The Many Adventures of Keira!

This is our page to document our family's adoption journey- starting from when we first started planning for our little one, to when we brought her home. We're also going to keep this updated with all of the things that Keira has been up to since she's been home with us here in the U.S!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Birthday Girl in Princess Heaven

December 20th, my little baby turned 3 years old!!! We spent the day at Disneyland and she was in absolute Princess Heaven! Mom, Gigi and Max arrived and Lorraine was able to come too. Disneyland is absolutely beautiful during the Christmas Season...all the's a "must do" for Christmas. This was Sleeping Beauty's Castle. We just happened to be right in front when they did the transformation from the regular lights to the Special Winterlights they put up.

Small World!!! They updated Small World for the Christmas Season. It is definitely a sight to behold. We go to Disneyland every Christmas, but I am always in awe everytime.

These were some pictures before we headed out to Disneyland. Max and Keira decided that since they couldn't make Snow Angels, they would make Tile Angels instead. Not quite the same effect, but just as least for us watching them :).
The gang's all here! This was when Doowa, Max and Auntie Gigi arrived. They all jumped on the couch to read "Where The Wild Things Are".

The next morning was when we headed to Disneyland. Here are Auntie Gigi, Max and Keira on the Tram from the Mickey and Friend's Parking Lot. This picture cracks me up since it's so typical of the family chaos that goes on. Max was playing around with Keira's hair and the look on her face is priceless! LOL

Here are Dan, Mom, Lorraine, Keira and Max all standing in Line at the Finding Nemo Submarine ride. WOW! Keira loved this ride. All through the ride, she was yelling and waving "Hi Nemo!!!" "Hi Dory!!!" She loves Finding Nemo and it's so much fun now that she recognizes all of the characters.

Uh OH! PRINCESS HEAVEN!!! We had lunch at Ariel's Grotto in the California Adventure Park. I had read mixed reviews on the food and the experience and it honestly looked like more of the bad experiences with late seating etc were all later in the day. Because of that, I decided to make our reservations for lunch as early as possible. Definitely the way to go!!! We were seated right away, the food was absolutely FANTASTIC and she saw just about EVERY princess.
When you first step in, you meet Ariel. Ariel and Cinderella are Keira's favorite princesses, so she was absolutely thrilled.

Each of the princesses were introduced one by one and went to each of the tables to meet the kids. Ours was one of the last tables even though we were right in front to see all the princesses come out (they went around in the opposite direction from where we were). It couldn't have been better. Because we were one of the last tables, each of them were able to really take the time to stop and take the time to talk to Keira and wish her a Happy Birthday. Here is Keira and Cinderella. Keira and Sleeping Beauty

Keira, Max and Belle

Keira and Snow White

Here we were waiting in line at the Haunted Mansion. They made it in the "Nightmare Before Christmas" theme which is always alot of fun.
We had a wonderful time. Keira is still not quite used to holding 3 fingers up as her age, but she'll get it soon! I can't believe my baby is 3!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fun Downtown

Dan and I were off this weekend and decided to take Keira to Downtown San Diego to go ice skating. Where else can you go ice skating in an outdoor skating rink in 75 degree weather??? Dan is from Maine, so he was pretty much born with ice skates on, but he hasn't been on ice skates in a few years. He broke a bone in his foot believe it or not when someone ran over his foot when he was on his motorcycle in traffic. Yes...ran over his foot with their car. Thanks to his super duper strong Harley Davidson Motorcycle boots, he was able to walk away from it. He didn't realize though that he had a broken bone until his foot really started hurting more and more when walking. He decided to go ahead and give ice skating a try.

Keira was much better at balancing herself on ice skates than I thought she would be! I think it's because she likes to walk around on her tiptoes all the time. Must have helped her with her balance. She went around once with Daddy, but after that first round, she was done. Dan skated around for a bit more until he was tired, but he really thinks that his foot is healed now and is looking forward to skating more.

