Friday, August 31, 2007

One of those Days

I had a day today that I wish I could just take back. A day where in hindsight I would have changed how I handled things. It was for the most part fine, but by the end of the day, I was maxxed out. This evening and late afternoon, Lucy absolutely HAD to be in my arms - no place else would work. If I put her down even for a moment to do something like use the restroom, she immediately went into a full on meltdown. I mean big tears and all. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time in a chair with her head on my shoulder just snuggled up or with her snuggled in my lap with a book. She is rarely fussy and I would venture to say I have never seen her like this. Yes, she is a mama's girl, but this was an all new extreme. She seemed to be extra tired, so I am going to blame it on that. She went to bed a bit early and was instantly asleep. Maybe she just needed more momma time, I don't know. What I do know is that at some point she HAS to be put down for me to do something such as get her food or bottle ready, or again, use the restroom. And by the end of the day, I just wanted to put her down in general.

Don't get me wrong, I love my time with Lucy. A normal day for us is the perfect amount of time of us in full interaction mode, (reading, playing games, or just hanging out with each other with no other distractions) getting out of the house for a while, and me doing little things around the house in the same room that she is playing in - we still are talking and interacting with one another. She is generally really great at self entertainment while I prepare her meals or do a little cleaning. I would say at least 95% of our days together are easy and fun for both of us. We both laugh a whole lot and spend a lot of time close to one another. This day was different. As I said, she simply could not be anywhere but in my lap or in my arms. I ate my dinner tonight with her in my arms!

Days like this are exhausting for me, but even worse, they are the days that I get upset with myself and how I handle the situation. Obviously, I obliged her and held her ALL afternoon and evening. Who wants a screaming child following you around attached to your legs? NOT ME! She does full on leech onto my legs now and will not let go. By the end, I was frustrated. My back hurt and I wanted to put her down. Its not like I was yelling at her or anything like that, I just know that my overall attitude was not a happy/lovey one. It was an attitude of the sooner you go to bed, the better. All I could think about was me, and if any of us think that these little ones can't pick up on these attitudes, you are crazy. They know when we are tense and frustrated and it makes them even worse.

When I was rocking her to sleep and giving her a bottle and she was so peaceful and content and relaxed in my arms, it hit me. It shouldn't be all about ME. Something was making her act this way. Something got her off of her normal self today. Why would I be upset that she actually wants to cuddle and be close to me and that she finds comfort in my arms? Someday she is not going to want that, and she is going to be too big to hold and worse yet, she is not going to want to be held. And that someday is going to come soon since time seems to be literally flying by. I need to embrace every moment that we have together. I LOVE that she is very dependent on me. Think about it, they are only wholly dependent on us for such a short period of their life. Soon she is going to be making decisions for herself and doing things on her own. Why do so many people think that we are overindulging our babies by holding them and comforting them when they are upset? Babies who are held more do NOT turn out to be spoiled brats or difficult kids as they get older. I can promise that it is not the holding and loving that makes kids who turn out "bad" bad. Read the research people. I hate defending why I do things for Lucy the way I do. It is because she needs me, and oh yeah, she is a BABY. I in no way am perfect in my attachment parenting techniques, but I try really hard. I still crack sometimes and can't handle it, but this is very very rare. And the thing is, for me at least, 99.9% of the things that I find myself wishing I could be getting done can wait. They can wait until she is having a better day and is not upset. I do have the time to sit and comfort her and if I didn't have the time, I would need to find it because the baby needs that attention. For me, that craved attention is so critical. I don't want to push her away to not crave my attention. So, I had a mental check tonight that I need to chill out when days go a bit hectic and embrace the fact that she still really needs me. I mean she really really needs me, and when she is tired or uncomfortable or sad, I am the one that she desires. And I like that. And I am 100% positive that these days are not the norm for us, but when she has a bad day, she needs her momma.

Do you guys find yourselves actually getting frustrated with your child even though they are only infants? And then do you think to yourself, they don't really know any better and are trying to be comforted the best way they know how - which is with their mom or dad? And then do you feel guilty, like I clearly am right now for how you handled the situation? I know it is normal to get frustrated. I just wish I could keep my frustrations in check a little better. Even though I know it is impossible, do you find yourself always wanting to be the perfect parent? I do, and put a lot of pressure on myself to do so.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Things are Looking Up!

