Saturday, October 31, 2009

Why We Love Baby Einstein

I recently heard about a class action lawsuit brought against the Baby Einstein Company (now part of the Disney conglomerate). Parents were suing because they felt the Baby Einstein DVDs hadn't made their kids any smarter. Apparently they won because you can now receive an exchange or even refund for some of your DVDs. Yes, only in America can you sue because a DVD didn't make your kid any smarter...couldn't have been the lack of parental interaction, could it?
In our house, though, we love Baby Einstein. I'm not sure it is making Mia any smarter (how could you really measure this anyway?) but she loves watching it, especially the puppets (as shown in the video below). We love it because it's the one thing that will totally entertain her by herself for a few minutes, which gives Mommy and/or Daddy a break to wash bottles, eat lunch, whatever. And really, anything that makes her giggle like this had us at hello (or bonjour, hola...)

video

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Look Back: Arriving Home

In order to make up for our lack of recent photos, I thought I would leave you with a special video of our arrival home from Ethiopia. We were overwhelmed when nearly 30 of our family and friends met us at the Indy Airport, and it is certainly an afternoon we'll not soon forget.

video

8 Months and 2 Months Home

Tomorrow my baby girl will turn 8 months old! It's hard to believe 2 months have passed us by. We've been busy the last few weeks; Travis is back in school after a brief hiatus, we've both been photographing families for our new church directory, Mia has been growing like a weed, and just this last weekend popped through not one but two bottom teeth! We actually didn't even know they were coming in; she has a habit of keeping her tongue stuck out, so it wasn't until last Friday when Travis made her laugh that he saw white shadows looming beneath her gums...No wonder she'd been getting us up at 5:30 every morning! Although we don't go back to the doctor until next month, here's a look at her growing statistics:
Weight/Height
Our chunky monkey just keeps on growing! I don't have an official weight from a doctor's scale, but when I weighed the two of us last week at my in-laws, the scale read 19.5 pounds! I also measured her with a sewing tape measure and she was around 26". We're all the way into 6-9 month clothing, and I even had a 12 month outfit on her yesterday (thanks Leslie!)
Food
Well, as you might have guessed from our rapid growing, Mia loves to eat. She finally figured out the spoon/tongue thing, and opens wide for just about any food I give her. The only thing she's balked at so far is a mashed up avocado...can't say I blame her there. To date, she's tried sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, pumpkin, green beans, peas, bananas, apples, pears, blueberries, yogurt, and apricots. I'm actually going to try to make some of her food this week as we're going through the jars quickly and I want her to try a variety of foods. Although Earth's Best has more variety than other brands, you can quickly exhaust the options. We've also cut down some of her formula during the day feedings (from 8 ounces to 6) and increased our table food. She also loves drinking from her sippy cup, but Mommy still has to help hold it if she wants to get any water and not air.
Development/Motor
We're definitely getting stronger every day. She sits up entirely on her own, can stand with some assistance from me, uses both hands in coordination, is almost clapping and waving, and is starting to play peek-a-boo herself. We still hate tummy time and have yet to roll over (either way), although I'm pretty confident she could do it if she really wanted to. She's been so close a dozen times, and I keep trying to give her opportunities to do it. I'm not sure she'll ever crawl, but you never know.
Sleep
This is a big one, and probably the thing we've struggled most with since we've been home. Mia has finally gotten the hang of our routine. She normally wakes around 6:45, takes a bottle at 7, naps from 9-10:30, eats again at 11, afternoon nap from 1-2:30 (pushing for 2 hours here), eat at 3, and then down for the night after a bottle at 7. Teething has of course altered our mornings for the last week, but we're hoping our early mornings are on the way out. Sleeping through the night is hit and miss. I would say she goes 2 out of 7 nights in a week. The hardest part about her night wakings is that she's usually wide awake, and we have to convince her that she really is still tired, which is not without its frustrations and tears.
Attachment
We seem to be doing well in this department, but it is still a huge obstacle for us all. Mia spends 98% of all her time with me, and apart from the few days we worked on the directory, we have done all of the feedings, changings, baths, and nap/bedtimes. She definitely seems to recognize us both and has begun tracking us, especially me, if someone else is holding her. Even though I think we've made great progress, it's important to us both to keep taking baby steps. That means limiting those who hold her, not passing her around, especially in new places, and continuing to provide all the care. I know this is difficult for many to understand as it appears we're all doing great, but what I want to stress to people is that although she's adjusting well, we have only had her for one-quarter of her life. Three-quarters of her life has been spent away from us; up until that point, she had a variety of people caring for her and honestly had very little opportunity to attach securely to one person. When we came along, we were total strangers who took her out of everything she had ever known, flew her halfway around the world, and now give her our (almost) complete attention every second she's awake. There are moments when I panic that she doesn't realize who I am (I understand this might seem like a silly fear to some, but please understand that in adoption, it's not), but we get through them and keeping going

Sorry for the lost post and the lack of pictures...you'd think with a photographer for a mom and dad that we'd have some new pics to share, but what can I say? I am looking forward to the holiday season. Mia's going to be a penguin for Halloween, so check back and I promise new pics soon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fall Festivities

Every fall when the air starts to get cooler and crisper, I'm always anxious to make our first trip to the apple orchard. Nothing says fall to me more than cold apple cider (the real stuff, not the watered-down version you can buy at the grocery store), caramel apples (with nuts!), and pumpkin patches. The last couple of years, though, were bittersweet for us. As much as I love the start of the holiday season, it left us feeling empty seeing the other families enjoying such magical times together. We were desperately longing for our baby girl, to share these experiences with her, to watch her face light up at the new sights, smells, and tastes.
So this year I felt it completely apropos that we took Mia back to the orchard my parents took us to as children. Although it's not quite as picturesque as it was then (part of the orchard was sold to a housing development), it was certainly nostalgic and brought back memories of my own childhood. I can't even tell you how much joy I felt in sharing this new experience with my own daughter. I'm sure that next year she'll be able to appreciate it a bit more, but I'm trying hard to relish each and every moment now. She's growing and changing so quickly, and I know we'll never get these moments back.