Saturday, July 28, 2012

How big is big enough????

I took Baby M for her 12 month check-up last month and she is 30" tall and weighs 19.6 lbs.  According to our doc, she is right on "her curve".  Have I mentioned how much I hate those percantile charts?  They are based/calculated on american children so it seems highly unlikely that you could consider them an accurate measurement of a child who is genetically smaller than an american child. 

When K was 12 months old, she was 30 1/2" tall and weighed 22.50 lbs--that's approximately three pounds more than Baby M.  I expressed my concern that Baby M is turning out to be quite the picky eater.  She doesn't like to get her hands messy and  food textures seem to be presenting a challenge.  This sweet girl has the most sensitive gag reflex that I've ever seen.  Anything that goes in that she doesn't like, will immediately come back out along with whatever she already had in there.

I'm feeling very challenged with our current eating situation.  With that being said, I completely bucked the system--you know the one that says your baby should be off of formula and the bottle by 1 year--and will revisit the idea of removing the formula when we go for our 15 month check-up.  That's the one thing that I have learned as an older and now, more experienced parent---there is no one "book" of child-rearing and as the parent, I have the option and the right to do what I feel is best for them, even if it goes against conventional methods.

I have started adding whole milk with her formula and giving her whole milk products--yogurt, cheeses, etc. but definitely don't feel like she is getting the nutrients she needs from the solid food she is consuming.  We're exploring veggie options other than just giving her cut-up veggies.  And did I mention that she doesn't like purees any longer?  Her current list of likes includes:  cheerios, veggie sticks, mac and cheese, cheese, yogurt with fruit, diced carrots, Earth's Best Pop Snax in vegetable and sweet potatos, goldfish, and a few other "dry" snacks.  Notice the lack of green veggies? 

My strategy for this week is to try roasting some veggies for her to try and adding some veggie purees to her yogurt.  Will keep you posted on the progress or lack of.

The following pics are of Baby M trying out her "new ride".  This is the cadillac of tot trikes!  I don't have a complete pic of the bike, but it is a "grow with me" model.  It has a removable handle so that I can "drive" it, a sunshade and removable electronic dashboard for Baby M, and a five point harness to keep her safely strapped in.  As you can see, she gets pretty excited each time we get in it.

"...and she'll have fun, fun, fun until her daddy takes the keys away...."

"Ready, Set, Go!"

"Look, the horn works!"

I love this girl!!!!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

I Got Your Back.....

On the way to Grammy's house yesterday, R and I in the front seats and the girls are in the back, he reaches over and pats my leg.

Little voice from the back seat:  "Stop"

R thinks she has called out "Dad" and starts asking her what she needs.

Little voice responds, "Don't pinch Mommy!"  and then turns to G and says, "Daddy pinched Mommy"

Love my little security force :-)

G took a cake decorating class and this is the finished product---she did a great job!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"You Are My Greatest Gift"

So this week the big girls have been attending Vacation Bible School, and they are loving it, especially G.  She is in a class with one of her very best friends and so she can't wait to go each day.  K has been a little more apprehensive at drop-off since she doesn't know any of her classmates but by the time I pick her up she is smiling and eager to share what she has learned.

I took the opportunity this week to read Kay Bratt's book, "Silent Tears: A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage".   The following is an excerpt from her website,

In 2003, Kay Bratt’s life changed dramatically. A wife and mother of two girls in South Carolina, Bratt relocated her family to rural China to support her husband as he took on a new management position for his American employer. Seeking a way to fill her days and overcome the isolation she experienced upon arriving in a foreign country, Bratt began volunteering at the local orphanage. Within months, her simple desire to make use of her time transformed into a heroic crusade to improve the living conditions and minimize the unnecessary deaths of Chinese orphans.
Silent Tears traces the emotional hurdles and daily frustrations faced by Ms. Bratt as she tried to change the social conditions for these marginalized children. The memoir vividly illustrates how she was able to pull from reservoirs of inner strength to pursue her mission day after day, leaving the reader with the resounding message that everyone really can make a difference.

Once I started reading, I was sucked in hook, line, and sinker.  I was reading it on R's Kindle and then I had the cloud reader open on my PC so I could pick it up whenever I had a spare moment.  There were parts of the book that made me cry, parts that made me angry, and parts that made me wonder how that woman continued to go back to that orphanage week after week. 

I managed to finish the book today and it left the story of one child hanging and so I was reading Ms. Bratt's website to see if there was an update.  K was taking a nap and G was wondering around, just kind of talking intermittently about what had gone on at VBS and I was still processing my thoughts on the book.  I just managed to catch the end when she said, "they asked me what the greatest gift was that I had ever received, and I said you."

I must have looked at her in some state of shock, because she went on to say, "without you, nobody would have found me at the orphanage, and I would have died." 

I just started sobbing---I mean really sobbing.  I must have scared my poor girl half to death.  I just hugged her and said, "you are the greatest gift that I've ever been given and I love you so much.  God's plan was not for you to die.  You were placed at the gates of the orphanage so that you would be found and that Daddy and I would receive the gift of having you as our daughter."  At that point we're both sobbing and hugging each other. 

