Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just add one American

Emme became a citizen when we landed at Newark airport on July 2nd but her certificate of citizenship arrived yesterday making it legal and official. Of course the picture on the certificate is that same AWFUL one of her screaming, taken in Guangzhou. To celebrate the newest American we're going to bake goodies for her to bring to "school" tomorrow. ****** My back is out so the day we bake is subject to change

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Workin 9 to 5

So today I went back to work which is sooner than I originally planned. Boy was it busy. If I had waited, it would take me a year to catch up. Emme cried this morning for 5 minutes when I dropped her at "school" but otherwise had a good day though NO nap again. She was out cold in less than 5 minutes but fortunately we live 10 minutes away. I am beat but we got out of the house timely this morning. She didn't eat much for breakfast or lunch but I think she's teething. I have a call to a pediatric dentist for an appointment to see what's going on in there. On another note, grandma-ma bought her these jumbo lego type blocks and BOY did she build a tower last night. An architect perhaps?

Friday, July 25, 2008

ELMO'S BIRTHDAY PARTY

video Leave it to my gal pal to have a birthday party for Elmo, just in case Emme hasn't ever had one. She she got out the candles, we sang Happy Birthday, had cheesecake, Rugalach and Dawn's yummy brownies.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

ATT? Sprint? MCI?

video Emme discovered the phones in the room in Chongqing but this one was her favorite because it was easily accessible next to the bed. I had to unplug it and she was not happy that it had no sound. She was so serious and for hours would run back and forth to check for a dial tone or other sounds. This was day three together.

First day together

video On our first day together, we stayed in the hotel room while our travel group went to the Great Wall. Emme and I were laying on the bed with a few guests and I was trying to see if she liked her Giraffe. I had bought the first one when I received PA and sent it in a care package (Raffi). At the suggestion of a few people, I bought a second one (Jaffi) and brought it with me. She was clutching hers when she entered the lobby and I had mine. Since that day she has rejected them both. This is a reminder of the first time I heard her really laugh.

First Sight

video Before heading to China I bought a Flip Video Recorder in the hopes of capturing some moments. I didn't really play with it much or figure out how to upload and post. Anyway here is a clip of meeting Emme in the lobby of the hotel in Beijing. Grandma had just given her a cell phone in an attempt to win her over.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

That's my girl

Emme slept the entire night albeit in my bed. I got up first, made her breakfast and then woke her for her scrambled eggs and crackers. She then got washed and dressed (a battle) and we left for daycare aka school. I stayed 10 minutes, said my good-byes and left. I called an hour later and she was fine, no tears. I called after lunch and she did well. She was yawning so they took out a cot for her which she covered with her sheet and blanket and took off her shoes and socks. She napped for an hour and woke up happy. When I arrived at 4:30 she was all smiles and yelled "mama". It does my heart good to know she had such a nice day with no apparent problems. To celebrate we went to TGIF with friends and came home for a bath, a story and bed (I hope). I on the other hand came home after dropping her off, went back to bed for an hour and then cleaned some, showered, got a manicure/pedicure and a battery for my watch. All in all, a good day. We are looking forward to the weekend; BBQ and swim with friends on Friday night, time with Ra-Ra on Saturday and a BBQ with her grandparents and Uncle Marc on Sunday. It's nice to know I am figuring out what works for her. I knew she missed being around other kids and suspected she would do well in daycare. Let's hope I'm right! Since I had not initially planned to start her this soon, I am still home in case any needs arise. I will go in a few days next week and then go back FT the week after. Emme is showing her "no I won't go to bed mama" face.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

School Days

Today Em and I had a date to visit her daycare aka "school". It's a small group licensed program for ages 2-5. It's a very sweet little place, clean and the staff are very nice. The plan was we'd go visit, have lunch and if all went well we'd start tomorrow 1/2 days. We walked in, she shook her head NO and within 5 minutes asked to go down. She sat at the little table with the other children and ate her lunch sans bib. After lunch she washed her hands and face and went outside to play. I told her I was going to work and said, "bye-bye" and she shook her head no. I tried again and she waved to me. Since she seemed okay I left and waited outside the fence for 10 minutes. She cried (more like a whimper) but I saw the teacher holding her. I called after 20 minutes and again 2 hours later and she was fine. After the initial few minutes she joined the others and had a nice day. They gave her a cubby, a sand pail with her name on it and I gave her a photo of the two of us to hold. Bear went to school today too and had a lovely time. He did not get a pail. (it's dressed in yellow but she thinks it's a boy).

