Monday, June 26, 2006
Riverside, California, USA
80F 49% humidity
So it was a year ago today that we were in Guangzhou, China sweating profusely in a small room at the Department of Civil Affairs when they brought in our adorable daughter who smelled awful, was wearing an outfit 3 sizes too big, and was stiff with fear.
She was 16 lbs and 27.7 inches long. She ate every 4 hours, took two 2 hour naps a day, and slept for 12-14 hours a night. She had never been in a bath or pool and didn’t like being in highchairs. She didn’t really sit up- she flopped to the side in a mermaid style pose, and although she didn’t really crawl she could scoot Army style with amazing speed. She was happy, curious, incredibly busy, paid close attention to everything we did, and was very headstrong and determined. She had almost no hair, one tooth, and would not allow you to touch her hands.
Now here we are a year later. She’s 22 lbs (25%) and 32 inches long (50%)- her onsie & waist size is 9 months, but she needs 18-24 months in length for pants (was I ever glad when shorts season started!). She eats when she feels like it, and lately it’s either feast or famine. She takes one 2-3 hour nap a day around 2 o’clock, and doesen’t go to bed until 10pm and doesn’t wake until 9am...and she picked that schedule, not us. She took her first steps last October, and now she runs whenever possible. She has enough hair to make 2 lopsided pigtails behind her ears, and has all her teeth except her 2nd year molars...which are on the way. She still doesn’t like highchairs...or the carseat. She is still incredibly busy- if she’s awake she’s in motion. She loves the bath, has to removed from a pool kicking and screaming, and now wants to hold our hands. She’ll dance to any kind of music, anytime and anyplace. She loves to be outside and around other children. She loves animals. She is fascinated with cars and motorcycles.
We’re seeing a language explosion currently. All of a sudden new words are being attempted every couple of days. The words of the week are: airplane, no, bear, grandpa, and Dumbo. These are added to: up, please, night night, teeth, eye, Beep, moon, more, bus, balloon, octopus, bath, baby, cheese, mine, ice tea, ball, and out. Now don’t go thinking she’s got a career in oratory- these are all said in Tenley-ese; so “Dumbo” is “bumbo” and “balloon” is “bahoon” and so on. But she’s starting to parrot the things we say, and we got our first 2 words together yesterday (“baby bear” as in the Sesame Street character).
T- 3 months to 2 years. “Headstrong and determined” currently translates to “willful and defiant”. Not getting what she wants generally causes a tantrum that ranges from frowning while growling and stomping the feet to full out kicking and screaming while throwing her body around on the floor. It’s charming...at least she hasn’t started doing them in public yet...yet. If you leave the toddler unattended she will get into everything and is happiest relocating the contents of drawers and cabinets to the midddle of the living room floor.
As for Mom & Dad: we’re good. I’ve survived my first year as a stay-at-home-Mom. I’m not going to lie- it’s been rough. I went through a long period of re-adjustment where I felt trapped and resentful. Eventually, I finished mourning for my former life and got over it. I still have my days where I wake up with exactly one nerve and Tenley jumps up and down on it and I am intensely grateful for my support network: Jeff, my Mom, Meg, Beeps, and Kim & Jaxon. All of these people have helped me keep my sanity at one point or another. I find that having caffiene in the morning and getting a nap in are essential to keeping me a happy Mommy. I think this will be Jeff’s last year with his fun job at Disney- he’s tired of working 6-7 days a week and wants to spend more time with Tenley. A tired Jeff is a cranky Jeff and he ends up with very little patience and becomes miserable to be around.
I don’t know why people have kids to “save their marriage”: being a parent has added a stress factor to our lives that wasn’t ever there before- I think we’ve fought more in the last year than we have in the 1st seven years of our marriage. Why? Because being parents has brought a whole new dimension to the word “tired” and we now have stresses and responsibilities we didn’t have. The good news is that we’ve kept our sense of humor, so we usually end up laughing at ourselves. Don’t get me wrong- we still love each other and are very happy and we have absolutely no regrets about adopting Tenley...but I don’t think I could have ever imagined the changes the last year has brought.
We love our little girl with all our hearts. She makes us laugh until our sides hurt, and there is nothing in the world like her hug or her smile. We are honored to have been chosen to be her parents, and it is truly amazing to watch her grow and learn. My baby is gone- she vanished this last year and was replaced by an exhuberant toddler. I miss my baby, but I relish the fact that she still fits in my lap when she’s rocked to sleep; and I look forward to seeing the little girl start to emerge in the next year.