Formerly "To China For Kelly"

When I originally set up this blog, it was to chronicle our trip to China to adopt our daughter, Kelly; thus the title, "To China For Kelly." But now that I've decided to keep it up as my on-line scrapbook/journal, the title needs updating.
Inspired by my girls, who, despite their ten year age difference, both love lollipops and lip gloss; it is now titled, "From Lollipops to Lip Gloss." This is not to leave my son out, who also loves lollipops, but isn't too big on lip gloss, understandably!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Kelly's first cupcake!

Here we are, teaching our daughter proper nutrition with... chocolate cupcakes, of course!!!
I had baked them earlier this week, and decided to let Kelly try one... without frosting (I do have some limits). I think the pictures tell the story of whether or not she liked it...

Hmmm... what is this brown, crumbly stuff..? It sure is messy...

Hey! This stuff is pretty tasty! Here, Mom, you want to try a bite?


Oh man, this stuff is great! I can't get enough of it...

Mmm, I think I can shove one more bite in...

Oops... I think I got too much now...

You didn't get a picture of that, did you? Oh, I'm so embarrassed!

But man, oh man, are cupcakes ever THE BOMB!

And lastly, here's Chloe doing "clean up duty"... it's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it!
Usually, Kaya gladly tackles the "Kelly clean up" job, but being the smart canine that she is, she knows chocolate isn't good for doggies, so she lets Chloe do clean up for this particular meal...
(Such a smart bunch around here, I tell ya... and so humble too. ;)

Kelly Video- finally!!!

(turn your speakers/sound on/up)

Here is a video of Kelly signing "please" and "thank you." I just took this video this morning after she had her bottle. Isn't she so cute? And so smart too!

Keep in mind that babies aren't usually able to sign perfectly, but as long as you see a resemblance to the proper sign, and it is consistent, then that's all you're looking for. Notice she grunts whenever she says "thank you." She does this every time she signs "thank you" for some reason- it's so funny! You might notice the first time she attempts it, she has her bottle in her hand, so I ask her to do it again. The reason I knew she was signing "thank you" even though she had her bottle in her hand was because she grunted when she did it. After a couple more attempts, and some more "pleases"mixed in there, she finally gets it right! Such a smart girl, don't you think?!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kelly - but no pictures

I was thinking about all the things we are learning about Kelly, and I thought I'd see if I could summarize them into LIKES/DISLIKES...

Kellly loves:

- bananas
- Chloe, our cat
- swimming in the pool
-refried beans and rice
-getting in her car seat because she loves to "help" me click her seat belt
- taking baths
- vanilla yogurt
- climbing
-her bottle
-taking rides in her stroller
-wild or silly horse play

Kelly doesn't like:

-sitting still (unless she's in her car seat or stroller)
-reading books
-getting her diaper changed
-hair bows or headbands or hats- anything in or on her hair

Kelly isn't crazy about watching videos or TV either. She likes music, but I can't tell if she really loves it yet. She usually does move to the beat a little, but only if she's in the mood. She also really likes to mimic us... she's so observant and will try to do whatever we do if she finds it interesting enough. She tries to snap and gets her fingers right, but, of course, she isn't quite able to snap them yet, so to compensate for the noise she can't make, she clicks her tongue. It sounds just like a snap, so she figures she's doing it! She really likes to clap, wave "hi" or "bye-bye" and she likes to blow kisses too.
She's been doing the cutest thing for the past week or so... when I pick her up from her crib, she will hug me and pat my back just like I pat hers. She also was not kissing us up until about a week ago... she'd blow kisses, but she wouldn't give us real kisses, but now we get actual, real kisses. SO SWEET. I think with the sleep she's finally getting with the noise maker, she's feeling happier and has been showing it in sweet little ways like this. I've noticed when I go in to get her from her crib after she's slept, her demeanor is slowly changing and instead of crying and being fussy, she's more happy upon waking up. Mornings are the best, she's almost always delighted to see me, which is such a nice change from the grumpy, fussy baby she was a week ago.
Other things about her: she sweats like crazy, especially her head! We can all be feeling a bit warm, but not hot enough to sweat, but Kelly will have sweat just dripping from her hairline!
Also, I don't know if I've ever shared this, but she goes to bed very easily. I think it's getting even better now that she has the noise machine in there, but she's always been pretty easy. I just lay her down in her crib, rub her back and sing a couple of songs to her, and kiss her goodnight. Sometimes she sits up and waves "bye bye" to me, sometimes she lays there and rolls around, and sometimes she sticks her white towel in her mouth and just snuggles in, looking ready to drift off within seconds, but she is almost always content to be put to bed. If she cries at all, which is becoming rare, it's for 5 seconds, tops- no joke! I guess we are pretty darned blessed when you think about it. We all do very much enjoy this wonder baby, and she seems pretty fond of us too.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More Fun with Friends

