Praying for Ansley

Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's Nap Time, or is it??

Last Saturday, I put Maia down for a nap, as usual. Typically, she will go right in her crib and either fall asleep right away, or play quietly for a few minutes and then fall asleep.

Well, after an hour of hearing her singing and playing in her crib through the monitor... I decided it was time to go in and tell her, IT IS TIME TO TAKE YOUR NAP. Well, I went in and was shocked at what I found! Not only was she wide awake, but she was stark naked! I mean, the sweatshirt was gone, the t-shirt was gone, the pants were gone, the socks were gone AND the diaper was gone.... OH GREAT! Now I surely have to change her clean sheets.... I felt around and didn't feel any accidents, so I put her on her changing table and got her some warm clothes - A ONE PIECE BLANKET SLEEPER. I dread the day she can open zippers.... I'm in NO HURRY (for this exact reason) to really show her! She just looked up at me with the great big grin and was happy as a lark. She was playing with her blankies and animals, and just not sleeping... naked.

Anyway, I checked the crib one more time before putting her back in it... I had missed a section, and indeed, her sheets needed to be changed! Changing crib sheets is NOT easy! I wasn't happy. (Am I the only one who has a hard time with this?) Needless to say, I told her it was NAP TIME and she went right to sleep this time. (She had to be tired! It was late, at day care she would have already been getting up at this point.)

Fast forward a week (or less) to know that she can now open zippers. (She could actually already do her coats/jackets, but I wasn't trying to show her how to do jammies!!) SO, I often now find her in her crib after waking in the morning with her pacifier down her jammies, or her jammeis unzipped and her arms out as she is playing in the crib. It actually makes me laugh, but of course I can't let HER know that! Kids!!!

She is growing up SO much these days. She ASKED for applesauce this morning for breakfast. (Not sure where that idea came from, I'd never given her applesauce for breakfast before! LOL.) Anyway, she had asked a little before we were eating, so when it came time to eat, I said, "Maia, do you want applesauce for breakfast" She said, "No." I asked, "Oh, well what do you want?" She said, "I don't know." I DON'T KNOW?!?!? When did she learn that phrase and when did she start speaking it sentences I understand?? It was really cool.

So, we called my parents so she could say it for them. What did she do, she stared at the phone the whole time we were talking to them and wouldn't repeat it for the world. (Any Brady Bunch lovers out there? Think Cindy Brady on the IQ show where she stared at the red light on the TV camera the entire time. That is Maia any time we make a phone call so she can 'talk'. She just stares at the red light on the phone... So we call her Cindy Brady.) I hope SOMEONE out there knows what I'm talking about!

Anyway - it was so cool to hear I don't Know and each day, she seems to say more and more and more. It is really cool. She DEFINITELY has "No" down.

Thanks for all your advice, in comments and emails! Next time I'll atleast offer water and won't feel guilty about it. I had thought about the fact that I don't always like milk after cereal, but she had drunk it 1,000 times after mini-wheats before, so she can't hate it that much! That's why in the past when she says she's done, and the milk isn't gone, that's fine. And then if she asked for milk, I gave it to her. But since she poured it out, I guess that was the difference, and knowing she had drunk it before after that cereal. Anyway - she has since had some cereal and didn't do that again, yet, so hopefully it will be fewer and farther between going forward.

Alright, I'm in the basement and it's chilly, so I'm headed up to get warm now. Have a great start to the week everyone!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Need advice...

Help! I need input from all you other wonderful parents out there...

Maia has started getting in the habit (sometimes) of pouring out her milk when she is done with her cereal. Sometimes she drinks it all, and wants seconds of both the cereal and the milk. Sometimes, she only wants the cereal and will say, "All done" if she doesn't want the milk that is left over. But SOMETIMES she pours it out and makes a mess.

Tonight, she did just that. (Yes, she had cereal for dinner tonight...) She poured out a lot of left over milk. I put her in timeout. When she was done with timeout, she wanted milk to drink...

What would you do?? Let her have milk (in a cup) because she asked for it and she's thirsty?

Say no way, you poured out your milk, so you obviously weren't thirsty 5 minutes ago or you would have drank that milk.

Or something else?? I did not give her more milk. I figured she got some with her cereal and won't dehydrate overnight (although I'm feeling guilty and afraid I should have given her some... kids don't ask for drinks if they aren't thirsty, right? SO maybe she's dying of thirst and I denied her a drink???)

HELP! I don't know what to do - and she's now in bed and I'm having a terrible time of it because of the guilt and not knowing if I did the right thing...and being so sad that I just did a terrible thing!

This is when parenting stinks and I don't enjoy it at all. The few minutes I got with Maia tonight stunk and the rest of my evening will too because now I won't even see her again until morning. Shoot.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The First Meeting

