Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New things

Sasha has been doing a lot of new things the last few weeks. She learned how to climb up our stairs a couple of weeks ago and we cannot keep her from them if she sees them. She gets up them quickly and with no problem. She stops every step or two to make sure I am right behind her. About two weeks ago I looked over at her while I was getting dinner ready. She was supposed to be sitting in her walker snacking on pieces of cheese. Instead she was precariously balanced across the small, low table we have for Brayden and Brookelyn. Most of her body was on the table and she only had one foot balancing her on the walker. She had grabbed one half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I put her back in the walker hoping to use it for five more minutes before I retired it back into the garage since she was clearly too old for it now. In the amount of time it took me to rinse my hands in the sink and stir whatever was on the stove, she got completely out of the walker and was sitting next to the kid's table. I couldn't believe it! She is very co ordinated.
She has let go of the couch or whatever she is holding onto a few times over the last couple of months and stood on her own. This weekend though, she did it again and again. She did it several times for about 13 seconds before lowering herself down to the ground. She won't do it if we try to get her to stand up though.
We went to the nail salon I used to go to before I went to Vietnam and said hello to some of the ladies who work there. I haven't been there since a couple of weeks before I left. I had brought in some of the referral pictures we had of Sasha over the months and asked advice about airlines, what to bring, what clothes to pack...I had meant to go back and show them Sasha after we got home, but just had never gotten around to it. The women were really excited to see her and spoke Vietnamese to her. Sasha smiled at all of them and even let one woman hold her for a few minutes. I would love to start getting my nails done again but I just don't know when I would find the time. It actually became too stressful before to get my nails done so it was nice to drop it for awhile. I used to really enjoy sitting and reading dumb magazines while I had my nails done...Anyway, one of the women I went to wasn't there so I said we would come back tomorrow to see her. They said they had been wondering when I was going to bring Sasha in. One of them told me about a place where Sasha can take free classes to speak Vietnamese when she gets older. It was nice seeing how much they liked seeing her. Sasha got a lot of attention.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Nine Months Old!!!!

Sasha turned nine months old yesterday! I don't know why it feels like such a big deal to me every month when she turns a month older, but it is. I guess it is because it marks how long she has been away from her birth mother and then how long she has been with us since we adopted her when she was just a few days past five months old. I am so grateful to have her that I am ecstatic and humbled at the same time. I wonder if her birth mother thinks about her more often on the 16th of every month (when she had and then abandoned her) or of she just thinks about her the same every day. If there was a way we could let her know that Sasha is okay I would do it in a second. I don't believe that it was a choice for her, I'm sure she had to give Sasha up for a really good reason. I know Lang Son is a very poor area so that is probably it. Anyway, I was also realizing that if she was thinking about her every month on the 16th, it actually is always going to be a different day than the 16th is here because of the time change. I hope she can sense that Sasha is doing well. I hope so.
I went to a doctor appointment with Sasha today. It was her second appointment at our doctor's office. She really didn't need an appointment with the doctor since she really only needed shots, but I really wanted to see a doctor. Sasha was 26 inches and 13 pounds and 7 ounces at her last appointment about eight weeks ago. That is about 50 percentile for height and in about the 5 percentile for weight. Sasha eats A LOT, but is really slender. I know that she is Vietnamese and shouldn't be judged by a chart used mostly for Caucasian babies, but if she was at the bottom of the chart for both her height and weight I would have felt better than low on weight. The doctor did say she was thin last time and recommended her eating fatty foods like avocados and cheese. I give her a lot of those as well as a lot of other food. She is a pretty active little baby which could account for burning up some of the calories. Well, now she weighs 15 pounds and one ounce and is 27 inches long. That means she is a little above the 50th percentile for her height and UNDER the fifth for her weight. I had to stop myself from not crying for the next few minutes. I know that just may be her body type due to genetics, but I really wanted her to plump up a little. Her arms are so thin! The doctor recommended mixing powdered formula with her food and again the cheese and avocados. She got her immunizations (I made my husband hold her this time because I was feeling a little sad) and then we had to get her blood drawn. Again Ray held her to get her blood drawn. He asked ahead of time for the person who was the most experiences with babies. He said the lady did a good job, but they had to take several vials for all of the tests. It is just things like HIV, HEP B....they had wanted us to have it drawn a couple of months ago but I just couldn't do it when she was so little. Sasha is taking a nap now and I'm sure will take a little longer nap than usual. Poor thing! Her next appointment is six weeks from now. My next thing is to schedule her nine month pictures. I included a picture of portraits we had taken at our local JCPENNEY's store. We had these done for Brayden and Brookelyn as well. Brayden's is in black and white and was done when he was two, Brookelyns was taken when she was eleven days old and is also in black and white. I did Sasha's when she was six months old and had it done in color. I think we'll put hers between the other two on the wall. Right now it is sitting on the mantle over our fireplace. It looks really cute even though she only smiled a tiny bit. I wanted to capture her young since we have so few pictures of her before five months old.

