Monday, April 22, 2013

Lucy at 9 ¾ Months.

I normally do age updates for my babies each month. But I haven't written a single update about Lucy since we got her five months ago. I feel like I've been living in some kind of a time warp where time travels quicker than I can keep track. I can hardly believe that she will be one year old in just a few short months. 

We have had an insane year since we started foster care. Ten children have come through our home (except for the last one, who stayed ;). We ran on a crazy treadmill of doctor appointments, visitations, and social worker phone calls for over a year. We are still recovering mentally from the five-kids-six-and-under situation (and Mark's appendectomy) we had over the holidays.

We didn't realize the toll all this had taken on our family until we stepped off the treadmill. 

Now we are enjoying being a family again. We are getting to know our boys again. We are bonding with our new daughter. We are focusing on being peaceful. 

People ask me, "How does it feel to have a daughter?" and "How does it feel to finally have one that is yours forever?" Honestly? It hasn't really sunk in yet. After having so many babies and children come through, it's hard to just snap out of Foster Parent Mode. But as time goes on, I have more and more moments where it hits me that she's really mine forever. I get to daydream about what she'll look like when she takes her first steps. Or says her first words. Or rides her first trike. 

Okay, so far this post turned out to have nothing to do with what Lucy is up to at 9 3/4 months. She going to read about her nine-and-three-quarter month and wonder, "What is all this about?" So here is her update: 

She is a bit behind as far as gross motor skills, so we are trying to help her learn to roll over. She is a champion sitter-upper, but she isn't motivated at all to roll over. She actually can roll over when she wants to, but it's pretty rare that she wants to. Her physical therapist isn't too worried and thinks she will grow into it eventually.

She claps her hands and shakes her head when we say, "Lucy! Clap!" or "Lucy! Shake!" She's on to us though, because now when we say "Lucy!" she'll start clapping and shaking her head, as though she knows the routine and just wants to get it over with.

She is just starting to get attached to me, which is a huge deal. When she first came to us she wouldn't let me know when she needed anything. She could be hungry, tired, bored,  or lonely, but wouldn't let us know. Now she cries when I leave the room and lets me know when she wants to be held by looking up at me and waving her arms around. She cries when she's hungry and tired. We only just started letting other people besides me hold her, but she gets uneasy after a while and starts looking for me. Major good things!

Her brothers absolutely adore her. They sing silly songs to her, play with her, are excited to show her new things, and beg "Mom, can't she sleep in my bed tonight?" This girl has the best big brothers ever.

Funny story: Lucy had a developmental assessment a few weeks ago. One of the activities the tester did was to place four objects in front of her (a ball, a doll, a car, and a cup) and then tell her to pick up one of the objects. The activity was more for a 12-month old, but the tester wanted to see if she could do it anyway. Each time Lucy picked up the doll. I tried the activity again, moving all the objects around, and she again picked up the doll. I tried it again at a friend's house and Lucy reached for the doll every time. To most people with daughters, this is all probably very obvious. But this was one of the first moments when it truly hit me that I have a girl.

Lucy, we are so looking forward to enjoying all of your firsts together with you. We can hardly believe you're really ours! 

First time at the beach

 Cold toes - she really didn't like the cold water!

Playing with food: she isn't fond of any food that isn't her milk, so we are doing having her play with food in hopes that some day she'll eventually eat it. It's quite a messy affair.

Saturday morning brother snuggles

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter 2013

Dying Eggs

Easter Sunday


Last week Mark took a business trip to the Boston area. We saw this as a great opportunity  for me and the kids to tag along and soak up some of the history of the area. The plan was for him to work during the week while I went around to different places with the kids. I was really nervous about bing on my own with three kids around Boston, but I decided to suck it up and do it anyway. It was very hard, but I'm glad I did it. The upside is that I'm cured of my hesitation of going places (besides the grocery store) with three kids!

Before the trip I saturated the kids with as much early American History as their little brains and bodies could stand. I'm so glad I did because it made the trip that much more exciting for them.

We crammed a lot into our seven days in the Boston area: 
Boston Museum of Science
Boston Children's Museum
Museum of Fine Arts
New England Aquarium
We walked half of the Freedom Trail to see Paul Revere's House, Old North Church, Faneuil Hall, and Quincy Market
Boston Duck Tour
Plimoth Plantation (including Grist Mill, an old granary)
Plymouth Rock

It dumped a foot of snow the day before we arrived, and snowed all during our first two days. Kicking, squishing, and stepping in snow was one of the highlights of the trip for these kids.

Getting energy out in the rather small hotel room.

(Above and below) At the Boston Children's Museum. If you live anywhere in the Boston area I highly recommend this place. It was the coolest children's museum I've ever been to and it was the kids' absolute favorite part of the trip. If we're ever in the Boston area again, we're definitely coming back here.

Plimoth Plantation. This is a large village that shows how the original pilgrims lived in the 1600s. It was a very cool experience because the village was populated by actors who played the parts of the original Mayflower landers. They talked just like people from that time and actually did real things like tended gardens, mended fences, and ground corn flour for bread. My kids tried to talk to them about things like grocery stores (as in, "Why don't you just buy your flour at the grocery store?"), airplanes, and concrete, but the people always looked puzzled, like they'd never heard of these things before. Great acting, I tell ya!

I got to meet an Internet friend in New Hampshire. We met on a message board when we were pregnant with our firstborns seven years ago. We've both been through an awful and amazing journey the past few years. It was wonderful to finally meet each other and have our daughters meet.

On a Boston Duck Tour. The kids actually got to drive it while it was in the bay!

At the Museum of Fine Arts in front of their favorite paintings. I've been wanting to take the boys to an art museum for a while, and this seemed like a great opportunity since this one holds a lot of paintings by artists they are already familiar with. It wasn't a very good experience because the boys were extremely energetic and had a hard time keeping their hands away from the art. They spent much of their visit with their hands in their pockets.

New England Aquarium touch tank. Touching the stingrays was one of the boys' favorite parts of the whole trip.

Flying somewhere over the Midwest. I shudder to think of what made this water all these beautiful colors, but it sure made for an awesome view.

Finally home again. After a long day of flying, driving, and unpacking, Lucy passed out on my back. 

I have to say that it was SO wonderful to come back home after being away for nine days. I love traveling and seeing new things, but I always love coming home even more!