Monday, November 27, 2017

"6 month" appointment

Yeah, so Isabella is about 7.5 months old and we just did her 6 month appointment today.  Between child care and the pediatrician's schedule this is the earliest we could come up with.  Technically we were scheduled for one last week but the doctor went out of town so here we are.

Our giant baby continues to hover around 90th% for height and is now around 80th% for weight.  Her giant head seems to be averaging out and is now around 60th%.  She handled the first shot like a champ, but shot number two burns according to the nurse and Isabella could totally tell:(.  I declined the flu shot (I'm not getting one either).  I am in total support of vaccines that prevent diseases which may lead to substantial harm or death.  I am less inclined for the vaccines that alleviate discomfort.  I really have only gotten flu shots in the past couple years because of J.T.s immune system being weak due to his Chron's medications and my working with an extremely germ infested school population. Skipping the flu shot might be a mistake, but only time will tell.

The only 6 month benchmark Isabella is missing is the use of consonants.  She is a total chatter monkey, but little girl still loves her some pterodactyl screams and uses vowels for days.  We keep trying. Though I think someday she is going to think that "mamadadabyebye" is some crazy word for which she needs to learn the meaning. 

We got the green light to attempt to wean off of the Nexium.   Which is good on two fronts.  First her digestive system is hopefully maturing and her reflux is not an extended issue.  Second, that stuff comes with a $75 copay for a 30 day supply.  It was worth its weight in gold, but it would be nice to have that money back if possible.

We left with a scheduled 9 month appointment while she is still 9 months old...back on track!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

And Just Like That...

we have a little girl who can sit up by herself!

For the last couple of weeks she could sit up with the Boppy:




And then today..."Look ma, no hands!"






It is amazing how quickly these milestones come and it is equally amazing watching them master these skills I used to totally take for granted with older kids:).

Monday, November 20, 2017

Teacher Brain

Sometimes I miss using my teacher brain.  As a principal when I go this hankering I would pull small groups or offer to write lesson plans for grade levels.  In this new setting I turn to Pinterest and we try different projects/ideas for sensory, fine and gross motor they have on there.  Here are today's highlights:


Fine Motor:  Ring "Toss"


Sensory:  Playing with grass


Sensory:  "Painting" in a bag


Fine Motor:  Feed the Turkey


Fine Motor:  Shape Eater




Sunday, November 19, 2017

Perfect Record Shattered

Besides the reflux and the colic, Isabella has been a super healthy baby.  She has now succumbed to her first cold, followed up by her first (double) ear infection.  Poor baby:(.

The runny nose started a week ago, followed up by congestion.  We took our first go at the Nose Frida, which our little weirdo actually seems to like (she smiles and laughs so I guess it works!).  We also got a humidifier for her room.  It stinks that these things are basically the only things we can do for babies this age.  Fortunately, she never ran a fever and she remained in pretty good spirits and ate well (though she wanted nothing to do with solids).  She rested well overall though nighttime wake ups cropped back up a few times.

A week later the cold symptoms were still lingering and last night she couldn't be calmed even when held.   This led me to call the doctor this morning.  When we took her in at the end of the day, poor baby had a double ear infection!

The antibiotic should clear things up quickly though for some reason she does not love the bubble gum goodness the way I did back in the day.  The only way she will take it for now is mixed with formula-gag!  But the good news is we are on the road to recovery.

Monday, November 13, 2017

7 Months

This is what 7 months looks like!

Hey, what's this sign doing here?

Cool, everyone look at my sign!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Land of Crickets Adoption Update

Our renewed contract expires at the beginning of December, so the time has come to request another extension.  There was a brief glimmer of hope about a month ago when our month status update informed us that we needed to send more profiles, but that has been it.  Below is our written request:

"Good afternoon~

As per our last communication regarding our contract, it is set to expire on December 2.  Despite following all recommendations set forth by Land of Crickets (LOC) we have not been contacted in any way as related to a potential match in the 2 years and 5 months our profile has been live with LOC.

When we signed on with LOC we were told as long as we followed LOCs recommendations our contract would be extended until a match that fit within our criteria was made.  Then when God blessed us with a pregnancy after 6 long years of infertility (including an desolate 2 year adoption wait with LOC) a section of the contract was cited that spoke to a change in our family structure that was going to lead to termination of our contract as it suggests that such a change may result in less opportunity for match.

However, within 2 months of completion of our revised profile reflecting our new family dynamic our hearts skipped a beat because for the first time in years the dreaded words "Adequate Supply of Profiles" were finally replaced with "Additional profiles needed".  Despite the concern about our family being less desirable to expectant mothers it would appear that this is not the case and as such once again are making a request for extension.

We are thankful for the 6 month extension we were provided, as it helped to show us that there is still hope for our little family.   As a result we once again request a 6 month renewal of our contract.

One of the reasons we selected a Christian based organization is that we wanted to be viewed as a family and not merely a financial asset on a spreadsheet.  Financially, we are sure it makes sense to remove our family to allow for a new infusion of cash a new family would provide.  However, we selected your organization because, as Christians, we believed that, as long as we did what was asked of us, you would do what you said. 