I am happy to announce that the sleeping issue is pretty much resolved. She is back to sleeping soundly through the night. WOO HOO! Thanks for all of the advice and sweet comments. I think those teeth are finally leaving her alone for a bit. I am praying that this trend continues. I think she has been tired from the night wakings. Yesterday I actually woke her up at 9:40 am (since I hadn't heard from her I still felt that urge to make sure she was still breathing) and today she slept until 9:10. It is beautiful!! Now if I could just get myself back to normal. One of these days we are ALL going to sleep peacefully.

We have been busy little bees around here lately. Lots of playgroups. I find Lucy to be somewhat of the bully. UH OH! She is by far the oldest in our church groups and she just snatches any toy she wants. We have also gotten to play with Mandy and Anna a lot lately. To jog your memory, Anna is Vietnamese and almost 3 years old. She is a tiny pumpkin and is not that much bigger than Lucy. Today Lucy was on Anna's riding toy and whenever Anna would get near it Lucy would swing her arms and grunt - which meant, Back Off! We are going to really have to work on sharing. Also, Anna is so precious and gets really excited when she sees Lucy and says to her many time, "HI BABY!!" It really is so adorable. I have never gotten a picture of the girls together, which is absolutely unacceptable. Next time.

Lucy now says PaPa, which makes my dad really happy. She also does this funny hand thing whenever she sees a bunny - it is a hopping motion. We learned it from our cousin John. She turns 13 months tomorrow, which is mind boggling to me. The months keep flying by. She can now full on run and tries really hard, but unsuccessfully, to jump. I have been terrible about pictures lately, so this is all I got.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Sleepy Heads!

I have been too tired to blog lately. It started last weekend when I was in a wedding and the festivities started on Thursday night. Three nights of being up late took a serious toll on me. Then to make things worse, Lucy is REALLY struggling with night time for some reason right now. We made some adjustments in her schedule and she is now a 1 nap baby. I miss the two naps, but the afternoon nap was making it impossible to get her to sleep at night. She is still getting the same amount of sleep during the day - it is just all in one big nap instead of the two smaller ones. So, that has cured the problem of getting her to sleep because now when night time comes, she is exhausted and goes right to sleep. Sounds great, right? Well, she is not staying asleep. It has been close to three weeks since she slept through the night. At first it was just up once, no big deal. But recently she has been up 4-5 times a night, which makes for a very very sleepy mom and dad! Some of the awake periods are only a matter of minutes, while others are much much longer. I know that she can easily make it through the night without eating, but we have started a night time bottle again. It is sometimes the absolute only way to get her to settle down. I hate that this is started again, but what are you going to do? We have been so spoiled because she has always been such a great sleeper. I really have sympathy for those of you who have little ones who are up a lot. I can feel your pain now.

The sleep problem is being caused by one of two things and probably actually a combination of both. First, three teeth have come through this week. Her third bottom tooth showed up Sunday, then the fourth bottom one on Monday, and the third top tooth popped through on Wednesday. That is a lot of activity in that little mouth and we are still waiting on the fourth top tooth. Maybe she is working on some molars. Again, how are we supposed to know? She certainly doesn't open wide and let me take a look and she is none to fond of my fingers in her mouth. The other likely problem is that we have started integrating whole milk into her soy bottles again. We started this a while ago but stopped when she got an intestinal bug. I don't think that she is tolerating the milk too well. She is very gassy, which is not normal for her. Her diapers are totally normal though, so again, who knows if it is the milk? I went back to straight soy this afternoon and evening, so we will see if it helps. If it does, we are done with the whole milk for now. The part that makes it so hard for me to figure out what the problem is, is that she is perfectly happy and normal throughout the whole day. It is only at night time. Is that normal for teeth or any other problems? She is not fussy or grouchy at all during the day. We are open for any advice at this point, so if you have any ideas, please chime in. Also, we have tried all kinds of things, like putting her in our bed and nothing is working. I just want a normal night of sleep. The really bad thing for me is that I myself am a terrible sleeper. So, once she is up, it takes me FOREVER to get back to sleep. So, I am really dragging.

