Saturday, April 1, 2017

Four Months In Our Arms

Confession: I am writing this blog very late and back-dating it. The past two months have been busy and hard and I just keep falling behind... but I don't want to forget any of these details from our first year home with Kate! March 29th marked 4 months with our darling little girl in our arms... so here's a recap from month #4! 


Believe it or not, we're still enjoying LOTS of firsts with Kate! On March 5th she took her very first trip to my alma mater, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried holding her in my arms as we took our first steps onto campus at Toomer's Corner! She took her very first photo at the Auburn sign in front of Samford Hall, and I thought my heart might burst while I watched her playing with one of my dear college friend's little girls on Samford Lawn. She made the funniest face when she tried Toomer's Lemonade for the first time (she is not a fan of sour things!) but she loved all the tigers she saw everywhere! 

Kate also attended her first AU Singers Show. Tears sprung to my eyes again when I watched my baby hop up on the front row and try to mimic the dance moves during the show! She saw her mama perform for the very first time when I joined the choir to close the show with "What Would I Do Without My Music" and even tried to sing along. It was precious! Maybe someday she'll be an AU Singer too! ;)

My little helper got a chance to make her very first "Fireball Cherry Pie" (video above) which is a family tradition that I loved sharing with her! I only wish my MeMaw was here to taste it... she would adore our little brown eyed girl and Kate would love singing and dancing (and cooking) with her! Kate went to Oxford to visit her Yaai and Dtah at work for the first time this month - and did surprisingly well being introduced to lots of new people. She loved surprising Yaai with flowers on her birthday and singing to her in her office!

This month Kate celebrated her very first St. Patrick's Day home... and we couldn't resist snapping a few photos to commemorate the holiday. (She looked like the cutest little Thai Rainbow Brite in those leggings ya'll!) She has so much fun "modeling" for these shoots. Like a true diva she wore her first vintage fur collar (to match Mama) one cold Sunday this month. She also watched Beauty and the Beast for the very first time and LOVED it! She now regularly talks about "Da Beast!"

We had an incredible afternoon in the park this month where Kate got to pet baby ducks for the first time ever. We just happened to come across the sweetest, tamest Mama duck who let us pet her (and her fluffy ducklings) for a while. Kate was in heaven (and I loved it too!) while Rusty almost had a heart attack because he was so worried the Mama duck was going to attack us. Haha! (For those with our password, you can watch the hilarious video from that day above!)


We are still making progress with our language... slow but steady! Our little chatterbox wants to be able to *really* talk to us so badly... and I hate the fact that we still can't really communicate with her. She is trying to tell more and more stories these days in an effort to connect with us. Most of them are still in a kind of gibberish/baby talk - but sometimes we can pick out enough English/Thai words to get an idea of what she's trying to say. I celebrated the day she was finally able to tell me what she had for breakfast without me giving her prompts. Whoo hoo! It may not seem like a big deal, but it is to me! (God bless my precious husband who feeds her breakfast every day and lets Mama sleep just a little bit more! I love having her climb up in bed and tell me, "Namfon eggs... milk... chocolate milk... All gone!" with the biggest smile!)  

Kate points and asks to know more and more words with every passing day. She has learned to say "Bing!" when she wants us to buy something (she's mimicking the sound of the item being scanned at the checkout! Haha!) She still LOVES presents - but doesn't know what to do with the fact that so many people give her gifts for no reason! So she asks, "Happy Birthday Namfon?" every time someone brings a present. It is the cutest thing! She still sings the "Happy Birthday" song to her stuffed animals often during playtime, and LOVED attending 2 birthday parties for her friends Lydia and Karis this month! 

She has started talking about Meow (her best friend from the orphanage) and Pa (the adoption director at the orphanage) more this month. Anytime we say "everyone" when we're teaching her (for example - that's your bellybutton! Everyone has a bellybutton!) she will list off her family members (Mama? Papa? Dtah? Yaai? Tutu? - yes! We all have bellybuttons!) followed now by Meow and Pa (yes, they have bellybuttons too!)  It is sweet and sad at the same time. They were like family to her and I know she misses them! I'm just glad she's finally started talking about them a bit with us, so that maybe we can help her work through her grief.


Despite 2+ weeks of sickness (a fever virus for both me and Kate, followed by a bad bout of bronchitis for me, followed by bad allergies for all 3 of us!) we have made major progress with attachment the past few weeks. 90% of the time this month I've been allowed to kiss and touch Kate without her getting upset or pulling away! Praises!!! I was also finally able to touch and kiss her a few times at night (when we transition her to our bed) - which was a HUGE deal. In the past that would have made her very upset (she feels so vulnerable when she's sleepy). She even wanted to snuggle with me a few nights out of this month (which made for a very sleep-deprived, but very happy Mama!)

Working on Yaai's computer... 

We have convinced her that she has 2 cheeks because one is for Mama to kiss and one is for Papa to kiss! It's become a sweet new game, and she loves being "smushed" between us for kisses. She will then turn and point to Rusty's face and say, "Mama's cheek - Kate's cheek" and we'll give him kisses... followed by my turn ("Papa's cheek - Kate's cheek") which is the sweetest thing!

Being silly with Dtah!

We have been working on teaching Kate the names for her emotions the past few weeks, and she is finally picking up on that (which I think is helping with her grief, fear, and attachment). She can understand and name "Happy", "Sad", and "Angry" these days. I've been telling her that her kisses make me HAPPY - and now she'll look at my face after she gives me kisses, smile, and say with a sense of accomplishment - "Mama HAPPY!" It is adorable. (And as you can see from the photos in this section, she is also very attached to her Yaai and Dtah - my parents. They have so much fun together!)

A few more things about Kate...

This month Kate started blocking doorways with her arms and telling us it's "locked" when we want to get through. We tried looking for "keys" or tickling her to get through - and then I turned it into a game that required kisses (and the person needing to get through has to figure out WHERE the kiss is needed to unlock the door!) It has been the best, most fun way for Mama to get and give lots of kisses! Sometimes I have to kiss both cheeks, her forehead, her chin, her nose, and both hands before she says, "OPEN!" while giggling!

She loves, loves, loves her Lincoln Logs her Dtah bought her, and makes "Puppy houses" out of them (for her toy puppy) with Rusty multiple times a day. Listening to them playing together in her room is the sweetest sound. She's getting really creative and she's so proud of what she makes! She got another beautiful quilt this month from our dear friend Kathy Hindes (photo above) and she loved playing with her babies on it (in her Belle dress of course) too. 

Her Tutu (Rusty's Mom) came to visit during Spring Break and Kate loved spending time with her. Unfortunately that was the week I was sick on the couch with bronchitis (which was really hard on all of us), but Kate enjoyed a trip to the Zoo (where she got to feed the lorikeets!), feeding the ducks at the Park, and lots of time playing outside with Tutu! Tutu also snuck her a little bit of lipstick (which I guess is another "first") and her Papa didn't like it one bit! Haha! What are grandmother's for... right? ;) Both of Kate's grandmothers sure are enjoying spoiling her!

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