Here are the rest of the pictures from our time with our friends, and a few others of Kelly!

Funny face for the camera... I think she just wants the headband OFF!

Yeah, I think this is the official "get this thing off my head" look before she really started to fuss us!

While Debbie, Blake, and Britney were here, we celebrated Blake's 7th Birthday together! We were so honored to be a part of it- we remember when he was a little toddler, so it's awesome to see him growing so big and strong!

"Happy Birthday Blake!!!"

You can barely see Britney behind the chair!

Little Kelly says to the paparazzi, "Come on! Can't we get some privacy here? I said no autographs please! Now give me that camera!"

Having fun with the girls... Britney is such a little sweetheart... I wish she were around more often. What a great little role model she is to Kelly.

What a beautiful bunch of kids!

Britney- the living doll!

Camryn and Blake pose for Britney... she did a great job taking this picture, wouldn't you say? Of course, who could go wrong with subjects as handsome as Blake and as beautiful as Camryn?!?

We went roller skating with friends on Blake's birthday. Here's Caleb with his friend, Cody. They tear it up out there, I tell ya!

Camryn and Blake racing around the rink! Blake really took off on his roller blades!

The Birthday boy is happy to be roller skating on his special day!

Britney- showing her mom how to roller skate!

Kelly and Mom look on...

We sure had a great time while the Blomquist Family was with us! Friends are the flowers in the garden of life, and boy did we pick some good ones!

Piglet Therapy!

Oh, I wish you could have seen Kelly before Debbie began "Piglet Therapy" with her! Kelly was TERRIFIED of Piglet. We weren't sure why- we are figuring it might have been because he has an internal motor that makes him talk and move and Kelly didn't understand that and thought he might actually be alive! Anytime she got within feet of this Piglet riding toy, she screamed and even shook, as if Piglet were a big, scary monster. Clint and I would try to show her he was fine, but she was NOT having him! It got so bad that she wouldn't even want to be on the floor in the same room with Piglet! She would scream in terror, holding on to you for dear life, hiding her face against your chest, but then looking back at Piglet every so often, just to scream all over again at the sight of him. We just didn't know what to do so we ended up moving him out into the garage.

But then came Debbie to the rescue! I told her what had happened and she puzzled her puzzler over it, then decided to see if she couldn't help Kelly get over this irrational fear of the Piglet toy! She was so patient and calm- she took so much time just inching her way with Kelly, closer and closer to Piglet, all the while not pushing Kelly to touch him, but touching him herself, petting him and talking to him, and showing Kelly that even when he talked or played music he couldn't and wouldn't hurt her. Then she got her kids involved and had them actually sit on Piglet and had Kelly observe the whole thing. Of course, her kids had a blast and Kelly took it all in. As each day passed and Debbie worked with Kelly, you could see Kelly's anxiety over Piglet diminish. Finally, I think on the third day, Kelly began to, ever so cautiously, TOUCH Piglet! We were amazed!

