I am growing up so fast!

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Amanda's age

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God Doesn't Make Mistakes

For Amanda

Our three T21 princesses

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Gift of Adoption Fund

Amanda would not have come home without the help of quite o few friends and organizations who helped us with fundraising. Gift of Adoption Fund helped us with Kara's adoption too, with Amanda, they came through when we were feeling desperate and praying hard that we would get what we needed to travel to Estonia and bring our sweet daughter home.

They have a new website, guess who is listed in their success stories? http://www.giftofadoption.org/success/familyStories.html Yep, our Amanda!

If you have extra money for donations this year, consider sending some their way, they help hundreds of families realize their dreams of adoption, families like ours!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Getting closer to self feeding!

Amanda last night, three of us have cold sores form being ill, lovely huh? Amanda had feeding therapy on Tuesday and she was picking up her spoon and bringing it to her mouth! Something she would not have done even a month ago, she is getting close to feeding herself, isn't that wonderful?

Actually she has made quite a few gains in her development and we are so happy to see these positive changes.

She is beginning to play with toys, not just wiggle them, but to look at them and explore them and turn pages of books. Her self-awareness is increasing daily too. I believe it is from spending the summer in the pool and getting all that sensory feedback, but she also seems to trust us more.

She is taking 3-4 steps when she tries to walk, but I know walking by herself is months away, she has very under-developed muscles, but she is getting stronger. She is getting a social smile, actually smiling at people who say hi to her, not all the time, but anything is better than hiding her face from them!

Here she is playing outside, yes my girls get very dirty outside, she has a blast in the grass and we have also seen her eat dirt, arg!
Today we had a few people over and she went from person to person, climbing in laps and sitting for a bit. In speech she cooperated with most of her therapy too.
It is heartening to see her growing and learning and to know she will continue to improve in small ways. Her autistic behaviors remain, they are no better or worse. At this point in her life, it is not a huge hindrance in her social development because she spends the day with us and we do not demand what a school would of her, we do not overly stress her and give her space when she needs it. I think we made the right choice in keeping her home with us. I understand everyone has different priorities, I want Kara and Amanda to have a good foundation of support and bonding before they are thrust into another experience. I suppose I do not want to share the girls with others yet, I am not certain, but my heart tells me we are doing what is right for them, for us.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

We are who we are

Digesting information, getting used to saying "She was diagnosed with autism" to therapists, yes, that was what the last two weeks were like for me. No one was surprised, everyone expected it, Amanda is who she is.

SO now we move forward, "she is not terminal for heavens sakes", that is what I told myself as I kicked myself in the butt, "time to move on Kris".

Last night was HOT, we were all uncomfortable and no one was falling asleep, Julia was restless, Meghan was too, and Amanda and Kara were in the cribs playing at midnight. Amanda, giggling her head off and having so much fun, we had to go and see what she was doing. She was just plain happy, she is a relatively happy little girl, and she engages in simple pleasures that bring her tremendous joy. Rocking on a toy, playing in the water, being held and tickled.

We think she loves us, we love her, and we will all help her as much as we can. We are used to the scenic route in our lives journey, this is just another trip on a road we have not travelled. There is always something exciting about going a new way, lets get started!

Friday, July 3, 2009

A is for Autism and for Amanda...

The pictures I don't post, the head dropping down, her averting her eyes because maintaining eye-contact causes her stress. So many of the same pictures over and over and over, hundreds of them; why show them? They actually make me quite sad because when the camera is not out we see an animated Amanda, and then when she sees it she retreats, hiding her face, avoiding me. She also does the same thing with new people, she will relax after a bit, scoot over to them and sit in their laps, and then try to scratch them with a grimace on her face, strange behavior, wish we knew why she has that urge?

We knew Amanda had some issues that were characteristic of autism, but like everyone; friends here, family, on-line friends, we had hoped and prayed it was institutional. Something that could resolve over time, and maybe some things still can and will, but we waited the year we were asked to wait, all the time seeing so many positive changes, but knowing, some things that should be better, weren't.

