My family is all sleeping again -- it's 5:30am here in China and mommy just did a diaper change on my big girl so I have a few minutes. This post will be all about my new baby girl
And I do mean baby girl. Chloe turned 19-months old on January 20th -- that will make her 20-months old in 12 or 13 days depending on if you are counting from the US or China. Cassie and Chloe are only 90 days apart but you'd never know that if I didn't tell you. I'd say Chloe is about a 10-month old -- according to the development charts on the internet. Here are some examples of where Chloe is developmentally - if you hold Chloe's hands she can go from a standing to a sitting position as a game -- her and daddy do this, if you hold her hands she can walk with assistance -- but not very well as she has no leg strength and her feet still point sideways, she can walk around the bed herself if she's hanging on, when she gets too tired she has problems holding her head up and staying in a sitting position without falling over. And she still takes about 4 - 5 formula bottles a day -- and now that is soy formula. I'm not complaining at all when I say these things about my little Chloe. I'm just a little surprised. We got Cassie at 13-months old and she was much more advanced than this. Why the difference? I think the difference is Cassie spent the 6 months before we got her in foster care and Chloe has only lived in the orphanage. And she was in a great orphanage -- but there still too few nannies to care for all the kids there.
Being in Guangzhou this trip is amazing in so many ways. First, it feels like home -- even with all the construction going on this time on the island. Second, I see things in all the babies and kids that I didn't see last time. I see fear on their little faces, I see that lost look of not knowing what's really going on, and I see parents thinking this is their child -- meaning who they are and it's not. I know all this because I remember those same looks on Cassie's face. If I look back at our blog posts from May 2009 I see that look, that fear, that "I'm scared but I'm going to hold it all in" look. Now I know that after a few months of being home that all goes away and you really get to see who your child is. Cassie didn't make a peep for the first three days when we were in Kunming with her last May. She would lay on my chest and never try to move from there, she would cling to me and wouldn't go to anyone else but me. She had to sit on my lap to be fed. It was only during the last 3 days in Guangzhou that I could even put her into a highchair or stroller.
Fast forward 9 months -- that's how long we have had Cassie -- and she is not that same girl and she hasn't been for a long time. She is now my type A -- "I want it now and will not wait for it" girl, my little independent girl who when you tell her she's a big girl she gets the biggest smile on her face because she thinks she's getting away with something. The girl who's not afraid to use her voice to tell what she wants. My "I don't need your help I can do it all by myself" girl who pretends to hurt herself to get hugs and kisses because she's too independent most of the time to just say she wants a hug or a kiss. And then there are those rare moments with Cassie that she wants mommy to hold her, rock her when she's tired or she'll just come hug me for no reason at all. I now know that's who Cassie always was -- she just needed to feel comfortable to be able to show us her true self. And I'm so glad she is the way she is -- she keeps us on our toes and her smile - it lights up the room and make us love her more and more with each one of those smiles.
So now when I see that same look on little faces here I know it's just a matter of time before the little packages parents were blessed with will slowly open up and be the best gifts ever. I have one to prove it.
So now back to Chloe. Because of all the changes we have seen in Cassie in just 9 months - I know Chloe will get caught up soon and will be running and jumping around with her 'big' sister, driving mommy crazy trying to keep up with them. Until then I'm going to enjoy my baby. She's soft and cuddly and feels like a bowl of pudding in your lap. She's got the softest skin; it reminds me of a newborn's and she's got the look and feel of a infant with all her baby fat and no muscle tone. She's also the happiest little thing ever. She's always smiling and is the biggest flirt -- another orphanage trait to get attention. See seems to know who we are and when we show her the photo album with the pictures we sent her of us she points to the pictures and then to us. Her nanny did a great job of helping to prepare Chloe for us. She also is always babbling about something but not speaking real words yet. Our guide, Kelly, has confirmed that this is just babble, not actual Mandarin language. She has 6 teeth in the front -- 3 on top and 3 on the bottom and all her one year molars. Did I tell you she's always smiling and is very happy? She can wave goodbye, play peek, blow kisses and give kisses. She loves giving kisses. And soon she'll be like her sister and too busy playing to give mommy kisses all day long. Another reason I'm going to enjoy my baby for as long as a can.
6 hours ago