Please continue to view us as a family--a family waiting to be complete through the gift of adoption."

Our request was immediately approved.  So our adoption wait continues...


Friday, November 10, 2017

Temporary Solution and Language Barrier

A classmate of mine asked me about providing childcare for her newly minted 2 year daughter.  The classmate was diagnosed with breast cancer last winter and was about to start radiation.  Her mother had been staying with them, but had to go to Norway as my classmate's identical twin sister was newly diagnosed as well and needed help with her two small children.  I couldn't say no, so for the next 5 weeks we have added G to our little group for half the day.

My classmate is originally from Poland and speaks only Polish to her daughter at home (as did her mother).  My classmate's husband speaks in Spanish to their daughter at home.  Added to this, G had only ever been in the care of her parents or grandmother, and her mom said she is very shy.  Sooo this was going to prove to be interesting.

I had read somewhere that for kiddos with separation issues it was better for them to feel like they were the ones leaving versus the ones being left.  To that end, I met G and her mom in the driveway.  She let me pick her up and bring her inside, but she totally looked shellshocked.  She sat near the entrance to the playroom for about an hour just watching the other kids play.  She started moving toward them slowly but surely and as time passed became more comfortable.

Needless to say my Polish is non-existent so I had to rely on my ancient high school/college Spanish to communicate with G.  We also watched her favorite Spanish speaking cartoons (Leo and Tom) which helped me recall some Spanish.  The first couple of days were tough, but with the help of Google translator I began to develop a steady stream of words to communicate with her.  For words I wasn't going to use often I didn't bother to look them up and just said them in English.  I also spoke mostly in English to the other kids.  As a result over time G's English improved.  It also became clear that this was one smart little girl as she made connections and solved puzzles that I thought were pretty advanced for someone who just turned 2.   She will begin traditional day care in January and I think she will flourish.

I also came to realize that the changes of me being fluent in multiple languages is slim.  I had to translate in my head by thinking of the English word and then converting it Spanish.  Also there were times that I spoke to my English speaking kiddos in Spanish without realizing it until they looked at me like a had two heads.  Good thing living abroad in a non-English speaking country is not on my bucket list.  I suspect it would go poorly...

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Absent Minded Wannabe Professor

I have a lot going on and even under the best circumstances I tend to do thinks quickly, multi-task and my mind is often on something other than the task at hand.  That being said my, what I guess can best be described as absentmindedness, is getting out of control. 

Saturday morning we were going to take a family photo so I went to get my lipstick out of my wallet.  Wait a minutes...where is my wallet?  After scouring everywhere and recruiting a search party without success it became evident that it was not with me.  In thinking back the last time I knew I had it was when we stopped at a gas station where I went into the bathroom to change Isabella.  It took all three of us to piece together the name/location of the gas station where we stopped.  However, low and behold, when I called they in fact had it!  Phew!  During the search I froze my credit cards, but had a terrible pit in my stomach because all of the cash my child care family's had paid that week was in their--ugh.

To my surprise all of the cash was present when we stopped to pickup my wallet on the way home.  There are honest strangers among us!  However, one of my credit cards and my debit card was missing.  As the gas station employee politely pointed out, it would be weird for someone to take cards but leave the cash.  He was right, but where in the world were the cards?!?

God bless the ability to track card use from your phone.  The last place I used my debit card was at the parking garage at school, so when we got home and unpacked the card I searched the card and, wouldn't you know, it had somehow gotten stuck under the car mat.  I had last used the credit card almost a WEEK before at a gas station down the street.  I didn't have much faith that it would still be there, but once again the honesty of strangers persevered as when I went into inquire they had it!

Morals of the story? 

Moral #1--There are good people out there.

Moral #2--I have GOT to get my s*!$ together!!!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Our First Thanksgiving

It's a bit early I know.  About 10 years ago my moms family began celebrating thanksgiving the weekend before the big days in the mountains in Maryland.  Each year with different obligations of different family members it keeps getting pushed earlier and earlier and this year it wound up on the first weekend of November.

It was a nice visit with everyone but we actually ended up missing Thanksgiving dinner Saturday.  Well not missing it exactly but we had to eat before everyone else so that Isabella could go back and go to bed.   Dinner time had to fall somewhere between Isabella's early bedtime and the end of my cousin's son's hockey tournament an hour away.  We made it work:).

Observation...With the exception of my older brother my siblings and cousins are like stair steps when it comes to age so it's funny how our kids all ended up in different age groups.  We have the high school set, the middle school set, the elementary set and then Isabella representing the preschool crowd.  There is no intermingling of cousins within age groups, only siblings.  If and when my younger brother ever has kids I suspect we will have yet another age group.  I wonder if that is becoming more common with people waiting until later to have children and then others having children at more "traditional ages".

Not sure what actual Thanksgiving will look like.  I will invite my brother and my inlaws, but don't know for sure what their plans are.  So far we usually end up with at least one of them in attendance.