Monday, January 29, 2007

Maisie Miao Miao's most excellent day

And what does a good day start with? A good night's sleep! Last night both Maisie and Mum were fast asleep by 7:30 PM and other than a few wake-ups which required just a few moments of comforting, she slept in the p-n-p until 7:30 am.  After a breakfast of yogurt and rice cereal we were off to the library for story time where we did clapping rhymes, sang little songs, played with a parachute and listened to two books followed by lots of toys and books being spread out so we could play with the other children.

Maisie1-29-07 006 
Such a busy morning tired out little Maisie enough that when we returned home, she actually allowed me to put her in the p-n-p where she took a short 20 nap. Then the girl who thus far would only eat cheerios, goldfish, pudding, chocolate yogurt and chocolate mint candy, actually ate some chicken pot pie and apple/pear sauce, will wonders never cease! We were just having such a good day that I decided to take her over to The Playroom for their drop-in playtime. Maisie made friends with two little girls and though scared at first ended up loving the trampoline. I think that we'll be visiting The Playroom often as we had fun and there's so much more there to explore.

We were still going strong so a shopping trip to Tar*jay was our next stop where we found lots of tights on sale so she's set for the rest of this winter as well as next winter. It was getting late and cooking dinner was the last thing I wanted to do once returning home so a quick stop at the new Trader Joe's and a dinner of lobster ravioli in vodka sauce was just a quick boil away. Maisie really loved the chicken pot pie at lunch so a repeat meal was her dinner. Today was the most food and the most nutritious meals that she's ever had. Overall a perfect day all around.

The picture above is Maisie when we returned from our day out and she was still a happy girl. Now she's sleeping soundly in the p-n-p and hopefully it will be another good night followed by another good day tomorrow.

Just a few piccies from the weekend.

Maisie1-29-07 001So proud walking behind her princess car.

Maisie1-29-07 002Walking towards me.

Maisie1-29-07 003 As usual, coming for the camera.

Monday, January 22, 2007

And then there were seven...

For our little Ladies-who-Lunch (LwL) group, Maisie was the final little girly-girl to come home from China. So on Saturday the seven LwL gathered with our little sweeties for the first time all together and did a little photo shoot. All I could do was laugh as all the girlies were so cute and it was great to finally have them all home and together.
Front row (L-R):
Maisie (home Dec'06 - 15mos old);
Liza (home Sept '06 - 15mos old);
Amelia (home June'06 - 17mos old).
Back row (L-R):
Chloe (home Sept '06 - 16mos old);
Kacey (home Sept '06 - 27mos old);
Emily (home Mar'06 - 19mos old);
Kailee (home June'06 - 19mos old).

On Wednesday, Maisie turned 15 months old and we had a nice little day together. We did a little shopping in the morning and then Maisie spent lots of time pressing all the little buttons on her princess car. She can spend a good amount of time concentrating on the dashboard and has even started picking the buttons she wants as opposed to just hitting them all randomly.
Everytime I try to take a picture of Maisie, she comes towards me, trying to touch the camera. No wonder I have so few pictures as she still spends a lot of time on my lap or reaching for the camera. I do love her little fish face though.
To top off her 15 month birthday, little Miss M settled in for a rare afternoon nap in the p-n-p, sweet!!!

Friday we had our first visit to the pediatrician, OY!! Maisie was quite good but she did end up getting five different injections which made her scream and made her needle phobic Mother sick. At 15 months and two days, little Miss Maisie weighed in at 19 lbs - 2 oz and is 29.75" tall putting her in the 5th percentile for weight and the 25th percentile for height. Overall the doctor says that she's doing well and seems well attached to me. I have to do a bit of poo collecting and then I'll have to take Maisie to have a major blood draw, checking on all her past immunizations as well as testing for a myriad of who knows what. Eammon probably will have to go with us as I'm likely to pass out as she screams, plus Eammon doesn't mind needles so I think major blood draws should be a blue job in our home, don't you agree???

After visiting the doctor, Maisie and I headed down to the airport to pick up my girlfriend Karen, who flew down from Connecticut to spend the weekend with us. Saturday started with breakfast, followed by the photoshoot and lunch. Maisie looked so cute all dressed and ready for the camera! Then later in the afternoon Karen, Maisie and I headed to the local adopter's gathering at Lisa & Doug's home. Maisie did so well meeting so many new people and everyone was so good about giving her time to warm up to them before swooping in and attempting to get a picture. Lisa even had out some of Brianna's great little toys so Maisie got to test them all out for her.

Sunday was an exciting day as not only did Maisie get all dressed up in a party dress and go to her friend LiLi's 2nd birthday but she also took her first steps!
First steps!!

First steps are tiring.