"Your daughter has all the makers to indicate she has autism". That is what Dr T, the developmental pediatrician we saw yesterday, said to me. She also asked me, "But now what? Do you want me to write this down, that your daughter may have a triple diagnosis? Aniridia, Down syndrome, Autism? Your daughter is a complex little girl Mrs L., but you knew that, didn't you?" and "What will it change for her, will it provide her better care than she receives? Additional therapies? With our state budget in the toilet, can you get the therapy?" So many questions, she was very kind and compassionate, I had tears in my eyes while we both looked at Amanda, both of us wishing Amanda would get a break.

We talked about Amanda's other diagnosis, Aniridia. We got the notice from the insurance, they agreed to pay for the PAX6 F.I.S.H. test. The most important issue surrounding an Aniridia diagnosis and whether or not she will need renal screening for life, the mutation of the PAX6 gene predisposes those people to renal cancer. We have not called to schedule the blood work yet, preferring to do all three girls at once, and Amanda's one year physical is coming up in a couple of weeks. If the test is negative, then her increased chance of renal cancer is gone. That would mean that our Amanda would more likely have Gillespie Syndrome. Even more rare than Aniridia. One fact remains, Amanda's pupils are huge, they are corrugated and bleed into the iris, she has poor vision, though not dysfunctional. And we have witnessed episodes of nystagmus. Something is going on there, but if it does not threaten her life, I am not going to stress about it.

Because of the nystamus and what seem to be momentary lapses in consciousness, she will also get an EEG to rule out epilepsy. Dr T does not seem to think this is Amanda's issue, but her therapists are concerned, so we will rule this out.

I hold her, love her, feed her, bathe her, she is my daughter, and yet knowing that even the professionals agree with the autism diagnosis makes me incredibly sad. I remember almost two years ago seeing her face for the first time and asking A if she had autism. I looked at her and I KNEW something was missing from her gaze, it was not engaging, it did not connect to the camera, does that make sense? So even two years ago I was concerned about Amanda having autism, but more than anything I wanted to be WRONG about that.

On to the next chapter of her life, she is making progress, and that is what really matters. She is up another pound and is nearly 3 ft tall, she IS GROWING.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Random pictures from a year ago, and the last couple of days.

Posts from last year:

24th http://ukiestoniamomto8.blogspot.com/2008/06/zen-baby.html
25th http://ukiestoniamomto8.blogspot.com/2008/06/we-are-proud-to-announce.html

Daddy walking Amanda out of our apartment in Tallinn on adoption day. She was frightened poor baby.
The courtroom in Tallinn, Tom and I sat on the left, Tom was holding his Amanda in his lap. I remember vividly when Igor told us he already saw a change in Amanda. Maybe she knew she finally had a family of her own.

First thing this morning, after breakfast of course :o) Amanda is not happy until she has had her food. LOL

Amanda does not like getting her picture taken, in fact, most of the time she either ducks her head or turns away from me. Little stinker, this morning she was so happy, giggly, hugging us, think she knew it has been a year since we adopted her?

Amanda in the van waiting for Tom to fill out his embassy paperwork, he was leaving the next morning to America.

Outside after a day in the pool. Her hair is even white that it was now, all that sun.

Such a stinker, I took so many picture of her trying to get her to smile.

Getting in her pool, hard to keep her out of it.

What a face, she is such a funny little girl!

Our beautiful and complex little girl, she has come a long way, but has a ways to go to catch up. We are very proud to call her ours.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gotcha Day-one year ago

As I mentioned, we were concerned that we would not be allowed to see Amanda before her adoption day, which was the 25th of June. Thankfully Igor was able to take us to her orphanage. We watched her being fed while laying flat on her back, some broth and sugar water, kind of explains why she cannot move food back using her tongue yet, no lateral movements, and always with a sucking motion. They do the best they can in the orphanages, this is a common practic during meal time from what we have heard and seen, but it makes me sad for Amanda (and all the special needs orphans fed this way), who must be fed soft foods to this day, she is progressing but slowly.

