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Sunday, June 29, 2008

She loves her rubber duckie!!


It's not a fluke!!!!

Annalea slept through the night...7 p.m. to 6 a.m...not one, not two, but three nights in a row!!!!! My mom said it was her birthday present to me. I don't think she will ever top that one (unless she gives me diamond earrings).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A movie about our journey...

It was fun making this, even though I was up until 2 a.m.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More Pics from Today




Annalea loves to swing!!



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You can see how much she is enjoying it. The swing was a gift from Grandma, who unfortunately could not push her because she hurt her knee and cannot walk today. But Kokor rose to the occassion.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The love is overflowing

Annalea is enjoying tons of attention everywhere we go. But the love she gets at home is more than plentiful, and it is making her a happier baby every day.

That is because right now there are many sources of that love here! Grandma is here as I mentioned earlier. And yesterday Kokor arrived.

A little background on how Kokor got her name. The word for maternal aunt in Armenian is Morkor. When I was a child I couldn't say Morkor properly at first, so Kokor is what stuck. I think it is cuter anyway.

Kokor is my mom's sister. She is the eldest of the family. She is a Virgo like Annalea. I don't know what that means, but if anyone wants to chime in on Virgo traits, feel free. Kokor never had children (although I think she would have been an amazing parent). So she really is like a second mom to me. She and her husband who we call the traditional "Uncle," used to take us everywhere...even to Europe one time.

It is so much fun having my mom and aunt here visiting. I know Annalea is flourishing because of all the love they are giving her. What a treat to watch these two Armenian women fuss over her...just like the women in the streets of Yerevan...but with ten times the love.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Survival Gear

I am finding that having a baby in 2008 is a lot easier than it was in 2001. The gear has really come a long way.

I used to work in the infant toy industry as a marketing manager for the Playskool brand. There was sometimes overlap between infant toys and the juvenile products industry (all the stuff you would find at the baby stores, like high chairs, strollers, etc.).

I recall the word "innovation" was used quite a bit in our meetings. Innovation in toys? Well yes. And that buzz word is even more important in the juvenile products area. Making mommy's job easier is their mission.

So I say thanks to the following companies (and a special thank you to those who gave me their gently used gear):

Platex for the Diaper Genie II (a huge improvement from the original diaper genie we had with Ryan):



Britax for the safest car set on the market. Thanks Tammi!


Evenflo for the great exersaucer that Annalea uses. Thanks Nancy!




Bob, for the Revolution stroller that can go anywhere. Thanks Craigslist!

Maclaren, for the two great lightweight umbrella strollers we use. Thanks Craigslist!

Peg Perego, for the best high chair on the market. Thanks Beth!




Monday, June 16, 2008

Should I laugh or should I cry??

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Chatterbox

Annalea continues to progress with her milestones. When we first took her home, she didn't make many sounds beyond cooing. But today she started babbling quite alot...she obviously is looking forward to having Daddy come home!

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sorry to be such a showoff






Her dream finally came true

Last Saturday, my mom arrived from Rhode Island for a three week stay. You have to understand that she has been waiting for this moment for a long time...like almost 20 years. My only sibbling, Al, was the first to marry and have a family -- two boys. Then many years later when I got pregnant, my mom was so excited to perhaps finally have a granddaughter. Although I know how much she loves Ryan, when I shared the results of my amnio, she responded with "Oh...another grandson!" Needless to say, I did sense a tiny bit of disappointment when she heard it was a boy...again. But now she finally has a grandchild that she can dress in pink all she wants.



Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bathtime!!!

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Great news from the opthamologist!!

Annalea does not appear to have infantile esotropia, which we were afraid she may have. She has what is called pseudoesotropia, which is very common in infants.

The description from eMedicine:

Background
Pseudoesotropia is a condition in which the alignment of the eyes is straight (also known as orthotropic); however, they appear to be crossed.

Pathophysiology
This condition most commonly occurs in infants when a flat nasal bridge and prominent epicanthal folds tend to obscure the nasal portion of the sclera. This optical illusion causes the patient to have an appearance of eyes deviated nasally, and it is most apparent when the eyes are in side gaze or are focusing up close. A small interpupillary distance (ie, the distance between 2 pupils) also can give the appearance of pseudoesotropia.

So our only course of action is a follow-up appointment in six months!!!!! We are thrilled!!!!!

Our First Doctor's Appointment

Yesterday Annalea had her first appointment with our pediatrician. The doctor was very impressed with her progress and said she is NOT developmentally delayed as many institutionalized children are. Her evaluation was that she appears to be a very alert, active, and bright little girl. I was very pleased to hear this.

But the most satisfying part of the appointment was when the doctor took Annalea in her arms and faced her away from me. Annalea turned around to look for me not once, but twice. The doctor pointed out that she is exhibiting signs of stranger anxiety, and that it is not a fluke because she looked for me twice. She also added that this is remarkable considering the fact we have been together less than 3 weeks!!! I guess we can safely say she knows who her mommy is!!!

