Tuesday, October 31, 2006

As promised . . .

You can tell Lilli wasn't very happy about being in a costume. She especially didn't like the headpiece. She looked too cute, though! The second picture is the only one we got of her smiling last night. The top picture is of her eating a sucker. She was fine with the whole costume thing once she had candy!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Lilli's 1st Halloween

We took Lilli out trick-or-treating tonight at a local festival. She is too young to really understand what is going on, but of course we had to take her out for her first Halloween. Dressing her up in a costume was really for Todd and I to enjoy and take pictures. She would have been much happier in a onesie and sweats! She didn't care for the headpiece on the costume too much. We only got one picture where she is smiling. You wouldn't believe the show we were putting on behing the camera to get that picture! The things parents will do!

Tomorrow night we are doing the "real" trick-or-treating with my sil and some family friends. We are going to have chili and hot dogs and take the kids around her neighborhood. It is supposed to rain tomorrow so we'll see what happens.

This weekend my mom and dad kept Lilli overnight. It was a glorious 24 hours! I felt like a horrible mom because I wasn't ready to go pick her up! I was really enjoying my free time. We used the time to babyproof the crap out of the kitchen and to clean up the house a bit. I'm amazed at how quickly the house gets messy. I've said this before, but no one can prepare you for the amount of work that comes with having children.

We went to the zoo today because the weather was so nice. The gorillas were extremely active and a hoot to watch. We spent a lot of time at that exhibit. One of the gorillas came up to the window and looked at Lilli. She just stood there looking. I wish I knew what she was thinking.

I will post some new pix of Lilli in her Halloween costume.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

3 months today!

Today marks three months home with Lilli. Just wanted to share!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

New pics of Lilli

Here are a few new pics of Lilli. She is quite a ham and has such a cute personality. I have to say it, she is amazing.
Right now she is obsessed with her belly button. When we ask her where her nose is, she lifts up her shirt and starts giggling. She used to actually point to her nose. Of course, when she lifts up her shirt, we have to zerbert her belly. More giggles ensue and I'm sure we're only reinforcing the behavior. I can't help it: it is just too cute.
Today at the playland in the mall she went down the slide by herself. Last week she needed/wanted my help. As soon as we entered the mall she started squealing with delight because she knew why we were there. What a goofball. It was all I could do to remove her shoes and socks because she was bouncing up and down so much.
We are getting our furnace replaced in a few hours. It died on us this week. We can't complain because it is the original furnace and this house was built in 1970. Our furnace was made by Chrysler! The HVAC person informed me that Chrysler doesn't even make furnances anymore. We were also told that our current furnace is emitting carbon monoxide which is a little scary. They asked me if we had been having more headaches than usual. I took this as a sign that the situation was extreme and immediate action needed to be taken to have the furnace replaced. It just isn't safe for any of us!
Well, I'm having one of those sleepless nights. It is 5:11 A.M. and we have been awakened several times by the dogs barking. Our neighbor's dog was barking incessantly and of course our two knuckleheads had to chime in. As a result, Lilli awakened screaming. I'm sure it scared her. Heck, it scared me a little. Our neighbor's dog is never outside at night. I wondered if everything was OK across the street. It is unusual for their dog to be out at night. Anyway, I should end and try to go back to bed. The hamlet will be waking up soon.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Every day a new adventure

It seems like every time I attempt to post pics, the blog is updating or our connection is going through maintenance. I'll try again later. As for now, things seem to be going well. Lilli is sleeping better and she isn't crying as long when I put her in her crib. I was a bit envious last night at my sil's house when she put her son to bed. She put on his PJ's, put him in the crib, turned off the light, and closed the door. Not a peep was heard from him. I told Lilli that that is how bedtime should go. I don't think she understood, though! Ha! I'll be glad when bedtime isn't such a big deal, and it may never get to that point. We are 2 1/2 weeks into "Operation Crib Sleep" and while there is significant improvement, it is still trying on my nerves.

I picked up the last item for Lilli's Halloween costume. She is going to be a ladybug, courtesy of my sil (another hand-me-down). I'm going to make some additions to the headpiece (nothing permanent) and hopefully it will work. We tried the costume on her the other night and it was too cute. She loved the headpiece and wanted to wear it all evening. I'll have to post pics once Halloween is here.

