Friday, May 30, 2008

Fav Foto Friday

How come it's so cute on her and so not cute on me????

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Oh what a beautiful morning!

Glorious, glorious, glorious happenings in Casa B.

Last night Isa refused to fall asleep as I was bouncing/rocking her post-bottle. She wasn't fussy at all, just laid in my arms looking at me sweetly. So, I put her in the crib to chill. Usually she'll play for about 10 minutes then yell for me to come try the bouncing/rocking again. After a round or maybe two of this, she'll usually fall asleep for good. Well, last night she played for about 1/2 an hour. And then it got very quiet.... I looked in and she'd played herself to sleep! She was completely perpendicular with blankets strewn over her in odd ways, but she was asleep. Without my help.

And it just gets better. Last night was also the first time that she slept through the night!!!!!!! For the last couple weeks she has switched to only one bottle during night, which I thought was fabulous enough. Well, let me tell you that getting a full 7 hours of sleep is just brilliant. I'm practically giddy. I realize that this was probably a fluke, but it proves to me that she CAN go that long without eating and gives me the hope that it won't be too much longer before it's the norm.

Isa also had a very, very full diaper this morning after several days without any action. Which means that I don't have to go the route of a glycerin suppository (which I think would be traumatizing for everyone) and she was much happier as well.

Fabulous all around. Fingers crossed for tonight.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Strange tales from the dinner table

Unlike other folks whose Ethiopian darlings take in football-player size portions, Isa B is a fairly dainty eater. (Not really evident in the size of her thighs, though!) Now with the difficulty in getting out the poo, I think she's starting to translate eating into pain. So, she's is in a bit of a "no solids" phase. Last night for dinner she'd swallow maybe two bites and start wailing. Thus, we just skipped dinner.

Breakfast is typically a dozen Cheerios, 1/3 a container fruit and maybe 1/3 a container baby yogurt. Solids for lunch isn't consistently happening but when it does is quantities around the same size as breakfast. If I can get her to eat a full 3.5oz container of veggies for dinner, it is a triumph. Along with a few Cheerios (good distraction technique for when I'm heating the food) and maybe a little bit more fruit for "dessert"... that's it. And now that she's on solids, she's gone from a 6oz bottle to 4oz.

It took her quite a while to decide that she liked bananas, an instant favorite for many children. She barely touches applesauce. Won't go near oatmeal. However, she loves both peas and prunes (not together, of course). She doesn't follow the typical eating likes/dislikes of most little ones.

And tonight, it was even odder. We went out to a great little pizza place with a friend who's visiting. Like most little ones, she's definitely a social eater and actually eats best at restaurants. I brought a container of apples & prunes, but for variety I thought I'd let her try something from my plate. The only acceptable thing on the pizza was eggplant. Isa B LOVED it! Snarfed it up. It seems my girl has a strange palate......

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fav Foto Friday

(A brilliant idea stolen from other blogs that I read.....)

Looking coy :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

It takes a village... or at least a Grandma

I knew that our luck would run out eventually. Isa B was lucky to come home without any health issues whatsoever. She didn't have the upper respiratory infection that most of the Toukoul babies were coming home with, no abnormalities on her blood work, not even any trouble with jet lag! We've had some trouble with her bowels now that she's on solid food but that's been fixable with diet changes. (FYI- yogurt is constipating.. who knew??) I also came home from Ethiopia without a single bug.

Well, Friday afternoon I started to feel a bit sniffly. By that night it was definitely worse. Saturday I just got worse. Bad enough for Nyquil before bedtime. My mom had been planning to come up on Monday to help with some outdoor chores but when I spoke with her Sunday morning, she just dropped everything and came up a day early.

I was functional most of the weekend- mowed the lawn, helped with weeding and laundry, etc. But, gosh was it nice to have the extra set of hands around to help with Isa B!! It meant that when I felt really crummy this afternoon, I could take a nap during Isa's nap rather than do dishes (or the million other little tasks that always keep me awake). I needed to go to the one contract job that requires me to go into the office, so I left Isa B with Mom for those few hours- the first time I've left her during daylight hours. I felt so gicky that I knew I couldn't have juggled work, Isa B and my sinuses all at once. It was such a blessing to have Mom around. Admittedly, part of it was also that I LET her help out with things I hadn't before. She's always been willing to help out but I was doing the single gal independent thing. I think I'm finally starting to relax a little into this crazy mommy-hood role. :)

Another thing Grandma will help with is teaching Isa to play the piano. Or, rather, channelling her incredible natural abilities. It's true, Isa B is a virtuosa. She favors Phillip Glass style renditions of classic children's songs. Here is a sample of her work... Carnegie Hall here we come!
(sorry that it's sideways... can't figure out how to rotate it....)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I found this poem when I was beginning the adoption process and it is particularly poignant to me today:

Legacy of an Adopted Child...

Once there were two women who never knew each other.
One you do not remember, the other you call Mother.

