catching up

Our last few weeks have been incredibly full, and I’ve been busy moving, unpacking, getting organized and settled in at our new place, and keeping my two-year-old occupied in the midst of all of that.

One of God’s great graces to me was a visit from my mother the weekend after we moved. I lost track of how many boxes I unpacked and how much organizing I got done while she was here, and Miranda, of course, had a blast with her.

Here she is enjoying the little blue chair my mom brought for her…

…and then playing with the slide my mom also brought for her…

…followed closely by an adorable smile as she enjoys playtime with the basketball hoop, also brought by my mom (are you noticing a theme here yet?).

My child is obsessed with slides, and she has mastered the “just one more time” plea.

Bubbles are also a big hit, though…

…at least until she decides it’s time to get back to the slide!

And Miranda received one last gift from my mom (actually from one of her co-workers) before she went back to Wisconsin. My mom has a little black cat named Keegan, whom Miranda loves. The cat, unfortunately, is not quite as fond of her and spends most of his time in the basement when Miranda is around, but whenever the little bell on his collar can be heard jingling, Miranda erupts with squeals of, “Keena! Keena!” and runs to look for him. Thanks to Grandma and her co-worker, Miranda now has her very own Keena cat and could not be happier.

In the time since my mom departed, Keena has accompanied us on multiple runs to the grocery store, neighborhood walks, time at church, a drive to Jefferson City, and a number of other outings and has been added to the mix of stuffed animals and blankets that sleep in Miranda’s bed with her.

Speaking of Jefferson City, Miranda (and Keena) and I – accompanied by our good friend Liz, who graciously agreed to join us on our errand – made the trip to state capitol this past week to get a stack of documents certified for our adoption dossier. I was hoping to wait and do everything at once, but the Chinese consulate won’t accept any documents over 6 months old, and our homestudy write-up isn’t done yet, so I really needed to go ahead and get these certified, so they could be sent on to the consulate for authentication. We mailed them out to a Chicago courier, who dropped them off at the consulate on Thursday and will pick them up for us this week, hopefully all authenticated as requested! I’m a little bit nervous – the courier said she hadn’t seen the method of notarizing a copy that our agency advised us to use, and the county that issued our marriage certificate doesn’t date their certificates, meaning the consulate won’t be able to verify that it’s not over 6 months old…but hopefully all will go okay, particularly for the documents notarized as copies, because several of those are approaching their 6-month mark, and it would be a fairly big deal to have to have some of them (notably, the medical exam forms) re-done. I guess we’ll know this week!

After we successfully obtained the state certification for our documents, we made a celebratory stop – for ice cream, of course!

And although it has been busy…and hot…I decided we needed to spend some time enjoying the summer anyway, even if I didn’t have everything perfectly set up at home and the weather wasn’t completely ideal. So Liz and Miranda and I made smoothies and filled up water bottles with ice and set off for the pool. My child, of course, promptly claimed Liz’s magnificent beach towel and cool sunglasses.

But after a few snacks, she was willing to tear herself away to go in the water, at which point she discovered that there were little slides in the pool, and that meant our agenda for the morning was settled – slides, slides, and more slides! Unfortunately, they weren’t the most comfortable…but a sore butt is a small price to pay for a fun morning at the pool with my little girl and our friend 🙂 Hopefully the rest of the summer will be filled with more enjoyable adventures (and more settling in at home)!

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