Wednesday, October 28, 2009

40 Year Olds Should Not Tumble

...and other fun tib-bits! Yes, I sometimes think I am 20, but OH how my body disagrees! I was showing Ruby how to do a somersault the other day. She was delighted and learned right away. I, however, learned quickly that this was not such a good poor back! It hurt when I did it, but the next day I REALLY felt it. What I would give for a good visit to my chiropractor! Oh, well...another lesson learned. Not sure WHAT I was thinking. Ruby had fun tumbling around here on Monday and then at her Little Gym class on Tuesday. She did so great! Opened up a bit more and ran around a bit and really enjoyed it even more than last week. Think it is going to be so good for her. She really likes swinging from the bar and even did the balance beam (while holding Mommy's hand). So cute. Going to try another class tomorrow called the Music Round. Sounds really nice and taking the class with new friends Dawn and daughter Brianna, so should be fun!

In other (not so great) news...we both have Giardia. At least she does and I am pretty sure I do as well. Poor baby! You'd think she'd be crankier! No wonder she isn't sleeping! I just got her little body used to dairy and now (the same) Dr. tells me that with Giardia you may get a temporary lactose intolerance and to avoid dairy. Oh, geez. Back to the drawing board on what to feed her. At least we will get her on meds today and kick that nasty parasite. As for me, I have to go to the Dr. yet, but haven't the slightest idea when I will find the time. I was so thrilled to be able to fit into jeans I haven't worn in 5 years...until I realized WHY I was losing so much weight! Hmmm...can I keep the little buggers around for another 5-10 lbs? (Yes, I'm only kidding!) I think. Okay, yes, I am only kidding.

More (pleasant) news coming soon! For now, I have to go wake my little love and go pick up her meds, a pro-biotic, more green veggies, and get more enviro-friendly disposable diapers. There will be no cloth diapers during this nasty phase! I am good, but I am not THAT good! 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Doctor's Appointment & Play Date

We saw our pediatrician on Thursday and it went pretty good. Well, all things considered. I should say that it went well until the moment Ruby had to get 4 shots! I was so glad she only needed 4 that day but she was not so pleased. Screamed like crazy! And, hey, who could blame her? Shots suck! I felt so bad for her. She was just recovered from it when we went out in the hall and the Dr. came back over to go over a few things. She took one look at her and wailed like hell. Guess future visits will be interesting! 

Anyway, all her lab results came back and she has a clean bill of health. Turns out the only issue is that they need another TB test done (next month) and one of the thyroid tests came back a little bit higher than they like to see. However, they said the main one (that counts) was normal so they are not very concerned. We will re-test her thyroid in another month and get a few more shots, but it looks like she is A-okay! The pediatrician was open to my bringing in an Asian growth chart in and didn't seem as concerned about Ruby's weight as the first doctor. I told her what we are feeding her in a day and she thought it all sounded good. Ruby was 11 kg last week and 11.35 this week. So it's not much, but at least she gained a little bit! It's 25 lbs by our standards, but I am comparing it to her weight when we got her in Thailand so we always check the kgs.

Friday we had a fun play date with a new local friend, Dawn, and her cutie-pie little girl, Brianna (from China). It was a little chilly, but the girls sure didn't mind! They had a ball on the slides and we all got to know each other over a little lunch and play. It was very nice and Ruby seemed to like her new friend.

This weekend we are hoping to get together with my brother and Ryan again and Jeff's parents are thinking of coming up tomorrow. The weather is rainy again this weekend so we are seriously wondering if we will ever get to that pumpkin patch. Will have to be during a weekday, I guess! Good weekend to you all!

Update on sleeping: 
Well, we are falling into a schedule, alright, but not like the one we had in Thailand. Ruby is going to bed pretty good (most nights) but for the last few days she wakes up at 3 or 4 am. I bring her into bed with me and let her sleep till morning. Sometimes she still tosses and turns, waking every hour for a few minutes then going back to sleep. Sometimes we will actually get a few hours in a row. She smiles so big though when she finally gets up and sees Mommy next to her. And last night our cuddle time was so sweet I actually put her in her crib and thought seriously about snatching her right back out of her crib and going to be early! But she was already asleep and there was some yummy dessert (crock pot apple pie I made) waiting for Jeff & I downstairs. So I guiltily tip-toed out and made my escape for an hour or so before we snuck back in later.

I guess that obvious sign I was looking for has appeared. She needs some co-sleeping. She seems to be having nightmares cause she is still asleep sometimes while crying. I am still gonna let her go down in her crib as long as that works, but will let her sleep half the night with us whenever she needs. In the past I would hold and soothe her till she fell asleep and then put her back in her crib. This keeps me up for hours when I could be holding her and sleeping too, not to mention making her feel more secure. So that is the new plan...subject to change at a moments notice, of course, by the little miss! Thanks for all the great advice from my blogging friends out there! I am listening!

Big Girl!

So proud of Ruby! She is saying more and more words and picking up so much. She loves to sit on her potty in the bathroom so I decided to make a bold move today. I recognized the "poopy face" and ran her upstairs. I was too late but the concept was introduced. She seemed amused and got it I think. Jeff grabbed a tiny little Thai doll as a reward and we made a big fuss. So it's a start! 

