Thursday, December 22, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Summer Recap

Wow, time is passing much too quickly for my liking!  I started this post in early July and never got around to posting it.  I can't believe how much she has changed since then.

Cutting baby's nails

First ever time at the beach.  I loved everything about it!

I'm not a fan of life jackets!

Fourth-of-July weekend at Pine Lake with my
fabulous cousin Brice

Steve and Betsy's little beach on Pine Lake

Waiting for my shots at my second pediatrician
appointment.  Mommy and Daddy really like
my doctor, but I pretty much hate him and scream
my disapproval as loudly as I can

First Halloween Party

The cutest duck ever made an appearance at Mommy's work today.  We thought maybe she would be scared by all the people or creepy costumes but Miss Social seemed to love it.

She really enjoyed looking at the younger kids and all the attention she got from the little girls in my class.  Most of all I think she liked all the space to run around in.

I always envisioned her as a cute ladybug or a little pumpkin for her first Halloween, but her obsession with ducks left little doubt over the choice.  (Shhh....don't tell her this is really a chick costume!)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Home for Six Months!

Six months ago today on a rainy, cold, windy Friday evening we flew into Chicago with our new baby girl.  I wonder what Ariana was thinking back then.  I wonder where all the time has gone. It seems like we only just saw her picture for the first time.  Yet, she is so much a part of us now that sometimes it seems like we've always had her.

We love her more than it is possible to describe and are in awe of how far she has come. She is smart, playful, and has the strongest will of anyone we've ever met.  She is a little ball of endless energy and explores everything.  She loves the outdoors more than anything and is most certainly already missing her favorite place, the beach.

She loves to eat and will try just about anything we offer her.  Her favorites are cheese, peas, yogurt, Cheerios, grapes, chicken, carrots, bananas, mashed potatoes, broccoli (with cheese naturally) and the occasional tiny piece of cake or spoon of ice cream.

Just a couple of months ago her pediatrician was concerned about her language and now she is exploding with new words nearly every day.  The cuteness is almost too much.  She consistently says: Mama, Dada, duck, dog, twinkle, star, ball, banana, apple, purple, yellow, baby, pretty, good-girl, ya, no, buh-bye, Grama, Pa-pa, go, and up.  She definitely makes her needs and wants known (see strong-willed comment above) and points, grunts, and signs "more" when all else fails.

Sleep has been a HUGE ongoing issue for us from the beginning, but we seem to have turned the corner in the last two weeks or so.  Fingers crossed and holding our breath on that as time will tell.

Seven weeks ago she started daycare when I went back to work and it would not be an exaggeration to say I thought my heart would break in two the first day I left her there. They called us twice the first week to come and get her as she was screaming for hours.  She has finally adjusted, and, dare I say, it might even be good for her. Since that first week we have worked out a very nice arrangement.  Because Steve works weekends and starts work for Fr!to L@y at some ungodly hour he is able to stay home with her on Monday and Friday afternoons and all day Wednesday.  My mom takes her every Thursday and a family friend babysits for her on Monday and Friday mornings.  Most weeks that just leaves Tuesday at the daycare center and we have been pleased with them, two colds and Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease not withstanding!

I wish there was more time to update this blog and take pictures, but we just seem to be too busy enjoying life with Ariana.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Swimsuit Edition

Our girl is a total beach baby.  She would spend all day outside if she could.  I wonder what she's going to think of our Wisconsin winters?!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lucky Us!

Ariana will soon be looking adorable in a custom-made Ruthie Romper by Izzy and Ivy Designs.  I was the lucky winner of a contest on Lisa's Blog.  If you aren't a fan of her blog yet you must check it out! She is such an inspirational woman, mother, and photographer, and her blog is one of my must-reads.  Her gorgeous photos of her three beautiful children will amaze you.

This is Lisa's beautiful daughter Reagan
wearing her Ruthie.

Monday, July 11, 2011

First Time in Lake Superior

I know she's not looking at the camera,
 but I love the baby chubs in this !

