Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas 2009

Ready for Church

Opening our Christmas Eve present


My Ride on Truck

A very happy Lucy with her present

Playing with cousin Aiden

Our first Christmas with the boys and our first Christmas together as a family!!! Roman and Maxim had a great day and even though we think they were over stimulated at times they really enjoyed the new ride on train and truck they each got and their new Christmas pajamas!!!

This year we stayed in New York for Christmas .. we decided not to travel the 3hours to Massachusetts on Christmas day so for Christmas Eve we went to mass on the Marist campus and then came home for dinner and our traditional Christmas Eve present of new pajamas!! The boys were in bed at the usual time but you would have thought they knew Santa was coming when they were up and ready to go at 5:30am!!! We got them back to sleep and they slept "in" til 7:30am!!! The boys each got a new ride on/push toy ... not sure that Happy and Lucy are excited about the toy but Roman and Max seem to really enjoy them. They also each got to open a present .. Max got a remote control car and Roman got a toy vacuum!!!

We spent the late afternoon/early evening at Stephen's sisters with her family and Stephen's parents and brother. The boys had a great time there playing with their cousin Aiden and opening a few more presents!!!

We will be heading to Massachusetts on December 31st to celebrate Christmas and New Years with the Nadeau side of the family! We can't wait ... it should be a lot of fun!!!

Highlights from December

Well ... the month of December is quickly coming to an end ... it's been a busy month for the Pupek boys with lots of new things to see and do! Here are just a few highlights:

- First snow fall ... we got our first winter storm in early December and the boys had a blast .. they even got to go outside and build a snowman with Papa!

- First road trip to Massachusets ... the boys and I went up to visit Grammy and Auntie Sara December 18 - 20th ... they even got to shop at Patriots Place!!! We all had a great time and Roman and Max got to meet their cousin Billy and Uncle Josh! Billy was a big hit and the boys really like to play with him and well ... Billy is excited to have two new boy cousins!

Helping Grammy sew their winter hats!

- First time baking Christmas cookies ... just before Christmas the boys and I made gingerbread men ... it was fun but I had to "fire" Roman half way through ... I think he was licking the M & M's before putting them on the cookies!!!

- First haircut in the states for Roman ... Roman got his haircut just before Christmas! The woman who cuts his hair is from Russia and she was able to talk with Roman ... although he became very shy and wouldn't say much ... he looked so cute getting his hair cut!!!

- First ride on Papa's new tractor!

-First time having popcorn as a snack!! (this is Mama's favorite snack and also Lucy and Happy's)!!!

The biggest first was our very FIRST Christmas together as a family but that deserves it's own post ... coming soon!!!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Home a Month

Tomorrow, December 14th will mark our being home with the boys for one month ... at times it has gone quickly and at times it seems like it's been FOREVER!!! I have been so busy with the boys that I completely missed December 3 and writing an 8 month letter for them ... I'll make up for it with a Christmas letter.

The boys are doing really well and enjoy playing and being together! Tonight as I was checking email I could hear these giggles coming from their room so I decided to go in and sneak a peak ... well apparently Roman was standing on his bed and jumping up to land on his butt and Max was standing in the rocking chair at the end of Roman's bed just laughing his head off at his brother!!! I thought it was very cute and had Stephen sneak up so he could see what they were up too! We get to hear their giggles very often because their other favorite passtime at night is chasing one another up and down the hallway upstairs and giggleing at each other! Oh and they also LOVE to empty the laundry basket in our bedroom and push each other up and down the hallway ... they do this several times a day ... especially when Mama dares to try and take a shower!

Roman has really adjusted to the dogs ... he's lovin Lucy and Happy and even lets them sleep on his bed and gives them kisses all the time!

Check this out ... Lucy and Roman playing in the snow!

Roman is beginning to learn some English words and phrases ... the first thing he said was "knock it off" ... guess I say that a lot ...mostly to the two dogs when they are wrestling in the house! He's also turned into quiet the doorman for Lucy and Happy ... he is willing to open the slider when ever they want to go out or come in! He also LOVES ... I mean LOVES to brush his teeth ... he asks to "brush our teeth" at several points in the day ... it may be the electric toothbrush like we have that is the reason but at least he'll have some pearly whites!

Max is adjusting pretty well also ... he is a MONSTER eater ... pretty much eats anything you put in front of him ... although he's NOT a fan of brocolli or carrots but most anything else he'll eat it up! He also loved to brush his teeth and is a little curious about what he sees on TV! He also sat on Santa's lap ... Roman wanted NOTHING to do with Santa but Max had no problem sitting with the man in red!!!