Two different lives shaped to make you one.
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.

The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love, the second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name.
One gave you a talent, the other gave you aim.

One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried your tears.

One sought for you a home that she could not provide,
the other prayed for a child and her hope was not denied.

And now you ask me, through your tears,
the age-old question unanswered through the years.

Heredity or environment, which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling. Neither.
Just two different kinds of love.

Happy Mother's Day to Isa's first mother. I hope that somehow, in her heart, she knows that our baby girl is healthy, happy, and surrounded by love.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Nap wars

Our nighttime sleeping issues are (thankfully!) mostly resolved. I think those crazy teeth have done all their deep moving around, which is supposed to be the most painful part of teething, and now we're just waiting for them to break through. Napping, though, remains a bit elusive. For the last week or so she wakes up after a mere 30 minutes and getting her back to sleep in the crib is near impossible. Enter my new best friend.... Ergo.

I took my Ergo (a fancy-schmanzy baby carrier that a fabulous friend bought for me) to Ethiopia and it proved invaluable during all the airport time on our trip home. Since then it has come in handy for those times when I need my hands free while also carrying her but since she has to face inward, Isa B doesn't really like to be in it unless we're out and about. My girl doesn't want to be tethered in if we're just hanging around. But, she LOVES to sleep in the thing. Heck, if I could get strapped onto someone's chest for a nap, I'd probably love it too. All cozy and warm with the comforting sound of a heartbeat....

So, I try to keep the Ergo handy at all times. I put her down for her nap in the crib and then whenever she happens to wake up I speedily throw the Ergo on, in goes Isa, and the nap continues. The other plus is that, unlike having her in my arms (also a favorite sleeping place) I can go about my day to a certain extent. This is also a savior when I have to go into the office to work. I try to time it around a nap so that I know I'll have at least 1 1/2 hours of uninterrupted, nap-in-the-Ergo time. The clicking of the keyboard and even the loud printer don't wake her up! I realize that the experts would consider this poor sleep training but unless the experts want to come hang out with my baby on less than an hour of napping, this is our new solution!

On the theme of sleep, sometimes morning in general is just too exhausting for her. Earlier this week she fell asleep in my arms a mere 2 hours after waking up. It was a brief nap but she looked so darn adorable.....

Monday, May 5, 2008

A typical morning in Casa B

I thought it would be a good idea to chronicle the little ho-hum details of life with Isa B. Since my sleep-deprived brain can barely remember one day from the other, I need to document things or I may have no recollection at all..... So, here is our morning routine:
Isa B wakes up no later than 6:05 a.m. For the last couple days, I've gone in and put her Discovery Elephant in the crib to buy me a little extra time. (Note to other moms- keep a toy in reserve for this purpose; do not let this toy come out at any other time for fear that it will stop holding her interest in the wee hours of the morning) I can't just *poof* wake up and be ready to go like Isa. The Elephant gets me an extra 15 minutes, tops. Eventually, I am forced out of my bed again, for good...
We shuffle to the couch where Isa B chats up a storm with the kitty and I attempt to keep her from rolling off while leaving my eyes closed as long as possible.
Like clockwork, Isa B demands a bottle at 6:30. Unfortunately, she has now reached a weight and squirm level that I cannot hold her and fix a bottle at the same time. She does not appreciate being left in the living room and cries the entire time I am in the kitchen (perhaps 3 minutes). Sadly, the kitty assumes that as soon as I enter the kitchen, I will also feed him. Poor guy- that really did used to be the case. Since his meows are nothing in comparison to Isa B's wails he must go hungry for a bit longer.
Placated by a few ounces, Isa B will allow herself to be put down and play on the floor. I make coffee and feed the cat. Tomorrow I will have coffee from a brand new coffee maker. When I pulled the carafe out this morning, the filter cup came flying off as well. I was splattered by scalding water and coffee grounds; a lovely start to the morning. Happily, my first cup of caffeine isn't usually accompanied by skin burns and swearing. I start to feel human.
Playtime lasts a mere 20 minutes and about 7 a.m. Isa is strapped into her highchair for a feast of Cheerios and baby yogurt. This week she has decided that she would eat fruit (finally!) and we also have Kix to keep the breakfast menu interesting. I get to drink my coffee and eat my breakfast after she is done by attaching a few toys to the highchair. Must be quick because her attention span is pretty short.
Next we clean up. Happily, Isa B is willing to sit in her little rockingchair and play with toys while I shower. Because of that short attention span, in order to actually get dressed, I usually have to sing several rounds of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or The Wheels on the Bus. I have also discovered that Old MacDonald is handy as it can have any many verses as I need. Every other day Isa B gets a bath as well, which she really enjoys. She typically melts down when it's time to get dressed, though. I still haven't figured out why putting on a onesie is such a traumatic experience, but apparently it is.
And that's how we start our day. Not exactly exciting, but it means everyone gets fed and dressed!