The Abraham Family’s Journey to Russia to Bring Home Their Daughter

March 1, 2009

3 Months

Lexi is...

Pretty and sweet **************** Silly and playful...

...the perfect answer to so many prayers!

She loves Nana too!

Here is her 3 month progress report:

~ 7:30 to 8:00 am she wakes up and demands our attention. She is still sleeping in our bedroom. It’s working fine, so we have no plans to move her to own room yet. She still doesn’t cry to let us know she is awake after her nap, but I keep an eye on the clock and start checking on her after an hour or so.

~ Her current favorite breakfast foods are eggs, bananas, any kind of yogurt, grits and oatmeal. She's throws waffles on the floor now. (We’re working on that :0) For lunch she enjoys deli meat, cheese, mini ravioli, grilled cheese, and soups like Chicken and Stars. Favorite snacks are pears, mandarin oranges, gold fish and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Dinner is whatever we are eating, but she especially loves mashed potatoes, corn, baked apples, peas and carrots. Thankfully, she is not a picky eater. She does a good job feeding herself with utensils – probably better than Nolan the Barbarian. Even though she eats a good variety of food, her portion sizes are quite small. A far cry from how much she would eat in December, but very normal for a toddler.

~ Bath time is still a favorite and we have not had any potty “incidents” recently. If I say “swim”, she will lay on her belly and kick her feet like she is swimming in the tub. She also blows bubbles in the water. She really doesn’t like me rinsing her hair, but I think she is more annoyed than scared. I can’t wait to see how she does in the pool this summer.

~ She has been using baby signs pretty consistently, although still just a few basic ones. She rarely asks for milk now, because I think she associates it with the bottle. We are weaning her away from the bottle because she really doesn’t need it anymore. She drinks everything from a sippy cup, except milk, which she still loves in a bottle. I think it is a comfort to her. The only time she whines for milk is when she is really tired. I remember the boys not wanting to drink milk in sippy cups at first too, and now they drink gallons of milks (not in sippy cups though, LOL) so it’s just a transition that takes a little longer. I probably overly obsess about making sure she is getting enough calcium and vitamin D since she was suffering from rickets (a vitamin D deficiency and lack of calcium in her diet) when we met her last summer. From what I've read, rickets is very common in Russian orphanages because the children do not get a lot of natural sunlight.

For the record, while we were on trip one, our IA doctor prescribed vitamin D drops for her. I was worried when the nurse at the baby home wouldn't let us purchase it for her. We were told they have all the medicines they needed. However, I do believe they gave her supplements after we left, because when we returned for trip two, she showed very little signs of rickets and now you'd never know. As one IA doctor puts it -- Very frequently, adoption itself is the best medicine for rickets.

~ She still loves to sit in our laps and read books, but now she has to jump down and keep getting more books and then climb back into our laps. She wants to climb on everything, our laps, our heads, the sofa, into boxes, on toys, and she loves to sit on the hearth by the fireplace and just smile at us. She is comfortable enough now to play with toys across the room but within eyesight of Martin or me for up to 20 minutes at a time. She will occasionally glance up to make sure Martin or I are still there, and maybe even jibber jabber something to us, but then she continues to play on her own or with her brothers. When first home, she would not let us out of her sight for a second and had to be within arm’s reach or closer while playing. I’m glad she is feeling secure in her new home.

~ She is very curious and inquisitive and wants to do things herself. You only have to show her how to do something once (or she just has to see you do something once) and she knows exactly what to do it. I’ve never seen anything like it. Oh, and she is always watching you and you can almost see the wheels turning inside her head. Let me tell you, this girl is one smart cookie!

~ She is very affectionate and loves kisses. Whenever I pick her up, she puts her cheek up to my lips for a kiss and then turns her face to get a kiss on the other side. She also pats me on the back and shoulders while I am carrying her – she’s holding on to me tight like when you hug someone and pat them on the back. It’s sweet how she does that.

~ She definitely prefers me over anyone, but she loves her daddy too. She has figured out what things mommy will say “no” to and she goes straight to daddy with those things. You know, things like snacks from the pantry, the TV remote, and cell phones. I take them away, but not daddy and she knows it! Daddy is also the one to go to for chips or bites of chocolate candy, birthday cake and ice cream.

~ She says the following words, some more clearly than others:
Kitty cat
Ooof (when she falls down)
Uh Oh
Bye Bye
Nite Nite
Shhhhhh (with her finger in front of her lips)
Garrett (she says it in a yelling kind of voice - Gee, I have no idea why?)

