Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day Care

This week Monica started back to work part-time. We both spent a lot of time wondering if this was the best thing for Stanzi, but after talking with several people we agreed that it wouldn't be a bad thing for her to spend a few days each week away from us.  That is, assuming we could find a decent child care provider.  We visited a few local centers, and each time we came away with the impression that this wasn't all that different from the orphanage where she would've spent her entire first year.  There was no way we were going to do that to her.

Then we went to see our friend Jill.  She and her husband, Stuart, own the Ashland Road Animal Clinic, which is where we've been taking our pets ever since we lived in this area.  While both of them are veterinarians, a few years ago Jill stopped being actively involved with the clinic when she had her first child.  She now has two beautiful kids--Dryden, age three, and Claire, who's just about to turn one.  Well, she's a great mom, and has a houseful of toys, so after some conversations she agreed to take care of Stanzi three days a week.  We're very happy with the arrangement, because she gets lots of attention while still being able to socialize with some kids close to her own age.  This photo was taken at their house, in fact.  Okay, she may look a bit shellshocked, but it was her very first day.  On the whole, things are going very well.  In fact, watching little Claire charge around the house seems to have inspired Stanzi to do a lot more crawling!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Everything's Ducky

Stanzi has officially spoken her first word. We think. She was in the tub when she pointed to her rubber duck and said "duck," or at least something very close to it. There was much excitement, of course, and now every time she points to something she says it. Each of the dogs is now a duck. So is a cup of hot coffee. I'm a duck, as is Monica. So is, well, just about everything. But it sure is cute. In this video you can see her calling the camera a duck, too.

Stanzi has never shown much interest in crawling. As soon as she learned that she could support herself by leaning against something her instinct has been to try to walk. No doubt this had something to do with the fact that her first year would have been spent almost entirely in a crib, where she could grab the bars and pull herself up into a standing position, but didn't have any place to crawl to. And Monica have been encouraging her desire to walk (letting her hold on to us, or putting her in her walker), and pretty much ignoring her inability to crawl. But then I read an article in the newspaper claiming that crawling is an important step in a baby's development. There are even studies suggesting a connection between not crawling and ADHD. Generally speaking I scoff at these "scientific" studies that will undoubtedly be disproven by the next study that comes along, but I must say that I'm sufficiently bugged by the prospect of my daughter being prescribed Ritalin that I'm now encouraging her crawling. So I've been putting her on her belly on the floor, and setting things she likes out of her reach. And while she's not quite crawling, she's creeping (or what they call "combat crawling"), dragging herself along the floor. She can go at a pretty good clip, but she's not at all happy with it, and is quite vocal about her displeasure.

Monica called this morning to tell me that Stanzi threw up for the first time since we've had her. We'd always considered ourselves pretty lucky in that regard, but apparently she barfed all over the place. Hmm, that probably explains why she was so cranky this morning, and why she barely ate any breakfast (she even turned up her nose at a waffle). But apparently she's fine now.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Happy Easter (well, almost, anyway)!

Well, how do you like that? I finally get a moment to blog, for the first time in, like, two weeks, and the darn site won't let me upload anything! Grrr. Well, at least I can count on Facebook. Long story short--everything is wonderful. For the past two nights Stanzi has slept through the night. True, she's woken up around 5:30 or 6:00 each morning, but we can certainly live with that. Heck, I'm an early riser anyway, so I don't have a problem getting up with her and letting mommy (who's not a morning person) get a couple of hours' extra sleep.

Monica took Stanzi to the Oak Adoptive Health Center this morning for a marathon of appointments, mostly dealing with her development status. She could tell the story much better than I can (I was stuck in faculty committee meetings all morning), but the gist of it is that, for a little girl who spent her first year of life in a Chinese orphanage, she's doing remarkably well. She's a bit behind when it comes to her gross motor skills and her communication, but the fact that she does little things like jabbering to her toys, and initiating hugs and kisses, means that she's communicating quite well, even though she hasn't yet spoken a word.

All right, Stanzi's now in bed, so Monica and I are going to watch some television. Good night, and Happy Easter!