She also learned to jump and is doing more and more on her own. At the playground she is taking the steps and climbing on thing more on her own. While it makes me a bit nervous, I see many kids younger than her doing it so I am backing off a tiny bit. (Not easy for me to do!) So I am still there in case she should fall, but letting her do more on her own. She tries to put her socks and shoes on now and is wanting to do more things herself every day. We are so proud of our big girl!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Little & Big Milestones

-No tummy aches this week and taking dairy better! Thinking it must have been the new formula and fatty foods so we are now back to eating healthy foods again (fruit, veggies, rice, wheat pasta, chicken, turkey) and adding in slowly things like milk, cheese, yogurt, and occasionally all natural ice cream. Loves yogurt, but not a huge fan of cheese unless I mix it in with her pasta. Her snacks are organic Annie's naturals cookies and baked crackers. Loves em! Cheerios, too. What kid doesn't like those? So she is getting some good fats and sugars but not too much and no chemicals and preservatives! Sticking with the GummyVites until I run out then we will get her a better, organic kind that won't stick to her teeth. (I like the fish oil idea too, Ellie!)

-Test results came in from all the blood work and all major things are okay. Hooray! They said there were a few minor red flags to discuss tomorrow, but I got the impression it is just diet/nutrition stuff. They were not concerned at all. We have an appt. tomorrow to get her shots. Poor baby! Wish us luck!

-Learning English words fast. So far she can say: Mommy, Daddy, good girl, clap, ball, cup, bowl, chair, table, shoes, socks, eyes, nose, teeth, bear, hi, bye, night-night, all done, bear, hands, snow white, swing... (There are more, too. I will add to this as I remember). With instruction, she will repeat a lot of words and names of people. We point to all the grandparent's pics often and she will say, Grandma, Grammy, etc. In Thai, she says, nam (water), ma (dog), mow (cat) and chaang (elephant). Possibly other words, but I don't know them! She will sometimes still babble a bit (it's so cute) in her language - and also sing - but honestly, I think it's baby talk more than anything!

- Can point out eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, shoes, socks, ear, hair, belly, Mommy, Daddy, cup, bowl, doll, bear, table, chair, block, etc....when asked. Still working on colors.

- She clearly hears the tiniest of sounds and turns around and says uh-uh??? When we whisper to her she will whisper back and then laugh and start talking loudly, like hey, why are we whispering??? Her hearing is really good. We always try saying something softly behind her just to make sure she isn't reading lips and we will crinkle a snack behind her and boy does that make her turn around! The other day her sippy cup (with straw) was making the strangest little squeak cause air was escaping and she stopped eating and looked around. She drank water again and then started laughing as she realized it was coming from the cup. She found this highly amusing! Couldn't get her to put down the cup for the longest time! :-)

- She understands a LOT of what we say. I will say "give that to Daddy", "on the table", "put that back", "we are going in the kitchen/playroom/in the car, etc" or "to the potty" and she most definitely gets it and will respond accordingly. Or I will say, where is Mommy/Daddy, your ball, your cup, bear, etc. and she will point or go get it. Yesterday I told her we were going to the park to ride the swings. She knows (and loves the swing). I put her sneakers on and said we have to wait for Daddy. She grabbed one of his sneakers and ran to the bottom of the steps and yelled "PAW! PAW!" all excitedly. It was really cute. So Daddy came down from his office and she was all squealing with delight.

-She can count to five in English and loves to give high-fives.

-Gives kisses freely and understands when I say hug or kiss.

- Learned to throw, catch, and roll a ball - although the catches are not so frequent! She just loves balls, though. It's adorable to watch!

- And sweeter than day when I said I love you she said it back. Now she says it often. It is the most amazing thing ever! I might have posted this before, but hey, if I did, it is worth another mention, for sure!!!

- Eats most of what I put in front of her. Sometimes I have to prod a little for her to taste it and then when she finally does she likes it. Avocados, bananas, cheese, and blueberries where not a hit however. She tried them, but then spit them out every time and looked at me as if I was poisoning her. LOL.

- Doing GREAT with the cat and dog. She knows when I say cat and dog, but is holding tight to still calling them by their Thai names... which is fine, of course. (I still say some words to her in Thai but we have used mainly English since getting back to get her used to it). Funny, though, cause she will call the animals by their names (Chloe & Max) sometimes. We let her walk the dog and now she just loves her. Chloe is not a fan of being walked by her but she let's her anyway and has been soooo good with her. 

-Last night when I was still talking to her before bed she took her bottle out of her mouth and say la-wa-aye! and pointed to me. How cute is that? I always sing the Brahms lullaby to her first and it seems to be her favorite. Once I was singing a different song first and she waved her hands with the "all done" gesture. LOL! 

- Had her first girls night out this week! Monday I went downtown to meet two of my girlfriends for dinner who were just dying to meet Ruby. Went early, of course, and had dinner at a little Vietnamese place. Yummy! Ruby thought so too and she wolfed down 2 big bowls full and my friends marveled both at her personality and her appetite! She had noodles and rice everywhere and we all just had fun watching her. She was so good and seemed to enjoy our little outing.