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mama goes to work and a funny

Today I went back to work (just on Mondays). Emme woke this morning and didn't believe me when I told her grandma-ma was in the living room. She kept shaking her head NO so when grandma-ma entered the bedroom she laughed with abandon. I got ready and Miss Em screamed and kicked the door when I left making me feel worse when I realized I forgot my office keys and had to come back in. She screamed for 5 minutes, whimpered for 15 and was fine. I called and talked to her and she laughed. I worked 2/3 of the day and did a few errands and she was SO happy when I came home. It felt good to get out of the house but I did miss her. So the funny story of the day.....grandma-ma had to use the bathroom and per usual Emme is the guest for this event. Grandma started to look around when she realized there wasn't "enough" toilet paper, as she didn't notice the roll behind her on the tank. Emme who witnessed this event, ran out of the bathroom and came back with the tub of wipes which she proudly gave grandma to use for her needs. After I got home, we dropped off the last of the poop samples at the doctor's office, went to Target and had dinner with our friends from yesterday. She sat like a little lady and dined on a kids meal of mac n cheese. Tomorrow we visit the daycare and barring anything unforeseen she begins on Wednesday.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pool and Pics

We were joined by dear friends and their children for a day of romping at the pool. The Divine Miss Em arrived somewhat undercover in order to distract her adoring fans. Pink shades help. We stopped at the third floor resting spot for a snack of red jello with suspended bananas. Gifts were exchanged and the fun began. We donned out swim attire to the club and started out in the baby pool yet somehow I suspected we'd be moving on up to the "east side" and we did. We have now conquered the adult pool and won. Emme and I were in the water for 4 hours straight. This was Emme's first pool experience as well as her buddy Tori so extra kudos all around. After dinner we hit the playground and Emme decided to drive everyone around town in the car. We dined, we danced, we twirled in the water and when it was time to say goodnight we all had a single tear coming down one cheek. I leave you with proof of all our fun.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It warms the heart

Today was special. We spent the day with MP's (man-person) parents and this was the first time they met Em. She did great and had a really nice time in addition to a HUGE bowl of ravioli. She is absolutely smitten with MP and runs after him all the time. We had fun blowing bubbles and playing in the house. She began to crash around 7ish and within minutes was asleep in the car for the hour journey home. She is now in her jammies having a snack of banana puffs and water.

Friday, July 18, 2008

TGIF

We FINALLY have enjoyed a bath and didn't want to get out of the tub. YAY for victory! Emme seemed to enjoy her bath today though she doesn't play a lot but she loves to wash my feet with her washcloth. I bought this shampoo cup that has a stretchy part that goes against her head and keeps the water from getting into her face. I think it's made a difference too. After the aforementioned bath we had a play date with a nice Jewish boy who is the son of a friend of mine. We dined on authentic noodles and dumplings and Emme had some of her favorite banana yogurt as a chaser. She loves their cats and chased them all around the house and snuck up on one and got a nice pet in. I am glad she likes animals though we won't have any of our own anytime soon. I can't help but sneak the last picture in (sorry Deb) but Emme always ends up in the bathroom with her friend. Last time we caught her trying to pull up his underwear. A few pics from the day.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ole

Emme had her first real restaurant experience tonight. She ate at the buffet at the White Swan but that was a 1-2-3 event. One of my colleagues (and friend) received a promotion and there was a party for her at a local Mexican restaurant. Emme had dinner at 5pm, a bath and got dressed for the occasion which began at 6pm. Since only one of us could get a shower and look divine, we decided it would be her. I wore sweats for this most auspicious occasion. I figured we'd say hello and if she wasn't happy, we'd leave. Since grandma-ma would also be there I thought she might be okay. She had a second bath in a row without tears and even donned her new Stride Rite shoes which just happened to match her dress (thanks Lisa B.). Of course she now won't take them off but we are dealing with one battle at a time. She charmed everyone and within minutes was feeding my boss Cheerios. Luckily he didn't mind that a few were from the floor. He graciously accepted them which made her laugh. I ordered dinner for myself and a kids meal for her in case she was hungry. Em bopped to the Mariachi band and offered many smiles and claps for them while they entertained the patrons. I am so proud of her for making it a whole two hours. She started to cry but it was only because I wouldn't let her roam around anymore. The restaurant became crowded and she didn't understand she could get hurt if she got in the way of the waiters. I actually never go to this restaurant because they aren't very nice and the manager sneered at us because she dropped her goldfish crackers on the floor. I won't repeat what he said ( I do know a few words) So overall, a huge success considering she didn't even eat other than a snack of Cheerios and two glasses of water. A few photos from tonight as well as her visit with her grandparents yesterday. I couldn't resist the "bathroom" picture. I suspect she isn't ready for potty training but she sat on it for 10 minutes on 2 occasions.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Goats and a Chicken and a Bear, Oh My!