By the end of that day, Kelly actually gave him a kiss, and Debbie was able to snap a picture to prove it after several failed attempts!

I'm happy to report that Kelly's Piglet Therapy was a success. She and Piglet are now buddies and she gives him hugs and kisses every day!

Thanks Doctor Debbie, for the wonderful Piglet Therapy! We are so extremely grateful to you! Sooo, when are you coming back to begin Shoe Therapy?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Doctor's Appointment

Thanks for waiting to hear how her appointment went today, although you really had no choice, now did you? (tee hee ;) Kelly was a bit "high maintenance" the rest of the day, so I didn't get to work on this update but by a little bit at a time.

Kelly did pretty well, all things considered. She did get very upset again, crying and screaming as soon as they weighed her, but this appointment didn't last nearly as long as the last one, so it was over shortly after it began, which was awesome.

Her pediatrician didn't find anything with her ears this time, so the infection that she had cleared up with the antibiotics. Her mouth, throat, lungs, heartbeat, everything was normal, so that was good. The doctor thinks it's probably a combination of getting four big molars at once as well as the continued adjustment that is probably the culprit for her sleeping poorly.

I have to tell you all a little secret I discovered though. Has anyone heard of the "Happiest Baby on the Block"? Someone at church mentioned it to me last weekend, and she didn't say much, but the one thing I remembered her telling me was that the author recommends a noise maker with "white noise" for helping babies sleep. She told me her son slept terribly, but after she got the noise maker, he sleeps great now and is much happier in general. So I wasn't sure about spending the money on a noise maker- I figured I'd wait and talk to the doctor first, to rule out any other problems before I went that route, and then if nothing proved to be bothering her, I'd try it. But good old Clint- he doesn't mess around! After I told him about it yesterday, he decided to go out last night and get us a noise maker!

Guess what??!! We used it last night- and Kelly slept all night! I only heard her once, but when I went in to check on her, she was asleep. I guess she just made a little noise in her sleep.
Then today at nap time, I had it on, and she slept for an hour and ten minutes, which is double the time her naps have been! She only woke up because Camryn accidentally slammed her door, and even the noise maker couldn't drown it out, but still, I was just very thankful that this noise maker seems to be helping. I have no idea of the philosophy behind the noise maker... I ordered the "Happiest Baby on the Block" DVD (don't have time to read the book right now!) so I'm looking forward to finding out more about the psychology behind it.

Okay, back to the appointment!

We had to have some tests done on Kelly to make sure she's all healthy, so they had to draw blood. Oh, was I ever anxious about that! Camryn had been to that same lab a few months back and the lady who drew her blood was terrible! When we checked in, I told the gentleman at the counter that I didn't know the lady's name, but there was one lady who drew my older daughter's blood who I DID NOT want to draw Kelly's blood. He asked me what she looked like. I told him I didn't remember much except that she had red, shoulder-length hair. He said, "Did she look mean and evil?" I was taken aback by that comment and didn't know if he was serious or what, so I just said, "Well, I can tell you that she told my daughter, 'There's no easy way to do this,' and stuck her, then when she basically ripped the tourniquet off, it snapped back and hit Camryn on the arm, right where she had just drawn the blood." I told him Camryn's a pretty tough cookie, but this woman reduced her to tears and I did NOT want her near my baby.

He said, "Oh yeah, I know who you're talking about. Don't worry, she's not working today." I told him I didn't know whether or not to take him seriously when he said that about her looking "mean and evil" and he and the lady sitting at the counter next to him looked at eachother knowingly and he said, "Oh yeah, she's pure evil." The lady sitting next to him nodded to me- I was just astonished. I guess she must be pretty bad for them to be so bold in telling someone they don't know from Adam something like that.

So anyway, the lady that did draw Kelly's blood was awesome. She was very gentle and made sure she got the best vein. She only had to stick her once- it was quick and as soon as she got the blood she needed, she bandaged her, gave her a sticker, and sent us on our way. Kelly did scream, of course, but she got over it quickly and was a very happy baby once we left the building!

