Thursday, June 2, 2011

One Week Later

I've been Mia's momma for a little over a week now. She's changed so much already. I'm amazed at the progress she's made. So to help me remember it all I need to write it down... so this post might be a little boring for the rest of you. LOL! But I included some cute baby videos if you just want to skip to those.

On the first day her grasp wasn't the greatest. If I placed something directly into the palm of her hand she'd curl her fingers around it. But she'd quickly drop it. She didn't have the hand strength to hold a rattle over her face while laying on her back. She'd bonk herself in the head constantly. Within a couple days she could hold things. Then another couple days and she was actually picking things up herself and holding them, putting them in her mouth.

She couldn't roll over when we first met. She lacked the core strength to get herself over. I watched her figure it out over the course of several days. Plus we started working to strengthen her core. At first, she only got to her side and would get stuck. Then she progressed to getting onto her belly but couldn't figure out how to get her arm out from under her. Within 3 days she was completely rolling over like a champ. Last night she rolled over for the first time while sleeping and slept on her belly for quite awhile. Before that she'd only slept sprawled out on her back. 
She can't sit up unassisted but I don't think it'll be too much longer before she will. The first day she would topple over immediately. Now 8 days later she's sitting up but either doubled over laying on (or playing with) her feet or she's doing the tripod where she puts her arms in front to support herself. She still topples easily.... but she'll be sitting soon.

As I said, she's also discovered her feet. I don't think she could get her chubby legs in the air to check them out like most babies do. Plus she probably wasn't given the opportunity to. She still can't get them up to her face when she's on her back. But she lifts them in the air. She loves to lift them and bang them back down. She loves for me to kiss her feet. She'll lay on her back and hold her foot up when I do. Then she'll curl her toes around my lips. It's adorable. She's also a little ticklish on the soles of her feet.

On day one, her skin was really dry and rough but we've been putting lotion on. Now it's so much softer. She's really hairy, too. I call her my little gorilla sometimes cuz her peach fuzz is thick and jet black. It's on her arms, legs, shoulders, upper back and she has sideburns on her face.

Her hair was also really dull and coarse. I thought that was just her hair type. But after a week of shampoo it's soft, shiny, thick and jet black. I think she's gonna have beautiful hair as she gets older. It's seems like it's already grown out some in just 8 days. She definitely has more hair than she did in her updated photos taken on April 11th.

Last night she reached out to explore my face for the first time. I didn't even realize she hadn't been doing that (like all babies do) until it happened. Before this her arms either just lay at her side or her hands pulled on her clothes, rubbed her eyes, scratched her head or pulled her ears when I rocked her. It's really sweet how she pats my cheek. I just could eat her up.

We had a breakthrough yesterday. All week she would play independently on the bed with her toys for very brief periods of time. Like no more than 5 minutes before she'd start what I call her "just bellyaching noises" in order to get someone to engage with her and pay attention to her. But yesterday she was content to play for quite awhile on the bed by herself.

She loves her stacking cups. We stack them high next to her and then she reaches out to knock them over. She cracks herself up with that one. She also likes a little Eric Carlisle board book that's on a ring. It's small and only has about 5 pages of animals. Each illustration has texture. She chews on the book and loves to flip the pages. Christine, you were right. It's one of her favorite toys. She also likes the stuffed penguin I brought her. She chews on him. Sometimes she gets really excited and hugs him tight cuz she likes to smash him. She just yesterday discovered the tag hanging off his butt and will occupy herself for quite awhile trying to grab or chew the tag. Oh...that's the other favorite. A hot pink taggie blanket I had made for her with her name embroidered on it. She loves to play with the ribbons and chew them.

She's not afraid of texture or noise. She's just as happy crinkling paper. She played with an empty M&M wrapper for days until we forgot to hide it one day and the hotel maid threw it away. LOL! She also insists on holding the bag of baby wipes during diaper changes so she can crinkle it.

Every time she needs to sleep I rock her. If she's fighting sleep or worse... throwing a big fit, arching her back, wriggling away... the only thing that will work is a tight football hold, standing up, and twisting back and forth. If she's sleepy and compliant ...then just a snuggly rocking back and forth will do the trick. I can't wait to get home to my upholstered glider. Mia will be very happy with that.

Another breakthrough came yesterday when she put herself to sleep. It was right after that long stretch of her playing contently on the king size bed by herself. I had to go fill out some adoption paperwork while Aunt Carla babysat. The next thing she knew... she glanced over to the bed and Mia's eyes were closed. She napped like that the whole time I was gone. It was killing me to be away from her for the 2 whole hours of paperwork. And she slept through the whole thing not even aware I was gone. LOL!