Well, nothing more to report. I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The beauty of technology

I am constantly being reminded that my blog is an open forum to the world. I works great for me because all of my family lives out of state. This week I visited my grandmother in south KY to show Lilli off because she hadn't seen her yet. In addition to my grandmother, my three great-aunts and a great-uncle were able to see her for the first time. What was awesome is that one of my great aunts had been keeping up with Lilli's progress from this blog. She was so glad that she had been able to see pictures of Lilli and hear about how she is doing. It was nice to have that reminder of why I blog: I use it to keep in touch with my extended family and friends who I don't see that often.

The other great thing about the blog is that it keeps me connected to the adoption community. I have received so many e-mails from people all over the country and the world who appreciate my honesty in becoming a parent of an adopted child. My world has really been opened up because of this blog! So, why am I rattling on about this? I just wanted to thank everyone who continues to read my blog and who is supportive of what I am doing. It is awesome to know that so many people enjoy what I write about our trials and tribulations of parenthood and who enjoy watching our Lilli-Lou grow.

With that said, and my emotional state returned, Lilli continues to do well. She did really well on our trip to KY. It is normally about a 2 and 1/2 hour car ride, but with Lilli, it took 4 hours. We left at nap-time so she slept for about an hour. When she woke up, she was ready to get out of the car and run around. We stopped only once on the way back to eat lunch and she did fine. I think the biggest trick to traveling with her is that someone has to sit in back seat to entertain. We are going to New Orleans in a few weeks so I'm glad we have taken some mini-trips to get her used to the long car rides.

Other than that, she is still teething. She now has two HUGE molars and is getting her I-teeth on the bottom. Both. At the same time. She can be a real bear, but most of the time she has been in a great mood. She's amazing!

I'm going to download some more pics from this week at my g-ma's and at the zoo.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

In to Everything!

I guess it is her age, but Lilli is in to everything! She goes a thousand miles a minute and changes gears just as quickly. I just wish she were more interested in her toys and less interested in other things.

Tonight she sat and listened to me read Goodnight Moon 4 times! I was ecstatic. I want her to enjoy the art of reading and not hate it like so many other kids. Up until now she hasn't really shown much interest in hearing a story and would throw the book rather than listen to me read. And, not to brag, but I am a great reader and I am quite theatrical when it comes to reading kids books. After Goodnight Moon, we read Barnyard Banter and she sat still for that one, too. I knew she was losing interest when she started getting all of her books off the shelf and tossed them on the ground.

I think Lilli is really picking up the language. She understands what we say most of the time. She is good about pointing at what she wants and trying to communicate with us. It gets better everyday. She has one word that we aren't sure of. It sounds like no, but we think she is saying mine. The body language that accompanies this word is more indicative of mine than no. I've been working on a few simple signs with her to help with communication. I'm not trying to beat it in her head but hopefully the repitition will help her learn. She knows the sign for eat and for finished. I am working on drink and thank you. We also have a few other gestures that we make here at the house that she understands. It can be taxing, but the signing, pointing, etc. are helping us communicate with her.

I'm off to read. I just finished a good book. It is called The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and is a memoir of her life growing up. It was a very quick and easy read and quite unbelievable at times.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Cat Scratch Fever

Lilli definitely has this illness. She is always scratching. Today, much to my dismay, she scratched her cousin hard and drew blood. I felt HORRIBLE! I got really upset and kind of froze. I didn't know what to do. It was an extremely uncomfortable situation. My sil was GREAT about it and said that these things happen. That is nice and all, but I still feel so responsible. My bil said that the kids are going to have a lot more scratches, black eyes, etc. between them as they get older. He is totally right, and I appreciated them being so nice about the whole thing.

I just put Lilli to bed and she cried for a few minutes. If I am not mistaken, she is asleep right now. She can be really sweet and then the next minute she is a devil. Tonight she was sitting with me on the floor playing with Legos and she reaches over and gives me a kiss on the arm. I absolutely melt when she is like that. Then, not ten minutes later, I catch her on top of the kitchen table literally hanging from the chandelier. My dad says she is a regular 19 mo. old kid. My mom delights in our trials and tribulations. I'm just flabbergasted. Nothing can prepare you for the amount of work kids are and they don't come with instruction manuals. Just when I think I am getting the hang of this mother thing, Lilli does something that throws me for a loop. This is completely uncharted waters and being a control freak doesn't make things any easier.

