Friday, July 31, 2009

Super Power Lexi!

Okay today our little precious LJ showed us some of her personality. This afternoon she insisted on wearing her big bib that we use for meals but ALSO her smaller bib for bottles. She flipped the big big around to rest on her shoulders and then spent the rest of the afternoon being "Super Baby!". This child cracks me up!

Super Power Lexi! I'll get you with my "cheese-ball" evil grin!!!

"Oh, but Mama... it's dinner time!" Super heros need lots of food...

Who can resist this face???

"Mommy, pleeeassseeee.... give me some dinner"...

" I might be able to climb my way up..."

"Oh... is that my Dada coming come??"
By the way the big red spot on her cheek is from a mosquito bite from the night before. She really reacts terribly to mosquitoes and we worry constantly because some of them really swell and then leave scars on her. We really watch when they bite her on her face. This one got her while we were putting things back in the garage after I cleaned it this week. Suddenly this week I realized that summer break was almost over and I cleaned and cleaned like a tornado! It's the spiders that drive me nuts! They are everywhere here in the summer!! I started with the back porch and then made my way to the front porch and garage. We are for NOW winning the spider war but ..... it does not take much to lose the battle. I swear I cloroxed "Shelob" from the Lord of the Rings! It will be a wonder if I don't have nightmares!

Friday, July 24, 2009

5 Months Ago Today...

our dreams came true... My has she changed or what!!! Geoff teased me for torturing our girl and putting her into the same pj's that she wore in China. LOL! She thought it was fun and when I giggled and giggled at how hard it was to get them on her she thought it was funny too. She's just under 20 lbs now and 2 inches taller! She's all filled out and is so healthy. Parenting is never easy all the time and at this moment I just think of a line from one of Edwin McCain's songs... "I could not ask more!" Happy 5 month Family Day Anniversary to us!

We are heading to the beach this morning and I made sure we got this post in. I'm not sure I will manage anymore over the weekend.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

18 Months Old!

Wow! It's hard to believe Lexi is a year and a half old! We had to pull out a new outfit and play dress up for this one! This is one of the Gymboree outfits that we bought her during the wait. It's a little big on her but it's just adorable as she is!

Today she had a very special babysitter! I had an eye appointment and since my sister is newly unemployed, I asked her to come stay with LJ. They had a ball. Carolyn took her for a walk, read books with her, played outside on her swing and slide and then rocked her to sleep in the swing out back. After I got back, we decided to take her to eat lunch at Applebee's and when we got back we played some more in the backyard. Carolyn didn't want to leave her. We have plans for the weekend with Carolyn and John so she will get a good dose of Lexi.

Lexi did better today. She woke up acting more like our herself and didn't cry and fuss like she has been doing. BIG PROGRESS! She was a bit fussy tonight but then she does tend to get fussy in the evenings. She let me rock her to sleep for her 2nd nap and tonight at bedtime. I love rocking her and I think she is beginning to like it too. It's great cuddle time for both of us. There's nothing so sweet as cuddling a sleeping child and of course it is awesome bonding time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Corn Dogs!

Lexi had her first whole corn dog today! I know... not really a big deal but all the other times she has had one, we cut it up. Today it was "have at it"! She really enjoyed it but I couldn't resist teasing her dad. He has never had one! Imagine that! Well, I'm sure Lexi will share with him anyday!

Our day was still pretty tough. The day is full of ups and downs. As long as I hold LJ or sit in the floor with her everything is fine but take a step otherwise she just goes into a fuss. She has picked on the animals at every chance which drives me crazy because you can't blame a cat for scratching you if you pull their tail over and over. As soon as I get her to move on, she moves to the dog and pulls their ears or pinches their nose. It's almost as if she is doing things she knows not to do just to get attention. When she trips on her own feet, instead of getting right up as she usually does, now she acts like she can't move a muscle and is overly dramatic. I know this is how many toddlers act but to go through it every second of the day is HARD after having reached a point where we were doing so well. The only thing I've managed to do all week so far is wash some dishes. LJ is back to sitting on my feet and pushing me around to get me where she wants me. Geoff has taken over since he got home. It definately takes TWO in our household! Two adults vs. one baby! Oiy!! Not once would I ever say our struggles are not worth it. I'd do it all over again and multiply it but it is the hardest job I've ever had! At this point, naptime is a Mama's best friend! I love LJ dearly but a break is a break! This mornings nap allowed me to get a bath!

