Friday, July 29, 2011

Everyone Loved My Brown Eyed Girl

Mia had her appointment this morning with the opthamologist. I was concerned about her eyes and anxious to get a true diagnosis. I'd noticed her eyes seemed to turn in from time to time. It was most noticeable in photos.
When others started to mention it, I realized I wasn't just imagining it. You can really see it in the photo below.
The news was good.
Mia has Pseudostrabismus.
Which basically means "fake eye crossing".
It's very common in Asian infants because they tend to have a wide, flat area instead of a true bridge of the nose between the eyes. It causes the eyes to sometimes appear crossed or like one is a lazy eye.
There's no treatment... which I was happy to hear. I was worried we might be patching or having a surgery. The eye doctor said she will most likely grow out of it eventually as her face ages and changes shape.
Mia was an absolute trooper for her exam. I was so proud of her. Apparently, dark brown eyes are hard to read so they had to dilate them twice with a long stretch of time in between. And even then they were still only half dilated. Not a tear was shed even though they held her down and forced the drops in. Luckily, they're used to it and get it done super quick.

We were there almost two hours and started creeping into morning nap time. But my girl did fabulously. She was so well behaved and only started to lose it a bit towards the end when she was getting tired and cranky. But I don't blame her. I wouldn't want some strange guy poking around my eyeball either. Even if I was in the best of moods.

And of course, everyone at the doctor's office fell in love with her. No one yet has been able to resist her dimpled smile. And check out those adorable little teeth.
On a side note.. thanks to my cousin "Sarah in MT" who sent us the funny "I just want to pee alone" magnet. Cute. And oh so true....

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Oh Boy...

This morning she decided that pulling up on furniture just to her knees wasn't satisfying enough. So she stood up. I wish someone would tell this overachiever to slow down a little bit and let mommy enjoy having a "baby" just awhile longer. LOL!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

8 Weeks Later

8 weeks doesn't seem like very long, does it? And yet it feels like forever. It's funny how our lives just wrap around these changes and we become accustomed to the new normal. I feel like I've known her my whole life. We fit together perfectly. She is without a doubt my favorite person on the planet. 

And she's accomplished a lot since I met her in Nanchang just 8 weeks ago today.
She's eating solids like a champ. We're still just exploring the baby food world right now as I make sure she doesn't have allergic reactions to things. So far I haven't found anything she's just flat out refused. But I have figured out which things she likes more than others. Green beans and apples are just okay. But I can't shovel in the pears and any orange veggie fast enough. Squash, sweet potatoes, carrots. Loves 'em all. She's doing so well that as soon as we finish up our supply of Stage One foods, we're moving straight to Stage Two. 
 She's also been practicing with water from a sippy cup. And actually swallows about 5% of what ends up in her mouth. The rest just runs right out as she lets her mouth hang open. Not quite getting the concept. LOL! Mommy still holds her bottles. But she's been trying to figure that out, too.

In addition to her two upper and two lower teeth, she now has another one on the top right poking through. I think I can see the top left about to explode soon also. I gave her a carrot stick to gnaw on thinking it was too hard for her to actually bite through. I was wrong. She nibbled a little piece off. Sadly for her... no more carrot sticks as teethers.

She's still commando crawling. But she gets up on all fours and rocks. Occasionally, she'll propel herself forward by dragging both knees together. Sometimes she just "takes a step" with one. But she hasn't figured out what to do after that and will drop back to her belly to get where she's going. Which she's gotten super fast at by the way. She can almost beat me across the kitchen as she goes for the dog's water bowl.
 Last week, she learned how to get herself into a sitting position from being flat on her belly. She also gets back down. She's trying to pull herself up on furniture but so far only gets to her knees. But suddenly, she's decided she wants to get on her feet and has started her own "downward dog" position.
Today we were reading a baby signs book and came across a page for "dog". She turned her head completely to the side and looked directly at our dog. I swear I didn't imagine it. She knew exactly what it meant.
 Unfortunately, we've gotten nowhere on our actual signing. I keep doing it and adding new words. But she's completely stopped doing her "more" interpretation. Instead when I ask if she wants more...she'll arch her back and bang her head backwards on her high chair..almost like she's saying "yes". It's strange. But somehow we seem to get each other. 
At her pediatrician appt last week, she'd gained a pound from our June visit. She's now a whopping 24 solid pounds! And 28 inches long. That's the 65th percentile for height on the American charts and 99th for weight! That theory that Chinese babies are smaller...is not necessarily true. I've moved to buying only 18 mth pants. It was too hit or miss with the 12 mth sizes. Some fit. Some wouldn't budge over her healthy thighs. So I gave up and went bigger. She's also in a size 4 diaper now, too.

