January 31, 2010

Marley meets Marley

Okay, so it's pretend Marley meets Marley. For those of you that don't remember, my In-Laws gave us a doll that we, okay Miles, named pretend Marley before Marley came home. Our Marley came home about the same size as that doll. Now, Marley is bigger and LOVES to play with her. It's the cutest thing when she gives kisses to the doll. I love it!

And just because she is too cute, and we are in bow training...

January 27, 2010

Bad Blogger

So I have entered the world of post adoption blogging. I have neglected to keep my blog updated with our exciting new lives and post pictures daily. I swore I would not be one of those bloggers that fell off the planet, after returning home, and I promise I won't. We have just been trying to figure out some kind of routine around our house. Adoptive parenting is very different than biological parenting, for us. We chose not to let Marley "cry it out," etc.. So, needless to say, I'm at her beckon call, and I absolutely LOVE it! After about six weeks of just being her Mommy and meeting every need that she had, I realized that I do need some kind of schedule or organized parenting. So we are reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I do have to say that my previous approach to sleeping, with Marley and Miles, has to be revisited.
It's amazing the things we have learned, and we aren't Baby Wising our baby...lol. Baby Wise may work for some families, but not ours...lol! So, basically, we put her to sleep around 6:30. We wake her up, YES I SAID WAKE HER UP (haha), around 10:00 p.m. for a bottle, and then back to sleep she goes until about 6:30 a.m.. She then naps around 10, 1 and 4. We totally modify it when needed, but we knew she took about three naps a day, and we knew she was tired about 6:30. We were trying to keep her awake longer, thinking that the longer she was awake the longer she'd sleep. Funny, the way we think. So, I've learned that she needs sleep, and so do I. I was also out trying to serve at church late on Wednesdays and had to stop doing that. The entire time I was there, she was tired and I was trying to keep her happy for two hours, when all she wanted to do was sleep. I am very happy to learn new things and am glad that a friend brought me to this new thinking!
We had our first Post Adoption visit from our Social Worker, whom we LOVE! She is so thorough and kind. We have had a few, not so sincere Social Workers, and she makes up for them and more. We will have two more visits with her over the next six months and then we are on our own. The purpose for these visits are to make sure the transition is going well and to report to our agency, who reports back to Ethiopia, as to Marley's transition and American life. In the Ethiopian adoption world, updates are required after 3 months, 6 months and 1 year home. And then every year until Marley is 18. The Ethiopian's would just like to follow the progress of their children to assure that international adoption is going well. After two post adoption visits by our Social Worker, we get to file for readoption. This is required for to apply for citizenship. Good times...lol!

January 13, 2010

Marley at 8 Months Old

Our sweet girl is eight months old today. It's so crazy to think that she is that old already! When she was put into our arms she seemed so small. She was six months old at the time, but seemed more like a 4 month old. She has made so many milestones and so much progress that she is more and more like an eight month old everyday. She amazes us! The bonding is going superb! Marley does not like it when we leave the room and loves to be in our arms all the time. She will go to others, although we still are refraining from passing her around, but looks to us for reassurance and will reach for us. She has started holding back her smiles and laughs for us, which is a really good thing.
At 8 Months Marley:
  • Says Mama and uses it to call me
  • Shakes her head no and knows it's meaning (she shakes no when she doesn't like something...lol)
  • Is starting to prefer baby food, my food of course
  • Is now starting to wear 6-9 month old clothing (she was in 0-3 months just 6 weeks ago!)
  • Is reaching for us
  • Gives kisses
I am so proud of her growth. She was a little one. At 2 months old, she weighed just 6 pounds. According to the Ethiopian growth charts, she wasn't that little, but still small. She's catching up, very quickly. At 8 months, she now weighs almost 15.2 lbs. While she's not as large as most American 8 month olds, she's doing very very well. I have to reassure myself. While I know she's doing great, I am a little frustrated when strangers approach me and ask her age, only to then reply with a "wow, she's so small," as to sound concerned. I know, I'm probably overreacting. In fact, I know I am. I have to get it out. I've been thinking about it for a few days and have come to realize the reason it bothers me so much is because when a stranger approaches me to ask about my sweet girl, whom I think is perfect just the way she is, and comments on how small she is, it makes me feel that in their eyes she's not the right size for them. Seriously...how do you respond to something like that? Please, any advice would be greatly appreciated. This is totally not for our friends and family, it's one thing to say, "Oh, she's so cute and tiny," and another to say, "Oh my! She's so small" in a concerned way. Okay off of my soap box.
Miles got his cast on yesterday. They ended up doing a full arm cast. He was very excited to get a glow in the dark cast. He is running around and jumping off things as if his arm were never broken. It's making me crazy. I know the cast is there to protect him, but geez! What a boy!

