Saturday, January 31, 2009
Heart contents by Maria at 7:47 PM
Friday Josh awoke with an ear ache and said he needed to go to the doctor. I was a little pleased that I had a "helper" for the day since Ellie and I had lots of errands to run. Since he wasn't running a fever, I gave him some Motrin and we hit the road for a day full of things to do.
One of our stops was at the Social Security Administration to apply for Ellie's SS card. Ahh.... I went to an office that I thought wouldn't be so crowded, but made the mistake of showing up at lunch time. It was crowded and we waited about an hour and a half. There were some entertaining waiters and Ellie was a hit so it wasn't too hard of a wait. Josh was extraordinarily good and decided to reorganize my wallet and the diaper bag. Not a bad deal if you can get it!!
When we were finally called back, I pulled out the application that Kevin had printed from home and I'd filed out (planning to save time) and Ellie's passport. The lady looked at it and me and said, "This is beyond my realm of expertise. I'm going to have to get someone else to help you." She finally decided we'd have to go back into the lobby and wait for the guy who does this to finish with someone else. Yay.
When it was finally our turn, I took my paperwork up (again) and Josh held Ellie. The gentleman asked me for my certified adoption decree. I dug and dug in the folder of all the papers I got in country. We had not taken any of them out so I was certain if I had gotten it I would find it. The only thing I had (in English) was a COPY of the translated adoption decree. It did have a copied seal on it. I had the original decree in Russian which I showed to him. He proceeded to get quite snippy and told me that he did this "all the time" and that he knew I should have a translated original certified copy. I told him I did not and that my agency must not have given me one. He said, "Well, I guess the person who does that was out sick that day, huh?" WHAT??? He finally said he could do it with what I had but told me to call my agency RIGHT AWAY to get an original or I'd likely have trouble down the road. WHAT??? So.... then, Ellie being her friendly self, is standing on the counter with her face poked up to the opening in the Plexiglas saying, "HI!" "HI!" "HI!". Finally I said, "I think she's talking to you." The man never took his eyes off the computer and said, "I know. I can't take my eyes off the screen or I might mess something up." Oh, great.
Finally, he said we should get her card within two weeks and we gratefully left the SS office -- hoping to not have to return any time soon.
Heart contents by Maria at 7:16 PM
Tonight as I was feeding her dinner, imagine my SURPRISE when she said, "Paa Paa Mama" and reached out and patted my hand!!! I asked Josh if he heard it and he said no, he wasn't listening. I called Kevin in and she did it again, "Paa Paa Mama". My heart is mush!!!!
Of course, on the other hand, she was such a grumpy ole' bear at Joshua's basketball tournament that she wouldn't have anything to do with her grandparents. I suspect it was a combination of sleepy and teething but she wasn't the smiling happy, go to anyone baby she normally is and only wanted to sit with me or Kevin and would occasionally lean her head over on Mee Mee's shoulder. Now, after a nap -- all better.
And ... I think my computer had a nervous breakdown. I can't get it to turn on. I'm letting it "rest" right now and will try it again later. *sigh*
Pat Pat Mama -- how wonderfully sweet!!
Heart contents by Maria at 7:12 PM
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Here's some updates on the "Princess" and where she is developmentally. It's nice for me to keep track on the blog because then I can refer back when I ever get a chance to do a baby book or scrapbook or any of that other "crafty" stuff.
- Crawls commando style and also some on all fours; she started the all fours after watching J. this past weekend.
- Pulls up on everything and cruises around. Can sometimes stand a few seconds by herself.
- Babbles a lot; says "kkkccckkk" every time a cat comes around; says "mama" but I don't know if she means anything by it; says "bababababa" which might or might not mean brother; I've heard her say "dada" but, again, who knows?; says something that sounds like "eahyee" which I think is "Ellie"; and says something that sounds like "baby" -- who knows if these things mean anything, but it's obvious that she is developing her language skills;
- Can drink from a sippy cup with handles and often can do it herself;
- Eats full jars of baby food and pretty much any kinds of table food we will share with her
- Has cut back to about 30 ounces (or maybe even a little less) of formula a day;
- Has three teeth: two on the bottom and one just coming through on top.
- Has a lot more hair but still not enough to put a clippy bow into *sigh*
- Slings her hands around and says "Hi" and "Hey" when she wants to and occasionally to other people -- especially likes to ride in the cart at Wal-Mart yelling, "HI!!!" at the people who go by. Yes, this is great fun for me for they ALL feel the need to stop to talk to her.