-Had our first Little Gym class yesterday. It was so cute! They do tumbling and songs, counting and baby-type gymnastics. She had a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to doing this with her weekly. 

All in all, a lot a great stuff going on here. I'm NOT gonna say how great our sleeping habits are cause every time I post that she pulls an all nighter on me! Go figure? She still naps great but maybe the temperature (which keeps changing) and teething are still getting to her. Last night I let her sleep with me most of the night. She slept great, but I tossed and turned. Part of me just loves having her snuggle up next to me, but the other part of me says she's been sleeping in her crib up to this point. Do I want to change that habit now? Will it be hard to get her back in her own bed later? Not sure. I mean, if she needs me and wants to lay close to her her Momma, surely that is a GOOD thing. We seem to bond more every day and I love holding her. What to do? Guess we will just keep plugging along until the answer becomes obvious. 

More soon! Gotta go wake the little princess from her nap! Been in there 2 hours. How long are your little ones napping? Do you let them sleep if more than 2 hours or wake them up to keep them on schedule. Would love to know!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Can't Rain On Our Parade!

Well the cool, rainy weather didn't dampen our spirits this weekend! Had such a nice weekend with the little love. Slept 2 nights in a row and went down easily tonight at 8 pm so we are back on schedule. I hope! She was so sweet tonight and wiggled around until she positioned her head so that she could look straight at me while I was singing to her. I just stopped and smiled at her and even with the bottle in her mouth she smiled too. Moments like that are just so amazing I could pinch myself. She is such a precious little girl and we have such a strong bond already. I am really blessed! She didn't even get a nap today, but was so happy and cute all day. Guess it's cause she slept 12 hours last night. Maybe we are finally getting back to those Bkk sleeping habits! :-)

Her Daddy was a gem this weekend and cooked breakfast this morning, did the dishes, and baked us a pumpkin pie! What a man! He knew I felt a little overwhelmed last week and wanted to help. We all had such a great weekend together. Yesterday, Ruby reveled in having Daddy all day to play with. They really bonded a lot this weekend and it's so awesome to see. Last evening, we had a play date at our friend Charlsey & John's house and it was really fun to see the kids playing together. Today we had a fun, impromptu visit from our friends Kimi & Chris with their kids. A great visit! I was bummed that we missed their daughter's birthday party on Friday since Ruby had a tummy ache and hadn't slept well. So Kimi brought Ruby a bag of favors and a gift from her daughter. How sweet is that? This disorganized (and at the time frazzled) Mommy hadn't even had time or energy to get HER daughter a birthday present yet! Of course, my friend didn't care, but I DID! 

My Dad & his fiance, Lynn came for a visit today, too. They got here at 2 and we had a really nice visit with them and ate Jeff's yummy pumpkin pie. They brought Ruby that CUTEST outfit and a sweet little purse that she loved and a piggy bank with green polka dots on it that happen to match her crib sheets exactly. Too cute. Ruby was all talkative and playful while they were here and it was cute to see her with my Dad. She hugged his leg almost right away! It's also interesting that she seems more relaxed and is more "herself" around adults or with just one or two people. When she is with our friends and their kids she clams up a bit. Seems to have fun with the kids, for sure, but a bit shy and quiet. I wonder if it's too soon for all the visits??? Jeff thinks it's good to get her interacting with kids a lot and we should keep doing it. I'll have to check my adoption/attachment books for a reference. If anyone has a quick answer for this, let me know! I remember a lot about attachment, but not as it pertains to social interaction with other kids.

Have several things to research tonight and then I am off to catch some zzz's. I want to get up early tomorrow before Ruby and get a jump start on my week. I've somehow lost a pair of Ruby's pants and for the life of me I have to find them cause it's driving me nuts. Probably in one of the 4 clean laundry baskets laying around needing to be put away. I looked through them but maybe they are at the bottom or something. Combed the whole house (and so did Jeff) and yet the mystery remains. Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rough Week Over!

Miss Ruby is down for a nap after much effort today and I am online to do a quick post and some research. Thanks for all the great advice on the Dr., eating, TV, and misc. issues. I guess it was just all so much this week. I was writing an email to a friend early this morning when it hit me: This past week we had several outings including an hour and a half ride to the Dr. and a 3 hour visit once there. We went to the lab 2 days later to get 10 viles of blood taken from her tiny little arm. Daddy had to be in his office working more than the week before. We put her on a new formula because the one we had from Thailand ran out. We also tried some new foods that have not seemed to go down well. She started drooling the last 4 days, putting her fingers in her mouth, and chewing on stuff. A friend suggested she could be teething and getting her 2 year molars in. It doesn't look particular red or puffy but I am thinking she may be right. These habits just came on this week. So in looking back on all this - in addition to the eczema and dandruff that has been plaguing her but slowly getting better - it's no wonder the poor kid's had irregular sleeping patterns! Last night she actually got a solid 10 hours - and I got 9 - hurray! I went back to familiar foods for her today - chicken and veggies with rice. She ate a HUGE amount with a big smile on her face. Still wondering if it's the food or the formula that's bugging her or maybe both??? Hard to get her down to sleep without that formula. I guess we will figure it all out in the coming days. Looking forward to a relaxing and fun weekend with the little miss and the hubby. My Dad is coming tomorrow and we have a play date with Ava today. Should be nice!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I thought everyone I know had stopped coming to the blog. Hadn't seen any comments for weeks. Well 2 people mentioned today that they HAD commented so I thought, hmmm...maybe I ought to check my blogger account. Sure enough, there were 56 comments not moderated yet! For some reason they hadn't been sent to my email so I just thought everyone was giving us space while we adjusted. So funny! So, mystery solved and thank you all for the nice comments!

