Monday, June 28, 2010

Hello Myrtle Beach.......

We have reached another Milestone in Cassidy's life - MYRTLE BEACH!!!!!!! As we sit on the beach, her legs, arms, face... covered with sand - she said, "Mom, I miss the snow....." Oh Jeez!!!!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

It's been a while Ole Friend.....

Yes, it has been a while.. we have been BUSY BUSY BUSY!!!!! We managed to survive Thanksgiving, Gotcha Day, Christmas, New Years, Cassidy's Birthday, Valentine's Day... and now on to ST. Patty's Day and Easter!!!

This year seems to be going by so quickly - Next thing you know I will be sending Cassidy off on the bus with Max and Ethan.

A quick update on each of them.....


  • Max is doing well with school. Baseball season is starting this week, and the practice & game schedule is going to be VERY demanding!!!

  • Ethan continues to be the "ham" of the house!!! Like his brother he is going to have a very taxing baseball season, but he is looking forward to playing on his favorite team - The METS!!!

  • Cassidy is learning her letters. Her teachers are saying that she is well on her way to being a Kindergartener.... She is enjoying her time with her brothers and learning a lot of BAD habits.... HA HA HA HA.....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

WOW.......

Where has the time gone? This time last year we were waiting patiently (and by patiently I mean crying, worrying, anxious) to bring Cassidy home. Now, we look back and can't remember a time she was not part of our family. We have to give the Russian Ministry props for selecting the PERFECT child for us. She just FITS!!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

So much to catch up on.....

I apologize for lacking on my blog page... I know I have so much to catch everyone up on. Where to begin? I guess with Cassidy's eye surgery. As most know, Cassidy had very bad strabismus with some nerve damage on both eyes. The Dr & staff were wonderful and have corrected about 60% of her eye's. She still has some difficulties, and will most likely require another surgery, but her sight is dramatically improved. She was the hit of the ER. She brought Cassidy Meisha and he did EVERYTHING with her. If she got her blood pressure taken, so did he. If she got a cap & gown, so did he. It was the best. Then they told her that she was going to get to blow up a balloon. She was so excited about it she practically RAN to the Operating Room. (She wasn't as happy when she came out)
In about 3 weeks her eyes healed up nicely and we took the kids to the Cole Circus. (why didn't anyone warm me that the Big Top should really be call Sweat Top? It was soooo hot under the tent!!! I was actually HAPPY when Cassidy had to run to the bathroom every 10 minutes.
Then all too soon came time for school - Cassidy's 1st day of Pre-K! She had so much fun. She was very excited to use her new Dora backpack and lunch box. She is meeting new friends and she truly looks forward to going. She tells us EVERYTHING that happens. It amazes me that this is the same kid we brought home 8 months ago!!!!














Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cassidy & Minnie Mouse - Perfect Together!!!!

This was Cassidy's 1st trip to Disney. All I can say is AMAZING!!!!! See for your self.....









Tuesday, June 9, 2009

6 months.....

We have been home 6 months now - What a whirlwind this ride has been. Dennis and I have learned so much from this journey and we hope that we can continue to inspire and share with our family & friends.

Life with Cassidy has been fun, exciting, exhausting and emotionally challenging. Add 2 boys into that mix and you get one crazy house!!!! The boys, as I have said in earlier posts have taken to Cassidy incredibly. Max is the older, wiser brother, while Ethan is her play friend. Cassidy loves them both, but unlike the orphanage, not everything in our house is fair. The questions have started coming - WHY!!! Why do I have to go bed and Ethan & Max stay up later? Why can't I go outside if Ethan & Max are playing outside? Why can't I get new shoes if Ethan and Max get new shoes? Why can't I go to the movies if Max & Ethan get to go to the movies? Our answers - " Cause Life Ain't Fair".

It is easy to forget that she has not always been with us, and like her, we too are adjusting to her personality. With Max & Ethan we had a large influence in the development of their personality's and what was right, wrong, fair, unfair, mean, childish, unacceptable, and proper. With Cassidy, she came "as is." She has her own personality, primarily influenced from the 3+ years in the orphanage, and her own way of doing things. For us, that has been the hardest part, remembering that she is her own individual, and no matter how long we were waiting for her, she has only been here 6 months - and we can't expect everything to be perfect all the time. But honestly for the most part, it has been wonderful!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Language and a 4 year old

