Sunday, November 20, 2005


I know, I know -- you've all been waiting for updates. You've probably been thinking -- "hey, you're not working, why can't you keep up this website?" Well let me tell you, I HAVE been working. And working much harder than ever before!
Message to students: Read below and see why you DON'T want kids until you have had your own fun, are happily married and are somewhat patient. Being a parent is the best thing I know, but it is tiring and frustrating at times. And you know there's only ONE way to make sure you don't get pregnant....

7am -- Awake to giggling or crying (depending on Kate's hunger)
7:20 -- Bottle time
7:30 -- Make breakfast and feed it to Kate fast
7:45 -- Wipe off the food that Kate has spit out onto me
8:00 -- Hold Kate's hand so she can walk around the house and chase the dogs
8:30 -- Book time, blocks time, music time (This is also when she'll play be herself for a half hour)
9:45 -- Attempt to put Kate down for a nap (key word: attempt)
10:00 --Take batteries out of phone so Kate can play with it until she falls asleep
10:40 -- Get her back to sleep after (choose one) the dogs / the door / the phone wake her up
12:00 -- Lunch
12:30 -- Get dressed for the day and read more books, practice walking, try to color, go for a walk, etc.
2:30 -- Snack time, followed by one wicked temper tantrum when Kate is denied a second banana
3:00 -- Sleepy time and occasional nap time
4:30 -- Dinner time and fun time with Papa
5:30 -- Bath time -- a favorite time of day, full of laughs and giggles
6:00 -- Show Papa her repetoire of tricks: cruising along the furniture, making music with her hand drum / mouth / kitchen implements / hands on coffee table
7:30 -- Begin bedtime routine: Read three books, reread Goodnight Moon at least three times
8:00 -- Place Kate in her "sidecar" crib next to our bed
8:30 -- After thirty minutes of crying it out / verbal comforts, etc. we go back in and place her on our bed until she falls asleep. She goes back to the sidecar.
9:30ish -- Night terror -- Kate screams nonstop for 30 minutes, but is still asleep.
10:00 -- Kate wakes up, needs more comforting. If we don't give it to her, she rips at her skin (which is said to be a "comforting" behavior that babies practice in orphanages)
10:30 -- 30 minutes of adult time before Mama crashes to sleep
2 or 3am -- Kate awakes, needs some brief verbal comfort and a few pats on the back. She then falls back asleep.

Sounds tiring, right? You betcha!! But you know what else? It's awesome and she's getting better every day. For a child who has been in three homes (orphanage, foster care, and now here), she's incredibly resilient and is adjusting a little more each day.


Doctor's visit
Kate had her first visit to her new pediatrician about a week ago. She passed with flying colors, as the doctor was impressed with how well she was doing. He said that, while she is behind developmentally, she's much further along than he would have expected. And when she pulled his hand away as he tried to listen to her heart, he said that she was as strong as an ox and would catch up without a problem. His only concern was her weight.
Height: At the 50th percentile
Weight: At the 3rd percentile
Since she's eating like a house on fire, I'm not concerned.

Also -- she has 13 teeth (either in or already broken through) and more cutting through her gums right now. Ouch!

When the nurse tried to give her the TB test, which requires a tiny injection just under the skin on her arm, another nurse had to come in to hold her down. Yep, that's right: three adults vs. one 18-pounds little girl. Can you say stubborn?

Kate returns before Chrismas for a few more shots and a weight check.

Meeting Friends
Kate has had a grand time meeting friends and family. She charms them with her smiles, giggles, assisted walking and tricks -- so much so that they hardly notice the gobs of teething drool rolling onto their clothes (eeewwww.)

Kate has met her dog girlfriends, aunts and uncles, other kids from the FAC (Families with Asian Children) group, and mama's other kids (her students -- and I forgot my camera!!!). She loves them all.

So, mama, these must be the ones you warned me about....

A Small Grouping from Brevard's Families with Asian Children Group:

Left: Kate and Emily. Emily is from the same province, is 12 days older and almost exactly the same size. We tried to get them together at the FAC meeting, but when Emily saw her mama holding Kate, she wanted nothing to do with her! We'll try again next month.

Cruising and Standing
In China, Kate would walk along the bed a little bit and when she was holding both of my hands (or Papa's hands). Well -- things have changed. She will use any surface to cruise along independently and will also walk quickly just loosely holding one of our hands. She's getting ready to walk, which means we better get ready to run.

On Thursday, she stood up for about 15 seconds on her own. She groaned and giggled the entire time, absolutely frozen so she wouldn't fall. It was very, very cute!

Eating / Not Eating
What Kate LOVES to eat:

  • Bananas
  • Mama's homemade muffins (yes, I actually baked) that have pumpkin, wheat germ, raisins, pineapples, wheat flour, apple juice, and cinnamon in them.
  • Yogurt -- plain or flavored
  • Squash

What Kate has no use for:

  • Juice
  • Water
  • Pasta (except orzo)
  • Anything if there's a banana in sight
  • Turkey, chicken

Sleeping / Not Sleeping

Kate's sleeping is improving, but it's less than stellar. I am able to get her down for a morning nap on a regular basis now, but the afternoon nap often eludes us. We're at least having quiet "resting" time in hopes of napping. Nighttime sleeping is improving slowly, but her night terrors persist. With a consistent routine and time for Kate to truly know that this is her forever family, we believe these will fade away within six months (hopefully!).

As you can see, however, Kate will catch "cat naps" here and there. This is becoming more infrequent as she gets better with a schedule. I also think that the teething doesn't help the matter, as she will wake up and stick her hand in her mouth to rub her gums.

One of the few times that Kate has slept in her crib:

Thank-You Notes are Coming!!!

Please know how touched and grateful we are for all your well-wishes, gifts, cards, etc. So many of you have spoiled our daughter and us. As soon as I can, I will be writing individual thank-you notes for the wonderful gifts we've received since our return home.

Thanksgiving Plans:
Over the Thanksgiving Holiday, Kate will get to spend time with the grandparents, and also -- hopefully-- to meet Aunt Mary. We'll post pics of the happenings sometime next weekend. We certainly have much to be thankful for.

Among our blessings are each of you. We hope you have a wonderful holiday and remember that you are loved.

Love to you all,

The Lucky Ones


Anonymous said...

Hi Scott

I'm so happy to hear your baby is doing great and everything is going well. She's darling!!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Kate,
So glad you're home with your parents. Love the pictures and the updates your folks have on the website.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update Melissa - I am amazed that you were able to do as much as you have. Your schedule looks very familiar - all except the nap. Look out for walking - Melissa is now twirling, running and beginning to climb. Kate is cuter than ever - Miss you guys - Stacy & Bruce & Melissa Guo Di.

Karen M said...

Kate is so precious! I remember so well that mix of awe, excitement and exhaustion when we first brought home each of our 'babies' (the exhaustion continues!! Just's still a mix of all three :) . I'm so glad you're still updating this site (so that we can all watch Kate grow up). I can't wait to meet her at FAC! ~Karen M