You can read about her gotcha day here, our post from last year.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Second day- reminiscing about Amanda's adoption

http://ukiestoniamomto8.blogspot.com/2008/06/we-are-here.html What we wrote last year

This time last year... Tom was out and about later that evening, seeing Old Town and marvelling over it, and I was sleeping off jet lag. Our first meal in Estonia? MC Donald's!

Amanda loves to do two things, play in the wading pool and rock on her doggie (uhem, Kara's doggy)
Being out in the sun every day has brought about some changes in Amanda's skin, we just call her Surfer Girl, she looks like a little beach bum! Who would have thought that our blue-white daughter could get such a dark tan?

When Amanda saw the geneticist, he asked us if we were concerned about her slight build and weight, we told him no, not really, but everyone else seemed to be. We know how much the little mite eats, and believe me when I say, it is A LOT. Thing with Amanda is, she never just sits, if she is sitting on the sofa, she is rocking and bouncing off it. She rocks outside on the rocking dog, or sits with her legs in the air and her arms waving about. She is in constant motion. Watching her is like watching some one do aerobics for 12 hours. She likely burns off too many calories, she eats organic food, healthy food, and we do not give our kids junk food with the exception of all natural cheese puffs and organic corn chips. Though he said we could "fatten her up" with a calorie dense (spelled high fat) diet, he said that he would not recommend it, nor would we do it. Subcutaneous fat does not equal health. So in a round about way I am saying, we accept it is who she is right now. I WISH I had her metabolism.

We have decided not to take her to any more developmental specialists in Tucson, they know absolutely nothing about post-institutionalized children, and it is a waste of our time and of the money. The developmental pediatrician, while a sweet woman, did nothing at all to enlighten us in terms of behavior or their development. We got a You are doing a good job with them", and since we already had therapy in place for Amanda in areas where she needed the most help, the doctor did not recommend anything but the autism screening. Today was the day Amanda was to be evaluated for Autism, the insurance mess was never fixed, and frankly, what good would it do? This is the same office where we have seen all the specialists and we know that as a team, they are not knowledgeable about our kids from orphanages.

We all agree Amanda does have some emotional issues, I know that every adoptive parent reading this will say "Maybe it is RAD?" and I cannot say no, absolutely not, but again, I do not think so, but who would evaluate that anyway? The doctors we saw knew of no one that was knowledgeable about RAD in our area. The only doctor I found on the west coast to help us with post-institutionalized behaviors is in Bakersfield CA. I do not believe Amanda's (or Kara's) are severe enough to warrant a trip there. Autism comes up a lot, and possible petit mal seizures have also been mentioned (just last Friday). So yes, she will see a neurologist to rule that out, though not one of the doctors who have seen her has seen anything pointing to epilepsy. Her yearly physical is coming up in July, we can ask about referrals then. She does have plagiocephaly therefor epilepsy is a possibility, though we have not noticed anything resembling a temporary lapse in consciousness or awareness. Amanda's ST thought she noticed some nystagmus the other day. Amanda does have a partial expression of Aniridia, the nystagmus could be part of that diagnosis and not point to epilepsy at all. Answers to more questions...

Amanda's health history is a puzzle to us, we do not have detailed information about her health or development. We got a booklet with medical information jotted down in Estonian, I have no idea what it says, though the doctor we saw for Amanda's exit medical went over it with me and indicated that is merely listed her immunizations and each time she saw a doctor. I have not felt an urgent need to get it translated. She is healthy, she got a runny nose this winter when the rest of us were sick with multiple flu's, strep and Fifth disease (Kara). She is happy, and so giggly, and finds so many things intensely amusing, especially the 5 kittens who frolic and play with her daily. All of our cats adore Amanda, and she is loving towards them.

