Monday, January 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I've been a very, VERY bad blogger. I apologize to everyone about that! I just seem to stay so busy these days.
Kaelie is growing by leaps and bounds! On February 16, she had her first well-baby checkup, where she weighed in at 19.75 pounds and was 29.5 inches long. She received three vaccinations on this visit, and will recieve another round in three months at her 15-month check-up. Our pediatrician agreed to keep Kaelie on formula unti she is 15 months old.
Kaelie visited Babies Can't Wait on February 17 for a developmental evaluation. There are some things that she is simply not ready to do yet. However, she is catching up quickly! We will know next week if she is going to receive any services to help her reach her developmental milestones. She's not too far behind, just enough to make this mama hen worried! Kaelie is coming a long way with her eating and feeding issues...she ate a biter biscuit for her afternoon snack. We are also practicing with a Nuby beginning sippy cup.
Kaelie had a birthday! She was the "Big One!" on February 13. We had a celebratory weekend. On Friday night, we had dinner at Logan's...Jeremy picked the place to celebrate his fantastic progress report...which followed Shelby's mid-term progress report of ALL A's, which Shelby hasn't pulled off in a very long time. Then, on Sunday afternoon, the boys and I went over to my grandmother's for a mini-birthday party. Cake and ice cream was enjoyed by all, and Kaelie received a Fisher Price learning puppy from us, a stuffed animal from Lisa and the girls, and a teddy bear from Nana. Unfortunately, the photos from this joyous occasion were lost due to two young men fiddling with the camera!
Kaelie has had the opportunity to meet new friends and family over the past week! My Uncle Ken and Aunt Marilee came from South Carolina for a visit, and let me tell you that they made a mess out of Kaelie! I had the chance to show Aunt Marilee a bunch of my China pictures. She crocheted the cutest little baby soccer ball for my sweetie and they also bought Kaelie her first Nursery Rhyme book which comes with a CD.
Kaelie and I met our friends Kim and Lia at the Golden Sun for lunch Tuesday afternoon. Sweet Lia finally warmed up and showed me some AWESOME ballet moves! We are going to Albany this Saturday to meet and have a playdate with Kim and Jen and their families on Saturday. I'm looking forward to meeting Emily and Jay and their little one who was also adopted recently from China.
Kaelie had a great first day at the nursery today! I was so broken-hearted....it was so hard to leave her. I cried all the way home and then called the nursery mid-morning to check up on her. I think she had a great first day. Poor thing was tuckered out and went right to sleep tonight!
OK, a few pictures and I'll try to go through and add a few more later!
Kaelie and Ma-Ma-Ma. I love the expression on Kaelie's face...SO photogenic! My grandmother is thrilled to have another great-grand to brag about!
Posted by Karen at 9:12 PM
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Hi All ~
I guess I've been putting off the inevitable by not visiting the doctor, but I was hoping to save myself a trip and give this ear stuff I've had a chance to fix itself. That's not happened, so maybe you can offer a tip or two to get me through the weekend. Here's the whole story:
I got sick with a chest cold two days before Kaelie and I came home. On our second flight of the day -descending into Detroit - I experienced horrible ear pain and I had a hard time clearing my ear but I finally did and it was fine. Then, when we landed in Jacksonville, I had horrific pain and lightheadedness, and I couldn't really hear anything at all. I felt like my whole head was going to explode. I've not flown alot, but only on one other trip have I experienced something like this (and that was 10 years ago!).
Here I am a week later, and I'm getting more uncomfortable by the day. I'm taking a decongestant but it isn't really doing anything for the ears. I can feel the fluid moving behind my eardrums. Now I have a strange sensation when I even move my eyes, like the rest of my head is lagging behind. Also, I have some pressure in the roof of my mouth.
I would feel great if I could just get over this! Please send your best advice!
Posted by Karen at 2:16 AM
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Well, our party of five has survived our very first week home! What an exhausting, fun, and joyous week it has been. Let me do a quick run-down of the details:
Sunday afternoon found us at the pediatrician's office. At first, the office staff (they work a skeleton crew on the weekends) refused to put her on the list, saying that it was office policy not to take new patients on the weekends. I calmly explained that I had already made an appointment for her first well-baby appointment, then explained that she was running a fever and that we didn't get home until Saturday morning. After the office girl stated once more their "policy", David approached the window and told the girl that he wanted to see the doctor on call anyway. Well, she huffed, but in about 10 minutes she called me back to the window and gave me the weekend form to fill out. Then we went back into the room, and in about 10 minutes, GUESS WHO? walked in!? Only OUR pediatrician, who wasn't on call at all. I guess the office clerk called him when we demanded to be seen by the doctor on call. It was a blessing to see good old Dr. H., even if he did have on a polo shirt and sneakers under his white lab coat.
Dr. H spent a good 30 minutes with us and Kaelie. He did a quick medical check as well as an quick overall developmental assessment. David and I were both very impressed! We came home with a nebulizer to give Kaelie breathing treatments (she had the same chest cold that I left China with and her breathing was raspy.). Dr. H said that she was moving air OK, but that he didn't want her to "go wheezy" on us. She also got an antibiotic shot (which in 10 years he's never given one to the boys) and two other prescriptions (for ear drops and a decongestant). Dr. H was very reassuring, and he said he knew that Kaelie was going to be OK.