Last night after I rocked her at bedtime, I put her in the crib. Usually I have to wait until she's deep in the REM sleep to put her down. But since she'd gone to sleep on her own earlier for Aunt Carla I wanted to test her. So I put her down still not completely asleep. She did the kick her legs and bang them down thing off and on for several minutes with a few whimpers but no crying. So I let her be. I usually would reach over and pat her butt or just totally pick her up and rock her some more. But this time I didn't. And within a few minutes she was totally asleep.

Mia loves the Ergo. I carry her in it everywhere. Even in this heat. I'm a hot sweaty mess and so is she ...but she still tolerates it. I can tell she gets overwhelmed with lots of chaos around her. The loud street noises, traffic, people loudly speaking Chinese all around, just the sheer number of people walking around's sometimes too much for her. But she feels comfortable in the Ergo, safe, protected.

She wakes up every morning with a smile on her face. As long as you let her wake up in her own time. It takes her awhile to fully wake and get coherent. I love seeing how happy she is and how her face lights up as soon as I peek over the crib and tell her "good morning". She'll break out that 100 watt grin and start kicking her feet and flailing her arms excitedly. Love it love it love it! How can you wake up in a bad mood with that kind of sunshine brightening your day?

Like I've said before... she's just a really happy baby for the most part. Very easygoing and laid back. She tolerates a lot. But she's also been showing me more and more of her spicy temper. We've had a few meltdowns. Partly because of teething. Partly because of being overstimulated and over tired. I'll be glad to get her home and on a real schedule instead of so go go go all the time. Partly also she may be grieving all the changes in her life. Even though she's so happy... she's still been through a lot this last week. Everything's different for her. I would certainly expect some reaction to that.

This video shows just how goofy an adult will act to make a baby laugh. Apparently...very goofy. I've been doing a lot of that this week. But I absolutely love it!


foodiechickie said...

You are a great mama.

KJS said...

I love to hear her laugh! I can't wait to meet her and I am sure Livi is going to love her.

Michael and Tammy said...

Things sound like they are going so great!!! I am so glad I came across your blog (I am a friend of Catherine's chatter) I love reading about your trip!! I am hoping to be within a year away (finally) and am soaking up all the great info you are providing!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your beautiful new baby! You are the sweetest new Mama ever. Sneezing to make her giggle, How cute is that?! Thanks for sharing your blog, you make me smile daily. = )

Miche said...

She has the cutest laugh!! :)

Donna said...

There's nothing sweeter than a baby's laughter! When my son was 8 months old, I could get him to laugh himself into fits of hiccups by saying "potato". Worked every time!

Mia has the sweetest little baby laugh! Your heart must just swell every time you hear her!


Catherine said...

So so sweet!! You'll be so thankful that you've captured all this as sadly, in time we forget. I kept a calendar for more than a year after we were home and wrote down something new each day. It's fun to look back.

Mia is so precious! I love the last video where whe seems to try and immitate you to get you to sneeze again. Silly momma....just as you should be. You have the very best audience inthe entire world! Your daughter!!!


Anonymous said...

Absolutely Precious

Sue from Il

AandAsMama said...

That little girl of yours sure has an amazing smile! Her whole face just lights up when she smiles! I love it!

From what you have said about how she scratches when she's tired and about the tight football hold I was wondering if you have tried swaddling her when she's upset? Both of my boys slept swaddled most of the time until they were around 10 months old. And my youngest spent the first 7 or 8 months being swaddled for a good part of the day too. He had reflux and until I got the diet stuff figured out that was one of the only things that helped.

I so love seeing you with Mia. You guys are a beautiful family! Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

Aus said...

What a doll!! We had much the same - I don't want to use the word "issues" or "delays" but can't think of another that fits - with our youngest daughter at adoption. B was 18 months old and couldnt' roll over, sit up, or crawl when we got her - but by the time we left GZ she was crawling - and within a week or two of home doing all the comes quickly - glad that you are writing it down and recording it forever!

And yeah - the 'look' - she know's that she's with her mom now....very cool!

And the Ergo - props and cudo's on using it - and IMHO correctly - face to face with your child - she needs that one on one mom time while y'all are out and about!

And finally the sleeping - WOW - y'all are lucky with that - that's been the one 'issue' with our adopted kids that we still seem to struggle with!

Great joy for you guys - looks like things are going GREAT!

hugs - aus and co.

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