As for today's post....thanks for the support! Special thanks to Dawn for the nice chat this afternoon. You give such great advice and I really appreciate it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Little Frazzled

We had our big Dr.'s appt Chop today. In typical Jen & Jeff fashion, we were late. We got up at 6 am and left at 7 for our 8 am appt. in the city. Should have left a good half hour to hour earlier. We might have made it or been just a few minutes late, but there was an accident on 95 and our exit was actually CLOSED, therefore causing us to get off another exit, get lost (Nav wasn't working, of course) and we missed Ruby's audiology appt. entirely. In the meantime, the poor kid got car sick and vomited all over herself, her new coat, her outfit and her car seat. Poor sweet thing. I cleaned her all up with the plethora of wipes in my bag and stuck them in one of the extra ziplocks I always carry. I could almost pat myself on the back for having those things, except I forgot the most important thing that every parent told me you always have to have: an extra change of clothes! I forgot. Ugg. I swear I am going to get it all together soon, but I'm so tired I keep forgetting things! So I just washed her down the best I could with the wipes till we got there (a smelly 1/2 hour of traffic later) and then washed her and I in the bathroom. She was so cute though. Looked at me a little fearful at first when she got sick. As if, uh-oh. She looks to me for approval all the time whether it is something good, funny, or indifferent. As soon as she saw the look in my eyes and heard me say oh, honey, it's okay, she just gave me the sweetest smile like okay, I'm better now! She is so darn sweet. Such a little love it takes my breath away! She was an angel at the appt and they just loved her. We were actually early for our 2nd appt. with the adoption specialist. Ruby is quite the charmer and played all the stacking games and showed off for the therapists. Even winked for them which Daddy taught her and is hilarious. Gotta get that on video!

As for CHOP, I was not entirely impressed. It's a kids hospital and there were no toys in the waiting room, for one. The Dr. was nice and the occupational therapists were great, but we were not in total agreement with the Dr. on a few things and she seemed to not listen to what we were telling her. For one, she was going entirely on the the US growth chart and telling us Ruby was so underweight and we needed to feed her more fat. She suggested more meat, butter, ice cream, and whole milk. What? How can a doctor actually recommend these things? I am baffled. Meat, okay. Whole milk, maybe if her stomach can take it. But butter? Ruby is not underweight according to the Thai growth chart and yet she completely disregarded that. She did lose her pot belly a bit since she's been home, though, so we definitely want to make sure she gets enough nutrition and gains a few lbs. I can't imagine how she lost .6 kg when she eats like a horse. She will literally eat almost as much pasta or rice as me!  We do fresh fruit and whole grain/sprout toast for breakfast, rice or pasta for lunch and dinner with veggies and/or chicken, and snacks in between each meal. I thought that was pretty good. We do dessert only once or twice a week and did give her some pumpkin pie. I just don't do it all the time and I just give a little bit. The doctor told me to give her whole milk after I told her that she seemed to not take dairy well. When I told her we give her lots of juice and she said that was "junk". Okay...what??? I don't give her the commercial sugar loaded brands! We give her fresh, organic juice! How is that not good? Clearly, I missed something! She recommends Flintstones vitamins which have aspartame, dyes, colors, and preservatives in them! I was really surprised. I told her we were happy with the vitamins she has and assured her they had zinc which she felt Ruby needed more of for her skin. She told me we needed a pro-biotic for her to be more regular after I told her how regular she is. So I asked her again what was regular, and she described exactly what I had told her Ruby was doing. It was as if she was just asking and saying the routine stuff and didn't hear a word we said. So frustrating, cause I want to do all the right things for Ruby! I feel I am getting to know her so well and know what she needs and yet this doctor was telling me just the opposite. So now I am not so sure. She wants us to get $5000 worth of blood tests done - for many things she has already been tested for in Thailand. Another HIV, another TB test, and a ton of others. Is this normal? What have some of you adoptive parents experienced? What tests did you do and what did you feel unnecessary? This is a grey area for me. Our insurance will cover the tests but it just seems like so much for Ruby and not all of them needed. In many ways the appt went great. Maybe I was just overwhelmed with it all and hate to see Ruby do so much testing. I'd love to hear from some of the moms out there on this stuff. 

