Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kyrgyz/Russian Playdate

I have had great intentions to do a post on the playdate with our Kyrgyz/Russian friends but I've been too busy enjoying these beautiful summer days. Although the other families blogged about it soon after we got together (I'm such a slacker), I still wanted to do a post for my end-of-the-year compilation.
Three weeks ago this family was coming to our area so we decided to plan a playdate with several other families that also have little girls from Kyrgyzstan and little boys from Russia.
We met Rachel and kids and Maria and family at the zoo. It's funny because so many people raise eyebrows when we say we're meeting up with "online friends", but we have met these families several times before so it feels like we're old friends. We have so much in common and I think we'd get together all the time if we lived closer together. Heck, we've known Rachel for almost 3 years now! Her daughter Scarlett is from Tokmok Kyrgzstan (like HotDog). She is actually the one that referred us to the Kyrgyz program so she holds a very special place in our hearts. And her little boy, Alex, is from Astrakhan Russia (just like our boys). The boys hit it off as soon as we arrived - Alex and Chipmunk were inseparable for much of the day. I think they had more fun playing with each than even looking at the animals. HD, however, was fussy and clingy - definitely not acting like her normal happy self. I think she was irritated she had to be in the stroller and not walk independently like Scarlett; however it was just way too crowded for me to keep on eye on the boys and try to follow her too. Maria and family soon met up with us and we headed to the waterpark. Although it was a very cool day, the kids had a blast. Ellie wasn't quite sure of the water but HD couldn't get enough of it. She squealed with delight at the shooting water and fountains.
We followed that with lunch while the kids ran off some energy at the playground. Soon enough, Ellie and HD decided they had enough and both took a nap in their strollers. It was nice as I could let the boys look at the exhibits and catch up with Maria.

The three Astrakhan boys

HD loving the Splash Park

My two cold boys

Sleeping Beauties

The Kyrgz girls (this shot pretty much describes the day)

We went our separate ways for some downtime before meeting up with Maria and family for a late supper. Stu was able to join us for that and he was so excited to see Ellie and Josh again. HD and Ellie sat in side-by-side highchairs and it was so cute to see them together, although HD kept stealing all of Ellie's food. Maria cracked up as she witnessed HD's "happy dance" (HD does a little dance in her highchair whenever she eats). She even came up with a little song about it which we sing to her anytime she eats now.

The proud Daddies

If you're happy and you know, clap your hands!

HD was ready to go home

The next day we headed to Waterfront Park with Rachel and Maria again. We were also joined by this family, who have a little boy from Russia and a little girl from Kyrgzystan. I was so happy they could make the trip and my boys were so excited to see C again. I think the kids all had a great time although it was a little stressful for the adults, as the park was crowded with daycare groups and I'm a little paranoid since it's right on the river. The boys were running around acting like Monkeys and Scarlett, Ellie and AP were having lots of fun too. HD, again, was very fussy and not at all sociable; she ended up being diagnosed with bronchitis the next day so poor thing wasn't feeling good at all.

The Russian boys

The Kyrgyz girls

Don't they look like trouble?!?

My Monkey

We grabbed a quick lunch and then headed to the Louisville Slugger Museum. I had never been and it was a good tour but my kiddos were exhausted. They loved the free mini-baseball bats handed out at the end and immediately began to play "swords" with them. And I about fell over when the tour guide handed HD a bat too. Who in the world hands a 15-month-old a hard baseball bat?? I know I had an incredulous look on my face and he simply said, "Everyone that takes the tour gets one." Within two seconds she had whopped herself on the head and I had to take it away. Of coure, that made her furious so we said some quick goodbyes and headed home.
We had such a great time. I am still amazed at how many wonderful friendships we've made during our adoption journeys. I love it that our kids know others that share their heritage and can hopefully maintain that friendship as they grow older.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fourth of July Fun

Family, food,!
Despite a rainy day that cancelled the big fireworks display, the kids still enjoyed hanging out with their cousins and playing with sparklers. And of course, it gave me a great opportunity to show off several of HotDog's festive outfits. Have I mentioned how fun it is to dress a little girl?!?

Modeling outfit #1

Trying her first icecream cone

I think she likes it!

My little pyromaniac had to have two sparklers at all times.

Chipmunk is a little more cautious

And the obligatory swimsuit shot

Hope everyone had a great July 4th!