The only area we really need to focus on is getting her to gain weight. She is less than 3% in weight. Her height is 40% and head is 15%, which is wonderful considering where she was before.

The only other thing I would like to mention is that the nurses were just gaga over her!!! They loved how she so easily smiled and said she had beautiful "bright" eyes (as all those Armenian babies do).

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Playtime with Big Brother

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Morning Session with Personal Trainer

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

My brother is just so cool


Annalea's First Girl Friend (besides me of course)...

...is Meghan!! They are neighbors, and their moms really like each other too!!





Sleep

Well Annalea has been home just over a week. She is adjusting fabulously. We are on a schedule that works for both of us...but...

do not deviate from that schedule or else!!

Yesterday on our noon time venture to do errands, we started to head home so we could get back in time for her bottle and afternoon nap. But we hit some very bad construction traffic, and a 10 minute ride turned into 30 minutes. Of course, she fell asleep in the car, which is not what I wanted to happen. When we got home, she woke up, and napping was not on her agenda.

So later at the pool she was tired and cranky and fell asleep in the stroller at 5:00. Not a good thing if you want her to go to sleep at 7:00. She woke up again when we got home, and was ready to play, not sleep. I don't know what time she finally went to sleep...Kevin came home at 7:30, and I went to bed at 8:15.

But the moral of the story is (at least for us) keep that baby on that schedule, or pay the price later.

Friday, June 6, 2008

This ad says it all...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

My day as a mother of two...or...

Time flies when you're having fun

2:00 a.m. Annalea wakes up to be fed 6 ounces of formula
5:00 a.m. Annalea starts stirring and monitor wakes me up. Annalea goes back to sleep.
5:15 a.m. I realize I can't go back to sleep and come downstairs to turn on the coffee
5:20 a.m. Sit down with coffee and check emails, write for blog
6:00 a.m. Annalea wakes up. I bring her down for playtime and then a bottle
6:45 a.m. Wake up Ryan for school.
6:55 a.m. Wake up Ryan for school
7:05 a.m. Wake up Ryan for school. Threaten to take away some form of media.
7:45 a.m. Bring Ryan to school
8:30 a.m. Give Annalea a bottle and put her down for a nap. Ahhh free time!!!
10:30 a.m. Annalea wakes up. More play time.
11:00 a.m. Annalea has some fruit.
11:30 a.m. Annalea and I go out to do some sort of errand...probably grocery store
1:00 p.m. Annalea has a bottle and goes down for her afternoon nap. I probably take a nap.
2:30 p.m. Annalea wakes up.
2:45 p.m. Pick up Ryan from school.
3:45 p.m. Walk over to the community pool for Ryan's swim team practice.
4:30 p.m. Give Annalea her bottle while at the pool.
5:30 p.m Come back home and get dinner on the table. Have Ryan do his homework.
5:35 p.m. Remind Ryan to start his homework.
5:45 p.m. Threaten Ryan with no computer time if he doesn't do his homework.
6:15 p.m. Dinner is served. Give Annalea some more fruit or maybe veggies.
7:00 p.m. Tell Ryan to get in his PJ's and brush his teeth.
7:10 p.m. Give Annalea her bottle and put her down for the night.
7:30 p.m. Discover that Ryan is downstairs watching TV. Scold him for not being in his PJ's and not having brushed his teeth.
7:45 p.m. Read to Ryan and cuddle.
8:00 p.m. Tell Ryan lights out.
8:10 p.m. Tell Ryan lights out.
8:20 p.m. Tell Ryan lights out.
8:30 p.m. Fall asleep on couch.
8:45 p.m. Go up to bed.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Surely you won't mind movies as an alternative

Still no USB for still camera, but I have all the equipment to upload movies!! Annalea slept very well last night, so we have some good footage this morning of a very happy baby!

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As I mentioned earlier, Annalea is already sitting up. It is known that infants from orphanages are always delayed and we expected that she would not be sitting up yet. When we took her home, she was not able to, but she figured it out pretty quickly!!!

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Annalea is smart!!! Here she is with her favorite toy, and already knows how to use it!!

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

More Photos

Well, I still don't have my USB cord for my camera. The luggage came, but apparently I failed to put the cord in the luggage. So I have ordered a new one, which will come some time next week.

In the meantime, I managed to wrangle Kevin's laptop from him and get some of my favorites onto my computer so that I could post them:







Things I will miss about Armenia

Earlier I posted things I missed about home, but now that we are settling back into suburbia, I am realizing what I miss about Armenia:

  • Walking the streets of Yerevan (with the exception of crossing the street)
  • The mountainous countryside
  • The language (although I don't understand, it is a comforting sound to me because it brings back childhood memories of my grandparents)
  • The people fussing over my baby
  • The people
  • The red red tomatoes (and other fresh vegetables)
  • The bread
  • Kilikia (Armenian beer)
  • Lamanjun (Armenian pizza)
  • The Chinese restaurant around the corner (best I've tasted)
  • Dinner every night in an outdoor cafe
  • Our lovely translator (who became like part of our family)
  • Having the market right outside our door