Thursday, November 25, 2010

First Thanksgiving

Was a success! We went to Maggie's sister's house and then a friend's. Polina had a lot of food....turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, carrots, and some deserts. Of course she was the life of the party. She still doesnt go to the men in the family, but is okay being carried by the women. Some pictures from the holidays are below. She loves taking baths now, and sleeps thru the night. We think we have our schedule down now. One nap a day does it...if she takes two, then we are all awake at 2am! Happy thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sleep thru the night?

Okay blogger friends...need your advice. When we were in Russia, Polina would sleep 8 straight hours, sometimes 10. Since we are home, she is getting up at 2am every morning. We have tried one nap during the day, two naps during the day, trying to get her back to sleep when she wakes up, etc. We try to get her to bed between 7 and 8pm for consistency. Any advice? Thanks!

Other than that, she has been wonderful! She loves baths, drinks from a sippy cup, smiles a lot, etc. Now...if we can just get sleep a later later, Mommy and Daddy would be happy!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

making progress!!!

Polina has really changed over the couple of are some lists of things:::
- she finally loves taking baths. she didn't want to get out yesterday.
- she drinks from sippy cup when my nephew does it.
- she says cat but doesn't pronounce t at the end
- she has been eating lot. She loves chicken noodle soup,banana,grated apple
banana puffs,pasta and sauce,farina, we are working on the drinking. If we give her chicken noodle soup we just add more water. I changed her diaper this morning and for the first time it was really heavy.
- she goes to bed at 7 or 8 and still gets up around 2 or 3 in the morning. we are working on that.
-she smiles all the time now.
-she runs around the whole house like she owns the place.
-she has been much better with randy and will actually go to him sometimes especially when he throws her up in the air.
-she has little bit of eczema from teething and chewing so I have been putting special lotion on her face.
-she weights 22 pounds and is 33 inches tall
-she loves my sisters and parents
-loves going outside
-she spoon feeds herself. she tries really hard and loves to be independent and we let her even though its a big mess.
-she mimics everything we do. if we show her something once she knows how to do it.
We love her so much. I can finally share that Polina will be a big sister. I am due may 28 and their birthdays are going to be 3 days apart. After trying on our own,IUI's and Ivf we just gave up getting pregnant and have decided to adopt. To our surprise I found out I was pregnant and the very next day we got our court date. We are blessed beyond belief and never in a million years we would think this would happen to us.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

We are settling in nicely

We still arent adjusted to East Coast time yet, and Polina keeps getting up at 2am, but we are getting there. She loves her new house and really has started bonding with us. She even let me carry and play with her while mommy went to her Doctor appointment today. Some updates:
* We went to the SS office today to apply for her new SS#...should arrive shortly
* Polina has started to try new foods and so far, likes meatball, LOVES banana puffs, likes the kids macaroni and meat pieces, still likes her oatmeal
* Polina really hasnt been drinking all that much so we hope that she is okay...we make whatever she eats more moist to make up for it, but she doesnt want any water, or juices or anything
* Polina has been great with family and friends as well
* Daddy still isnt smart enough to figure out how the car seat works yet, but thinks he has it now
* She was terrified of the two cats, but seems to like them now and pets them nicely and even feeds them with her spoon (yeah, we know.. a little yucky)

Thanks everyone for the well wishes and support doing this process! It has meant so much to have a community of friends (more like family) that has been there to compare notes with and to get advice from! bloggers rule!

-Randy and Maggie

Pictures of Maggie's family and Polina feeding Bella....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Home at last!!!!!!!!!!!

long journey...Polina threw a tantrum to start the flight, and then was fine for the rest of the 10 hours until we landed and then she wanted to get out (and so did we). Glad to be home...will post more later

Saturday, November 13, 2010

2 more days and finally going home!!!!