They felt Ruby was attaching very well and said just to try to avoid her hugging and running to random people. She did this once at Target and again to at the Dr.'s office so they said besides Grandparents to make sure no one feeds her, holds her, or hugs her back - only us for another couple months or so until she is even more securely attached. Still, they thought she was doing great. Her motor skills are doing good but we need to work on more climbing and balancing so I am joining a Mommy and Me somersault & self esteem class next week at my local Little Gym. Looks so cute! I am looking forward to that! With speech and language she is at about a 18-24 month level, which at 30 months and considering her time at the orphanage, isn't too far behind. They feel she learned a lot with us already and expect her to catch up in the coming months. We do too. They recommend speech therapy which we agree with and we are gonna check into that next week. Still have to go to get the blood work done and the vaccines at our local doctor. That appt. is next week.

 I have to admit that just when I feel I got it all together and we are settling in, I start to feel overwhelmed and like I haven't done enough or second guessing if I am doing the right things.  Anyone else ever feel like this? I am only letting Ruby watch an hour or 2 of TV (Baby Einstein and Sesame street) in the am - but not every day - and an hour at night to bring her down a bit - like the Wonder Pets or a Disney movie. The Dr. told me this is way too much and I feel so stupid cause I should have known this. She said a half hour a day is more than enough and that studies show kids don't learn that much from TV - even Baby Einstein. Of course, I knew that interaction with us was the most important, but she picked up a few things from her Baby Einstein video already so I don't totally agree with her. I also bought all these great California Baby Organic products for her and it's making her exzema worse not better. I had all these grand ideas about how I was going parent. I researched far and wide and am bummed to see I bought all the wrong products and frustrated that I can't relieve the poor things itching. She is waking up in the night, scratching like mad. I so wish I could give her some comfort! Was hoping someone would give me more of a solution that "give her less baths". My friend Kimi told me to get Vanicream so I'm going to get that today. Bought Aveeno and will start using that today also. Has anyone used a dandruff shampoo on their child more than once a week? Once a week is really not doing enough for her.

I had hoped to be so on top of things, plan my menus, make home cooked meals every day, and be super mom, but it is harder than I thought! Not hard to parent Ruby. She's an awesome kid and so easy most of the time. I love every second with her! But hard to get or stay organized, keep up with the laundry, keep the house cleaned, make meals, and remember everything and keep things fun and stimulating all at the same time...especially when I am tired a lot. It was easy in Thailand because we were at a hotel, had room service, housekeeping, and my hubby. He helps a lot around the house and with Ruby, but somebody's got to work and pay the bills! He is torn between wanting to be with her and trying to get back into the swing of things with his company. I am really admiring my amazing mother more than ever right now, having raised 3 kids on her own! How did you do it, Mom?

On another subject...I miss my blogging buddies! Haven't had many comments or emails since I got back and I miss hearing from you! So sorry I haven't had time to check blogs! I am so out of touch with blog-land. It's been all about getting into our groove here at home with Ruby. Hopefully, I will get myself a bit more together this week and make some time. Hope you are all well and having a nice fall! Would love to hear from you and welcome any advice!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We're Still Here!

Just wanted you all to know we are still alive and well! After my post about getting into regular hours of sleep, the next 2 days proved to be just the opposite! I think it was my friend Dawn that said, just when you think you have things figured out, they change it up on you. So true! Things I think will be tough for her...running errands, etc. are very easy. Loves the car seat now and usually falls asleep. I wanted to get her some more socks and boots and she was an angel at the store. But then things that are usually easy - like getting her down for her nap - are randomly difficult. We have a system down...on most days. I take her up, change her diaper, hold her in my arms and give her a bottle while singing lullabies. Like clockwork, by the time I hit the 3rd or 4th lullaby she is out like a light and I put her right in her crib for a good 2 hours. Well, the little miss decided not to nap - twice this week - and crankiness ensued. I am learning quickly that I have to be quite resourceful in order to entertain a restless toddler indoors all day! A friend got me the Toddler Busy Book and I can't wait to gather up some good ideas, but I have been too busy to actually read it! LOL. Maybe on today's nap. She is looking quite sleepy at the moment!

The weather has gotten chilly already here, but surprisingly, she doesn't seem to mind it much. We we outside a bit this week and she gets a kick when the wind blows her hair. Had such a nice weekend! Saturday, Jeff's parents came up and she really took to them right away. She jumped right in Grammy Larae's lap and gave kisses to both freely. Took her awhile to saying Grammy but she said Pappi right away to Woody. We had a fun day hanging out, the guys playing ball with her, and she went right down for her nap even though they were here. Went to Shady Brook Farm on Sunday and that was really nice, too. She LOVES animals and enjoyed feeding the goats more than anything. She is quite a brave little thing and went right up to them!

Gotta go! Started this post at 8 am and am now rushing to finish it at 2 pm. Ruby went right down for her nap today (hurray!) and I have been wizzing around the place doing laundry, dishes, making calls, making lunch, and getting caught up. Those 2 hours fly by fast! Will post more soon!