Well, I must go downstairs and straighten up the house. That is another thing; our house used to always be neat and tidy. Now it looks like Fisher-Price came over and threw up in the living room! I'm looking forward to the day when we move into a house where we can have a playroom for toys and for little people to play.

I'm off to have a glass of wine.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Magic Touch

Todd apparently has it. He can put Lilli to bed without a fuss. I, on the other hand, send her into hysterics whenever I place her in the crib. Sooooo, my job will be to give her a bath and Todd's job will be to put her to bed. Great plan until tomorrow night when Todd is working late. Guess Lilli will be staying up late! Ha!

We have some major molars coming in. She has one completely in and another one is crowning. I know that is contributing to her crabbiness.

Lilli's hair is finally starting to grow. It is probably 1-2 inches long on the top. I have some bows to put in her hair, but she yanks them out. I know her hair is going to be thin, but I think it is going to be coarse as well which should give it a little volume. I'm just dying to French braid her hair! If she's anything like I was, she won't let ANYONE touch her hair! My grandmother's only wish was to fix my hair and I absolutely refused to let her touch my head. The only person who could fix my hair was my mom. I remember when my mom was in the hospital having my younger brother and my dad attempted to fix my hair. I was so mad and I threw a HUGE tantrum. He tried to put a barrette in my hair and I can remember ripping it out and telling him he was doing it wrong! I was 4 1/2 years old and quite independent. I did not like my routine being messed with. Anyway, I just wonder how she will be.

I packed away all of Lilli's 12 month summer clothes. I was kind of nostalgic as I packed away the "man" dress and all of her rompers. I thought to myself that she will never wear any of those clothes again. It was a bittersweet moment. I pulled out any 18 month top I could find (18 mo. pants are still too big for her) and tried to sort through all of the MOUNTAINS of clothes my sil has given me. It is ridiculous the amount of clothing my niece had and has. My bil made a joke the other day when I was complementing them on a sweater my niece was wearing. He said, "Glad you like it. It'll be yours next year!" Too funny.

I was able to get down to my workshop this week for the first time in several months. I hadn't soldered glass in a long time and it felt good. Tonight I got to do some painting. I have missed my arts and crafts!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Drive me to drinkin'

I'm serious. The crib-sleeping issue is making me crazy. It hasn't been all bad, but the rough nights far outweigh the easy nights. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best, we are at a 6. In my world that equals a D-, or the lowest possible passing grade. We are certainly making progress but I didn't expect it to take this looooooooong. Aren't kids just supposed to naturally sleep in cribs? Doesn't God tell them about that before he sends them from Heaven? I can't believe what a rookie I am at this! I had planned a perfect schedule of achieving this goal and by my calculations, we are about 3 nights behind. I think I read somewhere that the screaming should last three nights. We are on night #6. And lets talk about nap time--just as bad. I put her in the crib at 1:00. I always tell her that it is naptime and that she is going to sleep in Lilli's crib, or her crib. Today she started shaking her head no and pouting. As soon as I put her in the crib, the screaming commenced. She only screamed for about 10 minutes and then started playing. She would peek up over the bumper pads to see if I was watching her and quickly lower her head when she saw that I was watching. We played this game for a little while. Then she decided to stand up and try to climb out using the bumper pads as stepping stools. What a stinker! I had to repeatedly tell her to lay down or put her head down. I was getting extremely frustrated and I'm sure she sensed this. This went on until 1:30 and then I couldn't take it anymore. I walked out of her room and closed the door. MAJOR screaming started then. Top-of-her-lungs screaming. Pure insanity. She was hitting the crib and jumping around. I think she added about 100 more gray hairs to my head this afternoon. FINALLY, at 2:00 she was asleep. Now, surprisingly enough, I think this is a HUGE step. She has never worn herself out crying in the crib. I felt much better after it was all over and think this "test" ended on a positive note. This is exactly what we have been working toward. Again, I just wish there were some way to rationalize the crib to her. It would make things so much easier.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Operation Sleeping in Crib

Well, we are off to a rocky, but not altogether unsuccessful start to getting Lilli to sleep in her crib. First I want to thank everyone who has called or e-mailed their words of encouragement to me. It has made such a difference in my confidence level that I am doing the right thing.