We bought thermometer yesterday because I was freaking out that her temp might be too high and we also bought baby orajel. she slept like 6 hours through the night but was waking up on and off just like us. She did have some apple juice in the morning just a couple of sips on her own so that was a big surprise. She seems to like going downstairs for breakfast and sit and sit in the high chair it seems like thats when she eats the most otherwise she doesn't want anything to drink or eat. It really stresses me out and I feel like crying. 2 more days and we will finally be home can't wait because her schedule and the time is really stressing her out and us at the same time. I checked in her mouth when she woke up and there it is another tooth comming in on the top. You can see a little point sticking out and I think thats why she has been so fussy. I put some orajel on their and it seems to help. She's up now and upste because she wants to run around in the hallway but its only like 5 a.m here and there is no way we can let her do that. We will get dressed and head downstairs in the lobby and that will make her smile.

Still not eating / drinking much

We assume other families had similar experiences, but Polina really does eat or drink much at all. It comes and goes in spurts. One day she downs half a bottle of water in one sitting, then today she barely drinks anything (maybe a few sips). We know she is teething (or we think she is at least). The orphanage force-fed her, so we think that feeding time isnt a favorite time of hers. We try to experiment with different foods and bottles / juices, but she wont even put them in her mouth to try.

Other folks have similar experiences? thx!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Maybe teething?

So Polina met with Dr. Boris (of course that's his name) yesterday and he said that she was teething but otherwise healthy and a Momma's girl. Yesterday Polina really enjoyed a water bottle and drank a lot.

Last night she was tossing and woke up a few times. This morning she kept pointing to her mouth and crying. We think she is teething for sure. She feels a little warm, so we cant tell if she has a temperature and is sick, or just a side effect of teething. This morning at breakfast she threw up a lot of liquid. We are thinking it was from all of the water yesterday.

Any thoughts? Should we take her to a doctor? Should we get a thermometer? She doesnt like any teething toys. Thanks everyone....we want to make her comfortable but not sure just how!

Randy and Maggie

Music video of our trip...enjoy!

A video of our 2nd trip...

Busy day in Moscow...

Today was a busy day. Of course Polina got up at midnight, so we played for a few hours before a 2-4am nap. Then she kept us moving as we walked her around the hotel lobby and floor until breakfast. The hotel breakfast was AMAZING...especially compared to the last 2+ weeks in Vladivostok! Polina loved the porridge and croissant.

We then took her to the doctor, who said she was fine but going to be a "momma's girl", but we already knew that! Then off for Visa photo pictures (which she was VERY grumpy for), and then a tour of Moscow. The tour was great and she was quite the trooper. Lucky our driver gave us a stroller to use. Of course, we ended the day at McDonalds since Maggie had been craving some cheese burgers for weeks now. Some pictures are below....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Made it to Moscow

Wow, that 9.5 hr flight was a long one. Polina sleeps thru the night real well, but her over-cautious new parents dont really sleep well. We left Vladivostok and took the long flight to Moscow. Polina didnt really nap at all due to the noise, other babies crying and foreign noises. She was fine the first 4 hours, and then from hrs 5-9 she was cranky. The hour drive to the hotel she was still cranky. She doesnt really scream all that much, more like whinny cries. That could have been a much more painful flight then it was! Of course, all she wants is Mommy to comfort her so Maggie did the bulk of sitting with her. Well, she has been up now for almost 24 hours but is playing in the room. Hopefully that means all of us will sleep well tonight.

Tomorrow, US Embassy and walking tour of Moscow. Should be a good day! We cant wait to get home though. Some pictures...including her favorite fishy face that she does and the LONG flight from Vladivostok to Moscow.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Finally heading for Moscow tomorrow!!

Polina has been adjusting really well even though it was only one day. She slept through the whole night 8-6 a.m. randy and I not so well. we would check on her constantly through the night if she's breathing and any little noise she would make we would be right up checking on her. We have to work on her eating. She eats like a little bird.I don't know if its all the mushy food and she ready for something new like macaroni and cheese lol. She likes her russian teddy bears and likes to run around in the hotel. She was actually slapping strangers hands and waving to them. She has been smiling,giggling and babbling with us. We have taken peoples advice and made a bigger hole in the nipple. She can now hold the bottle and drink by herself. we will work on the sippy cup situation when we get home. Right now she is taking her nap,we will try to stick to the schedule so the transition to our house becomes easier for her.We will try to post pictures from Moscow of her smiling finally.