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Monday, July 20, 2009


We went out of town this past weekend. I worried all week about whether it was a good idea or not given we had just overcome some eating issues the week before with Lexi and had come out of it feeling like we had made huge progress with her. But we had made commitments and really wanted to take LJ to SC to meet some family members. My uncle was having a 60th birthday party and Geoff's parents, sister and brother in law, and his sister in law and her son were going to be at the SC house. My relatives live within 30 minutes from the house. I should have followed my gut feeling and the advice of our post adoption counselor who said if we went we should expect regression and be prepared for it. I don't think you can ever prepare. You can just know it is most likely coming. Lexi did great on the first night and the second day. I was so happy with my relatives. No one even tried to hold her and just sat back and watched our precious little girl. (Okay... there was one cousin but Lexi put him in his place quickly! LOL!) I was pleased at how she reacted to the strangers and it let me know that she does realize who we are. But on Sunday morning, we woke up to a different child. She was scared, clingy and almost acted sickly. It reminded me of LJ Day 3 in China. We went ahead and left to come home and she got sick in the car not 30 minutes down the road. It was the longest trip home from anywhere since we came home from China.

Once we got her home, she did not level off. She cried and cried and clung to us. We did all we could to help her know everything was okay but she would not be comforted. She did let me rock her to sleep at bedtime which was such a gift. Then around 11:00 pm she woke up crying again. We both rocked her that time. She finally settled back down around midnight.

She woke up this morning and was okay at first but then decided to begin her food issues again. I quickly diffused that and moved on with her. We were doing a little better and I told Geoff not to expect anything to be done at home today but dealing with Lexi. Of course that was fine with him. But Sara asked me if I could keep Brennen for a few hours while she took Christopher Evan to the dr. I agreed and told her to hurry back as I knew Lexi would not be too happy with someone else sharing my time. I was right. She was not herself with him today. She hit him, she would tear up his railroad tracks, take his toys and even when I went to change his diaper she ran over and tried to sit on his diaper. Luckily Sara came and left pretty quickly.

We spent the rest of the night until bedtime with her crying. It just breaks my heart that we caused this. We should have listened to our counselor and our gut. Geoff has even been bothered about it because she has quit calling him Dada again and is clinging to me more so than him. Tonight when I put her down she was so out of sorts she would not even look at me or blow me kisses. That broke my heart. Just last week we were feeling on top of the world. She was showing us how much she loves us. We could feel the results of working hard to bond with her and now this? It's so hard.

I know all kids make strides and then regress and make gains again. I know we will get though this and over come it. I guess I'm talking about it because I think when Lexi reads our blog posts one day, I also want her to know how hard we worked to bond and attach with her. I want her to know how much we love and cherish her. I also want to give others who are adopting a chance to see the reality of what all adoption holds in store. Some people have an easy adjustment and others like us have to try harder. I know tomorrow is another day and we try harder every day than we did the day before. I know we will get past this with her and we'll get back to that happy place we were a week ago. But just like I do in my teaching job, I reflect on how every day goes and think about how I can improve. I do the same with Lexi.

So some lessons I've learned from this past weekend...

* trust your instincts (if you think you are doing wrong, you probably are and if you think you are doing right, you probably are)

* listen to the advice of professionals (my goodness I asked for it... and then didn't follow it!)

* put the child's best interest at heart and not your own (I say this because it was US who wanted her to meet everyone. Lexi could have waited and will not even remember. And duh! Didn't I already learn this right after we came home from China??)