Can I just say that's it's been an emotional week??? Between the book and this moment today, I think I need a mini-vacation or at least a good night's rest :-)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tales From the Backseat......

Overheard from the backseat.......

G: "Mom, is this the group Queen (coming on the radio)?"
Me:  "Yes it is."
G:  "I know this song, it's "I am a champion""

And a little voice pipes up from behind me........

K:  "I am a princess."

Yes, my sweet K, you will always be a princess :-)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Rest of June

It seems strange to think that the month of June has passed and here we are heading into the midpoint of summer vacation :-(  Here are just a couple of things that G and K got into during the month of June.

G completed her first year as a Brownie and her troop had their end of the year party at Golden Skateworld. The girls did very little skating but they really liked the gym area. I've put it on my list of possible party venues since K was in love with built-in floor trampoline.

G attended  a week long cheer camp with two of her best friends.  At the end of the week, the girls put on a performance of the skills that they had learned.  It was a difficult week for K.  She really had a hard time at drop off each morning--she just didn't understand why she couldn't stay and cheer with all the other girls.

Towards the end of the month, we attended a patriotic themed concert at Mimi and Papa's church and this was the only photo I managed to get with all three girls looking forward--not necessarily looking at the camera, but at least looking forward.  I had such high hopes for a picture opp since they all had on matching smocked dresses. They also had matching white hairbows but Baby M's didn't make it thru the car ride.

Summer is a busy birthday season for our family.  My immediate family all have birthdays in June and July--it's just one big cake laden season (and I wonder why I can't lose any weight????)  On the way to D-daddy's birthday dinner, K put her "liptick" on.  Not the most clear pic since I was using my cellphone camera but it was very close to the clown mouth look--all over the lips and extending a 1/2" in all directions--good thing it wasn't a dark red "liptick"!

And here are a few random pics of Baby M doing what she does best--being just plain cute!

She is wearing a guam that her birthmom gave us.

Ready for the sun!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sesame Place

So we started our trip to Sesame Place on a Monday morning, hoping to avoid the weekend traffic that had made previous trips really long.  According to Google Maps, our approximate travel time should have been 4hrs and 6 min.  We weren't expecting to go to the park that afternoon but just hoping to have an easy, enjoyable, car ride. And did I mention that there were 4 adults and 4 kids in the van? :-) It took a bit longer than what Google Maps predicted since we added in a lunch and a potty stop but it was a surprisingly (with the addition of DVD players and a good movie selection) smooth ride!

We arrived in PA by early afternoon, settled into our hotel, and actually had the time to go to Franklin Mills (big outlet mall). I suspect that it is one of a chain of outlet malls because the layout and the stores looked familiar to an outlet mall that is close to home.  We grabbed an early dinner and tried to push down the excitement level and get an early bedtime since we had two, busy days planned at the park. 

Tuesday morning started out with perfect weather. It was actually a little cool to do the water activities in the morning but it gave us the opportunity to ride all the rides and catch some of the shows.  Our all-time favorite is "Elmo's World Live."  If you've ever watched an episode of Sesame Street, the last twenty minutes of the show is entitled "Elmo's World". 

I don't know how R managed to do it, but he struck up a conversation with the sound technician who said he could get us a private meet and greet with Elmo after the show.  What the ?????  How did he do that????  If you've got little ones, then you know that's the kind of opportunity that doesn't come along very often.  I usually book a character meal so that we get the opportunity for the up close pics but my wonderful, friendly to everyone hubbie gets the credit for this one.

My big girl and Elmo.

My normally rambunctious girl is speechless.

Seriously, this girl loves her some Elmo!
The weather on day two of our visit was HOT!  Our character breakfast was scheduled that morning in an outdoor pavillion and it was so hot that they moved it indoors. 
Cousin J and Super Grover.  Did I mention that he's my all-time favorite character?

Abby Caddabby and G.

Murray and K.

R, Baby M and Big Bird.  That child laughed and smiled with all the characters--hoping that enthusiasm holds out for our annual Santa pics :-)

Love those smiles!

Group shot of all the kids before they melted from the heat.

Count, K and one of the very few pics of me.
Less than two hours into the day and everyone was exhausted-quickly followed by cranky and whiney, and that included the grown-ups as well.  Operating in self-preservation mode, we left the park for an early lunch and nap with plans to return in the afternoon to go to the waterpark.

It was still unbelievably hot but much more bearable in the water.  Love these smiles!

I've given up on the cute suits for the more practical, sun-safe variety!

We stayed until the last parade of the day and as we were watching, one of the dancers pulled K into the parade to dance with her and the characters.  She was a little unsure at first but did manage to get her groove on for all to see--it was so cute and I did get a little bit of video but unfortunately, Big Bird's backside is the majority of what you see so I won't punish anyone by posting it here-LOL!

After that, wee took our sweaty children and headed back to the hotel for a quick meal and shower.  Packed everything up and had a most uneventful trip back home with the kids sleeping.  It was after 2:00am by the time we got everyone in and settled into bed.  I call these next few pics, "the morning after."