Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mark 10:14-15

"Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."

Chloe Jewel entered the kingdom of God tonight -- she was baptized during our Wednesday night Lenten service. This makes her parents very happy, blessed, grateful, proud and relieved that we know she is saved.

I heard it through the grapevine....

was being sung on American Idol the moment Chloe took her first steps. Yep, my baby girl WALKED last night!!!! She did it about 6 times. We caught the last time on video. She started by standing and 'dancing' with mama while I was sitting on the floor with her. I let go of her hands once and she stood on her own for about 30 seconds -- also a first. After a few times of standing alone I asked her to walk to me and she did. Only about 4 or 5 steps but hey, that's still walking in my book.

Check out my baby girl walking!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Birthday -- Cassie Noel!!!

Cassie turned 2 today!!! Wow -- I can't believe she's already 2. This is also Cassie's 'first' birthday with us. Here are some highlights of our night.

Loving her balloons.

The ladybug cupcakes mama made.

Laughing while we sang Happy Birthday to her.

Digging into the bag of presents.

Opening some of her Leapfrog Jr. books. Yes, mama wrapped each one of them separately.

Cassie also had her 24-month old "well visit" at the drs today. She did great. Maybe that's because she didn't need any shots this time. Just a prick of her finger for a hemoglobin test - which was normal. Cassie is now 34.25 inches tall and weighs 24.5 lbs. She's in the 85th percentile on height and 25th percentile on weight. This is the best she's been on weight - we have finally been able to put some weight on her. Developmentally, she's on target for everything except drawing a straight line and her language. This is to be excepted since she has been in the home less than one year. However, if it doesn't start to improve soon we might need to get her some extra help. Our pediatrician wants to wait to see what the cleft team has to say in May. She'll have her hearing and speech checked then. Otherwise she's great. The doc is very impressed with how far she has come in such a short time. Cassie will need a vaccine in June, and then she won't have to go back until she's 3!!!

Happy Birthday to my BIG girl!!!
Love, mama and dada and baby Chloe!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My big girl

Mama decided yesterday that Cassie was done with bottles. She's been using a sippy cup on and off for a while. But since Chloe is still on a bottle Cassie wanted hers too. Cassie and Chloe are on different types of bottles (Cassie uses the drop in liner kind) and they know what bottles are theirs -- this will hopefully make this transition easier. I hope. After all, Cassie will be 2 on Monday. It's time. Bye-bye bottles. And since I'm not totally crazy -- I'm moving them to the basement -- just in case.

Posing for mama with her 'big girl hair'. This past week she will finally let me do something with her hair. Today was the first day with two ponytails.

This is what I got when I asked for a big smile.

Such a beautiful face.

But this is the girl I see 75% of the time. The very silly one. And I love it. How can you not smile when you see that face. (please ignore the dirty floor -- I plan on cleaning it sometime in 2010)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Milk Monday

Sorry we've been MIA for a little while. We are just trying to find a routine that works for everyone. We have made a few changes last week to schedules and to comfort levels of sleeping areas and we are hoping this helps a little. I'm hoping to see positive changes in the next week or so. If not, we'll try something else.

Both girls have colds....again. So that doesn't help with the sleeping. And Chloe is cutting 3 maybe 4 teeth right now. Plus, last Monday we started her vaccines. She got three of them. She didn't like it one bit.

We need to redo Chloe's poop test too. It wasn't 'messy' enough for the test. Yippee. However, I called this morning and they had the results of the lactose test. There was no glucose in the poop. Well that really doesn't help much. I wouldn't expect any glucose in her poop since she's on a dairy free diet so there won't be any problems with her digesting the lactose. So we are now going to try and add some milk into her diet and see what happens. That's really the only way to see if she can tolerate it. Wish me luck this week with our experiment. Worst case we'll at least get a 'messy' enough sample for the lab.

So there isn't much going on in our little world. Just trying to adjust to life with two toddlers who don't sleep on the same schedule and praying for the weather to get warmer soon.

And speaking of milk. Here's the recipe for the milk bath I use.