January 10, 2010

Marley's Apples

Marley loves apples, she really does. I have quite a few friends that make their own baby food, and I have no idea why I had never tried this before. Really, it's so easy and after watching Food Inc., I'm glad to provide her with some real food. Her first homemade baby food was some beef stew my friend Shannon brought over. She went to town! I then tried apples, oh my! I've made sweet potatoes, a winter bean soup, and turkey.
On this particular day, she learned a new sound. Or rather, she started using it when she was mad. I couldn't stop laughing and grabbed the video camera. So yeah, I tortured her for about two minutes to get her to do it over and over again. But do know, she demolished those apples after all, and she is in no way really tortured...haha!
My Funny Girl!

January 9, 2010

Saturday January 9, 2010

What an eventful day. Good times and not so good times, but nonetheless memorable. After a day cooped up in the house, Miles, Marley and I headed out for an afternoon at Jump Mania with a friend. We were so excited to get out and Miles was too thrilled to get to play with his buddy. I was feeding Marley and heard his friend mention something about Miles and that he was hurt. My girlfriend scooped my crying, no bawling, son out of the bounce house and we swapped kids. His cry was so deep, it brought tears to my eyes. I wanted to comfort him, but I couldn't. I kind of froze for a minute, not knowing what was hurting or what or how to fix it. Jump Mania was crazy, no CRAZY! It was packed full of children getting out of the house, like us, and children from birthday parties. My friend kept Marley as I got the car seat out of the car and into the place. I handed her my MacGyver Mom Diaper Bag, along with Marley and left with Miles to the ER.
Of course I had no clue where I was geographically, and where the closest ER was. Yeah, I know, I have lived here over a year, but who needs to learn your own town when you own a GPS! We arrived at St. Johns Emergency Room in just a few minutes. Miles cried the whole way. I could hear the pain in his cries and hid my own tears to avoid scaring him. I carried him up the icy parking lot and into the hospital. They registered us, took us back to a room and had him in x-ray within 5 to 10 minutes. Poor Baby. He kept telling me he loved me and that he never, ever wanted to go to Jump Mania again. Sweet Boy. He held me tight, with his good arm and told me not to leave him there alone, with his bottom lip puckered. Well, he broke his wrist. The splinted it, and we will have it put in a cast on Monday, after the swelling goes down. So today, Saturday January 9, 2010, my baby boy broke his first bone.
Now for some better news! When I got home and settled, Brandon told me that after he got home from picking Marley home from our friend, that he was getting her out of her car seat, and she reached for him with both arms! This is HUGE! She knows who we are, or at least we think she does. She has done a body lean towards us, with a slight one armed reach, but never a full two arm, "pick me up Daddy" reach. Oh, how I wish I could have seen that! I am hoping for mine tomorrow!
I also opened the mail to find Marley's Permanent Resident Card! I cried...AGAIN! Sad tears and happy tears in one day! Oh, what a day!
And because she is just too darn cute with her new curlhawk, here is Miss Marley sportin' her new style! Yeah, those curls are coming in, I can't wait!