- Still continues to "dance" anytime she hears music
- Measured her at home and she appears to be about 26.5" long. We go to the doctor on Monday and we'll get a new weight., She is still in 3-6 month clothes (Gymboree) and 6 month clothes (all other) but not in 6-9 month clothes (I've found there are differences in all three of these regardless of the fact that they ALL have "6 months" in them).
- Is much more clingy with her mom than she used to be;
- Is sleeping better usually only waking up once a night for a bottle and sleeping from 9-6 (or sometimes 7)
- Naps two or three times a day: 1.5 hours once and two power naps that are about 15-30 minutes long.
- Loves Curious George, baby dolls and the babies on the Pampers box, in the mirror and on the Huggies bath wash.
I'm sure there is more, but it's bedtime around our house. Happy Birthday Ellie!
Heart contents by Maria at 9:41 PM
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Heart contents by Maria at 10:50 PM
Heart contents by Maria at 8:18 PM
Monday, January 26, 2009
Heart contents by Maria at 9:25 PM
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Ellie and J. meet each other again for the first time since leaving Tokmok.
Allison and J. -- the ladies at Cracker Barrel LOVED the kids!
Andrea and AP (who was being a little camera shy!!) at Cracker Barrel
Ellie eating some "pre-breakfast" snacks -- right before her pancake and hashbrown casserole.
It was so cute to watch J. when the waitress took her French toast away. That girl loves her French toast!! It was also fun to see the "guys" bonding at their table and talking sports!! The younger boys had a great time realizing they were all from Russia!! They became inseparable. We had babies from Kyrgyzstan, Russia and China; boy were we multi-cultural.
After leaving Cracker Barrel, we went to the Adventure Science Center.
On the way there, Ellie passed out and had her a beauty nap for the first little while we were there. We finally woke her up so she wouldn't miss all the fun. Interestingly enough, she didn't miss anything because all she did was to crawl around on and play with J's toys. We discovered right after arriving that Ms. Ellie has cut a new upper tooth!!
AP loves Ellie and wanted her to be awake.
Stu and J. looking at the trains.
Barry with C. and J., also looking at the trains
We found some floor space for the little ones to crawl and play and the "bigger" kids went all around the Science Center playing. I would love to go back sometime with just Josh and check it all out and see the planetarium show. I think he would really enjoy it since he's such a "hands-on" kid.
Josh and S. play with a construction toy.
J. was fascinated with Kevin's beard.
Josh and Ellie playing.
Two of my favorite photos of the day -- J. and Ellie - rediscovering each other
Kat and C.
J. is the Cutest Little Princess and I LOVE her new haircut!
The four Krygyz cuties. Note the matching shirts? Andrea made them for all of us and we were THRILLED to get them. If you are interested in getting one like it, visit her site!! They are really darling!!
I'm just guessing, but it looks like J. is about to cry!
Unfortunately, I've realized that I didn't get pictures of C. or M. -- I suspect it might be due to the fact that they are four and were BUSY boys. They weren't still enough for photos!! There are some over on Andrea's blog.
So, after several hours, we had lots of really tired kids and we all started to disperse for other places. Josh had a basketball game that we went to. We made plans for those who could to come back for dinner later. It ended up just being Allison's family and us, but we had a great time at Pizza Hut and Baskin Robbins. Ellie and J. had some more "one-on-one" time with Stu, who declared that the two of them on his knee "just felt right" and that they could just take Ellie home if we wanted. *smile* Yeah, right!! They were terribly cute together!!!
We've all made plans to get together again this summer -- this time in Kentucky for more fun and with the hopes that more people will be able to join us!!
As I thought back over the day, I realized that these wonderful people that we now call friends, would have never come together but through this wonderful thing we call adoption. These four precious children, who all had some rough starts in life, are now treasured beyond belief by families who want to make sure they remain connected to their past and to past relationships, while building new, wonderful futures.
Heart contents by Maria at 10:27 AM
Friday, January 23, 2009
Curious George is Ellie's FAVORITE toy. We've mentioned that before. Well, imagine my surprise when I saw the above ad for my newest best item in the house: Calms Forte for Kids. You've read about our sleep issues with Ellie. She fights sleep and all things related to it with all she has. Nighttime is the worst for her. Then, I remembered I had a tube of Calms Forte for Kids in her dresser. I remembered it the night I wrote the post about all the trouble we were having with sleep.
I thought it was worth trying it. What did we have to lose? We already loved the Hyland's Teething Tablets and there are several other Hyland's homeopathic products we use, so I slipped a couple of tablets under her tongue at bedtime. The change was incredible. She just relaxed in my arms, didn't fight and arch her back and went to sleep. She slept well -- waking only for her bottle at 5 hours after her last one -- and woke up happy. No screaming in the night, no waking up because she lost her pacifier. Luxury -- sleep!!!