She really did pretty good

After that, we headed over to the New Children's Museum. Keira painted the VW Bug and was able to handle getting a little paint on her better than last time. She really hates getting dirty and wanted to stop constantly to wash her hands!
We really had so much fun and need to try to make it down a little more often!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Week

I've been off for the past week and have had so much to do! The backyard was an absolute jungle, so I've been storming through it machete in hand filling the green recycling bin to the brim. I've taken care of tying up loose ends for the business as well as cleaning up the house and rounding up all of Keira's clothes for donations. Yes, it's been a busy week! Even as busy as it has been, I still love to cook the Thanksgiving meal so we had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Kat and Matt who drove down from Studio City as well as Lorraine and Mike. It was great to get to spend the day with family. I was good this year and packed the majority of the leftovers in tupperwares for them to take home.

We headed down to Carlsbad to the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony they had at The Forum tonight. It is a great little annual event that they go all out for the kids. They had horse drawn carriage rides, crafts for the kids, cookies, brownies and mini peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Carolers, name it. It's a great way to kick off the Christmas Season.

Here is Keira by a little Koi pond they have. There is a small waterfall along with a reindeer display which is really cute. Keira loved looking at the fish.

Here we were watching Santa make his way down the red carpet! Santa looked like he was about 4'9" tall! He was a tiny guy!

Here were some of the carolers entertaining the crowds. They also had dancers and other singers.

Here are Dan and Keira in the crowd enjoying the show. We alternated with her on our shoulders, but after a while, she finally wanted to be on the ground so that she could dance.
We had a great time and are very excited about the Christmas Season!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Plug

As some of you may know, Dan has been working on a second business during his off-time from his current business. He's been a part time insurance agent and is taking the leap and starting his agency full time at the end of this month. He has not been added to the Farmer's website yet since it's all still pretty new, but he has his own site where it discusses all of the different insurance coverages he specializes in- including his specialty which is Motorcycle coverage.
The more clicks he gets on the site, the better positioning he gets in the search engines, so check out his site...and check it out often! :) Also, if you live in the state of California and your policies are expiring or you have any questions about your policies, consider giving Dan a call! THANKS!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Rating System

Me: Keira, you know Mommy loves you,right?
Keira: (Nodding her head) Yes
Me: You know how much Mommy loves you? Very Very Much!
Keira: (Smiling) Yes
Me: Do you love Mommy?
Keira: (Nodding her head) I love you much
Me: How much?
Keira: 2 1/2

Yes. 2 1/2. LOL I noticed that whenever I would ask Keira "How Much" of anything, her response has been some number and a 1/2. I think it's actually from her trying to answer how old she is.
Here are the ratings so far...mind you, they change constantly and can go up or down at will.

Mommy- 2 1/2 sometimes 4 1/2
Daddy 3 1/2
Amelia 5 1/2

The last time I asked, I was down to 1 1/2. I better stop asking until I've done something to raise my stock, huh? LOL

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Visiting The Family

The past week or so has been such a whirlwind! Keira and I headed out to Illinois to visit with Auntie Gigi, Max and Doowa (Lola, my mom). I have been a little worried about how Keira would handle the flight, but she did so great! Dan had to stay behind to work, so he dropped us off at the Airport early in the morning. I was able to get everything for both of us in 2 carryons and already had the boarding passes printed out and ready to go. I thought I had it made until Keira wanted me to carry her everywhere. "Mommy! Carry Yooooouuuu!" That is how she asks me to carry her. I think it's from me saying "Do you want Mommy to Carry You?" LOL. I've been trying to get her to say "carry ME" instead...but it's just so darn cute how she says it! She wasn't quite getting it all until we started to board the plane. She buckled herself in and was really getting excited! She didn't cry for a second through the entire flight and really enjoyed herself. She watched a little of Cinderella and mainly looked at the clouds from the window or played Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo DS. I don't normally like her playing with it, but made for a nice flight! We had such a great time. I love going back to Illinois for Halloween. It really feels like Fall with the change of weather and colors and everyone really gets into the spirit with their decorations. This year was a Star Wars Theme and Max and Gigi decided that they wanted Keira to be Yoda. I promised Dan that she would also get to dress as a princess for the second round as well.

