by. Now it's late Wednesday night and I have to get back to work. But I just had to stop and post so I wouldn't forget all the details. I wish I could take every Friday off and play. My next day off will be March 6th ... Maria's second birthday! woohoo! Oh, and for those of you perched on the edge of your seats waiting for my decision, I finally decided to go with the Elmo theme again for Maria's second birthday. It will be a whole new crowd, after all, and she just loves Elmo.
I haven't downloaded any pictures all year, so I'll just post one of my favorite shots of our pickup trip in Guatemala one year ago exactly. I just love this one ... it took a long time to get a smile out of my girl in Guatemala, but once she started, she never stopped. She has the cutest little grin ever!