Today Karen had to fly back to Connecticut and her family and of course it was the day that Maisie decided that Karen was pretty cool and was OK to hold her...Figures!!! Hopefully we'll see Karen again soon and Maisie will warm up faster so that Karen can get her baby fix!

Maisie has decided that tapioca is good and though she's still not too sure about most foods, at least for now, tapioca is a keeper.
Oh no, I have tapioca face!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Are you kidding me??

Everyday brings something new here in the Shanahan home. Some of what happens is good, some of it not so good and there are always some surprises, so here's a little re-cap.

Before I get into all of what's happening, I've received numerous emails regarding the comment I made in my previous post about my doctor wanting to test me for Hep A, B & C exposure. My blood tests came back showing no exposure so I'm fine on that front but again my liver function came back high. So lucky needle phobic me gets to go next week to have another blood draw to see if there's any change. I still say my level is high due to all the antibiotics so hopefully I'm right and my new numbers will be normal or at least close to it.

Friday morning Maisie was just adorable and in a surprisingly good mood even though she (and I) had a rough night. It was the first day where my voice was finally sounding just about normal but I was dragging more than normal but I blamed it on being up most of the previous night and just figured we'd make the best of the day. It was a warm day here in Georgia so Maisie was dressed in the cute red outfit you see in the pictures. We had planned to go to a play group but because of a little miscommunication on location we never hooked up so instead we went out and did a little shopping before coming home and playing with her plastic. While shopping I picked up a sample of a Pop-tart and Maisie loved it, ate it and hey even though it's sugar at least she's eating something, so our pantry now contains Pop-tarts.

While we were out I started to really drag and was feeling queasy, weak and achy. Once home, we spent quiet time in the play area but as the afternoon progressed I started getting chills anda bad headache so by the time Eammon got home from work I was so achy I could barely move and had a fever of 102. Are you kidding me, after being so sick for so long, I now had the flu!! By 5:30 I was in bed for the night, well except for all the numerous trips to the bathroom. When it was time for Maisie to go to bed, Eammon brought her in to me where she quickly fell asleep on me but I guess she was uncomfortable with me being so hot as she quickly moved to the bed where she spent the night next to me.

Saturday my day consisted on laying on the sofa watching Maisie play. I couldn't get my fever down, I had a wicked headache and was so sore that I couldn't even lift her up. Late in the morning though she decided that she wanted to lay on top of me and within two minutes was fast asleep for a 45 minute nap! Then later in the day while I was napping in the bedroom she had a bit of a meltdown just before she decided to put her head on Eammon's chest where she took a second 40 minute nap!! This is the girl who doesn't nap and she did two in one day!! Come bedtime I just couldn't have her on top of me with my fever, chills and endless trips to the bathroom so I thought I'd give the pack-n-play (p-n-p), which is next to our bed, another go. Well what would you know, she whinged a few minutes but I kept stroking her back, she stayed down and actually fell asleep, will miracles never cease! She woke a couple of times during the night and all I had to do was put my hand on her back for a few minutes and she was back asleep.

Sunday wasn't all too different from Saturday just a lazy day with me still sick. Because of her naps on Saturday, I decided to try and put her down for an afternoon nap to see if she'd take one and sure enough, after about 30 minutes of complaining she slept in the p-n-p for about an hour. Then that night again she slept the entire night in the p-n-p again only waking a few times and needing a few pats on the back to settle her back down. At some point though I must have picked her up out of the p-n-p as I awoke Monday just after 6am with her sleeping on my chest. I'm guessing that she wouldn't settle back down and so that I could get back to sleep, just unconsciously picked her up and put her where I knew she'd settle and sleep.

Even with all the sleep over the weekend, Monday was not going to be a good day. She's cutting four teeth, it looks like her upper canines and her lower first molars. I fought with her to get Ora-gel on her teeth and medicine in to her, trying to make her feel more comfortable and better but with little success. We did go out for a quick lunch, meeting my friend Judy but Maisie didn't have the patience to be social. Once home all she'd do was cry. When I wasn't holding her she cried to be picked up, when I was holding her, she cried and wiggled away, there was no consoling her. I tried putting her down for a nap but she was having none of it. I even tried to have her sleep for a while on my chest, that too was a no-go. Finally I decided that I'd heard enough crying and the crunch of Cheerios under my feet had to be dealt with so I strapped the Maisie monster into the high chair and started cleaning up and vacuuming. Well would you believe it, while I'm vacuuming and banging toys around, Miss M falls asleep in the high chair!! Are you kidding me, all I had to do was strap her in and turn on the vacuum and she'd fall asleep, shoot I should have done it earlier and she wouldn't have had to do all that screaming!