Today we had plans with one of my best gal pals and her kids to go to the ecology center and have a picnic lunch. Em woke up okay but was a little out of it probably from all her shots yesterday. She didn't eat breakfast but we went out anyway. She stayed mostly in her stroller but came out to play with the kids a little and then took a power nap in the car ride home. Dawn even gave her a little pineapple head with a pigtail on top of her head. We stopped at Buy Buy Baby since I needed to return a monitor and we picked up a booster seat for the car for when we go traveling during meal time. She doesn't like highchairs and this way we have our own clean and comfy seat. I needed a few other odds and ends like more toddler cutlery and an extra bib so it was a productive trip. A few pics from our outing today. A little side note (without a picture) but I bought a potty seat for the toilet and she sat on it for 10 minutes. She later took off her diaper. I am not planning to potty train her now but the seat is here if she wants to use it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

What's up doc?

Emme had her "welcome home" pediatric visit today. We were there for over 2 hours and she was a real trooper. She had a developmental screening to assess her cognitive, gross and fine motor skills and they used blocks, drawing and balls, height/weight, physical exam and 2 blood draws (first time didn't work), a PPD and 4 vaccinations. The latter didn't thrill me but the doctor was reasonable, gave me info to digest and the particular combos were not as threatening as the MMR would be with added multiple injections. We left some poop, urine and go back Wednesday for her PPD reading, more poop delivery and will get our daycare forms. She loved the NP and followed her (topless) from the exam room to her office where she was prepping needles and such. It wasn't until they came at her with the papoose, strapped her in and stabbed her multiple times that she screamed BUT when it was over she was fine. She had a power nap in the car and I ran into TRU (hate them) and bought her a leap frog trike for being such a brave little girl. The doctor says she is a perfectly healthy little girl and doesn't even need to see the neurologist at this time. Her SN doesn't really exist as far as we can tell. I did ask him to document her large mongolian spot and I was right in that she has a small umbilical hernia. The doctor in China looked at me like I was nuts when I asked but I knew it. It will close on its own in time. She had some hard ear wax in the ear she has been tugging at so a few pieces were removed. She also cut a molar this week and there will be more to follow. I was so proud of her for being such a big girl. She is 33.5 inches and 25.5 pounds. We need to see a pediatric dentist and opthalmologist and audiology exam which is recommended for IA children especially at this age.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Svelte?

Since people have asked...I have lost 17 pounds since the day I got Emme in China. It hasn't been a conscious effort but as I have mentioned in prior posts I have had a few instances of anxiety and when that happens I can't eat. Losing weight is a bonus of sorts though this wasn't the way I wanted to do it. I am hoping in the coming weeks I will be able to eat better but also exercise more with my girl who loves to be outside.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Groovy Day

Today was a pretty darn good day. Em slept okay last night but until 9am which is unlike her. We got up, had a bath, started the day with a hearty breakfast and then I freaked realizing Em has no shoes. Her BobDog sneakers are soaked and she hasn't even been willing to take them off to begin with. She is looking for them since she got up. I call my mom quickly and tell her I need quarters and Crocs or something. She brings them over, Emme does a dance of glee and she wore her new Crocs out today. MP was coming to spend the day with us but she was a bit of a bear when he arrived so I suggested we get in the car and go. She'll nap, we'll have an hour to catch up and go from there. It was perfect! After an hour and a bit we went to an ice cream place and all had a tasty summer treat of soft serve. We then drive a few blocks and got a spot in Long Beach so we pulled out the stroller and decided we'd take Em for her first ocean stroll. We walked a while, came back and found a nice playground that impressed me most by it's choice in flooring. What a world of difference and comfort for a parent knowing there is actually protective mechanisms there to ensure your child's safety. So I digress. Like yesterday Em wanted to go on the BIG slide and she sure did and MP was there to catch her every time which is significant to me. While Emme may be my forever love and my dream love because I wanted her so badly, R is my first love and it is important to me that the two loves of my life get to know each other and want to spend time with each other. My situation is not quite conventional and whatever you may want to call it, this is my family and I am so proud of them both for giving the other a chance.