In happier news, Lucy has FINALLY decided this week that she is willing to give kisses. I know, you are thinking she should have been giving kisses for a long time now, but she has not. She simply wouldn't. Monday night I did my usual and asked for a kiss and she actually leaned in and kissed me - kissing noise and all. Then she was blowing kisses. Then she was kissing Justin. Can I just say that I LOVE BABY KISSES! I even take them now when her whole face is covered in food. Any time she will give em up, we take em.

I don't think I have mentioned this, but she is obsessed with any painting or picture on the wall and really any photographs at all. Maybe she is going to be an artist or a photographer. She points to every picture/painting on any wall and makes this noise that means - tell me about that one mama. Needless to say, we spend a lot of time examining and discussing art and pictures. She is getting so smart that she really recognizes what certain things are. For instance, if you ask her "Where is your baby, Lucy? I think she wants you to rock her." She will find her baby in the room and take her over to her mini rocking chair, toss her in the chair, climb in the chair (and she usually ends up sitting on baby's head) and will rock the chair. She looks for the dogs if I mention them. She knows where her belly button is and she really likes to look for it and anyone else's who will let her. If you ask her what is in her mouth, she will open it as wide as she can and show you her tongue. Really cute. It is so fun to watch her do something new every day.

Here are the latest pictures of the little pumpkin who USED to like to sleep!

Thoroughly enjoying a popsicle with her friend Emerson.

Myself and the blushing bride.

Lucy and her birthday loot.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ramblings and Lucy-isms

If you haven't been following this discussion already, I suggest you go to Pho for Four and read the talk about gender selection in adoption. This is a hot button in the adoption world for many, largely because the majority of people adopting request a female infant. We are in the majority who requested a healthy female as young as possible. Laurie has a great take on the topic, and so do many of her commenters. I put my opinion in her comments section, so feel free to read it in more detail there. I want to make it perfectly clear that we made our decision based on personal circumstances and reasons, not because we wanted a "China doll", a snuggly little girl, a child who was easier to raise, or any other petty reason such as these. I do not feel comfortable sharing every detail of our lives and why we felt a girl would be best for us at this time because quite frankly, I do not know who all is reading this and the entire world is not open to our personal life. I probably share too much as it is. I will say that we are not a "typical" family in many ways and many factors played into our decision. About the as young as possible part, I will say with confidence that we chose that because this was our first child and we wanted to experience as many firsts as possible. We also wanted to be as careful as you can be with the whole issue of attachment. And about the healthy part, lets face it, in international adoption you have VERY limited information about the health of the child. There is a big possibility that there are health issues that are unknown. We were aware of that and prepared to deal with what was dealt to us. As far as major health concerns, due to things such as health insurance and our ability to handle different situations, we went with what we felt most comfortable with at this time. I do not think it is my place to judge others as to why they chose a boy or a girl if they made the decision to do so. I greatly respect those who go into adoption saying we are open to either gender and special needs. You are wonderful people. I am grateful that there are so many people who do just that. I am no less grateful to someone who requests a boy or a girl, as long as it is for rational reasons and as long as the child's interests are put first. To me, the purpose of adoption is to find a home for a child who needs a loving home, whether the child is a boy or a girl. Every child deserves to be in a home where they will be loved and cherished. Enough on this. I would love to hear from you all if you want to chime in here. I think that a lot of people are hesitant to comment on other blogs because they chose a girl, like us, and feel as though you are being looked down upon for doing so. I value the opinions of others on this topic and thanks to Laurie and Jena for bringing it up again. It really makes you think and that is something we should all enjoy doing.

On a MUCH lighter note, I thought I would share some things that I call Lucy-isms. They are the things that make her our daughter and the things that only the people very closest in her life would know. They are cute and I love every one of them.

1. She loves her blankee like no other. I know I have commented on this before, but she now does this thing when she is almost asleep in my arms where she will move around until both of her hands can find the satin edge of the blankee. She rubs the satin in her sleep. She also likes to rub the satin on her closed eyes. It is really sweet. I have sisters who are still addicted to their blankets and they each do little things like this with them and they do it in their sleep. Lucy is the same way.

2. She is obsessed with books - one plastic book in particular. When given a big basket of toys, she will search out the only book, bring it over to me, and crawl in my lap. We read the same books about 100 times a day. Every time she crawls in my lap my heart melts. She started this a couple of months ago. She absolutely HAS to be in a lap to look at a book.