Monday night I tried to get her to sleep in the p-n-p but Eammon distracted her just as she was falling asleep and with her being so miserable all day, it took three hours to fall asleep and she was up every three hours taking a long time each time to settle back down. At 6am I made her a bottle and after sucking it down she did fall back asleep next to me in the bed for about an hour, but then she was up. We went out for an early shopping trip where I decided to try a few new foods out for her. She doesn't like the feel of fruit in her mouth but she likes the various fruit flavored Gerber fruit puffs so I decided to buy some dehydrated fruit and as she started to whinge in the store I began feeding it to her and she loves it. Also I know that the girl likes chocolate so I bought a couple of chocolate yogurts and she ate a full one, it was a hit!! Now that I know she doesn't mind the texture of at least the whipped yogurt, I'll try her on some flavors other than chocolate. Then to top the day off, she decides that the medicine I've been forcing on her to help with the teething pain actually tastes good and now when she sees the syringe she starts smacking her lips, whew, that's one less battle I have to fight.

Now she sleeps in the p-n-p, I've actually cleaned up the kitchen and play area, folded some laundry and have had the time to write an entire post in one go, life is definitely improving here at the Shanahan home. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this new sleeping arrangement continues and maybe even gets better so that she's sleeping in her own crib, in her own room but how nice it is to finally have a few hours at night to myself!! Now that I've done all this fun stuff, it's time to go to bed. Until my next post, night...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

One month a family!

Today marks the one month anniversary of Maisie joining our family. Though no outright celebrating took place, we did have a good day. Maisie did scream bloody murder as Will the vampire phlebotomist drew blood from me this morning but after that, the day got much better. For lunch we met Kathy, Deb and LiLi which was a lot of fun and though Maisie didn't allow anyone other than me to hold her, she did allow Kathy to feed her some fruit puffs. We then went on a shopping trip to Costco followed by some play time at home. So as I said, overall a good day.

Since I did a big update yesterday, I'm just going to post some pictures of our little sweetie girl today. Also, I'm still planning on going back and posting pictures and more about our trip but it's daunting trying to figure out where to start. So if anyone has questions about our trip, please ask them in either an email or a comment as it may help me get going on some posts...Thanks!

Hmmm, what colorful plastic toy should I play with next?? (Check out her dimpled right cheek as well as her new leopard print tennies which actually stay on her feet!)
I love driving my Princess Car and playing all the songs over and over and over!
Hey Mama, pay attention to me, no blogging for Mama!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What a difference two weeks home makes

We've now been home from China for sixteen days and between having Maisie attached to me like velcro 24/7 and my ongoing recovery, finding the time to blog has been virtually impossible. First, healthwise Maisie and Eammon are both doing well. They finished all their antibiotics and are fully recovered. I on the other hand have started my fourth course of antibiotics and steroids and have to go in to the lab tomorrow for more blood tests as my blood work from Monday showed an elevated liver count so they're running some liver tests and also testing for exposure to Hep A, B & C. But then I've already completed 3 rounds of antibiotics, so that could be the cause of the elevated liver count and hopefully that's the case. And before you ask, no I didn't get the Hep shots before going to China. I almost have my voice back, hard to believe that I've sounded sick for so long but I really have been on the mend.

Since being home we've been so well taken care of by our great friends. Groceries were furnished upon our arrival home and full meals have been dropped off every few days, all of which have been wonderful and truly appreciated. Other than cooking up some eggs and bacon on two nights I haven't cooked since returning from China. Of the items that I made and froze before travel, we've only had the shepherd's pie so the freezer remains full. In fact Monday was the first time I even ventured into a grocery store since being home and that was just for milk, OJ and ice cream. We have awesome friends and we thank them all. This past Saturday Julie and Kacey came over with dinner and probably because Julie pretended to ignore Maisie, little Miss allowed her to hold her for quite a while as they all fed the ducks in the back yard, it was very cute.

So, what's been happening on the Maisie front? Every day she makes huge strides and she's conquered almost all of her demons. She does so well in the car seat and it's the only place other than my chest where she'll fall asleep so I've been doing quite a bit of driving around. Unfortunately she wakes if the car is stationary for too long so it's not like I can catch a catnap in the car too...Oh well. She does OK in the stroller, again as long as it's moving and at a good clip. Same for shopping carts, if I linger too long she wants out and fast. Her high chair is my savior as I put her in it, can then make a bottle, wheel her into the bathroom, give her the bottle as I quickly shower and then wheel her into the bedroom feeding her some Cheerios allowing me time to get dressed, again quickly but at least I can get that done in the morning.