Friday, October 9, 2009

We Now Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Sleeping

Hooray! She is still sleeping and it's almost 8 am! Jeff had the brilliant idea to put a fan on in her room for a little "white noise" and it seems to be helping. Good thinking, hubby! I got up at 5 and got so much done. Did laundry, cleaned the bathroom, straightened up the playroom, down loaded pics, caught up on email...even time to post yesterday's blog and do another today. Yay! We let Ruby stay up till 8:40 last night.We watched a Barbie Princess movie last night (a gift from her cousin Ryan)...and she was entranced! It was soooo cute. She really is a girlie-girl and I am loving it. From the moment Jeff put the movie on she was GLUED. She laid in Jeff's arms for a good hour and a half just watching the movie. I saw her fading so I took a minute to change her diaper and put on her PJ's while still in Daddy's arms. Poor hubs! She had to sit on Mommy's lap then. I so hated to interrupt them but she was fully dressed and I didn't want her to fall asleep that way! I knew if I tried to change her later she might wake up. So anyway, the 3 of us sat there together and it was really sweet. She watched the whole movie and then looked at us when it was over with this big, sleepy smile. What a cutie pie she is! I carried her right upstairs afterwards, sang her a few songs, and she was sound asleep in minutes. I honestly feel like I am living in a fairy tale. How I dreamed of singing her to sleep, touching her beautiful face, and hearing her laughter. Each day is just more amazing. I am in awe of her!

Yesterday I decided to do something really brave: go to the mall with her by myself. I had a nail fungus starting on one nail from not getting them done for so long and needed to get it fixed. I also wanted to exchange a couple outfits my mom got her and get more play clothes that fit her skinny little butt! So off we went! I figured the mall would be quiet since it was a weekday morning and it was. Still, I wheeled her in on bated breath. This could go either way! I went into my nail salon and they were all SO excited to see her after hearing about her for so long. They all made a point to come over and say hi to her and she soaked up all the attention. She was doing real well so I said to my nail guy, Danny, okay, let's try one hand and if she's fusses, I'll come back later this week with my husband. Low and behold she sat there in her stroller beside me for 45 minutes just watching and smiling and looking around. Of course, it helped that I had my bag stocked with Mum-Mum crackers and her etch-a-sketch. It also helped that the dear people at the salon all came over to talk to her. She just loved it. She's quite the social butterfly!

After I got my nails done, it was Ruby's turn. I took her to the little indoor playground and she played happily until someone walked in with the exact same Build-a-bear as she has at home. I saw her spot this woman and tried to get her attention, but it was too late. She followed this mom around pointed at the bear and then looked at me all sad and confused like, why does she have my bear? So funny - the kid doesn't miss a thing! So I scooped her up, put her back in the stroller (to which she fussed only for a minute), gave her another Mum-Mum cracker and off we went through the mall. She was an angel in Macy's while I made the exchange and got her a few things. I was feeling so good and confident (and in shock) that I thought, what the heck, let's hit Gymboree while we are here. I knew I was pushing my luck a little cause it was just about lunch time, but the lure of an adorable fall outfit for her pulled me in. She was great in the store and I let her get out of the stroller as she had noticed the cartoons playing in the corner. She was real cute and sat in each of the 3 chairs they had and watched the cartoons excitedly. All was well until I tried a pair of shoes on her. That girl and her shoes! They were too tight so I took them off and she had a hissy fit! I found another pair that fit, but by now she was full out crying and another baby in the store started up too. Hilarious. The store clerk was a doll and worked fast to ring up the new shoes and fall outfit. She just laughed and said, don't worry, we hear this all day long! LOL. We got out of there fast and by the time we left the store (with her new shoes on) she stopped crying and noticed her shoes again and all was well in the world. Yea, she is a bit spoiled. But she was such an angel the rest of the day, I felt she deserved it. The shoes are freaking adorable, too! (See below). She also needed lunch and we should have done that first! Oh, well, you live and learn and it was only a few minutes of fussing in an otherwise perfect morning. No biggie!

We headed over to the food court for vegetable fried rice, got a balloon, and headed home. She fell asleep in the car and I carried her right upstairs where she slept for 2 hours. Woke up happy and wanted her new shoes on right away. I had to pry one off her foot hours later when she went to bed. She insisted on having one (just one) on during the movie. So funny. And who could blame her? Are these not the cutest shoes ever??

LOL. Such a little princess. How we love every little thing about her! Her cute smile. Her funny faces. The way she is so proud of herself when she pets the cat or dog. The little "O" her mouth forms when the phone rings and the look on her face of wonder when she watches a cartoon or movie she likes. The way she dances when she hears music...adorable! The sweet smile she gives us all day long and the unprompted hugs and kisses. She even said the most amazing thing the other day. Words that brought tears to my eyes. I always tell her I love her in Thai and then in English. She gets it. The other day I said, "Mai rok luke. I LOVE YOU." She smiled and said "I oh oooo!" It was one of the best moments of my entire life. I oh oo, too, little one! More than you could ever imagine!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Rough Nights, Blissful Days