We think she is adjusting well to life in a family, yet she has a ways to go too. She continues to prefer to be alone more than in the mix of things, but then so do I, and so does her brother. Some of us do not like to be around a lot of people (yes, even someone that taught group fitness for 25 years can dislike being around big groups of people). I would be more worried about that if she did not seek attention and cuddles, but she does. She loves to be held, and she loves her daddy most of all.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Last year on this day

Tom and I were on our way to meet Amanda for the first time! Can you believe it has been a year? I will be doing some reminiscing over the next 19 days, the length of time it took us to adopt Amanda and bring her home. I cannot believe how fast the year flew by!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Some sweet pictures of Manda Moo

After two rainy days and a 20 degree drop in temperature, we finally had a pretty day for the girls to play. Amanda had fallen asleep in the living room chair earlier today, so she skipped her afternoon nap, and while Kara slept at the usual time, Amanda was up and ready for fun! Once again we missed getting pictures of Kara, but we will get some tomorrow. :o)

Amanda is getting some fat on her, it is nice to see some toddler plumpness on her tiny little frame. Lately she has tried very hard to stand up, she usually falls back on her bum, but she thinks that is hilarious too.
She adores playing with Meghan, and was giggling so hard today, it made all of us giggle with her. She is such a sweet little girl.

I loved this one of her, she looks so precious.
Kara is having a hard time keeping Amanda off her doggie, Amanda's aunt Becky is getting her a rocking animal for her birthday. I think it will help with our little fights around here, Kara is forever pushing Amanda off the dog!. Amanda just moves away to try something else, she rarely gets her feelings hurt.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy 4th Birthday to Amanda

We have a busy day today, so we will post pictures later on today. I cannot believe our sweet little girl is 4. And now we have two 4 year olds.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

8 months at home

Tomorrow is a HUGE day for Amanda, her 4th birthday, and her first birthday at home with us!
We adopted Amanda 8 months ago today! I just dawned on me that much time has passed, it seems like I was just in Estonia with her and it also feels like she has been here forever! Very confusing. Where in the world did the time go? Do you think she looks different?
Some physical changes include some added weight, darker tanned skin, her hair is getting darker, her eyes seem to be getting darker? Wonder why that is? Not the darker skin, that is AZ sun, but the other things. *G*

The thing we did not realise is how much her skin color changed, it was a gradual change, and then all of a sudden we are wondering when Amanda got a tan!. She used to be a pure bluish white, and now she is a golden tan. LOL The yellow is from beta-carotene, a dermatologist confirmed that, I hope that as she eats more foods, that should resolve. I make a conscious effort to feed her foods of all colors. ;o)

Amanda and Kara have had runny noses, and they get really sore from constant wiping. Thankfully Amanda is feeling better, I am not so sure they had colds, but instead had allergies, the pollen count here has been astronomically high.

Amanda and Kara visit a developmental pediatrician tomorrow, we will see what she has to say. I have been filming some of Amanda's quirky behavior, she often shuts down when she is around new people, and I wanted the doctor to see how she acts at home.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Answering comments

Anonymous said...
i love your choice of clothes. have noticed previously you are a boutique kind of woman and gymboree. i love her hair bows.

Man, am I busted, I admit to loving the more upscale clothing for my girls. I buy from Target, but find their kids clothes do not have the hand-me-down durability of Gymboree or GAP. Most of Amanda and Kara's things were Meghan's, many were bought for resale on eBay, when I used to have a store. I rarely buy retail unless there is a good sale.

We have two big baskets of hair bows, also many were Meghan's, but when her alopecia took off, the hair pretties made her hair come out faster, so we no longer use them on her. She also complains her scalp hurts when I put barrettes on her. I am very happy to have two little girls whose hair I can put bows in again. Meghan feels badly that she cannot have them too...

BTW, I belong to yahoogroups for children's clothing, I have for 5 years, I made very good friends there.