We've gotten a referral to see an opthamologist. I've noticed her eyes seem to turn in on occasion. She may have a little strabismus. We'll see what the doctor says. Our appointment is at the end of the month. Otherwise, she's quite healthy. And her pediatrician thinks she's right on target developmentally for her age. Which is all such a blessing. 

Her babbling is constant. She repeats syllables over and over. I've heard "ma", "da", "guh" and "buh" most often. She also has learned to do a "th" sound which makes her smile. It starts as a quiet "th" as she puts her tongue to her top teeth and ends up being a full blown, spit flying raspberry by the time she's through. That cracks her up. We've been working on "bye bye". Sometimes she gets a sort of wave going and starts the "buh buh buh". Kinda sounds like bye bye. She also loves to whisper. That's something she just started recently. Another game that makes her smile. I'll get right in her ear and whisper back which starts up the giggles.
She's getting better with controlling her hands. She practices the "pincer grasp" with the dissolving puff treats. Griffey has learned to stand under the highchair when he hears that can come out of the cupboard. Because 30% or more end up on the floor. But she's getting better. She learned to clap her hands last weekend. She thinks she's hot stuff with that one and is constantly applauding herself now. Little diva. 

She hates laying still for a diaper change. That one we battle over. But she'll help me get her shirts on and off. I start working her arms in or out of the sleeve while saying "arm in" or "arm out". She'll either pull her arm out or push it through the sleeve. Which makes it much easier for mommy. She did it at the doctors office when I had to undress her for the scale. The nurse was surprised and said "Did she really just pull her arm out when you asked her to?". She seemed impressed with that. Maybe that's not normal for a 9 mth old? I have no idea. Mia is definitely a smart girl. 

I've been researching childcare. The arrangement I'd planned is no longer an option. So I've been scrambling to figure that out. I go back to work August 15th. I get tears in my eyes every time I think about it. We have a few good possibilities. I should have a plan in place soon. I think once we get through the initial transition phase, which I expect to be rough since we've not been apart at all for 8 weeks, she'll do very well in either of the places that are my two front runners. Both of them are private in home daycare. One person I already knew and the other came highly recommended from a friend who sent her children there for many years. But I'm dreading this. Leaving her breaks my heart. I knew the day would come though... and it's fast approaching.
Her sleeping is still going great. Down around 7:30-ish. Up once for a diaper change, small bottle and some rocking between 1-3am. But now I've got that routine down like a Nascar pit crew. I can have her back asleep in 15-20 minutes. She actually never fully wakes up. I finally figured that out ...which is why I have to move fast before she does. Every morning she wakes with a smile. Even when she gets grumpy later ... she still starts her days happy.
She still takes at least two naps a day. Morning and afternoon. Sometimes she takes another short cat nap late afternoon if she didn't nap long enough during the other two. Which is what you see below. Just ran out of steam and trapped me on the couch until she woke up. LOL! The afternoon nap is in her crib. Morning nap varies. If mommy wants to nap or just snuggle I put her in my bed. My days of having that luxury are ending soon with my return to work. So I've been reluctant to give it up just yet.
 We made a lot of progress this last week. There have been some breakthroughs in addition to all the other new things Mia is tackling. She's started to let other people hold her. That didn't happen prior to last week except for a few select people. She would always turn back to me and start that pathetic whimper. That seems to have stopped. She's getting more confident and social. But we've only tested the theory with me close and with her knowing she can come back when she decides. That still should help as she transitions to daycare. I'm hoping anyway.   
All in all everything is going very well. Much better than I ever expected it to. And I'm grateful for that. I think she attached to me pretty quickly but I can definitely see the difference in that bond now 8 weeks later versus those early day. As time passes, I can also feel myself getting more comfortable and confident in this new mommy role. It's becoming much more natural and instinctive instead of so clinical and textbook. I love watching this beautiful girl blossom and grow. She continues to amaze me every single day. I'm really excited to see what our future together holds.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Little Fish