Here is Yoda! Princess Yoda that is. Rose, Gigi's sister in law put the purple flower antennae on her so that she would be Princess Yoda instead. Dan said that it wasn't a Yoda costume, but she looked more like a green pig in a bathrobe or Ted Kennedy- Think dirty bathrobe and a bottle of Scotch. He's nuts. Max and the cousins Caleb, Allie, Josh and Jacob were all dressed as Star Wars characters as well. Rose was even Padme Amidala! LOL We got to spend some time with the Fisher Family as well which is always wonderful. Mr. Fisher and I talked Politics and Jon (Chris' younger brother) flew the kids around like planes. They really were high up in the air considering that he's 6'7" tall! He however was protesting the Star Wars theme. He refused to be part of there not only being 2 Anakin Skywalkers, but there also being a separate Darth Vader in the same plane and space. How is that even possible??? LOL Funny thing was that a couple of people when we were out trick or treating asked how it was possible as well! Come on now all you Star Wars freaks! :)

The second time around, Max was Speed Racer and Keira was dressed as Sleeping Beauty. There was a little button on the side that you pushed and the whole skirt of the dress lit up with flickering blue, purple and white lights. She was tired and wanted to ride around in Max's Radio Flyer wagon. Allie was wonderful and pulled her around. Allie put on one of Max's shirts and was Max for Halloween the second round LOL. Keira was turning her lights on, so while riding around in the wagon, she looked like the Disney Electric Light Parade! LOL

We did a little bit of karaoke afterwards and here is Keira singing her Princess songs. She was really belting it out which kind of surprised me. I thought that she might be a little shy singing in front of everyone, but she just got up in front of everyone and took over. What a ham!

After Halloween, we spent some mellow time taking in some of the sights and just enjoying the unusually warm weather! It was such beautiful weather- around the early 70s. Here are some pictures of Keira and Max at the Riverwalk in Naperville. The Riverwalk was there back when I was in High School for a couple of years, but I just don't remember it being as beautiful as it really is. I don't know if they changed it any, or if I was just too dumb to notice how beautiful it is...probably the latter! LOL

Here was a structure built as a memorial for 9/11 at the Riverwalk. Max was taking a picture as well as you can see.

There were a few bridges along the river that we crossed to see the geese swimming around. The kids had a great time running along the edge of the water and back and forth on stairs. After this, we went to visit Chris' grave site. It still is so hard to believe that he is gone. I'm glad that we got a chance to visit.

We also got to take in Max's first basketball game of the season. Max's Uncle Jon (The Mocker of Star Wars ) is the coach and did a great job. I really thought that the kids were all so young and probably would just be running around not really knowing the game. BOY! I couldn't have been more wrong! It really was such an exciting game and the kids were fantastic! Max's team came back after being behind 18 points to tie the game at the last minute. Not too shabby considering that the other team looked like they were each about a foot taller than these kids. Size doesn't necessarily matter does it?

We spent some time at the Morton Arboretum where they had a beautiful children's garden. It is almost like a Children's Museum in a great outdoor setting. Max did such a great job with Keira! He was so patient and even though he looks kind of grumpy in this picture, they actually got along great!

Here he was helping her across some rocks. He was always helping her with everything and slowed down for her since she isn't quite as fast as he was. They truly adore each other which is wonderful.

We also went to the Children's Museum in Naperville. It really is a great hands on experience for the kids. So much for them to do and play with.

After about 5 days, we headed home. She did just as good on the flight home except for the fact that she got so engrossed in playing the Nintendo DS that she forgot to tell me that she had to go to the bathroom. She is pretty much potty trained except for naps and sleeping at night, but from what I hear, that takes some time.
We had such a wonderful time. Thank you Gigi, Mom and Max! Can't wait to see all of you for Christmas!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bill O'Reilly

Me: Keira, what did you want to watch on tv?
Keira: I want to watch Bill O'Reilly.
Me: You want to watch what?
Keira: I want to watch Bill O'Reilly.
Me: Did you just say that you want to watch Bill O'Reilly?
Keira: Yes...I want to watch Bill O'Reilly.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Pumpkin Station

Keira and I are heading to Illinois to visit with Auntie Gigi, Doowa and Max this Halloween! It is going to be her first time on a plane since we came home from China so I'm not sure how she will be. The flight home from China was absolutely MISERABLE so I can't imagine this being worse LOL. We were still in the bonding stages and getting to really know each other back then not to mention it was an 18 hour flight. This time, Keira and I are totally in sync and it's a 4 hour flight. Hopefully that counts for something! LOL. I've been preparing her ahead of time by explaining that we were goin to be flying, so once in a while she asks me about the plane we'll be on.