It’s amazing how much she understands, like:

“Get your shoes.”; “Bring me the book”; “Sit in my lap”; “Give kisses”; “Close the door”; “Turn the light off/on”; “Let’s go eat” “Swim!”; “Kick your feet”; “Dance”; “Go outside”; “Get your diaper”; “Lay down”; “Stand up”; “Sit down”; “Don’t put your toes in your nose” (Yes, that one surprised me too.) There are so many more. She can point to her eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, ears, hair, belly, toes, hands and feet. Have I mentioned how smart she is?

~ She is so quick now that you can’t take your eye off her for a second. We keep all bathroom doors closed at all times and have removed all food from the bottom shelves of the pantry. She is still taking two naps a day and going to bed around 8:00 pm. She is happiest when well rested. But if she misses a nap, it really doesn’t ruin her day. She just goes with the flow and is rarely cranky. We've not experienced a complete meltdown yet and we only see tantrums occasionally. Mostly, she can be the silliest kid and makes us all laugh with her clowning around. If this is still the honeymoon period, I hope it lasts for another 20 years!

~ She has very little interest in the TV, but will watch a few minutes of Mickey Mouse Playhouse and Little Einsteins. She dances to everything musical and tries to sing along. She especially sings while in the car. Since we have been driving the rental van with no DVD player, I dug out all of my old children’s CDs and she is loving it. My boys are actually enjoying the music too. Either that or they are being very nice about it.

~ She will finally cry and seek comfort from mom and dad when she falls down or bumps her head. When I scoop her up, she will bury her head in my shoulder and cry so hard there is no sound coming out. I know it sounds strange to be happy about your child crying, but it is an important milestone in her attachment to us. I want her to know that her parents love her and we care when she gets hurts and that we will be there to help her feel better.

~ Her brothers still adore her and get very excited about every little thing she does. They are always saying how much more fun our home is with Lexi. Thankfully, the fighting over who gets to sit next to her is subsiding.

~ I know there is so much more that I could write about Lexi’s amazing progress in the past three months. I’m sure as soon as publish this post I’ll think of ten more things to add.

There are times like when I am watching her sleep and she looks so peaceful or when I walk into the room and she drops everything to come running to me, or when she holds my face in her hands, looks into my eyes and then gives me the biggest smile, I can’t help but wonder what in the world I ever could have done to deserve her. I feel so honored and humbled by it all. Sure, I love her with all my heart, but why does she love me so much? I want to be the best mother ever for her. I want to make up for the first 14 months of her life when she didn't have a real momma. But I know there are times when I fall short, I am too busy doing the mundane, or I'm spread too thin trying to be best mom ever to all five of my children. Three months ago, this sweet little girl didn’t even know me and now I am the center of her world.

I am her mother.

And she is my daughter.

I guess it’s as simple as that.

Thank you dear Heavenly Father!


Anonymous said...

WHO ARE YOU? I thought you were my 4th daughter, but I now I am surprised to find I have an potential author of "children's books" in the family along with your many, many other talents. I guess we never get to old to discover new found abilities in our own children. Keep surprising me.

Becky and Keith said...

Oh goodness... your last paragraph and the sentences that follow have me in tears! What absolutely perfect words! I'm so glad Lexi is thriving - there was no doubt she would. She is so absolutely precious and I can't to watch her "grow big" as Andrew would say. You're a great momma and I'm so impressed you juggle all you do! I'm drowning with just two. :-)

Melissa said...

What a complete joy to read how well Lexi is doing. She is one lucky little girl to have such loving parents and brothers. I hope that in 3 months I can say many of the same things about our little man. Just home a week, we are still adjusting but doing well.

Tiger & Kar said...

Lexi is beautiful! I love that smile and those little cheeks. Congrats on being home 3 months. It's wonderful, isn't it?

Janine said...

Great post! I'm so glad Lexi is doing so well. I can't believe it's only been 3 months. It seems like it has been longer. :)

I understand the guilt of being spread thin. I have felt it too and remember thinking if maybe the age difference between her and the next sibling was greater there would be even more time for just her. But the truth is then, it wouldn't have been her home but someone else and I'm so glad it's her and it sounds like you are too.

findingourdaughter said...

What a sweet and touching post! I imagine myself writing something similar some day as I dream of bringing our daughter home to join our 2 boys.
God bless your family as you grow together in love!

Cindy said...

Isn't it amazing how fast little ones can learn new things? Lexi is obviously doing super in her new family. You are blessed and so is she! God is good!

Chris said...

What a great post - thanks for sharing the wonderful things about Lexi.

Our girls love Little Einsteins and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse too.