On May 22nd it was 2 months since we brought Special K home So hard to believe! In some ways it seems like she’s always been here and in others, it seems a shockingly short amount of time to be so deeply connected to this gorgeous child. She gets more beautiful, funny, smart and courageous every day. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible for me to find the time to write about how amazing she is! (or get any work done). Any Katie-free time is taken up with chores or trying to run my business but every single day I wish I was recording her little/big milestones and the numerous adorable/funny/frustrating things that happen. Being a bit of a shutterbug, I constantly wish there was someone following us around to capture every moment…so Tim and I could actually be in some of the photos/videos! I recognize how precious and fleeting this time is and how fast she is going to grow. I want to record Katie’s progression for myself as well as for her…it’s always so amazing when you’re older to find out what you were like as a child. I can give her that part, at least from 14 months on.
Now that we’re home, I guess updates will mostly involve the typical parenting stuff and won’t be very frequent. Everyone has been so wonderful about reading the blog…I’m so touched and honoured that others take such an interest in the formation of our family.
Katie is doing BEAUTIFULLY!!!! She is clearly bright and curious, VERY agile (do we have another dancer in the family?) and although she doesn’t have any clear words yet she can communicate very well and has many interesting sounds in her vocabulary. The one she uses the most sounds like a small Pterodactyl. She is strongly attached to me (yes, including the “leg velcro” on the crabby days) and has clearly become enamoured with her daddy (except on the crabby velcro days when she only wants me
She has been out in the world and met many different people in a variety of scenarios and is, overall, very confident and engaged. She is still eating like a champ and often feeding herself nicely. That of course includes “playing” with her food and experimenting with texture, etc…fine by me. She has gained 2 pounds since we’ve been back and grown 1.5 cm in length so she can now reach EVERYTHING in sight. Her best friend, without a doubt, is our bulldog Greta. It is a heartwarming relationship that I am so grateful for! Katie hasn’t gotten any more teeth yet (still at 8) but man that smile is something else!
Some highlights of the past couple of months…on my birthday we went to the Beaches. She had her first walk on the boardwalk and napped in the stroller while Tim took her for a walk so I could get a pedicure. They had lunch together until I was done…some nice Daddy/Katie time, still a new thing at the end of April. Tim was with us for 2 solid weeks when we got back, then had to be away for 2 more intense weeks at York to finish his MFA. Katie and I ventured up there a couple times a week so they could spend time together. It was well worth it (at that time it was still kind of struggle for me to figure out how to get anywhere with her On the last lunch we had, Katie voluntarily reached up for Tim to take her out of her stroller and fully snuggled into him when he picked her up. A HUGE milestone we’ll never forget!!! It’s all been up hill from there. The other night she just lay down right on his back and stretched out. She seeks him out, cuddles him, plays with him and clearly trust him. Tim is equally smitten
On Mother’s Day, we went for Dim Sum with my parents. Unfortunately SK was very tired and only wanted to be with me. She spent the whole time on my lap but afterwards, we went to Bayview Village and she was thrilled to run around the mall with my parents while I took some Risa time and got a manicure. I gave my mom a frame with three photos from our trip and little ring that has Katie’s birthstone in it. Garnet. I realized that the pendant I was wearing every day in China also has Garnet. It is a “Goddess” pendant I have had for about 10 years. Spotted in a store in Edmonton, I didn’t buy it but then had a dream about it so I splurged and ordered one. I had a choice of getting it with Garnet or Amethyst and I chose garnet…this was long before I started the adoption process. I have always felt that the pendant is quite powerful.
SK and I regularly go to music class. How convenient that I run all these classes…we can just wake up one morning and decide to go. My poor teachers never know when I’m showing up some days when we’ve had a particularly harried morning. Katie loves it and walks around like she owns the place no matter which studio we go to…she must understand somehow that she is the bosses daughter! It’s so much fun to take her and see her reactions. She will often just stand in the centre of the circle doing some interpretive dancing or give herself the task of taking instruments from one person and giving the to someone else. I love that we can walk to one of the studios so I can get some exercise too. On my birthday we went to our first music class as a family with Tim. That was what I wanted to do most and it gave me such joy to experience the fun with my own family after so many years of giving it to others.
Katie loves to play with anything resembling a phone, lip balm, sunglasses and Greta! Still crazy about throwing things into the bathtub and carrying around her purse or anything else that can go on her wrist. She has an astounding belly laugh and loves to be chased. She pushes her stroller around the mall and I’m in awe of her gross and fine motor skills. She is on the verge of climbing and then we are in real trouble!
We took SK on a swing for the first time…she loved it and somehow seemed to instinctively know how to pull and pump a little. We haven’t seen it since but it was remarkable at the time!
She has been on a slide, played in some gravel (ooh!) and thick grass…all seemingly new textures for her. We have come up to the cottage twice now and she has ridden in the Chariot that gets pulled behind a bike…excellent for napping!! She also spent ages just running up and down the trail where we bike and exploring. She looks so tiny. How great that Tim and I can get a good bike ride in and take her along. Big thanks to Cindy, Jeff and Tyler for handing down the Chariot! The cottage was certainly a mystery at first. How odd for her to see my parents there and it was especially disconcerting when they left to drive home. New toys and rooms to explore, new smells and sounds…and her first taste of ice cream! So much fun. The only challenge was and is….sleeping. We’d been making some great strides but the change in location kind of shook things up.
Ah, sleeping! Well, it’s been better for a few days this week and I know we’re making good progress but it has been the most challenging part of these past couple of months. It took me a long time to figure out what kind of schedule Katie might need so I suspect that I wasn’t helping her get a good nights sleep. Napping was all over the place, it was difficult to get her to go to sleep initially at night and then she would be up for long stretches. Every night was different. Her body rhythm was running so high at night, she just couldn’t settle and this was still weeks after the jet lag had passed. Katie had the 12 hour time change, a cold, teething and the extreme adjustments to all things new to get through in the first month. I finally understand the sleep deprivation I’ve heard so much about and the new found strength (physical and emotional) that you somehow find at 4am. My back and arms have never been stronger. We tried everything to help her sleep! Homeopathic remedies to relax her, feeding her, giving her a bottle changing her diaper, putting her in bed with us, walking her around in the Beco, music, no music, more clothes, less clothes, white noise, and on and on. Somehow, miraculously, we have now settled into 2 regular naps a day and a good bedtime routine. I am much better at reading her signs now and I recognize tired. She will soothe herself back to sleep at 3am with just a wee comforting from me and there’s usually very little fuss when I put her in her crib for a nap. She seems to be more or less content although as I write this we are having a rough day so I’m worried about how tonight will go. I feel like a new person when I’ve had 6 straight hours and we did get a few nights like that this week! Now that I can get her to nap at home, I can occasionally get some work done although it continues to be a huge challenge. Hey, I am officially a “Mompreneur”!