1 large box of powdered dry milk (the largest box our grocery store carries)
3 cans of powdered dry buttermilk (in the baking section - comes in a round paper can)

Mix it all in the largest mixing bowl you have.

I have a small container of it in the bathroom and the rest I store in 2 gallon ziploc bags. I use a coffee scoop to dispense it out. I use 2 heaping scoops in the warmers months and 3 heaping scoops in the winter months.

I have used this on Cassie since coming home -- up until we brought Chloe home -- it really improved the quality of her skin. It's now less dry, the scaly patches are gone and the tiny little bumps are gone. Since stopping it about 6 weeks ago I have noticed it's a little bumpy again.

I did add it to their bath last night. Another part of the experiment.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Rice recipes

With having to add in more white rice to Chloe's diet I came up with my version of easy rice pudding -- that the girls love. Plus, here is my version of congee that the girls also really like.

Easy rice pudding
2 cups cooked white rice (I use jasmine)
Cinnamon and sugar
2 boxes of raisins (1.5 oz size)
2 - 4 cups of vanilla rice milk

Put the rice in a bowl (I use a Rubbermaid container), sprinkle lots of cinnamon and sugar over the rice. Sprinkle the raisins over the the cinnamon and sugar. Pour enough rice milk in to cover the rice. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours -- until the rice has absorbed all the milk. Stir and add another 1 - 1.5 cups of milk. Stick back in the refrigerator. You are basically looking for most of the milk to be absorbed but not all -- so it's a tiny bit soupy.

Cassie likes to drink the tiny bit of milk from the bowl when she's done. Both girls love it and it makes a great afternoon snack for them.

Corn & Chicken Congee
About 4 cups chicken broth
2.5 - 3 cups leftover rice (I use jasmine)
2 or 3 chicken legs (raw)
1lb bag of frozen corn

Add the broth and rice to a medium stockpot and stir. Turn the burner on low. Add the chicken legs, cover and cook until the meat is falling off the bone -- about 30 minutes -- stirring once in a while. Remove chicken legs, cut meat into bite sized pieces and add back to the rice. Stir in the frozen corn. Eat.

I make up a batch of this and then the girls have it for lunch for a few days. They really seem to like it. My version is much thicker than the congee we had in China but you could just add more broth to thin it out too. We like it on the thicker side.

As of last night I'm also adding baby rice cereal to their bedtime yogurt snack (Chloe gets soy yogurt and Cassie gets whole milk yogurt). They have both been waking up starving around 5am -- Cassie will actually ask for snacks -- which I have given her to get her back to sleep. I'm hoping this will help keep them sleeping longer. If not, at least it's more rice for Chloe.

Monday, March 01, 2010

One month today

We have been a family of 4 for one month today -- our Gotcha Day was February 1st. Since Saturday the girls seem like sisters -- meaning they are starting to play together. Really play together. Without Sonny or I sitting close by to referee. Why would be need to referee, you ask? Cassie has a habit of being nice for about 3 or 4 minutes then deciding she's had enough of Chloe and pushes her over. Chloe has no core muscle strength so she would end up on the ground and the crying would start. I can't even begin to tell you how many time-outs Cassie has had in the past 2.5 weeks. But Saturday something clicked and they just started to play. It was great -- meaning it was a break for me. At least for 20 minutes. As I'm typing this they are both crawling under the kitchen table chasing each other giggling and having a ball. Tonight is bath night but they are having so much fun together I think we'll just skip bath night and listen to the giggles instead.

Cassie is also now trying to 'help' Chloe walk. She wants me to give her both Chloe's hands and they can dance and walk together. This lasts for about 20 seconds and then Chloe falls but laughs. It's nice to see Cassie stepping into the big sister role in such a short time.

Cassie has also started to play with dolls for the first time since being home. She mostly undresses then and rocks them and tries to put diapers on them. She's watching what we do with Chloe and is imitating us. Another sign that she's always watching.

Chloe is doing great with building up her muscles. She's got no problem getting around the house now with great speed. My goal is to have her walking and running by her birthday on June 20th. That will be a milestone for me to strive for. Until then I'm going to substitute the giggles for sleep.

Long over due