Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oh, what an amazing week! Unbelievably, it was one year ago on Tuesday (July 21) that we met Grace for the first time. What a difference a year makes!

Here is our referral photo of Grace.

Here is one of the pictures we took of her on the first day (July 23) we were allowed to take pictures. She was nine months old.

Here she is today at twenty-one months old!

We spent last weekend at our first annual Astrakhan gathering. We met with the four other families that we met during our first and second trips to Astrakhan. We had so much fun! Monica and Russ were our gracious hosts! Thank you so much! Altogether there were seven beautiful children from Astrakhan. Here are two photos. Because of the timing, we didn’t get all of them in one photo. The second photo includes all of Russ and Monica's children. What a beautiful group!

Micah and Grace were together in Astrakhan while we were waiting for their passports. Here is a picture we took of the two of them in the courtyard of the Korvet Hotel.

Here they are today! Wow!

In my last post, I forgot to tell my saga of weaning Grace from the bottle, so here it is. We arrived home with Grace just a few days short of her first birthday. Our pediatrician recommends weaning from the bottle at 12 months. However, because of all of the other adjustments Grace was going through, she told us to continue the bottle for a while longer, but to wean her off the bottle by the time we came back for her 15 month check up. Well, I couldn’t do it. She loved her bottle! I had tried to give her milk in a cup (warm and/or cold) a few times, but she wanted nothing to do with it. At her 15 month check up, our doctor said we had to get her off the bottle. She gave us three options. She said we could put some flavoring in the milk. But this was her last resort and I agreed. I certainly didn’t want to add sugar to her milk! As a second option, our doctor said to just quit ‘cold turkey’ and give her only milk in a sippy cup. Well, I tried this for the first weekend and Grace would not drink anything. Well, I couldn’t take that, so I went back to the bottle and tried the doctor’s third option, which was to gradually add the taste of milk to her water, i.e. start with one tablespoon of milk added to her water, then two tablespoons, then three tablespoons. Grace still wouldn’t drink it! She knew it wasn’t her usual water! I did get Grace down to just one bottle a day (first thing in the morning). At Grace’s 18 month check up, the doctor didn’t mention the bottle and I didn’t either. I think I was too afraid of what she was going to say to me! I’m sure she assumed that Grace had given up her bottle. Well after this, I decided that as soon as I was out of school for the summer, I would stop the bottle ‘cold turkey.’ I was so worried about how Grace was going to handle this. I didn’t sleep the whole night before worrying about it. Well, as soon as Grace woke up, I went to get her out of her crib. I picked her up and she said “bottle.” I almost started to cry. But I brought her downstairs, put milk in her sippy cup and mixed her oatmeal up with milk. I was trying to act like nothing was different! She started eating her oatmeal and then drinking her milk. Yes, I said drinking her milk! I couldn’t believe it! And that’s all there was to it. She’s been drinking milk out of a sippy cup ever since and has never asked for a bottle again! I guess when she’s ready, she’s ready!

Well, this was a longer post then I had planned on, so I’ll end for now.