In reference to Amanda's self stim and teeth grinding:
Mandy said...

After Alex was sick, he regressed A LOT - started doing the head banging and "bumbling" --- went on for about 2 weeks and then faded out - it about drove me nutty though! Hang in there - you are a great mom and Miss Amanda KNOWS it :)

Meghan and Kara regressed some too, but Amanda was never ill, which is why I got so perplexed from the regression, though she seems back on an even keel now. Thank you for the compliment, sometimes I feel like the worse mommy ever, especially when all three are grumpy and whiny.

Jennifer said...
I LOVE the new photos!! She is such a princess! Aidan is a teeth-grinder, and he does it more when he's off schedule, or sleep-deprived, or getting sick. Then things go back to normal.

The teeth grinding thing is something that sets me on edge, I can almost hear her destroying all that dental work. It has eased off some, she did it more when she has a runny nose, makes sense, her sinuses were probably hurting her.

Carla said...
I just love all the pictures of Amanda. She is just to precious. Victoria our 9 yr. old did the same thing when she first came home. I think when she started getting too comfortable with us she would do it afraid of getting to attached.

I wondered about that with Amanda too, you could almost see her thinking "Wait a minute, these folks are relatively new to me, what am I doing trusting them so much?" LOL

Alice said...
Any chance she has a tooth bothering? You've probably already checked. Baby teeth can flare up fast!

Last time she did this, I rushed her right over to the dentist, he said all her teeth were fine, though if it continues, i will take her back. I am feeling like I am getting the eye roll when I call the various doctors all the time, oh well, they will have to get used to me or we will find another more understanding and welcoming medical team. *BG*

In reference to scooting and buying Amanda a birthday present:

Cammie Heflin said...
Kris there are several things on the Toys R Us website, I found a pony, horse, fire engine, alligator and caterpillar!

Thank you for looking for us! I looked on there a few days ago, what we need is a plastic rocker that can endure being outside, we do not have room inside for all their ride on and rocking toys.

Meredith said...
Happy birthday little one!

The scooting is how Brianna got around for about 2 years before she started walking, though about a year before she walked she did learn to crawl but only did it on occasion. I babysat a little girl that was crawling everywhere... she caught on ;)

Emma now scoots like that too. She doesn't have the ability yet to separate her arms or legs to move, so if she tries to crawl it comes across with two hands forward then two legs like a little frog hop. We still encourage it but she doesn't like to do it.

Eventually Brianna did walk tho and does it just fine, so I'm sure once Amanda is more interested in keeping up with the older girls she'll be up and running! :)

Thanks for the birthday greetings, I am looking forward to our little family party for her.

I admit Amanda is a first for me, other than a vidoe, I have never seen a baby or toddler get around this way. It just goes to show how good we humans are at problem solving! I try to get Amanda to crawl and she giggles her head off, apprently she is really ticklish. LOL Makes it more fun to do. Getting her to kneel has been huge challenge fo rme, she fights like no ones business when I try to get her to.

I am just thrilled Emma is doing so well, I bet the frog hop is adorable to see.

Lately Amanda has been working on standing from a squat, talk about a workout, she has a lot of trouble balancing, mostly because she tries to on her tippy toes.

Lou said...
She's adorable! Mattea knows that scoot too! And I love her pretty, pretty blonde hair---

Amanda's hair is so pretty, and of course my husband, who loves blondes...like me I guess...thinks her hair is gorgeous. They are very bonded to one another, it is so wonderful to watch them together. Mattea looks so good, any word on surgery?

Leah said...

Where in Wisconsin is the pick-up for the rocking toy? Also, I was going to comment on the dry hair issue. The the olive oil on hers too! Angela's hair is still SO SOFT even 3 days later, and believe me, the winter here DRIES US OUT!!! Anyway, I 'm going to be driving out to the Wisconsin Dells this weekend, so if the pick up on that toy is anywhere on my way I'll gladly pick it up! How about a spinning thing? I have a spinning thing from Ikea that Angela used once. It's along the lines of a sin-n-spin, but they can lay their whole body on it if they want to.