3. She still thinks that if she is squatting, no one can see her. Probably because when she squats and I can tell she wants to play the where's Lucy game, I won't look at her when she is squatting. I just keep asking Where's Lucy? Has anyone seen Lucy? And look all around the room. All of the sudden she will pop up with the biggest grin and I can just tell that she wants to say HERE I AM!!!!

4. She studies strangers with great intensity. Most of the time to a point that the other person starts to feel a bit uncomfortable. I swear she sizes up every person that she comes in contact with. She is becoming more and more social, but it is still something she struggles with sometimes. While she is warming up to a new situation, she is VERY clingy to me. I just try and stay close to her and make her as comfortable as I can.

5. She has very little time for eating. I have found the trick to getting her to eat though. She does not think she has time for eating, so if I can distract her with something more interesting, she will eat without really realizing she is eating. I always keep a stash of random things close to her high chair to occupy her with. For instance, a necklace with a lot of beads will keep her attention for a while and I can shovel many bites in. Once she is tired of the object she has been looking at, she is done eating again. However, if I have something else that will catch her eye for a while longer, she will continue eating. It works pretty well and I can get some veggies in her tummy!!

6. She likes the same bedtime routine every night. We say a prayer while she drinks her bottle (thanks for that great idea Sherri) and then I sing her the same 9 songs every night. Even though I am the worst singer ever, she seems to like it and it is soothing to her. We do play a CD in the background. Right now she is listening to the most awesome lullaby CD I have found yet. It is Coldplay songs that they made baby friendly. Love it and so does she.

That is it for today. As a side note, for the past 5 nights she has really struggled with going down at night time. Naps are still fine, but bedtime has become a problem. I have no idea why this has started, but it is frustrating to both me and her. It is frustrating to me because I am having a difficult time comforting her. I know she is very tired, but she is fighting sleep with all she has in her. Any ideas why this would be starting all of the sudden and only at night? And finally, here are some really cute pix from this week.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Another New Friend!

Yesterday Lucy and I got the chance to meet up with Jessica and Beckett for a playdate. The kids had a great time exploring and being able to get into anything they wanted and the moms had a great time visiting. Beckett is such a sweet baby. I just loved his laid back personality. He let me love on him!! We really had a fun time and here are some pictures.

Lucy got to play in the sprinkler the other day. She was not too sure about it because it would splash in her eyes whenever she touched the water, but she liked it after a bit. It is miserably hot here, so some time in the sprinkler is fun for all!

Here are my favorite pictures from her one year pictures. I just love these shots.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Hold on Tight.......

because the cuteness is at a dangerous level here. Lucy got her one year pictures made this weekend. Click here to see a few of the proofs. For some reason if you use a Mac computer, you can only see 2 of the pictures, but there are actually many more. I can't figure out why that is.

In other cuteness, here is Lucy trying some cake. She didn't like what we gave her. We are still going to let her dig into a cupcake, don't worry. This was when we were still out of town and bites of cake were our only option. And yes, she is rocking out in an AC/DC tee.

I know that Lucy's signature is her enormous bows. I believe I have found something that actually out does the bows. What do you think of these that I found this weekend? Could they be any cuter? Don't think so. And let me just say, she thought she looked mighty fine in the flowers as well. She didn't try and take them out or bother them at all. She knows when she looks good!

And finally, here are some videos - Justin, you will really enjoy these! The first is her last moments awake as a 0 year old. She was so tired and being so funny. As you can see, she could barely walk and everything was hilarious. The second is her first beach experience. Just precious!

Photo Sharing -

Photo Sharing -

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Our Dearest Lucy -

Happy Birthday Baby Girl! We hope you have the time of your life today and every other day of your precious little life. I cannot believe how quickly the time has flown by since we got you seven months ago. It passed in what feels like the blink of an eye. You have touched our lives so deeply. Everyday we thank God that you are ours. Life would not be the same without you. Your laugh and smile are contagious. Your little reserved personality is so fitting for you, but once you open up, watch out! People are natually drawn to you. You are funny, smart, beautiful, and loving. It is such a blessing to watch you as you develop into the little person that you are going to be. We love every second we get to spend with you. Thank you for all of the joy you have brought to our lives. We love you so much.