Question on bottles

For those bloggers that adopted, we have a question. What type of cups did you get for your kids? We got a few different types of bottles, but Polina doesnt like them. She just likes to drink from a cup. What were your experiences? Did you teach them to use a bottle, or just stick with the cup? Thx!

Now introducing.........Polina Helaine Wills!!!

Gotcha day was a success! We picked up her new adoption certificate and birth certificate and applied for her Russian passport, which we pick up tomorrow. We picked up a few cakes for the orphanage staff and headed over. The earlier snow/ice storm couldnt stop us from picking up our little princess!

We picked her up and she didnt cry the entire car ride back to the hotel. She was really enjoying and amazed at the sites of the drive. We made it to the hotel, and she has been playing with her new toys (a music instrument and russian stuffed animals that speak Russian). Cant believe today is here and we are loving every minute of it! Some pictures for folks to enjoy.......

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gotcha Day is Tomorrow - Questions for our blogger friends...

Well, tomorrow is gotcha day! We spent time with her today, but she is still a little scared of us. She loves to press the buttons on the camera, and our grocery store receipt is still a favorite play item!

We have some questions for those of you that have already adopted:
* How and when did u get the child's Social Security number?
* More specifically, how did u add them to your health insurance....did u need the SS# to do it? We have a doctor appt when we get back, and want to make sure she is covered.
* Flying....were you allowed baby food? How much? What about bottled apple juice? Just wondering what they will / wont allow us to carry on the plane.

Thanks everyone! Will post pictures shortly....

Randy & Maggie

Friday, November 5, 2010

3 days until "gotcha" day

So this past week we were able to meet up with Corinne and Darren at the Clever House shopping mall for dinner at our favorite Korean place up top. Was nice to chat with some Americans as everyone in the hotel we are staying at seems to be Asian business persons.

We then met up with Sabrina and Georgio and we also ate at the Korean place, and then took a walking tour of downtown Vlad. There was an outdoor market with different foods, fruits, and seafood as we made our way towards the submarine park area. Its nice to meet up with other bloggers here in Vlad!

Sleep continues to be a struggle....besides the hard beds, on the weekends downtown turns into the "fast and furious" where motorcycles rev and race all night long and screech their tires. Our guide told us it made the news the other day, but doesnt seem to stop them. Last night was no different. At least my iPod drones some of it out! Some new pics of the market, church bells, and stuff we purchased to get ready for gotcha day.....

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

5 more days to go!!!!!!!!!!

We are counting down the days till we finally pick up our daughter. I am so looking forward going to Moscow.I hope the beds are more comfortable there. We have been waking up like 3 times a night the beds are hard as a rock and my body just can't take it anymore.We have visited all the places that we can around here and now we are counting down every minute of the day. It's pretty boring here so we spent our time on the laptop,watching the same shows over and over or playing a game of UNO. We love going to the orphanage because it breaks up the day. Now due to the 4 day Russian Holiday its a maybe if we'll see our daughter on friday,than we have the weekend,than we see her on monday and get her on Tuesday. We cant wait!

Monday, November 1, 2010

7 days to go....

Today was a good day. We got to visit our little princess, and traffic was even down saving us the typical extra hour in stop and go traffic on the already hour and a half trip. We got to try and feed our daughter, but she wasnt having any of it. She is very comfortable with her caregivers, but afraid of strangers. We are still strangers and understand that. She does warm up to us, but it usually takes a little time.

We then drove her over to the local photographer for her passport picture. She must not have been in a car since being dropped off, because she screamed and then enjoyed seeing all of the sights. The village that she lives in is interesting...roads are terrible, everything is made of soviet-era concrete and rebar and is crumbling around. Of course the women are all dressed up with high heels, full makeup and designer clothes. Always an interesting mix considering the surroundings!

We have tomorrow free to do whatever (which means more reading, some walking around and just counting down the hours) and then we see our princess again on Wednesday. Another day closer to getting her!!!!!

Some pictures...
Our favorite grocery store

Maggie enjoying a Korean meal for dinner

Outside the photography place in Artem