Monday, September 03, 2007

One Year Ago . . .

This is one of my favorite pictures of Kira. It just looks like her to me.

Beautiful Girl

Cool Cat!

Ha Ha Ha! I got the remote!

Kira and her friend, Nini

Kira and Mommy

Kira at her babysitter's with her best buddy, Ella

I Like My Care Bears!

Pretty Dress!

This is why Mommy doesn't put me in dresses very often!

Tomorrow, September 4th, will be the one year anniversary of Kira’s Gotcha Day. It doesn’t seem possible that a year has passed since our time in Taiwan. On the other hand, it seems like she has been part of our lives for more than a year. Tomorrow, we will celebrate by watching video of our first day together, looking at our travel pictures, and going to dinner at TGI Fridays, which is the first restaurant we went to together in Taiwan. Thinking back to a year ago, getting to know our daughter and watching her get to know us, it didn’t take long to see that she was curious, social, and funny. I wondered what I would learn about my daughter as she grew. Well, let me just pause to tell a little about Kira one year later. She is now 20 months old.

Kira’s favorites
Kira’s favorite movie is Shrek. Our daughter, who can’t otherwise sit still for 10 seconds, will sit immobile and mesmerized for about 45 minutes of Shrek. We even considered taking her to the theater for the Shrek 3 movie, but decided she was too young, even for Shrek.

Kira’s favorite foods: Well, look at her belly and you will see there isn’t much she doesn’t like, but take this girl to Cracker Barrel for turnip greens and you’d better stay out of her way! Yes, turnip greens!

Kira’s favorite words: Kira is in speech therapy for cleft-related articulation issues. Nonetheless, “No” and “Mine” come out quite clearly!

Kira cuteness
Kira is tech savvy. We let her watch a video for about 15 minutes before starting our bedtime routine. She will open the cabinet, pick out her video (9 times out of 10 it’s Shrek), turn on the DVD player, open the DVD door, put the DVD in, and push play! We only have to get the DVD out of the case for her so she doesn’t break it and turn the TV mode to DVD. She also loves the computer. She will put her little index finger on the mouse and look up at the monitor to see what she made happen.

Kira loves animals. When visiting others, it isn’t the humans she anticipates seeing, it is their pets. Her babysitter has two dogs. Whenever we pull up to her babysitter’s, she puffs her mouth out trying to say “woof-woof”. My parents have two cats. When we pull up to their house, she says “Meow Meow!” Damn, I don’t think we’re going to be able to avoid eventually getting a pet, but I’m determined to put it off as long as possible!

Whenever we get ready to go bye-bye, we have Kira get her shoes out of the coat closet where we keep them. She does, but she always gets out Mommy’s and Daddy’s first. I think she wants to make sure that we’re coming too. She loves going bye-bye. When we’re just playing around the house, one of her favorite things to do is grab her little Dora purse, put it over her shoulder, wave, and say “bye-bye”, pretending she’s going bye-bye.

Kira thinks it’s hilarious to watch me put my contacts in my eyes!

Okay, Mommy doesn’t find this so cute, but I have to tell. Kira went through a stage, which has actually gotten better in the past month or so, of hitting when she is told no or doesn’t get her way. We have taught her to be gentle. We have done time-outs. Well, Kira now, when she hits me, will say “uh-oh”, then do a “gentle” stroking of the place where she hit me!

Kira’s Progress
Kira has gained 10 pounds and grown almost 8 inches since coming home. Seriously, at times her rate of growth has actually seemed alarming to me, but her doctors all gush at how wonderful it is. She is near the top of the charts for height and weight.

Kira went through palate surgery shortly after coming home and has made great strides, especially with eating. While not getting started on solid foods until almost a year old, now at 20 months she eats anything and everything. We have reached the point where she simply enjoys food and doesn’t get upset anymore when mealtime is over. She is secure now that food will be plentiful and she won’t have pain or difficulty eating it. Kira has also mastered drinking from a straw. This may not sound like such a big deal, but it takes many cleft-affected kiddos years to accomplish.

Kira started speech therapy in May. She is making progress, and her ability to make sounds that are difficult for her is improving every day. We still have difficulty understanding most of what she says and probably will for a long time, but her vocabulary and speech development are good. We do baby signs with her, which helps ease the frustration of communicating, and she does really well with that.

Kira has had repeated sinus and ear infections. We seem to have her sinuses under control with medication, but her ears have recently started acting up again. She had tubes put in last October at the same time her palate was repaired. Well, they have become impacted with gunk and wax. She has to go for surgery next week, September 10th, to clean them out and put new tubes in. So, please keep us in your thoughts for that. It is a simple 10-minute procedure, but anytime your child has to be under general anesthesia it is nerve-wracking.


My darling daughter, you have made my past year so much richer. I can’t wait to see what the coming years bring. I love you so much.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Summer Fun

How do I make this go? The pedal? Put my foot on the pedal? What's a pedal?

I guess I'll have to push it!

I like riding on the bike with Daddy!

I'm too big for this swing. My feet are dragging!

