Saturday, September 29, 2007

Six Months With Molly

Two years ago today, September 29, 2005, our dossier was logged in with the China Center of Adoption Affairs and we officially began the wait to be matched with a child. We were told it would be six months but as soon as our dossier was submitted, the infamous slowdown began. It took sixteen long, heart-breaking months until we got the call that we had a daughter.

Now that we have Molly and the pain of the wait has subsided, it is perfectly clear that the journey had to happen this way. If we were matched any earlier, Molly's file would not have been at the CCAA. We would have been matched with the wrong child and Molly would have been matched with the wrong parents. Things had to occur just the way they did so that Molly could find her way to us.

months ago today March 29, 2007, Guan Hai Yan was loving placed into our arms and she became Molly Michelle HaiYan. Our lives immediately became so rich, for this little girl brought with her more joy than we ever thought was possible. That is, as soon as the screaming stopped!

Today, September 29, 2007, our lives feel complete. We are a family.

In the past six months we have seen Molly grow so much. She came to us as a baby. She wasn't walking or talking. She didn't have much hair and she had one lonely bottom tooth.

Now she is a toddler who is running, jabbering, learning and growing fast. She has the most vivacious personality, the silliest sense of humor and the most adorable dimples. She is happy and carefree and makes friends wherever she goes. I am awestruck by the way she has blossomed into this thriving, active child.

The past six months hasn't been all sunshine and roses. We have had our share of frustrations, sleepless nights and times where we just couldn't figure out what to do. It would be awesome if those things didn't have to be a part of parenting, but they make for good stories when they are over!

To say that we have been blessed is an understatement. To say that we are the luckiest people on earth doesn't do it either. I'm not sure that there are even words that can capture just how very fortunate we feel to be given the opportunity to be Molly parents. We are proud beyond belief. We are head over heals in love with our little girl!

We can't wait to see what the next six months holds.....

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Are You Kidding Me?

That's what I asked the doctor when she told me that Molly had another sinus infection. Her third one in five months. And the news got even better...she told me that Molly is likely to get a sinus infection every time she gets a cold. Oh joy.

Apparently the problem is Molly's nose. It's as cute as a button, but as small as one too. So are her sinuses. Her adenoids, on the other hand, are large.

Small nose, small sinuses, and large adenoids = very little room in there for things to drain properly. Hence, the infections. Let's just hope that her sinuses get bigger and her adenoids get smaller as she grows. (I hope the cute little button nose stays cute and buttony.)

The only person that is happy about this whole situation is the pharmacist, because Molly is on antibiotics again. You would think that this would slow her down, but it hasn't. Right after filling the prescription we went to the park. I dosed her in the while she was still in the back seat and then she was off and running. Man I wish I was a kid again!

Here are some pictures from the park. She looks so grown up in pants and a shirt. Oh my goodness, she's not a little baby any more!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Berry Picking

One of my favorite autumn activities is picking fresh raspberries in my very own berry patch. The berries are getting ripe so I grabbed Molly and her little green bucket and we headed out the back door.
Let me tell ya, Molly is a champion berry picker. She's low to the ground and can get under the canes a whole lot easier than my six foot frame can. She just needed a little advice on which berries were ripe and she was a berry-picking machine.
After we'd been picking for a while, Molly started giving me the universal sign for stinky.
She tried to blame it on the neighbor's dog, but I wasn't born yesterday. That "stink" was not coming from the neighbor's dog!
That pretty much ended our berry picking for today, but there are plenty more berries yet to ripen, and plenty more clean diapers in the nursery. We'll be back!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Random Acts of Cuteness

Just some random cute pictures that never got included in any other blog entry. Does a mother need an excuse to shamelessly display pictures of her daughter? I hope not!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

It's Mr. Bubble! Run for Your Lives!

That evil Mr. Bubble. He sneaks up on small children and makes bubbles (gasp) when the least expect it! Oh the injustice of it all!

Poor Molly. She was starting her bath last night. It was just like every other night. She had a smile on her face and a spring in her step. Bath time is her favorite time of the day. As soon as she got in the tub she stuck her head under the faucet, drenching her hair and face.

Then, out of the blue, I whip out a bottle of Mr. Bubble and squirt it under the running water. The result was a growing mound of wonderful, fluffy, fun-filled bubbles. Or at least I thought it would be fun-filled.