So, today marks another one year anniversary - this one since the day I first met Maia! (Beware, over the next two months, there will be a lot of, today marks the one year anniversary... etc. - get used to it!) :)
Today was the day that I went to the MOE in Petro and was granted permission to visit the baby house and view the available children that met my requests. Such a strange, strange set of events that occur when they march various children in and out and then tell you to pick one. I had been told about the process, but when I was there, I seemed to forget all that I was 'told', and just couldn't believe I had to pick a child! They were all God's children and who am I to PICK one? How weird. In the end, of course, God had already picked the child that was to be mine - but when faced with here are some choices, pick one, it seems a little weird and a lot overwhelming!!
Truth be told, for me and my circumstances, the children I was shown, there really was only one choice that I realistically could choose. Not because she was the cutest... (but of course, as her Mommy, I think she is!). Not because God already knew which child would be mine. But because truly, logistically, I had only one real choice. The first child was quite severely disabled, and although adorable, I am not able to care for someone as a single, working parent who would need as much care as she would have needed. The second child had a sibling. Again, as much as I would have LOVED to decide to take home two children - I couldn't make that decision in 5 minutes and what I did think about in those 5 minutes was the fact that I really wasn't prepared to take two children home with me. So, the third child I was shown was Maia. Obviously, we know how this story ended, but I did want to consider them all for at least a brief minute. In the end however, I was able to take one, healthy child - and Maia was the obvious choice for me. I only got to see her that day for maybe 5 minutes - and then after she left I basically had to make my decision. After choosing Maia, I was given two older pictures of her that I was able to take with me. That's all I had for that night to 'think' about, two older pictures, and the 5 minutes I had had with her when I was trying to listen to every detail about her medical history, all the while checking her out and watching her to see if she was 'the one'.
I must admit, it wasn't the euphoric feeling I was kinda hoping it would be. It was weird and surreal to be shown children and have to choose one. Then I chose one - how weird! Of course, it has turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made - and although it was kind of a 'non-decision', I still felt like I was making a decision and it was just weird. Again, I COULD have taken any of those children - it was just that Maia was truly the only one I could really care for in my situation.
A year later, I recall that strange day vividly. I remember the next day (tomorrow) when I got to come back and visit with her the first time (but only for an hour!!). How weird to be handed a 16 month old and know she is to be my daughter. Maybe this was because I had also had the joy of having a newborn placed in my arms. A big difference between a newborn I had carried and a 16month old that stared at me like, Who in the WORLD are YOU?? Don't read this wrong, or misunderstand what I am saying. I was full of joy with her and the whole process (well, maybe not the WHOLE process...) but it was just so strange. I don't know if families who haven't had bio kids have this strange feeling as well - but I know I did, I suppose because I did have something to compare the process to? I knew she was my daughter, and I loved visiting with her - it's just different than an experience with a newborn.
Anyway - a great day to remember, but it also comes with the memory of one of the strangest days of my life. How does one really choose a child? They are all worthy, and I so hope and pray that they have all found loving homes!!
After we left the babyhouse and I had chosen my baby... we went to the Iceberg for the second time. Ah - memories. The pathetic memory here was as we came out, still in my dress and hose from MOE, I completely fell down on the ice outside the front door of the Iceberg and landed HARD on my knee(s). OW! Getting up was ANYTHING but graceful, and in a dress no less!! (And ripped hose!) We went to our first apartment and I iced my knee(s) for the rest of the day to reduce the swelling and the pain, as we looked at baby name books for the rest of the day to see what I thought she 'looked' like. I had arrived in Kaz with pretty certain ideas of what I wanted to name her, but she didn't fit ANY of those... so I was on to plan B and was SO glad I had brought my baby name book. It was that day I came across Maia for the first time, although it took me about another week to choose that as her name.
Tomorrow is the day that we visited her for the first 'real' time, and also the day we moved to our apartment #2. It was larger and nicer, but had it's own issues. (remember the rattling chandelier, the noisey neighbors who stayed up all night (every night!, when did they sleep???), the light in the bathroom that had the Poltergeist, as well as my bedside light that also had a Poltergeist in it, and the foul smell of raw sewage in the 'lobby' the would seep through our front door somedays? (the smell seeped, not the sewage) Oh yes, the memories.... :)
As everyone says, I can NOT believe it has been a year since I met her. She has brought us ALL such joy and we are THRILLED she is part of our family. At the same time, I almost can't believe I have ONLY known her for a year. She was meant for our family, that's for sure. She is the HAPPIEST child (PERSON!) I think I have EVER met! She is always happy. Today, she woke up EXTRA happy. She was just SO happy today - it was awesome. I hope she keeps that wonderful spirit she has and the joy she seems to carry with her wherever she goes. She is an amazing little girl and I am SO blessed to be her Mommy. I love you Maia and Thank God for bringing me to you one year ago today!
If this works... here are the two pictures I was given the first day in the baby house.
This one is from the first five minutes or so after I got to visit the next day - she is so LITTLE!! I love this picture! (If this doesn't work... I will load these pictures tomorrow when I can hook it up directly to the internet rather than wirelessly, which is where my problems come in with pictures for some reason.)
Compare these pictures to those below - she's grown up a bit! 16 months old a year ago today. Today, she is 28 months old, and quite a two year old! :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Today marks one year since I boarded a jet plane to Kazakhstan! I can NOT believe it's been a year. It's been a day for reflection, that's for sure. I'm certain over the next two months I'll be remembering each day I spent with Maia and what we did 'first' and 'second'. So many great memories started today, one year ago. The weather here in Northern Virginia even took a bitter turn today to mark the occassion. Made me feel right at home in Kazakhstan! :) Tonight's wind chill is below zero, definitely not typical for No.Va.

My mom (who traveled with me) marked the occassion by traveling to Florida today. A far cry from the length of trip or weather in Kazakhstan, but a flight to mark the occassion, nonetheless.

This might be weird, but today reminded me of the way I get around Matthew's birthday. I remember the day before his birthday and when the labor started, and when I called the doctor and when we left for the hospital, etc.

Well today was kind of like that for Maia. Her birthday came and went in October with little for me to 'remember'. It was more a day of building memories than remembering anything. But today was like my first labor pain. The first memory I have of finally leaving to go get her! It's an awesome memory - and as I said, only the first of many, I'm sure, over the next two months until the day that marks our coming home date, April 2.
I am SO glad I could remember this today and celebrate without having to leave again though - or say goodbye to Matthew again for an indefinite amount of time. That was NOT a good memory last year - saying goodbye to my 'baby' and leaving for who knows how long. Today was much nicer giving him a kiss as I dropped him at school, and saying, "See you later!" That made today all the better - as leaving was the hardest part a year ago - and yet, also the most exciting.