Monday found David and I in the social security office. Here's a helpful hint: take all your documentation with you and make an appointment online if you can, which will save you some time. We needed Kaelie's passport, adoption certificate, and birth certificate (which is basically a notarial statement).
Kaelie made her first visit to ATA on Tuesday night when I took Jeremy for practice. Kaelie was the star of the show that night, though! Our ATA is such a small school, and we are just like a big family up there. I've had the privilege of making so many new friends who I know I can count on there. It's pretty special to think about it now...that the reason I got involved in ATA was to pass the time until Kaelie's adoption. Now I'm an instructor trainee and enjoy working with the kids and helping them to improve their ATA skills and techniques. I guess Kaelie will be a Tiny Tiger in a couple of years!
Jeremy is more hands-on than Shelby, but no less protective. Jeremy feels very comfortable carrying Kaelie (with much supervision!), and he even volunteered to help change a diaper! He loves to kiss his sister and lay on the floor and play with her. Kaelie definitely looks up to the "men" in her life.
Jeremy, right before he posed with his new homemade "weapon" that he used outside for playing.
Kaelie is also bonding extremely well with her daddy, who finally summoned to courage to change a poopy diaper last night! David has just been great during this first week home, washing clothes and dishes, fixing bottles, taking care of homework and shopping. I'm getting over the same cold that Kaelie has experienced, plus getting up with Kaelie as she recooperates from jet lag and gets used to her room. David has been very relaxed and laid back as he makes the adjustment from 2 kids to 3, and I'm so happy. David has definitely been my rock on this roller coaster ride! Love you, honey!
Please pray that the fluid in my ears will begin to drain. My chest cold is nearly gone, but I can't shake this buildup. Flying into Jacksonville was horrible, I've never experienced ear/head pain like that in my life! I just feel like my head is underwater! I guess I need to go to the doctor myself next week, but it's just so hard with a little one!
Posted by Karen at 11:48 PM
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Our "tag team" of four became a "Party of Five" Friday night at the Jacksonville Airport!
Our long travel day began at 12:30 am Friday morning in China, when Kaelie got up with a fever and cough (I think the same one that ran rampant through our travel group). She wouldn't settle back down, even after the fever broke with the Tylenol/Motrin combo. So, on about 2 hours of sleep, Kaelie and I began our long travel day in what seemed to be the middle of the night on a bus with three other quietly reflecting families....reflecting on the wonders of a magnificent adoption trip and and heartaches of saying goodbye.
Kaelie did great on all the flights and I was so glad that I bought her an adult ticket for the way home. I couldn't have done the trip without it. She slept through many take-offs, landings, beverage and dinner servings, and slight episodes of turbulence. Kaelie took her bottles and was a real trooper getting her diapers changed in the lavatories...and I learned that it was possible to use the restroom on an airplane with an infant! I didn't realize that we would be flying through the night over eastern Russia and into a beautiful sunrise over mid-Canada. It was great to touch down in Detroit, where Kaelie and I waited in line about 45 minutes for her immigration visa to be processed. Kaelie is now a permanent resident alien of the United States of America. Because David did not travel with me and personally see Kaelie before returning to the US, Kaelie's visa with an IR4, which requires the re-adoption to take place before citizenship status will be granted.
Many helpful people aided in the loading of luggage through customs, getting all the stuff loaded onto the conveyors for the security screening, and so forth. In Detroit, I felt almost ill after getting off the plane, and Kaelie was no different. I found McDonald's and ordered some chicken strips and fries, only to realize I left my extra-large diet Coke on the beverage bar, and that retrieving it would require a long and strenous walk back around the moving sidewalks. The taste of fries at that point made me sick at my stomach anyway. I threw the food away and chose a 20-ounce diet Coke from Chili's and a fresh-fruit cup from another food vendor. The watermelon and pineapple seemed to help in the dehydration I seemed to be experiencing. Kaelie didn't seem to feel much better, with periods of crying, and low-grade fevers. I did what I could to keep her spirits up and her body comforted.
Finally, we get boarded for our final leg of our halfway-around-the-world journey. Our seats were in the almost next to the last row, which was cumbersome since I had the baby plus three carry-on pieces (one for computer equipment and documents, one for a diaper bag, and another for an overnight bag...just in case...you just never know when the unexpected might happen). We got settled in, and by this time my sweet baby girl had turned into one big screaming nightmare. A bottle seemed to cure her tantrum, and she slept more peacefully on this flight than on the entire journey.
Then, just in time, I gathered her up and changed her now-worn, medicine-stained, drooled-on outfit for the special meeting outfit that I bought in Guangzhou. I chose a pretty blue outfit trimmed in red and yellow, along with a pair of silk red squeaky shoes, white tights and laced bobby socks, a Gymboree ladybug sweater, and a beautiful headband I found at Jordon's. Kaelie looked absolutely stunning for such an exhausted little girl who had come so far from everything she'd ever known before.
Later, we went into town, where I learned that the biggest news in forever in our small town was the burning down of our town's peanut mill, a three-day fire that temporarily closed several businesses due to thick smoke and horrible stench. We stopped by for a quick introduction of Kaelie to my grandmother and mom, then off to the grocery store (NOTHING remotely like the Carrefour!) for a buggy-full of meals. After a warm bottle and a warm bath, and a rubbing down with Vick's Baby Rub, Kaelie is out for the night in her own crib. What a beautiful sight!
Posted by Karen at 11:14 PM