Okay, I'll push the swing instead!

I like slides!

It's even more fun to climb up the slide!

I Thought I'd post some pictures of some of Kira's summer activities. She's having a ball and is definitely an outdoor girl.

It's official. My baby is no longer a baby anymore! She is a little girl. It's a little sad to look at her and realize this, but it is also so exciting to see the little person she is becoming. I've had to learn toddler discipline. Kira has picked up the toddler trick of throwing herself on the ground in tears of tragedy when she doesn't get her way! Mommy quotes Dirty Dancing and tells her "Kira, this is not a tragedy. A tragedy is 3 men trapped in a mine ... monks burning themselves in protest!" Somehow, it's still a tragedy to her!

Saturday, May 05, 2007


How am I going to get out of here?


Hunting Easter Eggs

Wearing Mommy's Sweatshirt

Giving Friend Ella a Kiss

Fun In the Sun

Relaxing Before Bed

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Adventures of Kira Continued

The above pictures are Kira's 12 month photos taken by photographer Mark Garber.

A face only a mother could love! Kira woke up looking like this one morning. I thought the bed head was hilarious!

Kira is doing great using a spoon . . . as long as we don't mind wiping her face a little . . . and her hair . . . and her shirt . . . and the floor! Oh, well, it requires a bath, but she's learning!

This is a picture of Kira "escaping" to the forbidden area of the house. If she catches the baby gate open, she will run to the forbidden side, close the door, give us the grin you see here, then run to the forbidden formal living room / dining room!

"Here are my shoes, Mommy! I want to go bye-bye!"

Hi everyone! I thought I'd share some of the latest pictures. Kira is doing great. She just had her 15 month pediatritian appointment. She is 23 pounds and 32 inches tall! This girl just won't stop growing! She is now at the 80th percentile for height! When she came home seven months ago, she was at the 25th percentile. Now, I am 5'0" and Dan is 5'4". We thought that if we adopted an Asian baby, she would fit into our family size wise! LOL!

Kira has been enjoying her toddler life. She loves to take wagon rides, and she loves to be outside. When the weather first got nicer and we started going outside more, we discovered something funny. Kira was afraid to walk on the grass! She would stand there like she was afraid she was going to sink, then she would get on her hands and knees and crawl to the sidewalk! It was really funny. She is used to it now, though, and will run around on it. She is all ready to hunt easter eggs on Sunday!

Saturday, February 03, 2007


What am I supposed to do with this sticky stuff?


Kira Loves Daddy!


As you can see, the month of December was filled with all kinds of celebrating! Kira turned one year old on December 15th, celebrated her first Christmas, and was baptized. She LOVED all the attention at her events, but I think it was good for her to get back into a nice routine after all the craziness of the celebrating.

We are doing well. We have settled into a nice routine, and I have settled into life as a working mom and am loving it. Thinking back on the past 5 months, it is amazing to me how much has happened and how much life has changed for all of us. Our precious little girl has gone through grieving for her foster family; adjusting and attaching to new parents; enduring fairly major surgery; exploring a new home, country, smells, foods, just to name a few things; and adjusted to a babysitter after Mommy returned to work. She has blossomed into a happy, active, mischievious toddler (with a toddler "attitude" lately I must say - she's only 13.5 months old, it can't be the terrible two's yet!) She is growing like a weed. In 5 months, she has gone from wearing size 6 month clothes to wearing mostly size 18 month clothes!

Dan and I have gone through new parent on the job training and adjustment to parenthood, have now settled into our new roles as Mommy and Daddy, and are finding balance between work and home. All in all, I am pretty proud of all of us! Looking back at my life six months ago, I don't know what I did without my precious little girl.

Just wanted to reflect on our experience as family so far. I hope everyone enjoys the update and pictures!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Growing So Fast!

Wow, it seems like so long since I've updated our blog. Kira has so many new tricks to brag about! :) She is all recovered from her surgery and doing so well. In fact, we had an appointment with her cleft team today and it was very positive. Her palate looks great. Her ears look great. Her hearing is normal.

Okay, brag time! Kira eats like a champ now, and she is experimenting with sounds a lot more. (These were issues before surgery.) In fact, she said her first word this past weekend and it was . . . MA MA!!!!!! For a few days she was really practicing the syllable ma ma ma. I never heard her say it when I thought she was using it as a word referring to me. But, now I know she has definitely used it a few times calling for me. She also shakes her head no, claps, waves, puts toys in and out of containers, and is very close to walking. She really has just had a rapid display of development just in the past couple of weeks. I was starting to worry that she wasn't really waving, clapping, or putting toys in and out of containers. (She, of course, learned to shake her head no a long time ago!) Just when I started worrying, she started doing it all. I can't believe she's going to be a year old in 9 days!

Well, I had to go back to work last week, which was such a bummer. Of course, half of the school I teach in was sick when I returned, so I immediately got a very nasty cold and brought it home to Kira. We are just starting to feel better. Now I am just looking forward to Kira's birthday, her first Christmas with us, and my 3 more weeks off with her for my Christmas break.