Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What's this green stuff called? GRASS!

Hello everyone! Yes we are still alive. While I haven't had time for much posting lately, I have been keeping up with blogs. Congrats to all the referrals!! Can't wait for those court dates so we can see pix! Mari and I are doing well. Mari got a really bad cold last week and ended up going on steroids for her breathing (the return of the "Ethiopian Flu") but, for the first time, her ears were infection-free!!! She ended up sharing her cold with me (isn't she such a sweetie?) so I went a week without a good night's sleep between her coughing and mine. But we are in much better shape now. It is finally starting to warm up and get sunny here so hopefully the colds will dwindle...hopefully!

So what's new in Mari-land? She is developing quite a temper (oh, I'm dreading the terrible twos!) but these seem to be attachment-related, so in a way I think they are good. She has become very cuddly and wanting to be hugged and held but sometimes she screams bloody-murder if you are not holding her--at very random times too. And that scream...I've read other blogs that mention their Ethiopian child's murderous screams...until you hear it, you can NOT imagine the sound that comes out of such a little person. It is horrific!! But I like the part where she wants to be held. Tonight, I started telling her "NO" very sternly when she started the scream and it actually worked 3 times. We had a very pleasant evening with only a few tears but these were genuine, appropriate tears.

Let's get to some pix. First is another shot of the lovely new hairdo. Mari's hair is getting really long if you comb it out straight (which just springs back to tight little curls again).

We managed to get a trip to the park in last week (as her cold was diminishing and mine was kicking in). It was a fun day as we met up with a high school friend Chrissie and her little baby Daniel). It was quite hot out and Mari wasn't so sure about the sun hat. She also wasn't so sure about the swings at first.
As you can see, she warmed up to the swings very quickly. The slide was another story! Be sure to check out the flip-flops...one of Mari's Easter presents.
"Just not too sure about this hat on my head! And what is this green stuff underneath of me?"
"Sippy cup makes everything better."
"NOT happy with Mommy. Mommy took away my sippy cup because I was spitting the milk all over myself and laughing. So I'm leaving this place!" (At least there was no temper tantrum involved, but if looks could kill...I'd be one dead Mommy).

The trip to the park was an okay adventure. The duck pond was one of my favorite places as a kid...I could not get Mari to look at a duck. She was too busy looking everywhere else. Oh well. Next time, I guess. Soon she will be big enough to ride the train and FEED the ducks.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hurricanes & Hair Barrettes

Long post...pix and video at the end!

Yes, we are still here! People are getting worried because I have not posted lately (and Juli is having Mari withdrawal!). So here’s some catching up. Work has been brutally busy, so pure exhaustion has taken over. This past week was especially stressful; my Uncle Phillip died last Friday in an accident which blew us all away. So my parents and oldest brother Todd flew to Oklahoma for the funeral. My uncle worked for American Airlines and they were super helpful in assisting my family with flights...however, last week was pretty tough on that airline. Thankfully, they only missed one flight as they hopped across the country. I spent the week trying to figure out after-hours childcare as my parents usually pick up Mari for me (daycare closes before I get off work). So my brother Chad and his wife Lesa stepped in and helped me so much (and my other SIL, Diana, was on standby ready to step in for childcare too). It is so nice to have a great family nearby...this crazy week definitely made all my "single-parent" fears come to a head. I haven’t found single-parenting too hard thus far (except when I was sick with mono) but I also have never experienced couple-parenting (the old adage...you don’t miss what you never had). But this week definitely brought up some situations that prove I’m in for a ride!

So what have we been doing? Last Sunday, Mari and I met with Tammie from CHI (at an info meeting in my hometown). Tammie was the very first person I ever talked to from CHI and has been a great source of support. Mari is Tammie’s "first-born" CHI kid as we are the first family to make it entirely through the process since she started (most of the families in VA are apparently on the longer waiting lists of other countries). We had a great time just catching up.