OK sleeping, Maisie still will not get into or sleep in either the crib or the pack-n-play. She sleeps almost exclusively on my chest and has just started to allow me to slide her onto the bed next to me once she's asleep. Previously she'd wake and scream every time I tried to move her, so this is a nice change especially since it allows my very sore lungs a chance to breathe a little easier. I will say though that she is not an early riser and I hope that this pattern continues. I generally go to bed with her between 7 and 8 PM and though she'll wake briefly during the night, sometimes needing a quick bottle, she'll sleep till around 8am. The fact that I have to get into bed with her so early and remain there has its good and bad points. For the good, I am getting more rest and I need that especially since girlfriend here does NOT nap and being sick, rest is good. In addition, once she is asleep, though I can't leave the bed, I can watch television and chat on the phone and it doesn't disturb her at all. The bad side is getting into bed so early doesn't allow me to get anything done in the evening and doesn't allow me any time to myself without her attached to me, but hopefully we'll conquer the crib and sleep soon.

Our entire time in China and up until about five days ago Maisie would only take a bottle and the bottle had to contain formula, no soup, no water, just formula but luckily she doesn't care what brand it is, or the temperature. If I brought any food or utensil near her, she would clamp her mouth tight and shake her head making it impossible to get anything into her. But then I was eating a chocolate covered candy cane and she wanted some so I figured why not. Wouldn't you know it, little Miss M loves chocolate and mint! She took some little bites and though she didn't force it out of her mouth, she really had difficulty moving it back towards her throat. She then allowed me to give her some Cheerios and Gerber Fruit Puffs and really after just two days she was efficiently moving everything back in her mouth and actually eating! She still wouldn't allow any utensils near her mouth until Monday when I was eating Spumoni and girlfriend here decided that ice cream on a spoon was allowed. I probably gave her about ten spoons of ice cream amounting to maybe half a teaspoon total, but just that she allowed me to come near her with a spoon was a step in the right direction. I've since tried some baby food, apple sauce and veggies; string beans, peas, corn, carrots & lima beans and she'll put them into her mouth and spit them out so we'll have to work on getting her to eat things other than chocolate, mint, ice cream and cereal. We have our first appointment with the pediatrician on the 19th so hopefully she'll give me some ideas as to what to feed her.

Everyday I've been getting Maisie out and whenever possible interacting with other children as each time she's with other kids she becomes more adventurous and outgoing. Since coming home we've had a couple of play dates with LiLi which are always fun. In addition we've played with Emily, Kacey, Liza and Ruby George, daughter of our travel mates Becky & Booker. Last Friday we attended a FCC playgroup and we're looking forward to the playgroup again this Friday. We've met numerous friends for lunch in restaurants and though Miss M has limited patience for the highchairs, she's done well. We've also taken a number of strolls around the neighborhood as well as many, many visits to Tar*jay even when not shopping it's been a good place to walk around.

Maisie is cruising and just yesterday took a couple of steps pushing her Princess Ride-On Car so hopefully she'll be walking soon. When we first met Maisie she had no pincer grip, she would flick at things with all four of her fingers and could sort of hold on to larger items but now she has an excellent pincer grip and can pick-up everything and is able to feed herself the Cheerios and fruit puffs. She also loves to hold on to her snack trap and feed herself the Cheerios. She's forever taking off her shoes, socks and pants. I'm not at all impressed with this though as I can't tell you how many times I put her shoes on day after day. Also she's usually jailing in her pants and shoes all seem too big on her so getting them off isn't too difficult. In just one week she'll be 15 months old and most of her clothing is 9 months except for sleepers with feet attached which are 12 months because she needs the length from her shoulders to her toes. Her feet are tiny and even in the Robeez, she's wearing 0-6 month size. I bought her some size 3 squeaky shoes whilst in China and she walks right out of them even when I tighten them as much as I can. Today I bought her a cute pair of Baby Gap leopard print tennies in size 2 and hopefully these will stay on her feet. I need to take more pictures of Miss M but as she's been attached to me almost constantly, I haven't had much opportunity but now that she'll do things without having a death grip on my shirt collar, I'll have to pull out the camera and start using it more. Also as you can see from the picture of her eating a Cheerio, she's a much happier baby and much more outgoing than when we met her and even when we first arrived home.

I've spent so little time online lately but I want to congratulate everyone who received their referral this month, some great bloggy friends received theirs as well as both of my August dtc Secret Pals and I'm so happy for them. I have been trying to catch up on my blog reading but while I can read, I can't always comment. But to all my bloggy buddies, please know that I'm still following along and love reading all that is happening and hopefully soon I'll be caught up and able to have a free hand so to type a comment or two.

Thank you too for all the wonderful emails checking on us, making sure that we're all doing OK and still breathing. I'll try to post more often and with piccies so that all our friends will know what's happening and that we are all doing OK. Now it's time to snuggle down next to Miss M and get some sleep, night!!
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