When you are adopting you read ANY and ALL books you can get your hands on. Especially when you are adoption an older toddler. Not that Dennis and I were "new" at this parenting thing (we do have the 2 boys), but hey - why not be as prepared as we possibly could. We read books on transitions, incorporation of customs, sleep routines, discipline, and language. Out of all of the issues that we expected to be hard - we thought language would be the worst. I started listening and learning Russian as soon as I could. I would speak Russian to her, and Dennis would speak English to her, and maybe the transition for her would not be so difficult. Well - difficult is not the world I would use for her language skills. Cassidy is speaking FLUENT English and has had no issues with the transitions of such. The 1st week or so was difficult. Learning her Russian slang vs. my broken Russian. However, by the time we got home we could understand almost every one of her needs. By 3 months home, he vocabulary had increased by almost 200%, and now at 6 months she has the speech recognition of a 45 month old (according to CHOP) HOW AMAZING!!!!!! Her voice inflections are correct when she uses sarcasm (yes, already she is adapting to the ways of our house) and when he is adamant about something (usually making her brothers do something she wants) he tones gets very stern. It is AMAZING to see the changes. Every day she learns something new and teaches us something else.

I thank God every day that we were blessed enough to have the resources to bring her to our family. We joke that we can't remember what life was like without her. Maybe because she was always meant to be ours!!!




Thursday, April 23, 2009

Easter 2009




What a great time we had this Easter. Cassidy had lots of fun "finding" the eggs - we are not sure that she understood it, but she had a good time. The boys have been very very good with her. I could not be more proud of them!!!!
We hope you all had a very Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mommy Monkey's

The 3 of them are MONKEYS!!! They are all over the place - It is great. Cassidy has been home for over 3 months now and everything is going along smoothly. We have scheduled our homestudy follow up, and we are working with Cassidy everyday on her letters, numbers and phonics. It is amazing how much she already knows!!!
Enjoy some new pictures!!!!!!



Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's been so long.....

I know it has been so long, but we are trying to spend as much time with the kids as we can. A few weeks ago we celebrated Cassidy's 4th Birthday. We are not sure that she ever celebrated her birthday before, so we wanted to keep it as quite as possible. Even with the simplest "Cake & Coffee" party, it still was quite taxing on her. (But she has fun).

Everything is getting MUCH MUCH better. The boys & Cassidy are getting along very well, and with the ensuing nice weather, we have been able to spend more and more fun outside. Cassidy is slowly acclimating to our BIG family. It is hard for her in large crowds because she doesn't understand the concept of meeting, greeting, and then leaving. It is the leaving part that is so difficult. It has been on of the few "orphanage" hurdles we have not yet been able to surpass. But, we are working on it.
Otherwise, we are getting ready for our 1st Post Adoption follow up. I am sure we will all pass with flying colors - It is amazing how much Cassidy has integrated us into her life. She has made this a happier, funnier family. It is amazing that she has only been with us for 3 months and already I forget what life was life before her.
I want to wish everyone still in the process GOOD LUCK!!! I know that things have been changing dramatically, but it is ALL WORTH IT in the end.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

SNOW!!!!!!!

We enjoyed the snow outside. Max, Ethan & Cassidy had a blast making snow angels and throwing snow balls at each other. The best part - HOT COCCO afterwards!!!!

video

Enjoy!!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Little Things....

Each day that goes by you follow your routine. You get up, shower, dress, get kids up, dressed, breakfast... and so the day goes. But every once and while you have to step back and smile at the little things. This was one of those moments.
For those who have adopted from International countries, you know that sleep is one of the more difficult things to manage. In our case it is no different. Cassidy still has a tough time sleeping - so when she was yawning over lunch, and I asked her if she was tired and she said yes - I didn't believe her (BAD MOMMY). Obviously I should have!!!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Welcome 2009

Welcome 2009. We have so much to be thankful for, and so much to look forward to. Now, as a family of 5, there are changes, experiences, and lessons that need to be learned. I can honestly look back and now and say WOW!! I was not certain that we were going to get through 2008, but now we have something to look forward to - 2009.

Max, Ethan and Cassidy have enjoyed their time together. They have started to really bond and it makes Dennis and I smile how easily Cassidy is adjusting in with the family. They enjoy movie night, riding bikes, and just building with the blocks.


We hope that 2009 is as fun and enjoyable as 2008 has been!!! We wish all of our friends and family the BEST IN 2009!!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Smith's

We hope that this Chistmas was spent with family and loved ones!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Is it over already????

Today's topic of conversation is ADJUSTMENT.
How are the boys adjusting, Cassidy adjusting, parents, etc.... Well, let's just say the honeymoon is over. And in all honesty I am surprised it has lasted this long. For the first week or so, Max & Ethan have been very conscience of Cassidy, playing with her, helping her - NOW IT IS SIBLING TIME!!!! Yes, that is the time in which we stop playing nice and treat each other as siblings. You know that time right? The time when "NO, that is mine", or "NO, you can't play with that", or "Why do I have to sit and color?". Yes ladies & gentlemen - It is SIBLING TIME in the Smith house. And yes, Cassidy is holding her own. However, that does not mean we don't have fun, because we do. Below are some pictures of tree decorating!!!!