* when you do travel with babies, do your very best to stay on their schedule no matter what and napping in the car is not the same as napping comfortably in your own bed

* give the bonding and attachment plenty of time (as some wise friends of mine have said "Bonding and Attachment is not a destination, it's a lifelong journey")

* Always put the BIG bib on the baby when she is prone to car sickness

* Stop beating yourself up for making mistakes and remember that you ARE good parents ... (Listen to yourself WANDA!)

And I promise... tomorrow I will make a happy post! I just needed to get this off my chest.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Hat... my lovely, lovely hat!

Lexi and I joined my sister at her pool today. Well, I had to dress her in her outfit that Carolyn gave her and off we went with her dressed head to toe in Baby Gap. We played at the pool where dare-devil Lexi kept us on our toes! After we finished swimming, we redressed her and I headed home. Lexi fell asleep wearing her hat! I put her to bed... wearing her hat! She woke up still wearing her hat! I cooked dinner as she played in my tupperware cabinet "wearing her hat!". I even sent Carolyn a picture of Lexi "wearing her hat!". She ate dinner... yes! "wearing her hat!" and even got some stir fry on it! Then she went outside "wearing her hat!". Now let me ask... does everyone get the lesson of today.... LEXI LOVES HER HAT!! I had to wash the outfit and the HAT tonight. We could not find a single pair of sunglasses today before we left but trust me the next thing she loves besides her HAT is her SUNGLASSES! Most of the ones she has were given to her by her Aunt Carolyn. So I had to post some pictures tonight of ... you guessed it! Lexi and her HAT!

(and you may also notice the bib... that's yet another story... this girl loves hats, sunglasses, shoes, and bibs! She is certainly an accessories kind of gal!)

P.S. pony rides will come soon as soon as this busy Mommy finds a little more time to post!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ahhh... the dreaded letter!

This week has flown by and has not been the most "fun" week of my summer. We've had some feeding issues to deal with Lexi that has zapped our energy and emotions but in the end feel we are still making good progress with her. Last week on July 1st, I realized that time was slipping and made all kinds of appts for this week.... hair appt, yearly gyn, yearly mammo, as well as Lexi's first dentist appt. That's a LOT for one week! I still have my teeth cleaning and eye exam and Lexi's 18 month appt. and then we'll be set for awhile!

But today... Geoff comes in with the mail. Everyone hates bills but one thing that is WORSE than bills is the dreaded letter from my principal just a few weeks before we are expected to report back to work! It's a terrible reminder that summer vacation is almost over! He needs to send an email, voicemail or something... anything but the LETTER!! I immediately began to pout! Yikes! I have 3 more weeks and then summer is OVER! (come on... participate in my misery!!)

But back to LJ... we took her to her first dentist appt this week. I knew there were problems before we even went. The only thing that surprised me was that we have to wait 6 more months to see how bad things really are. Lexi's first 6 teeth look awesome. The other 10 that she has cut since we came home are not so lucky. They are riddled with missing enamel. The dentist says she has a genetic disorder associated with Asian people where the enamel does not form correctly. I thought maybe it was related to malnutrition but it actually occurs during pregnancy. The extent of the damage is yet to be determined but it is possible that her permanent teeth will be affected. Right now, she is lucky. Her baby teeth despite being exposed to the dentin level are hard which will help fight tooth decay. If she begins to get cavities, we will have to have her teeth capped. I pray every night that the damage to her teeth is limited to the baby teeth. So for now, we are brushing her teeth twice a day and have been advised to brush her teeth with toothpaste with fluoride once a day even though most dentist will not ask you to do this until the child is at least two.

Tomorrow Lexi has a birthday party to attend. We are going to bring the camera because they are having a pony and carnival games for the kids! We are excited to see how she reacts (especially to the pony!). So hopefully, tomorrow we will have new pictures of our darling Lexi... we are just pondering what outfit she will wear to the party! LOL!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

July 4th Family Fun!

Today was such a fun day! I can't wait to scrapbook all the memories! We spent the day at my sister Carolyn's home. My sister Shirley from NC came down for this special day. It's so hard to get the entire family together but today we almost managed to do it! The only one missing was Zack (Shirley's son). Shirley was here with 3 of her 4 kids along with her dear hubby Chris and their grandbaby Braydon. Her daughter Kimberly and her husband Jason came down with their son, Tyler.