Hi Leah, I have to say first, that I loved your typo; sin-n-spin sounds very naughty! As the quessn of typos, I have written some interesting things...Thank you so much for offering to pick up the toy for Amanda, but when I looked for it again on Craigslist, the listing was deleted, I guess it sold, that is so depressing! I was going to ask if they would consider shipping it.

I always thought Wisconsin was a wet place, but I suppose we all get dry hair and skin in the winter, I really do not have a point of reference for anywhere but AZ, the only state I have ever lived in. Of course I was in Ukraine for 6 weeks in the winter too, and yes, I remember my lips were very dry, i was thankful for my Burt's Bees lip balm.

The girls do not play with their spinning toy, but I bet they would yours, I will look on Ikea and see what they have, thanks!

Shea mentioned that: Could you maybe make your own spray in with a little olive oil and such. I bet you could come up with something. The pics are cute by the way.

I am going to work on some sprays for the girls hair, Olive Oil sounds like a good idea, I know they make special spray bottles for using it when cooking, why not try it on hair too? I thought the Organic hair product manufacturers may have something, but even those have some estrogen disruptors. Call me goofy, but my 16 year old went through puberty much too early, and I am convinced it is from a lifetime of regular milk, produce with pesticides that mimic estrogen in our bodies, and hair and skin products with parabens and PEG. As a cancer survivor, I am very careful about everything we eat, clean with, and bath with

Charissa said...
That last photo reminds me so much of Ava! By the way, Ava scoots too and ruins the seat of her pants. That's why I only buy her clothes at the Goodwill, at least until she is walking! :)

I just love Miss Ava! She is petite like Amanda, they do look very similar in body type. Thank goodness for Savers, I get a lot of denim for $1.99 and let maanda do what she may to them. I am glad Kara can wear frillier pants now that she is no longer crawling.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cousin it has a sister

Amanda's hair makes me giggle, it all grows forward and covers her face, she reminds me of Cousin It, remember him/her on The Adam's Family?. Of course you never she Cousin It's face, and we try to move Amanda's hair out of hers. She usually has it up in a hair tie.

We just washed her hair, it is so dry right now, we have almost no humidity here, skin, hair, sinuses, all get so dry. We need to find a good spray on conditioner that does not have parabens, PEG, or any other harmful ingredients, and so far there is nothing. Why do they put hormone disruptor's in baby products?

We got her hair in a ponytail, and she was so happy, she really dislikes it in her face too. Of course I missed the happy faced Amanda by seconds. LOL

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Why we call her Scooter

I thought I would share a picture of her I posted on Meghan's blog, I am not certain that people who read this one read Meghan's, which is really our family blog. Amanda's blog was meant to be about her adoption...

Amanda gets around this way most of the time, because of that, she wears jeans all the time. The rear ends of most of her jeans are wearing out, good thing we go to resale shops and get a lot of them, why pay full price for something she will destroy on the cement outside? We do get the skinny jeans most chubby babies can't wear, they fit her perfectly! Please excuse the clutter, it is always around, even 5 minutes after we pick it up! Too little room and too much stuff!

I wonder why Amanda has chosen to move about this way instead of on her hands and one knee and one foot like she did in Estonia, she still does it occasionally, but mostly she scoots. Her lats are getting stronger, trying scooting like her and see how tired you get! She is skinny, but very strong. We always joke that we are going to put a cleaning rag on her bottom and let her clean the floors for us. We can tell when we need to by her dirty her bum gets too. If she cannot go outside (rain, darkness) we put more delicate bottoms on her, and they pick up everything.