Love, Mom and Dad

I have so much that I want to say on this post. I am going to try and keep it at a manageable length, but it is going to be long. First I want to touch on what Lucy is up to these days. She is obviously walking all of the time. Once she figured out how to get from sitting to standing with nothing to pull up on (which was a little less than a week ago) she has been walking almost exclusively. She still walks with her hands straight up and it is really funny. She eats big girl food only, except for the rare occasion when baby food has to do. She will tolerate it, but not very well. She is a great sleeper. Still two naps a day. If she wakes up in the morning or from a nap crying, it means she is not done sleeping and she needs to go back down for a bit. This rarely happens. She generally always wakes up and talks for a while in her crib. It is really sweet to listen to. I did find out from this trip we are on that she does not totally freak out if a nap is missed. Instead, by the end of the day, she enters a hilarious state of delirium where she laughs at everything and stumbles around like an old drunk man. It really is so funny. She still needs two naps to function at her best though. Size wise she is about 19 lbs. Her waist and bottom are so small she still wears 3-6 month shorts and pants and if they are any bigger she walks right out of them. She signs eat, milk, all done, and more on a regular basis and knows what they mean. This has really only happened in the past week or so, but now she is signing a lot. She doesn't say many recognizable words other than mama, dada (all of the time), nana, and baba. The rest is just jibberish. She talks all of the time though. That is about it, I think.

As far as birthday festivities, I will start with yesterday - her birthday eve. We woke up still in Martha's Vineyard. Got out and about, ate lunch, and then it was time to catch the ferry in the afternoon. We found out last minute that we were going to get to catch a Red Sox game, so we were pretty excited. We got to Boston with enough time to get to our hotel, change clothes, and head to Fenway. It was an amazing experience. We got to go down on the field before the game and really see everything up close. Fenway is such a cool place with so much history and the fans are unbelievable. I am really glad we got to do this. Lucy only made it through about 1 inning because it was a night game and we had already been there for an hour or so before the game started. She was great though and everyone commented on what a well behaved girl she was. We didn't want to push her past her limit, so we left after the first inning. It was already her bedtime. I would say getting to go to a Red Sox game and go on the field was a pretty great start to her birthday!

At the dock waiting for the ferry to pick us up.

Hi everyone!!

Lucy and her dad outside of Fenway Park.

Family picture on the field

She loved the game food - pretzels and hot dog!!

View from our seats.

At midnight, we had to move from our hotel in Boston back to the bus to head to Dewey Beach, Delaware. I was able to move her without her ever waking up. Here she is at exactly midnight in the hotel room and then in the bus once we made the switch. I am aware that she was already 1 in Vietnam time, but we are just going with our time zone for now to keep things simple! She is so sweet and cute when she is snoozing.

Here she is first thing in the morning on her big day!

She ate her normal breakfast, but as a treat she got to watch cartoons!! Look at her all kicked back and enjoying the moment.

Then, she got to have Cheetos for a little breakfast dessert! This girl loves her some Cheetos.

After her morning nap, we packed up and headed to the Boardwalk so we could let her experience the beach and ocean for the first time. It was so much fun and she just loved the water. She was not too sure about the sand, but it didn't bother her. She just wasn't sure at first about it being stuck to her.

Grabbing a quick bite to eat before we hit the beach.

Checking out the water with dad.

Brrrr, it is a bit cold.

She would have marched right on out into the water. It made me a bit nervous because the current was really strong, even for me.

She got to eat some cherry flavored frozen stuff and she absolutely loved it.

After the big day at the beach, she was one tired girl. We went back to the hotel, cleaned up because we were all still covered in sand, and she took a big ole nap. Here she is after her bath in her birthday outfit.

Once she got up, we went out to dinner. She didn't get to dig into a cupcake yet, because we would have destroyed either the restaurant or our hotel room. She can do that when we are back at home. Here she is in her cupcake outfit looking beautiful!

One of my all time favorite pictures.

Ready for bed after a big day, which by the way, she was a bear to get to bed tonight. Who wants their birthday to end? Not this girl!

I am going to make her a little birthday book with the pictures from our trip and the cards that she gets. I am also going to include her birthday comments from the blog, so if you feel inclined, please leave her a little birthday message so that she someday knows all of mommy's blogging friends that are so great!!