Of course Carolyn's crew and mine were there along with Mom, Dad and Richard. We had a great 4th of July Feast and played in the pool! It was totally awesome. One thought that kept coming through my mind all day was it's Independence Day and I'm so thankful we live in a free country but also, finally Geoff and I are "free" of the wait to have Lexi finally home! I dressed her up in her 4th of July outfit and she was the most "All American" looking one of us! She was too cute!

My Two Sweethearts...

My TWO daughters... Gosh I waited a long time to be able to say that!

My sister, Shirley and her daugher Allyson. Allyson is a beauty! (Short story here... I wanted Allyson so badly when she was born. Shirley had to have surgery right after she was born and the recovery was 6 weeks so I kept her during that time. I wanted Shirley to give her to me! I use to take her out shopping and would just beam with a motherly love when people would tell me how pretty she was. I never let them know that she was not mine! Now she's 18! And still beautiful!)

3 of the 5 Great Grandson's! (John-Micheal, Braydon, and Joshua) along with Kelly.

Shirley's Grandson, Braydon! What a cutie!

Our Christopher Evan! My how he is growing! This was his first time in the pool!

Brennen with Chris. I just love this picture!

The Grill Master... Charlie
Me... the happy Daughter, Mom, Wife, Sister, Aunt, Grammy!
And the precious parents who are ultimately the source of this Fun Family Day... we are so blessed!
Even Buster enjoyed the day...
Thanks Carolyn and John for hosting such a wonderful family event! It was awesome!

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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Yikes! It's July 1st Already!

I can't believe July 1 is here already! June flew by and I know July will as well and then... back to work! That means less time with Lexi and more stuff to pack into each day! Lexi and I went shopping today. We needed to go grocery shopping in the worst way! We ran errands for about 3 hours! Each time I put her in the carseat she says "hot, hot". She knows how hot it is now and that the buckles on the carseat get hot. We saw what we guessed was a "thug" get chased down by 3 soldiers and tackled in the parking lot of the bank. Then saw the police and ambulance come. Wonder what the rest of that story is??

So can anyone tell me WHY kids love the scream in large stores? Lexi loves to squeal at the top of her lungs in WalMart and Kroger. It's totally embarrassing yet cute at the same time. It's a wonder she doesn't shatter glass when she does it. No amount of asking her not to do it works. LOL! Mom says it's because of how the sound carries in those stores. She's probably right but I think these little kids know something we don't!

On the way home, I cleverly decided to feed my child some junk food. I knew I had a trunk full of food and a little one that would not want to be put down. So we headed to the McDonald's for a tea for me and a Happy Meal for LJ. I ordered her juice and now that she can use a straw I got her Apple Juice. This strategy worked like a charm as I strapped her in the high chair and unloaded the car. Once I had everything done, I gave her the juice. She was so excited and was doing so well until I turned my head for ONE SECOND and like magic... the juice multiplied as she squeezed it out! She was covered in juice and of course so was the floor beneath her!

During our dinner, Geoff cleverly (see we ARE getting better at this parenting thing!) gave Lexi the junk mail to play with. I couldn't resist getting up to take a few pictures of her when she laid down on her boppy but the second she saw me, she got up and began to pose! Cheeser!

After dinner, I asked her to show me where the caterpillars were and she did so we looked at how much they have grown and talked about butterflies. Then as it neared bedtime and she got cranky it dawned on me... she is becoming more and more like a "regular child". I don't mean this in any derogatory way. Lexi spent the first year of her life in an orphanage following their schedule with little choices. She conformed. I can tell this from how easily she has followed a daily routine and from how she would behave when we changed her diapers when we first got her. We'd lay her down and the legs would go straight up... not wiggling. Well, tonight she really pitched a fit at bedtime. She wanted to fuss so much and yet wanted to blow me kisses so I got crying and kisses at the same time. It took her about 15 minutes to settle down and go to sleep. And then the rest of my day began... cleaning up and mopping floors etc... The days of summer will escape us too soon.

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