A couple weeks ago, Mia and I hung out with a friend who has a swimming pool in their backyard. I was curious to see how my girl would react to the water.
She absolutely loved it!
About 5 minutes after she got in the floatie thing, she was laid back lounging totally relaxed.
Traci has a 5 yr old daughter, Jaden, who was also born in Jiangxi like Mia.
She was fascinated. Jaden had her cracking up.
Mia got very brave and figured out if you lean forward in the floatie, water would rush over the mesh part.
She had a blast kicking her feet and splashing. At one point, she put her face down in the water when she leaned too far forward. Her curiosity got the best of her and she did it a couple more times.
I decided to let her figure it out herself and she did...after swallowing just a bit of water. LOL! But next thing we knew, she was putting her mouth in the water and blowing bubbles! I couldn't believe it.
We went to the busy public pool on Saturday. We weren't allowed to bring the floatie so I held her in the pool. The kid has no fear. Just kept kicking and splashing. After awhile, she started to get tired. I laid her back and she got so relaxed I almost had her floating on her own. Completely in the water on her back from her head to her feet. In that moment, I was just so amazed at how much she trusted me. It filled my heart. 

Mia's a natural swimmer. No doubts there. So I guess I'll be looking into swimming lessons sooner rather than later.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hysterical Baby

This is what we do for fun around here very early on a Saturday morning.
video
video

Thursday, July 14, 2011

And We're Eating Now....

Mia started solid foods about 3 weeks ago. She's doing smashingly. I haven't found anything she refuses. Quite like her mother that way. LOL!

We're just exploring the world of Stage One baby food. But she's been doing so well and eating so much that I'll be moving her to Stage Two as soon as our supply runs out.

Notice how much she does her interpretation of the "more" sign? Yeah...not so much these days. Not sure why. I keep signing to her but she's not been feeling it so it's rarely getting used. Eventually she will. So mommy will keep trying.

video

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cross Off Another Milestone

Mia figured out how to pull herself up to a sitting position today. Forgive all the melodrama... she was trying to remind me that it was 7:30pm. Which in her world equals bottle and bedtime. She's very nearly graduated from the commando belly crawl to a real one, too.
video
And just 7 short weeks ago she couldn't even roll over on her own. 
She is one strong, determined little girl and I'm one very proud mommy. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

More Fourth

In spite of my sister, my brother-in-law, their 14 year old, my mom and me not being present in any of the photos...we actually WERE there. I just didn't have my camera out as much as I thought I did.

My sister hosted the family at her house for a Fourth of July cookout. Since it was so hot, they pulled out the slip-n-slide. Teagan (my sister's) and Braeden (my brother's) are only 6 mths apart in age. They have a good time together.
Tess and Teagan
I love this up in the air action shot.
Tatum and Braeden slipping and sliding.
Then the 11 yr old, Travis, got in on the action. Another hysterical shot of Braeden off the ground. It just cracks me up.
Mia had on the dress (that turned into a shirt because of her healthy size) made by my mom that she wore to her consulate appointment when we were in China. She looked very patriotic. At the rate she's growing this will surely be the last time she wears it.
Tess will be 3 in August. She and Mia seem to have something special going on together being the two youngest cousins.
Getting to know Uncle Travis. My sister's 11 yr old was named after his uncle.
These photos are so funny. I can just see Mia's thought process as she sets Tatum up. 
"First...I'll distract her with my cuteness."
"Then I'll innocently reach over like I'm being affectionate but really it's just a ploy ..."
"...to yank the crap outta her hair! Mwah ha haha!"
Fireworks! Mia wasn't afraid at all. I thought she would be. But nope. I held her on my lap, buried one ear in my chest and covered the other with my hand. For the loud ones or the really bright ones, she'd bury her face in my chest and then come up laughing. This kid is fearless.
That's Aunt Kristy, my brother's wife.
I always love spending time with my nieces and nephews. They're so much fun. I can't wait to see how they mesh as Mia grows up with them.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Splashing Around

The family spent the 4th at my sister's house. Mia and cousin Tess had a blast playing in the water together. Although neither one really got the concept of "slip and slide". LOL!