Amanda's 4th birthday is this Thursday, we are looking for another rocking toy for her, she and Kara fight over Kara's dog. So far Little Tykes does not have a different one in stock and I cannot find anything in Tucson for her. Craigslist had a rocking worm like Kara's in Ukraine, but they wanted local pick up. I believe it was in Wisconsin, so that would be too long of a drive, don't you think? Who would have thought it would be so difficult to find a plastic rocking toy? We do not want a plush rocker, there are plenty of those, Little Tykes also has a horse, but none in stock. I am so discouraged, but will not give up yet.

The worm like Kara's, I have been looking for over a year for this, I am bummed I cannot get it for the girls, I think Kara would be more inclined to use the worm and Amanda could use the dog, then we could et her a different toy!
Our other option is a sand and water table, though all three would likely play in that. I also looked into a sand box, but with 7 cats, can we keep them out of the very large litter box. What would you recommend for miss Amanda's 4th birthday, keep in mind, she is like an 8 month old in development.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Many moods of Manda Moo

Amanda took an early nap today, so she was awake when she and Kara normally take their naps. It was fun to take a few pictures of her without miss Kara getting in front of the camera. LOL Kara loves to see images of herself. Amanda is learning who she is, she looks in the mirror and her eyes open wide, it is bittersweet to know she likely had not seen much of herself before then, but who knows, she very well could have. There is a lot I do not know about her first 3 1/2 years.
She has been having a harder time making eye contact lately, we do not understand why, she was doing really well, her self stim behaviors have increased and she is going off by herself again. Nothing new has happened to set this change off. Maybe just a stage for her, she does love to be held, tickled but not cuddled, that drives her crazy!
Amanda's classic head drop, this is what she does when she has had too much input or has laughed too much, or played too hard.

I just love the look on her face here, "Mom, are you done yet?"

Near the end of our little photo session, she did not want me to take more pictures, but she did want to stay on the step stool. She got nice and dirty outside today!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The promised pictures

Here are the pictures I promised. It is challenging to get good pictures of Amanda because she wants to sit with me when I sit on the floor. I like to take picture on their level. I kept taking her off my lap, but she kept coming back. LOL Amanda is not growing like a weed; more like a rare flower that needs a lot of TLC. I wish I had her metabolism.
Amanda working her lower abs! Honestly, she can hold her legs in the air for 5-10 minutes at a time, her core is strong. I love her delicate little feet.

Ahhhhhh, she is such a precious little lass, isn't she? It is such a privilege to see her blossom, we are blessed to have her in our family. Her bangs need to be cut again! He her grows so much faster than the other girls does.

Look how long her hair has gotten. She also has dark roots, LOL, maybe 2 shades darker than her lightest hair. We were joking that she was a bottle blond, but it is obvious she is a true blond!
It is peculiar to me that Manda gets a dirty face 30 minutes after eating, we think she must have food in her mouth she does not swallow, and it gets all over her face sometime later. She still looks beautiful to me, dirty face and all.

I did post a couple on Meghan's blog too.

SO adorable

Manda Moo, what a character she is showing us, we know it was likely always there, and she is just relaxing a little more every day.

Today I watched her climb on the rocking dog by herself, BY HERSELF!! I have been showing her how for weeks and she finally did it, I am so impressed, what a smarty pants.

She signed more to me when she was eating, FINALLY, she was very pleased with herself.

Her daddy came home from work and she squealed in delight and rushed over to him, bootie scooting all the way, saying da da da da. He picked her up and she cuddled into him, she adores here daddy. It is so wonderful to see her wanting attention and giving back affection. She is quite a love bug, and who would have figured that from the scared and withdrawn little girl we brought home?

She does grind her teeth, drop her head and breath heavily still, but not as often, and she stops when we tell her to, so she is making good progress. However, her PT evaluation places her below the 1 percentile for gross motor compared to other 48 month olds, so yes, she is very delayed, but she is also making progress, maybe she is more like a 6 month old now?

I will try to take pictures tomorrow. She finally has feeding therapy tomorrow, all the illness here kept the therapists away, they certainly did not need to catch this terrible flu.

My three little girls

My three little girls
Finally got all three to smile at once