Sunday, August 7, 2005

Update on the last four months

Well, much to our chagrin, it has been four months since we posted anything substantive about our family and the continuing development of our little one. In short - She sleeps really well, because when she's awake, she's the Energizer Bunny!

On a quick side-note, in addition to the shots below, we have a number of photos in albums posted on Shutterfly's site under the new Collection feature. The URL is The albums are not in date order, and some of the most recent albums are near the bottom, so keep scrolling!

Sydney's first crawl Four short months ago, Sydney was not crawling. She made her first successful attempts at the combat crawl on April 12th. Soon she was very mobile as a crawler, to the point that she gave up most efforts at walking on her own. She got to the point that she could take a few solo steps before needing help and then reverted back to being happy on the ground. On June 28th, she very nonchalantly left the laundry basket she was using as a walker and walked across the bedroom to get a toy. From that moment on, she's been on the go!

Sydney walking She has been eagerly learning new baby signs, and can communicate with a vocabulary of about 20 "words" ranging from "Mommy" and "Daddy" to "doggy", "more", "please", "book", "help", and a version of "baby" that resembles scratching her armpit. We're not sure where that derivation came from, but it works to get the point across!

Sydney Dancing She imitates everything and is working on her vocalizing. She apparently doesn't feel the need to talk yet, as she is having so much fun moving and shaking. Sydney drinking She dances to music by spinning in circles and bopping her arms back and forth (we have video footage we'll try to post at some point), and has pretty good coordination. She has the dexterity to put the cap back on the pen (when she manages to find one Mom and Dad haven't hidden) and to start feeding herself with a fork and spoon, though her success rate still needs work. She has started squinting her eyes and folding her hands before meals because she knows we are going to pray, and her favorite book is her "Bible" with 12 illustrated Bible stories. She pinches her nose when she sees the skunk (on the Ark, of course) and meows when she sees the cat on the boat Jonah took to get to Tarshish. For that matter, she meows every time she sees a cat, whether in person or in a picture. She makes the sign for Doggie (a finger wagging like a tail) when she sees either of our dogs. Of course, she made the same sign when she saw the sea lions at SeaWorld last month!

Us with the Pitres Sydney with Aunt Fly, Mary Martha, and Peewee We have taken two trips with her. The first was to Los Angeles to visit friends who moved there while we were in China. The second was a road-trip to San Antonio for a medical conference that Amy attended while Rollin took Sydney to spend time with an aunt and several second cousins who were dying to see her. Both trips were a lot of fun. In LA we got to see Santa Anita Park where Seabiscuit ran as well as the Queen Mary where she is docked in Long Beach. In San Antonio we saw SeaWorld, the San Antonio Zoo, and the Children's Museum. And above all, we had a wonderful time with our dear friends and family in both places.

Sydney From Daddy's perspective, parenthood is a blast! I love the time I get to spend with her, seeing her personality grow and learn. Already I look back at pictures of Sydney taken in China or soon after we got back, and I can't believe the changes that have taken place. As you can tell from the photos posted here, her hair is growing like gangbusters, and now has to be held back by hair clips. She has added 6 teeth since we came home, and is now up to 10 and counting. She went through a brief phase of preferring Daddy way back when, and then liked both Mommy and Daddy. Now, however, she has a clear preference for Mommy, but Daddy is okay with that. She is showing definite signs of separation anxiety when either of us leave (especially Amy), but is able to be distracted and comforted. She has really started being huggy, and loves to put her head on our shoulders when we carry her around. Having her lay her head down and hug me with her little arms is just priceless.

It's amazing to think back through the adoption process and realize that we are about to start it all over again for Sydney's little (most likely) sister! Our 6-month follow-up home study for Sydney is in a few weeks, and we will go ahead and have our social worker write up the home study for our next adoption at the same time. Wowzers!