So in the month they have been home they have been to the pediatrician, gone to have blood drawn, been to the store several times, been to Marist to visit new friends who have been waiting for them to arrive, enjoyed our first winter storm and our first snow day, and today we went to get our Christmas tree! They seem to be adjusting very well and are not shy with kisses and know who Mama and Papa are and even talk with Grammy and Auntie Sara on the phone each week!!! They like to ride in the car and when they went to Auntie Joanna's today Roman did okay with her 3 dogs .... I'd call that progress!!! It's been a busy, hectic, overwhelming, crazy month but we all seem to be doing well and are now getting ready for the boys FIRST Christmas and New Year's!!!

A few pictures from the last month:

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds with Mama

Building a snowman with Papa

Getting in the holiday spirit

creative cup holder

laundry basket races!

Monday, November 23, 2009

First Week at Home

Well... we've been home for a week now and I know many people have been looking for updates and want to know how it's going.... all I can say is IT'S GOING ... it's been a little crazy and each one of us has/is having adjustment issues but each day gets better and at this point that's all we can hope for! Many of the blogs I read talk about everything being great and fantastic and kids adjusting and attaching quickly ... I'm not sure if I would say our first week has been fantastic but the boys are doing as well as can be expected after having been home for only a week and Stephen and I are learing to function with little to no sleep some days and we are getting to know one another and beginning to be a family.

Some low points of the week:
- Stephen had to return to work on the Monday after we got home
- the boys are NOT sleeping for long periods of time and are often awake and ready to go at 4am!
- Roman screams and cries any time he has to go nap or go to bed
- Roman being terrified of our 2 dogs and screaming any time they come near him

Some high points of the week

- hearing the boys giggle through out the house
- hugs and kisses from Roman and Max
- they boys playing together
- Roman learning to like Happy and Lucy and not cry or scream when they are in the room.
- taking the boys for a walk in the double stroller

A few pictures from our first week:

Playing with Papa

brothers together

look who can climb the stairs

playing in the yard together

look who is patting Lucy!

watching football with Mama and rooting for the best team EVER!!!

I would say the first week at home has been rough ... I'm not sure what I expected but the reality was VERY different than anything I could have imagined!! However, each day is getting better ... we are getting used to each other and becoming a family and getting into a routine together ... now if we could only get them to sleep just a little longer in the mornings ... I know, I know ... welcome to motherhood!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gotcha Day ReCap

At this point we are in Moscow with the boys and spending time playing with them and getting to know them. Since we picked them up at the baby home they have both REALLY come out of their shells and we are seeing their personalities in FULL bloom!!

After running around with Svetlana for some last minute paperwork and picking up the boys passports we headed out to the baby home and arrived at 5pm!! We went into one of the little rooms where we have been playing for the last few weeks and got the boys clothes and shoes out and got ready for them. Roman came in first and the minute he saw us he started undressing from his shorts and t-shirt and started putting on his new clothes. Max came in next and it was pretty much the same ... we got them dressed and then said a final good-bye to the boys caretakers and headed off to the airport.

Both boys did great in the car and neither got sick (I was a little worried about this)! We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare .... 4hours with 2 small toddlers ... luckily Svetlana got us signed into the nursery room and the boys were able to play with toys for about 2hours of the wait. I think we may have a new Russian nanny coming one day soon!!! The woman who ran the room wants to come to America and be a nanny or babysit so she gave me her number in Yekateriburg ... oh and she asked for ours!!!!

Once we got on the play at 10:10pm ... they boys did great ... Roman chatted the whole way and Max pretty much slept!!! The nicest surprise of the trip ... it appears Roman is potty trained because he tells us when he has to go ... even on the airplane and he gets very upset if we don't get what he's saying ... we are teaching him to say "potty" but the look on his face is usually the biggest clue!!!

So today we are in Moscow ... keeping 2 boys occupied in the hotel room when we aren't out sightseeing and later today we are going to the Embassy and tomorrow at noon we are headed home ... HOME ... we can't wait to get there and get the boys settled in!!!!

Saying Good-bye

Waking up in the hotel and waiting for the doctor to come!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gotcha Day - November 11, 2009

This is the day ... it's finally here ... the day we will become a family of four and be together FOREVER!!!