Friday, January 11, 2008

A day with Owen

Sasha, Brookelyn and I drove down and spent a few hours with Owen, his mommy and grandmother yesterday. It was really fun. Owen is so sweet! He has a very calm, sweet disposition and seemed to take everything in stride. Brookelyn loved playing with all of Owen's toys and Sasha had fun as long as Mommy was around. Brookelyn stared at Aunt Kim when she was eating until she was offered some of her food and then proceeded to eat everything she was offered. Sasha has never really liked baby food and usually acted like she was going to gag when I gave her any. I had pretty much stopped giving her baby food and switched her to table food, which she eats very well. She eats small bites of chicken, turkey, cheese, bread, avocado, peas, beans...she has a big appetite. But when Aunt Kim added the secret ingredient of smashed unsalted crackers to the baby food, Sasha couldn't get enough. And Brookelyn stood there and got her share too. It was as if my girls had never eaten before!
Owen is huge next to Sasha. He is only a little smaller than Brookelyn and may be heavier than she is! Sasha has a doctor appointment next week to get immunizations and to see how she is doing. I am very curious to see how much she weighs!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Fun Day

We were invited to attend an Open House for a family who adopted their son from the same orphanage we adopted Sasha. They traveled a month or so before we did. We drove up there at the perfect time since Sasha and Brookelyn both slept all of the way there and Brayden watched High School Musical. We were able to see three families besides us who had adopted from Vietnam. We had spent a lot of time with Lillian and her family in Hanoi, met Sierra and her family when several families got together during the summer, and met Zubin and his family for the first time. Tons of Zubin's relatives came to see him, which was great. It was a fun day and really good to see how well all of the babies are doing. Madelyn, Eden, Jordan, and Julie need to be at the next gathering!
On the couch are Sasha, Zubin, Lillian and Sierra.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Christmas Photos

The first picture is the one we used for Christmas cards. I should say holiday cards since I always seem to get them out between Christmas and New Years. I wish it would have been cuter of each of them and had them in cute outfits, but we waited until a few days before Christmas to get a tree and then just took it one evening when I had a few minutes. Brookelyn didn't want to sit still until we gave her a candy cane, Sasha kept turning around every other second to grab the tree and Brayden was great through all of it. Sasha seems to smile if I am holding her but I can't get her to smile most of the time now for a picture. She doesn't seem to get why I am not holding her and she'll make a nervous sound between a laugh and a cry until I hold her. It's not a big deal since I know she will get over it as she gets older and more confident, but it means we don't have a lot of smilng pictures of her right now. Anyway, it took me, my older daughter and older son to get all three little ones to stay sitting down and look in the right direction. Ray was out of town on a golf trip. It's true. He went up the Saturday before Christmas and came back Sunday evening. It did help his mother since he helped drive her down here to visit, but it was really about the golf. I normally wouldn't mind, but I had done something weird to my back early in the week when I planned to finish shopping and had a really hard time picking up Sasha and Brookelyn for a couple of days. It was weird and scarey. I can't imagine how bad it would be if I couldn't carry them around. I've never had that happen before. It was sore for a couple of days and is fine now.
Right when my back was feeling better Sasha and Brooklyn both got colds so I didn't want to take them out shopping with me. Anyway, it turned out that I wound up doing most of our shopping in one day. We tried to keep it simple this year. After coming back from Vietnam and seeing all of our stuff I didn't want to get more. Also, when we went to grab important things from our house before the fire we realized we only wanted important paperwork, pictures, home videos of the kids and clothes for a few days.
Christmas was fun. My family always comes to my house. We have a lot of little children in the family so it was a fun, loud, chaotic day. We woke up to ashes all over our house (again!)from a really wild and loud windstorm for hours the night before. I think I heard winds between 35-50 miles per hour. I could hardly sleep since I could hear things in our yard blowing around. Anyway, it took us a long time to clean it all up inside and then it was fun.
We are back to our usual routine of school which is good. Bedtimes were getting later and later. Sasha and Brookelyn had runny noses for most of the break though they seemed to feel fine most of the time. Sasha was fine with all of the craziness though she really still is only happy when I hold her. She will go to other people but looks at me the entire time they are holding her. I have to leave the room in order for her to relax with someone else. Ray's mom met her for the first time. We were supposed to visit her up in Northern CA right after Thanksgiving so she could meet her but I wasn't ready to travel with the three little ones yet. I had her give Sasha a bottle which is good for me since I just started letting people besides Ray and I do it. Sasha has obviously bonded, so I am not worried about it anymore.