Panic gripped Molly as the bubble mound expanded. The panic kept escalating until Molly was screaming and throwing her leg over the side of the tub to get out.

Molly loves bubbles. We play with them all of the time. Logic lead me to believe that loves bubbles outside = loves bubbles in the tub. I guess not!This is just one more example of a time where I did something with Molly expecting one reaction but getting something quite different.

Molly was traumatized. She was so scared I didn't even snap a bubble bath picture. I just threw down the camera and grabbed Molly. I emptied the tub. She screamed. I filled it with new water. Still screaming. I got my feet in. No good. I got in the water, still no good. Molly was just plain scared and was not going to go back into that tub!

I am a firm believer in the theory that getting back up on the horse is the best solution for overcoming fear when something scary happens. I really wanted Molly to feel okay about getting in the tub again so Tony and I worked with her for about a half hour until she finally got her feet in. Another 15 minutes and she was sitting in the water.

We managed to finish the bath, but Molly looked as if she had an escape plan worked out and ready to execute as soon as the situation warranted. For the first time since we had her, she was excited to be able to get out of the tub.

My fear was that Molly would still have tub-anxiety issues tonight. I hated the thought of that. She loves the water and bath time is so much. I didn't want to be responsible for taking that joy away from her. I breathed a sigh of relief when Molly eagerly hopped into the tub tonight. Crisis averted.

Mr. Bubble, by the way, is in the trash can. Not the bathroom trash can either. He is already out in the toter, covered in dirty diapers, waiting for the trash man to pick him up and take him to the dump. Bad Mr. Bubble!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Holy Molars, Batman!

Molly got in a new tooth, her first molar, and I didn't even know about it. I got a big surprise last week when Molly threw back her head, opened her mouth and let loose with a big ol' belly laugh. There in the back of her mouth I spotted something. Was she still chomping on a snack or was that actually a tooth back there? I grabbed her and pried open her mouth to see. At this point the shrieks of laughter were turning into shrieks of anger, but mission accomplished, I saw the tooth. A molar no less. I guess God felt sorry for me and threw me a bone on this one. A whine-free tooth!

Doesn't sound like a big deal to you? Well it is to me. Little Miss Molly is a royal crabby-pants when she is teething. She whines incessantly from morning to night. This whining has actually driven me to tears on occasion, prompting me to call Tony at work and do a little whining of my own.

Molly now has a grand total of nine teeth, five up and four below...not one of them has come in straight. She has a bite only an orthodontist with a large boat payment could love. I remember my grandmother calling crooked teeth "boondina teeth" which translates to mean knitted teeth (sidenote: I apologize to all the Italians out there. I know that boondina is not spelled correctly, but that's the way it sounds!). Molly, God love her, is the poster child for boondina teeth. Let's just hope the permanent teeth grow in a little straighter (yeah, like that's gonna happen).

Molly has some other developmental milestones to report as well. She can:

  • Walk forward and backward.
  • Dribble a soccer ball.
  • Throw a ball in the direction that she intend for it to go.
  • Use sign language for more, all done, water, milk, yogurt, cantaloupe, sleepy, bye-bye, open, close, yes and no.
  • Use a spoon and a fork to feed herself.
  • Take her shoes off and put them back on (sometimes she even gets the shoes on the correct feet).
  • Stack four stacking cups in correct order.

I was so thinking that she was a genius. In fact, Harvard is on my speed dial. I call them at least once a week to let them know that they have a potential Einstein coming their way in about 17 years. Imagine my shock when I went to the doctor's office for Molly's 18 month check-up and they hand me a Developmental Milestones for 18 Month Olds brochure. Guess what was listed. Yep: can walk forward and backward, can kick a ball, can throw a ball, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Oh well, here are some other milestones not listed on the doctor's handy-dandy brochure. Molly can:

  • Use the TV remote to imitate mommy talking on her cell phone.
  • Tear off the appropriate amount of toilet paper and hand it to me when I am in the bathroom (hey, the cling-on baby follows me in there EVERY time...I had to teach her something to make her useful!).
  • Tease other kids by offering them one of her toys and then pulling it away at the last minute.
  • Empty the clothes from the dryer and place every pair of underwear over her head.

Yes, I am the proud, proud mommy of the most amazing child on this planet! Well, at least if you don't consider the underwear-on-the-head thing.