Well, we have had some rough sleeping habits around here, but other than that, life is GOOD. I think we had a delayed reaction jet lag cause by the 3rd day home Ruby was up very early every morning. And by early, I mean 2 am one day, 4 am a few times, and yesterday 6am but with a lot of tossing and turning all night. Today we were up at 4:30. Poor kid. I think she is all turned around. She's a happy little camper once she's up and she is pretty easy to get to bed both for nap time and at night. It's just in the morning. Once she is up, she is up - no matter how dark it is or how early! The other day when she was up at 2, I tried EVERYTHING. Gave her another bottle of milk, tried a bottle of water, sang my entire collection of lullabies and then some, tried to look at books together, had the lights way low... but nothing worked. I was exhausted and SO wanted us to go back to sleep! But then she just looked up at me and gave me the sweetest, happy little smile and I thought to myself - look how lucky I am! I just smiled back and said, okay, you know what? Let's get up and play! And play we did. At 3 am, Daddy had heard us and got up and the 3 of us played dress up. I put her Snow White costume on her which she LOVED. She smiled BIG when I gave her the pretty blue shoes that go with it and loved her Thai costumes, too. It was really cute. How we love her! I can always sleep later, but this precious time with her is awesome. I waited years to hold her, play with her, and see her smile and so I decided that tired is okay to bear for awhile. Being with her and seeing her happy is all that really matters. We can catch up on sleep later.

We had some great moments this week. Which is a funny thing to say, really, cause almost every moment is great with her. Even the dumb little stuff! Oh, yea, she is a toddler and will whine sometimes or fuss, but really it's no big deal. Usually over in a few minutes and she is back to happy again. But anyway, here are some highlights:

She met Grandma Donna on Tuesday! That's my mom. She LOVED her. And I mean LOVED her. Actually went to her twice over me which really surprised me, but it was okay cause she knows who Mommy is. (I also scooped her right back!) My mom brought her some 18 month fall clothes which was so great of her since I barely have any pants that fit her ity-bity waist! I think 12 months pants will fit her waist better, but then they will be too short. So we are going to venture out today and try to get a few 18 mo. leggings. They seem to work the best for now. Thank God for the 2 pair my friend Mireille bought her! (Thanks, Mireille!) They were the only pants that I had to fit her aside from the 2 summer pair we put on her in Bkk. Anyway, it was a really great visit and Ruby played, kissed, hugged, and was held by her Grandma. She loved every minute of it...and my mom did, too! Thanks so much for coming, Mom!!! She gets to meet Grandma and Grandpa Kitzmiller this weekend. We can't wait for that meeting also!

 Jeff and I took her to the grocery store the other day and got her in the car seat. We also went to the park. As we were walking, Jeff turned and looked at me and said, "look at us... here we are!" We had walked that park so many times. Walking and talking about Ruby. Day dreaming and venting about the wait and wondering what it would be like to walk the park as a family...and here we were doing it! Ruby was great on both trips. Only fussed for a minute in the car seat. The first time, I sat next to her in the back. The second time I drove and my mom sat next to her on the way to Dr's office. So I was feeling brave, and took her by myself to the park the next day... and she was awesome! Great in the car seat, great in the car, likes her stroller, and was happy on the swing. It was such a pretty, fall day yesterday. I felt like I was in a day dream except that it's REAL! Ruby is everything I had hoped she would be and so much more. She is not challenging me so much anymore unless she is real cranky before nap or bedtime. She's really an easy going kid. I can't say enough how lucky we are! The days are so happy now and yea, we are sleepy, but it's a happy, dreamy kind of tired and that's okay with me!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Ruby pet the dog! She was better with both the cat and dog today and I am so relieved. Yesterday's introduction to the dog did NOT go well. I had to carry her for 3 hours cause she was afraid to get down, even after we put gates up between us. I was dying to clean so I strapped her into the Ergo and did laundry, dishes, and counter wiping one handed. I am woman, hear me roar! LOL! Today she relaxed a lot more and would only fuss if the dog came near. The dog has been REALLY good with her and chill. And our dog is not usually a chilled out sort of dog so this is really saying something. Well, poor Chloe just loves to be wherever I am so after behaving and staying away for hours this morning, she slowly came creeping over to me and Ruby where we were sitting on the playroom floor (on a blanket, of course). Ruby was sitting on my lap when the dog came in, head down, eyes pleading for attention. I was ready for Ruby to wail, but instead she just studied her. I pet Chloe and she watched. Before going in the play room she had watched carefully as Jeff sat on the floor and brushed Chloe. This relaxed her a lot. So when Chloe was sitting next to us, I took her hand over... and she pet her! I thought it would take months to get that far! She is still not 100% fine with either the cat or dog, but we have had a serious breakthrough!  We also put her doll in the Bugaboo and pushed it around the house a bit. After several laps, I encouraged Ruby to sit in it. She did! And she was even good about me strapping her in! Now we just have to work on that car seat...

We're Home!

