I am growing up so fast!

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Amanda's age

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For Amanda

Our three T21 princesses

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