Here's some information about the product, and I'll testify that it's all true!! Thank you Hylands for giving me some sleep and for allowing Ellie to calm down enough to sleep.
Hyland's Calms Forté 4 Kids™
Watching your restless child toss like a tiny boat in rough seas, you’d give anything to bring on the calm. These sleepless nights are heartbreaking as much as they are exhausting – for both of you. But even the youngest human body has the ability to re-establish balance and health – including rejuvenating sleep patterns. The trick to achieving this balance lies in your ability to provide safe relief that targets the causes that keep kids up at night. Hyland’s created Calms Forté 4 Kids™ for just this reason.
This medicine is designed to safely and effectively counteract mental and physical restlessness in children. Studies show that 69% of our children under 10 years of age are prone to some kind of sleep problem. This doesn’t mean that your child needs to suffer. Calms Forté 4 Kids™ addresses the causes that inhibit a child from sleeping well. Your child won’t wake up groggy like he or she might, when given over-the-counter drugs containing diphenhydramine (such as Benadryl®). This is significant for school-age children who need to be alert first thing in the morning.
Heart contents by Maria at 8:53 PM
Finally at 2:00, I left with the hopes of stopping by my doctor's office to get some drops for my eye, which had gotten no better. I looked like I'd been on a three day drunk -- with no alcohol to show for it. Just my luck, there was no one, sans the receptionist in on Friday afternoon. So, back to the car and call the optometrist's office at Wal-mart to see if they can diagnose and treat pinkeye. Yes! they say, and my luck, they have an opening at 5:00. I'm thinking that if the SW is there at 3:30 and takes an hour I'll have plenty of time to get there by 5:00. Ha!
While I was gone, our SW called and had gotten tied up with some work and wouldn't be here until between 4 and 4:30. Ok.... well, I'm thinking I can still make it as long as I leave by 15 til 5. Lisa (our SW) shows up; I tell her my dilemma and say that Kevin, Josh and Ellie will be home and I'll answer whatever questions she has and then will need to go on. So, she walks in, sits at the kitchen table; we talk for, oh 15 minutes and she leaves. NOW.... while I am perfectly FINE with that --- we cleaned house ALL DAY LONG. There are no animal hairs, no dust particles, no "funk" on the floors; the bathrooms are clean, the dishes are all clean; the laundry is all done; the office is cleaned; the couch has been steam cleaned; the rugs have all been washed; I have hung pictures and put up my Upper Living decorations in the upstairs hall; Josh cleaned his room; we washed all our bedding and made all the beds; it was all GOOD and not even seen. *sigh* The bonus here is that the house is clean -- for a little while. And, we'll be gone much of the day tomorrow and Sunday, so MAYBE it will stay clean for a little while.
The good news is that Lisa didn't notice (unlike our dear friend Iris, who did) that our plug covers were in upside down! haha! It's been so long since we've had plug covers we didn't even have the sense to put them in right side up. Scroll down and you'll see the pictures of them in -- upside down.
The other great news is that Lisa brought Ellie a Bethany bear and a LOVELY blanket that a sweet woman makes for all the children who come home. Ours was really cool -- red, white and black with a dog print -- PERFECT!!! I'll post photos soon.
I'm SO excited. Allison and family are here to visit this weekend. We are having a "mini-Kyrgyz" reunion with Kat and Andrea and their kids. I'll post pix as soon as I can. We are off for breakfast in the morning at the Cracker Barrel and I just can't wait to spend the day with all of them!!!
Oh, and my eye? Turns out to be a bacterial infection -- pink eye, nonetheless, but much less likely to be spread and passed along to others. And, so I'm forced to wear my glasses (for goodness sakes) for the next 7-10 days. I'm MORTIFIED that we are having get-together time and I'm going to have to wear my glasses!!! Now, if they were cool and up-to-date, it'd be one thing, but these glasses are likely 8-9 years old. Oh well.... I suspect everyone will be looking at Ellie and not me anyway!! *smile*
Heart contents by Maria at 8:34 PM
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
First she crawled over to the dog with hairbrush in hand . . .
She decided to comb the dogs paws. I suspect if she'd had clippers, he'd have gotten a pedicure.
Heart contents by Maria at 12:13 PM
Monday, January 19, 2009
One of our friend's, Callie, came over today and wanted to play with Ellie. Callie is in Kindergarten and she did an excellent job of playing with and entertaining Ellie. I actually managed to get the dishes done while they played "doll house". It was so sweet. Here are a few photos of the "girls" playing together. Check out the drool in the first photo. I think there might be more teeth in her future.
Heart contents by Maria at 10:36 PM