On Friday night, I rocked Lilli to sleep and placed her in the crib. She didn't stir, which is unusual. She awoke at midnight and screamed for an hour and a half. I went in every 10 minutes or so and laid her back down in the crib and told her it was bedtime and time to go to sleep. She would stand right back up and commence the screaming. At 1:30 A.M. I decided to make a "bed" on the floor and sleep in the room with her. This worked until 5:30 A.M. and then I brought her onto the floor with me. Between 1:30 and 5:30 she woke up every hour and stayed up for 10 minutes or so. After I put her on the floor, we slept until 8:00 A.M. and then we were up for the day. She was in a surprisingly good mood. My biggest fear was that she was going to hate me in the morning for torturing her all night.

Saturday night went a bit differently. I decided that rocking her to sleep was counterproductive to what we had already accomplished. I had stopped rocking her to sleep and felt that I shouldn't start it back up. So, we went to Target and purchased an inflatable mattress and set it up in her room. At bed time I placed her in her crib and laid down on the mattress. She screamed, standing up, for about 10 minutes and then laid down and went to sleep. She slept there until 3:45 A.M. and then she came down on the mattress with me. During her nap today, I did the same thing except that she slept in her crib for her entire nap.

I am getting ready to begin the nightly scream fest. I'll update more later!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I forgot to mention . . .

We had Lilli's 18 month check-up yesterday and she walked away with flying colors! She now weighs 20 lbs and 12.5 oz, up 4 ounces from her last appointment. She has grown an inch and is now 30.5 inches tall. (For those who care, she only needs to grow 33 more inches to catch up with me!) The best news is that the anemia is OLD news! Her iron level was in the normal range at 12.5 (don't ask me what this means.) She had been an 8 which I guess is pretty low. Anyway, everything went well and she is all vaccinated and good to go until she is 2 years old.

Friday is the day

We have decided that Friday is the day we put Lilli in her crib and let her cry it out. Sleeping has become very difficult. She has gotten up twice in the past two weeks in the middle of the night wanting to play. She has also found herself on the floor a time or two. I know this isn't going to be easy, but it has to be done. I told our pediatrician about it and she was supportive. She gave us some suggestions on what to do. We are debating on whether or not one of us is going to sleep on the floor in her room for a few nights OR if we are just gonna go for it. Todd says he believes in "ripping off the bandaid at one time." I think I subscribe to that philosophy as well. Lilli is so stubborn and I think if we give an inch, she will take a mile. I just wish there were some way to rationalize all of this to her: AKA an easy way out!

I am taking her to a place called Henry's Ark in the morning. It is a petting zoo. Lilli loves animals and I've wanted to check this place out so I think this is a win-win situation. If I'm not mistaken I think this zoo harbors animals that have been abandoned, neglected, and possibly abused. I don't think there are any exotic animals; mostly just cows, goats, and normal farm animals. The best thing about this zoo is that it is free. They do ask for donations and of course I will give one. I am a lover of animals!

We took her to feed the ducks at the park today. Our park has black swans that have no fear. They were nipping at my shoes as I was trying to shake the last of the bread crumbs out of my bag. Lilli loves it. She thinks the quacking and fluttering chaos is hilarious. She is always trying to pet them. I have to watch her around those black swans, however. They can be aggressive!

We went to the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival Saturday night. My mil accompanied us. It was at a farm that has buffalos and other farm animals. They even had some kangaroos and wallabys. We got to pet the wallaby. It was a nice evening. I thought Lilli would fall asleep on the way home but she SCREAMED the entire way and it took us about 40 minutes. My mil was great and kept singing to her and trying to distract her. Nothing worked. She stopped crying not long after we dropped my mil off at her house and then she was fine. When I got her home she had dirtied her diaper but I can't imagine that that would upset her so much. The only thing I can think of is that she ate a dessert-size plate full of green beans and maybe it upset her tummy. Who knows. Maybe she just needed to scream for awhile!