Dan will be staying back to work, so he won't get to do any trick or treating with us. To make up for it some, this past weekend we headed over to the Pumpkin Station in Del Mar. They had tons of pumpkins of course as well as a petting zoo and carnival rides. Keira had a blast and although they totally killed us with the ticket prices (OUCH!) it was worth it to see her have so much fun.

Here she is going cruising in her Purple Buggie. There was a jolly big guy named Kemo manning the ride that let them ride FOREVER. That made it worth it as well.

She specifically asked to be in the Batman plane. Even though she loves her Princesses, she still loves pointing out Spiderman, Batman and Thomas things that she spots.

Ahh....the train ride. She loves trains and got to sit with the blue dinosaur until the dinosaur started crying and wanted OFF! LOL

We had a good time and still had lots of tickets left, so Dan and Keira are going to be there again while I'm working sometime this weekend. They are also going to pick up a pumpkin this time and work on carving it together. Hopefully I'll get to do it with them although honestly any pumpkin I have tried to carve in the past has been a complete disaster...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pictures Pictures and More Pictures

I lost my camera a while ago and finally found it again on the floor in my car while clearing out Keira's millions of toys and jackets. Isn't it funny how we do that? End up with so many toys in the car as well as old bags of snacks and jackets? I didn't even know that Keira HAD that many jackets...and what about shoes??? How does it happen that there are so many shoes in there? She must have at least started out wearing them at one time or another and ended up barefoot. Anyway, I had so many pictures on the camera that I hadn't posted, so I thought I would post them now!

Here are some Disneyland pictures. Yes, we actually stood in that huge line to take pictures with Pooh! The last time we attempted to stand in that line, Tigger passed out and they had to drag him off. We weren't sure to be honest whether it was from heatstroke or if Tigger was drunk. This time, just about as soon as we got up to Tigger, he left for a break. He remains the ever elusive one...

We WERE able to get pictures with Eeyore and Pooh though!

She was a little shy around Pooh first, until Pooh wanted a hug. After that, he was her best friend.
We got this crazy looking blow up frog pool that she liked to play in during the summer. Dan spent FOREVER blowing that thing up. You would think that gadget man would at least have something that could have inflated that thing somewhere in his work area in the garage. It was a great little pool though. It even had a little slide that she could go up and down on.
I love her face in this picture. You can't tell that the water was a little cold that day, can you?

Princess Keira with her tiara and magic wand. I got her a little princess outfit so that she can just run around and be a princess whenever she felt like it. So far, she likes to be in disguise by dressing in just her regular clothes with her wand. I can't get her to put on the whole getup!
I definitely don't remember THESE slide pictures! Dan was the one that took them on a day when he took her to the park. She likes to climb up slides instead of going up the stairs. As long as other children aren't trying to go down the slide, we let her once in a while.
Here, Dan said that she was trying to make Baby go up the slide. She still takes Baby EVERYWHERE she goes. Every once in a while, she will let Baby stay in the car if I am able to convince her that Baby is taking a nap. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and she says, "Oh Come on Mommy!" It's so funny how she says it too. Kind of in that "You're kidding, right?" voice. Funny how they pick up on things like that so easily.
This picture cracked me up. She put my dirty shoes on the wrong feet and was doing ballet around the house
Here she was running around the house with Max's hat on.
She really is such a funny happy little girl. It's a very rare exception that she isn't being silly or laughing and just being the joy that she is. Dan and I are so thankful every day for her being our daughter and that she is in our lives.