It was sweltering here today and a trip to Lake Superior seemed in order.  Ariana has seen the big lake once before, but it certainly wasn't swimming weather that day.  Although breathtakingly beautiful, it's not particularly child-friendly as it is very rocky and drops off quickly.  The sand was even too hot to play in today.  None of this got our girl down though and she had a great time watching the waves and wading with Mommy and Daddy.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Catching Up

I'm going to need to post more regularly if this blog is going to serve as a journal or scrapbook.  We are just too busy enjoying every minute with Ariana!

Last week we took our first big road trip since the 4-hour ride home from my sister's home where we recovered after our China trip.   We went to visit Steve's family in the Twin Cities and Ariana was a trooper sleeping half the time each way. We packed a lot of activity into one long weekend and she handled all the new faces and being passed around to strangers pretty well.  Naturally everyone is completely smitten by her.

She is walking like crazy...actually, more like a miniature drunken sailor!  She typically takes about 3 or 4 steps before loosing her balance, but sometimes can go forever.

We are working on 2 molars on the bottom and they are taking forever.  Poor girl, thank God for Or@gel.

Last week she decided to grab the spoon and feed herself.  Some even made it into her mouth.  I'm letting her try a couple spoonfuls every day just because she is so proud of herself.  Eating is no struggle at all with this child.  She loves shredded cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, toast, bananas, broccoli, squash, carrots, anything with blueberry and of course,  puffs. We've yet to find a fruit she doesn't like.  She has only had meat in baby food as she doesn't seem to chew well yet.  We just got a M@gic Bullet and are hoping to grind up some chicken as soon as we have time to pull the thing out of the box.

Her latest adorable trick is to blow kisses.  Mommy and Daddy's hearts have melted many times.

Duck continues to be her constant companion and chew toy.  She occasionally steps out on him with the Fi$herPrice cow.  We are pretty sure she has said "duck" a couple of times.

We have already had two professional photo shoots since we can't get a shot off before she charges the camera.  One was at a T@rget Portrait studio, and I must say, they did an awesome job for the money.  Friday evening we had an outdoor session with a very talented young husband and wife team whose work I've been admiring for a while now.  We were scheduled to go to the Great Lake near us and the weather was terrible.  We had a high of 52 degrees after temps in the 90s earlier this week.  I was actually hoping for a downpour so we could reschedule without losing our deposit, but it wasn't meant to be.  We had to leave the coordinating summer outfits I picked out at home and bring my ski jacket to bundle Ariana in between shots.  She was a rock star once again and I can't wait to see the finished product in a few weeks.  Unfortunately, we couldn't shoot much on the beach as the wind was way too cold for Ariana.  I really need to get my big camera out again and I think I was inspired tonight.

Ariana seriously loves music and has already worn the battery out on the Baby Grand.  If she starts to fuss while she's in the car with just me I can calm her by singing to her (she's obviously not a discerning listener yet.)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rubby Ducky, You're the One

Forget blankies or stuffed animals, our girl's comfort item is her mini rubber ducky.  She carries him(her?) everywhere and if her hands are full she's carries it in her mouth.  She does occasionally present it to one of us, but quickly snatches it back.

Ariana is taking up to three wobbly steps on her own.  I think she's capable of more, but she insists on walking with toys in her hands.

It is almost impossible to get a picture of her because she is always in motion. She also gets very excited and charges the camera whenever she sees it (see ducky picture below.)

She continues to eat well and this week started drinking from a sippy cup.  We'll still use a bottle for her twice a day milk to promote attachment.

Sleep is still a struggle but improving a little at a time.  I attended a webinar on sleep issues in adopted children Thursday night. I can't say I learned a whole lot, but it feels good to know we're not alone.  We'll keep working on it.  The good news is she takes about an hour nap each day on the couch so Mama can get some computer time and recharge (me, not the computer.)

The highlight of each day is when she wakes me up each morning with some baby talk version of "Hey!"  I look over and she her standing in her crib and she flashes me a huge smile that melts my heart. Life is good.

The Baby Grand is holding up in spite of a week of mistreatment.
 She loves her music but gets a little rough on the equipment!