In the adoption world the day you actually "get" your child is known as "Gotcha Day" and a day that we will celebrate going forward as the day we became a family!!! Some people don't really like the term "Gotcha" but my friend Laura has it on her blog as "God Ordanined This Child Happy Adoption Day" ... and I think that is fitting so we will keep it!!!

We don't have alot to do this morning except pack and be ready for Svetlana to pick us up at 2:30pm. Tuesday was the paperwork day ... we went to one family office to get the boys adoption certificates that list us as their parents and then we drove across the city to another office to get their new birth certificates with their new names and listing us as their parents!!! The family offices were very interesting ... there is no line system so people just come in the door and look at the people and say "who is last in line" ... people kept looking at me so I would point out the last person who had come in!! The other interesting thing is that ALL offices and place close from 1pm - 2pm for lunch so at 1pm the woman behind the closed door comes out and tells everyone to leave EXCEPT for the americans!!! It was a little nuts at this point because some people were upset they had been waiting and now needed to come back!!! We got everything done and then Svetlana went to get requests their passports ... we pick those up at 3pm today!!

Once we have the passports at 3pm we then head to the baby home and get Roman and Max and then it's off to the Yekaterinburg airport and our flight tonight at 10:10pm to Moscow!!!

I'm sure today will have many highs for us but also a few lows for the boys as we take them from the only home and staff they have known ... I'm sure there will also be a few lows for the staff as they say good-bye to the children they have cared for ... we can't thank them enough for all the love and attention they've given our boys!!!

It's going to be a whirlwind of a day!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Snow Day ... Russian Style

It's snowing today and let me just share with you what an experience it is to be in Yeakterinburg when it snows!!! Stephen was "kind" enough to let me ride up front today in the car as we made our way to the baby home. Now, I have driven in snow my entire life ... I've lived in Colorado and experienced snow storms there ... I have even driven over a 14,000ft mountain pass in a freak spring snow storm ...head out the window to see the edge of the mountain and all that and NOTHING has ever prepared me to drive in snow like this!!! I have no idea how Svetlana is able to navigate these roads and highways but thankfully she does and make it from point A to point B with little trouble ... although I have to admit I think I may have left my fingers permanently glued to her door at one point!!! Check it out and let me know what YOU think ... definitely a good day to stay home in pj's with hot chocolate and a movie!!

the road outside our apartment

traffic outside on a snowy day

Getting ready to head back to the city ... snow is a fallin

We did spend about a 45minutes with the boys today. THIS IS OUR LAST DAY VISITING. We will not go out on Tuesday because we have to run around and do paperwork for them so we can all leave on Wednesday.... Wednesday is the BIG day ... we will go to the baby home in the afternoon and we will all leave TOGETHER ... A FAMILY AT LAST!!!

Pictures from today!!!

Silly Boy!!!

Look at ALL these toys!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Silly boys

Today as we were waiting for Roman and Max to come to the room for our visit we could hear Roman walking down the hall talking to his caregiver ... he was saying over and over .."Mama and Papa, Mama and Papa"! He is becomng very familiar with us and today we got to see a little of his "wild" side after Stephen got him all hyped up while playing. He wanted to give Stephen a toy so he said "DadDy and then DaDa" to get his attention.

Max continues to be "quiet serious" but we know it's a matter of time before he cracks and we see him smiling and laughing!!! We won't see them this weekend so Monday is our last "visit" with them since Tuesday we will be working with Svetlana to gather all the paperwork to leave and the embassy and then Wednesday when we go to see them they will be leaving with us!!!

Check out our silly monsters!!!

batsaloy mishka ... hugs and kisses for the bears

just a little crazy at the end of our visit!

They gave us mask to wear but the director told us we didn't need to put them on unless someone came into the room ... WHAT ... ok, whatever ... but I think it's ironic they want us to have masks NOW ... now when we are both better and not sick...oh well ... only 1 more day for visiting and then they come with us for good!!!

5 years ago today....

I got to marry an amazing man, my best friend.. who has made every dream I ever had and some I didn't even know I had, come true. It's been a LONG road to make this final dream of becoming parents come true ... but we did it and we did it together!

I love you Stephen and can't wait for the next part of this journey as we take it with Roman and Max!!!

getting ready ... see the veil in the background

introducing Mr. and Mrs. Pupek (ring bearer and flower girl too!)

cutting the cake... "I want to grow old with you"!

And here we are today ... 5 years later with our newest additions!!! Just gotta love the path that life leads you down!