The week was filled with me working and Mari bouncing around. I had my parents dog, Daniel, at my house for most of the week. He is a husky/pyrennes mix; he is big and fluffy and lets Mari pull his hair...so both Mari and Ollie-dog were very happy with the addition to the family. Mari got to play with cousin Madi several times...they are so cute together. They have really started to interact with each other. Madi had pinkeye and she was kind enough to share it with Mari (I think this might be the first thing they’ve actually shared!). But nothing a little ointment can’t fix.

Saturday morning we headed into a neighboring town to a photography studio so Mari could get her pix taken. She was very good until it was time for pix of us together...by then she was sleepy, hungry and tired of getting her clothes changed. So the pix of the two of us aren’t great (I HATE having my picture taken) but the rest were fabulous. I’ll post them soon once the link is up.

So that is the big update...on to some pix.

Hurricane Mari strikes again!

Too cute...my first day in short sleeves (aren't my arms delicious?) and hair barrettes!

I'm getting into this table food. Ravioli and peas!

Bananas!

For all those that say "Mari is always so happy!" Guess what? I can throw a major tantrum when I want to. Post-tantrum snot-licking! Look at my cute curls sticking out above my barrettes! When Mommy takes the barrettes out at night, it looks like I have little horns. Mommy calls me "little devil"

Here is what I look like when I first wake up from a nap! Me and my best friend Madi!
Mommy washed my Ethiopian dress so I could wear it for my photo shoot. She decided to wash several of them (since she was handwashing them and then carefully packing them away). She still has two more left to do. Our deck looked very Ethiopian that day with the makeshift clothesline.
Mommy mentioned a long time ago that I was getting a very special birthday gift. It was this lion. Why is it so special? Scroll down to the next picture.
Here is Mommy on a Fisher-Price lion that she got as a Christmas gift when she was my age. Pretty cool, huh? 30ish years difference (you probably could tell that by the color of the carpet!).

Finally, a special request from Cousin Brendan. Videos of Miss Mari. The first video is Mari's FIRST "assisted steps" (I'm not sure she knows what her knees are for yet...a little stiff-legged!). The second is a sweet rendition of our daily "dada, mama" game.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

We've come a long way, baby!

So yesterday marked 12 weeks at home!! Wow does time fly. It seems like Mari has always been here and a part of my life but, in reality, 12 weeks is a very short period of time. And it is amazing the distance we have come. Tomorrow is Mari's one-year-old check-up at the doctor's and I'm looking forward to updated stats.
So let's review:

  1. When we came home, Mari was on formula and "porridge," and had started on rice cereal in Ethiopia. Now she has eaten pretty much every Gerber Stage 1, 2, and 3 as well as starting on table food. Her favorites are lasagna, mangos, and green beans. And only oatmeal for breakfast. And now we are moving into the world of whole milk.
  2. When we came home, Mari could not sit up on her own but could roll over and scoot around backwards. Now she is crawling on all fours, standing up like crazy and into everything.
  3. When we came home Mari could only say "ah-dah." Now we say "da" for dog, "mama", "bye-bye", and "kit-kat" for kitty-cat (which impressed the vet today!).
  4. When we came home, Mari could "happy-shake" her head. Now she claps for herself, waves bye-bye, helps put her clothes on by pulling her shirt down over her head or putting her arms through the sleeves.
  5. When we came home, Mari found comfort in only in her bottle (that sounds wrong) and, while she liked to be held, she would just sit in your arms. Now she reaches for you, grabs on, crawls over for hugs and has become much more snuggly. The best is when she crawls over and lays her head on your chest...pure heaven!

I'm sure there are more little things that have "blossomed" but these are the big differences.

So, on to some pix.


I'm too cute!

This is what happens when I miss my afternoon nap. I fall asleep sitting up, waiting on Mom to put me to bed.

My great kitchen that I got for my birthday from the grandparents!

The back of the kitchen...it's a family room!
Me, standing at the sink!
Me, standing in the tub.
Who says you can't back-hand a sippy cup? I'm a lefty...maybe.