Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Visit with Santa

This picture was taken during the only 20 seconds that Dasha wasn't talking at Santa telling him every detail of her life.  Caleb was in awe of the big guy, Matthew was disgusted that I would subject him to a picture with Santa (come on, he's 8!), and Sam is just hoping for that 3DS.   

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Tonight I was preparing for a doctor's appointment that Dasha has on Monday and I needed to get some papers from one of my adoption files.  After I got home from Ukraine and got her social security card and citizenship paperwork dealt with, I relegated that whole crate of documents to the far corners of the basement, hopeful I wouldn't need to look at it again for a while.  As I was sorting through everything this evening, I came across her passport.  I don't think I ever shared her photo.  Sometimes when I look at pictures of her from before she became our daughter, I have trouble believing it's the same little girl we have with us now.

So much different from this:

Just 5 months later.  This is her preschool picture!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Here comes the bride

After having my wedding dress shoved in a garbage bag for almost 11.5 years, I have suddenly decided that I must immediately get it dry cleaned and preserved. So, before taking it to the cleaners in the morning, Dasha and I had a little fun this afternoon. Truthfully, I was the only one having fun. She was kind of miserable and had to be bribed with Halloween candy to smile. :)
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

First Day of School

It was back-to-school time at our house again this morning.  Actually, it was more like to-school-for-the-first-time.  Dasha started preschool today!!  Initially our plan had been to keep her home this year, then send her for a year of preschool next year before starting kindergarten.  However, it became clear pretty quickly that she would really benefit from going to preschool.  She is SO curious and smart and I knew she would love school.  She just wasn't ready in September, though.  She has really struggled with the fear that we are going to leave her (either leave her some place and not come back for her or just leave the house without her).  While the fear is not completely gone, she's doing much better feeling okay about being away from us and being confident that we'll return to her.  I think a lot of the improvement comes from her understanding English so well now.  We can communicate exactly what is going to happen in a situation and she gets it.  She has been anxiously awaiting her first day of school and practically couldn't stand the excitement when we went backpack shopping last week.  The big day finally arrived and she had a great time at school!  When I picked her up and asked how her day was, she said, "I love it!!  It was fun!"  She's already asking to go back again tomorrow.  :)

What a big girl! 

Heading off for her first day!

She asked that her teachers call her Rachel.  I guess I need to get on board with that since she really prefers it over Dasha. 

She did great at drop-off.  No tears, only smiles.  :)

I stuck around and spied on her when the class went outside to play.

  She made the bracelet and said it was her favorite thing she did.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Dasha had a fun first Halloween.  Here are some highlights of the evening.

Helping get the Halloween pizza ready for the oven

Getting ready to carve her pumpkin

The Bobbsey Twins.  Dasha was going to be a dog until Caleb decided on the delivery man costume.  Then, of course, she changed her mind and had to be that, too.

What a scary bunch!  :)

The big guys

Off and running

We got A LOT of candy!!

Waiting by the front door to pass out candy. 

My four little pumpkins' four little pumpkins  :)

Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 28, 2011


I haven't posted many pictures since Dasha's been home so I thought I'd share a few random ones from the past couple of weeks (some are a bit older).
Posing after a fun day at the water park.

 Dasha got to meet her grandma (Baba) from California earlier this month.  They had Skyped and talked on the phone many times prior to the visit, so she was really comfortable with her and they had a lot of fun together. 

 Every day she wakes up from her nap just in time to watch for the school bus to drop off the older boys.  She's always still a little sleepy but she doesn't want to miss out on a minute of the action. 

 Visiting Daddy at work for the first time.

Being silly

That's blue frosting from her first cupcake on her mouth.  :)

These two have become such great buddies.  They are ALWAYS together playing and whatever one does, the other must do.  It's been very fun to watch their relationship develop. 

Playing Just Dance on the Wii.  :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Simple Things

Dasha loves popcorn.  She gets it whenever she can...the movies, the soccer field, Target, basically any place she sees it.  Until tonight, we hadn't made it at home with her.  I'm pretty certain it will be a regular event from this point forward.  These are my favorite kinds of moments.  Watching her experience something so simple for the first time and seeing her excitement and happiness is so special and we consider it such a privelage.  We love this girl so much!

Yes, she was really THAT excited over watching the kernels pop.  :)  Caleb, who HAS seen this happen before, is only reacting like Dasha because he has to do everything she does.  :) 

Watching Star Wars with her brothers.

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