Amid much chaos, but hey, we are here! You are probably all wondering why I haven't posted yet. We have been quite busy the last couple days! No problems with the trip except that it was rather long, of course. But really, it wasn't too bad. The first flight flew by and Jeff and I managed to get a few hours of sleep in here and there. Ruby was a DREAM and slept 2-1/2 hours on the first flight, about 8 or 9 on the 12 hour flight from Tokyo to Chicago, and the whole way back from Chicago to Philly (another 2 hours). She is really something. I had the doorman tell her in Thai before we left that we would be traveling for a whole day on airplanes, but it would be okay cause then we would be home and happy. She must have gotten it somehow. Fussed a bit when she had to put her seat belt on, and also when waiting in lines and when we had to wait to get off the plane, but was otherwise, she was such a sweetie! There's nothing like being woken from your nap to have your diaper changed (I had to - we could SMELL it) at 30,000 feet in a tiny, bumpy airplane bathroom, yet she just yawned and smiled up at me! Such a good girl! Seriously, after planes, boats, trains, cabs, car rides, running around sweating our butts off in Bangkok, changing diapers standing up or having her wedged between 2 sinks, in and out of the busiest and high traffic environments, and traveling for a day and a half straight.... life is going to be so easy now! I think parenting on this side is gonna be a piece of cake! People have said to me, you are using cloth diapers? So much work! Ha! There is nothing that is going to be that much work compared to all we've accomplished as a family so far!  Ruby has handled it all SO well. She is SUCH a trooper. I think she was less cranky than I by the time we got home. Of course, she didn't know what I knew.

Talked to my brother, Jason when we got to Chicago. I just had a feeling I needed to check on the dog, cat, and house. THANK GOD FOR JASON!!!!! He went ABOVE and BEYOND the call of duty for us! Evidently, squirrels invaded our house last week and made a horrible mess! And when I say mess, I mean paw prints everywhere, soot drug from the wood burning stove and the play room and kitchen wrecked! I'm so glad I wasn't here because I would have had a meltdown to rival Ruby's best! After months of working so hard to clean and sanitize this house and make it ready for Ruby, everything was dirty. Her $50 wooden activity cube was chewed, filthy, and had to be thrown away. Two of the pillows in her playroom needed to be thrown out, the others I am trying to wash. The walls needed scrubbed down, eventually repainted, the couch cushions laundered, and the carpet deep cleaned. A thin layer of soot on a lot of stuff, despite my families best efforts. I broke down and cried on the way back from Chicago to Philly, while Ruby slept, but by the time we got home, I decided we would just handle whatever we were about to face. This was her homecoming and I had to deal with it.

My brother worked his butt off to clean up the worst of it. I honestly can't imagine how bad it must have been. Evidently, my nephew came over to clean the cat box a few days ago and my brother got this call: "Uh, Dad, I found out who was making the mess and it wasn't the cat! There are 3 angry squirrels looking at me and I don't know what to do!" Poor Anthony! So Jason, my neighbors and Anthony got all 6 of the nasty little buggers out of the wood burning stove (in my KITCHEN of all places!) and then Anthony's girlfriend and my Mom came to help them clean up. This all went down 36 hours before we got home. My bro knows what a clean freak I have been to get the house ready for Ruby and was in panic mode to get it all done before we got home! Poor guy! We are so lucky to have you, Jase!!! (Thank you Jason, Melissa, Anthony, Mom, and Britney!!! We love you!!) Jeff was also a saint and got to work right away. While I showed Ruby around (carrying her) and took her up to her room (which was unscathed, thank God, because the door was closed) Jeff vaccumed the kitchen and playroom and steam cleaned the kitchen floors. She seemed to like her room. Just looked around and smiled and got right on the rocking horse. Went right over to her dolls from Grandma Kitzmiller and picked the one out that Larae played with as a girl. She looked at it, smiled, hugged it, and gave it a big kiss. So darn sweet! Went back downstairs after it was cleaned up a little more and decided to celebrate. After all, this is Ruby's home coming! We were all wide awake and hungry so what the heck? I popped in the Ella's playhouse CD, danced around a bit with Ruby, put the incredible baked ziti my sister in law made for us in the oven, and we played with some of her toys. My brother told me he carefully wiped down all of her toys and table and chairs with sanitizing wipes, but I did it again just to be extra careful. I had shoved pillows in the bottom toy bins to keep the cat out so all the things on the bottom were totally protected and clean. All her dolls were in there safe and sound so I am really glad! It could have been a lot worse. We are so glad Jason and Anthony took care of the house for us! We had our first (yummy) family dinner at midnight in the dining room and Ruby was quite a fan of aunt Melissa's ziti! So were we! Went to bed at 2:30, up by 6 and got right back on schedule. 

We had the most incredible morning yesterday. She was so cute and happy. Okay, except for the fact that she is scared of the cat and dog! Hopefully that will get better with time. For now we are trying to keep them apart with the help of baby gates. Ruby has bonded with us so well that we broke our no vistors rule and let Jason come over with our nephew Ryan. They were so cute together! Ryan brought over books and a video to share and they were fast friends. Melissa came over an hour later and we had a nice visit with them before nap time. A good first day except for the animal thing. Ruby fell fast asleep by 7 pm and I was out like a light by 7:30! Got up at 3am today and the first thing on my mind was...ah! I can go clean!