Phew! I'm just glad it's over and we got through the day! Kelly bounced back much more quickly than she did at her last appointment, so I think that's a good sign that she's adjusting well, and like my sister said, just a testament of Kelly's strong spirit and amazing ability to overcome.

Another quick note now that it's the next day... Kelly slept again, THROUGH THE NIGHT, with that white noise machine! YIPPEEEE!!!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I'm so glad I got pictures of this because you might not believe it if you didn't see it with your own eyes!
Look at Kelly swimming with Debbie! Let me just remind you that Kelly is 14 months old! Debbie had her holding the kick board, stretched out in perfect form, kicking AND blowing bubbles! We could not believe our eyes. It was so amazing and so fun to watch Kelly go. I think she's officially ready for swimming lessons, don't you?

Debbie really had a way with Kelly, which really isn't too surprising considering what a loving, nurturing person Debbie is, and the fact that she's also a teacher, even though she is blessed to be able to stay home with her children. I have another story to share with you in regards to Debbie's way with Kelly, and pictures to accompany, but that is another post...

blowing bubbles

Go, Kelly, go!

Blake started out swimming like a fish, but ended swimming like a shark!

Such a handsome and sweet-natured boy!

Blake, Camryn, and Britney hanging out by the waterfall

Debbie working with Britney on her kicking

Look at that precious smile! Such a darling, loveable girl!

Camryn looks so grown up to me. Where is the time going?

Long awaited update

Okay, Clint has the baby for a while... I had the choice of going out and doing a little shopping, or holing up in Camryn's room by myself for a while so I could update the blog... I'm too tired to shop, so here I am!
Let's see... did I tell you about Kelly's doctor's appointment?
Well, we went in for a check-up and some shots, since all her immunizations have to be redone (this is routine for internationally adopted children), and Kelly began freaking out from the time they weighed her, which was at the very beginning of the appointment!
Poor little thing was screeching- this was beyond screaming, she was so upset. She obviously did not have good experiences with medical staff in China (or something) because they didn't do anything to hurt her, but she just did NOT like any of them. Of course, then as the appointment went on, they actually did give her reason to hate them: as the doctor was checking her ears, she couldn't see past a big ball of ear wax in her right ear, so she had to have the nurse do an ear wash on Kelly- and (dun-dun-dun-duuuuunnnnnnnn) they had to strap her down to do it.
Oh, as if she wasn't traumatized enough! I should have said, "No thank you," and walked out right then to go home and do the ear wash myself, but instead I simply asked them if they would let me hold her instead of strapping her down, but they said no, so I didn't argue. I did my best to comfort her, but it was so awful. I think she might have actually been relieved once that ball of wax was gone- she had a couple serene moments of silence after the nurse got the wax out, almost like she was thinking, "Wow. That felt awesome." But once she came back to reality, she went right back into hysterics. It turned out to be a good thing they washed her ear out though, because the doctor found that she did have an ear infection in that ear. But, as if ALL that wasn't enough, they just had to top it off with two immunization shots to her thighs. Needless to say, I don't know if she'll ever enjoy a doctor's appointment again! Poor little thing. I don't know what I could have done differently, but I felt terrible for her and wished there was more I could do to comfort her.
One of the things her pediatrician said was that she really wanted me to start trying to get Kelly to eat food. She was concerned that she wasn't eating ANYTHING besides her bottles of formula. I told her we had tried feeding her on several occasions but she just would not even open her mouth a centimeter for me to get something in there. She asked me to keep trying, and to start with foods with little or no texture, like yogurt and ice cream (Yes, ice cream!) and stage 1 baby foods.
So the next day I tried baby food- blech! What little bit I got into her mouth came right back out. Then I tried peach yogurt- the smooth kind with no chunks. She spit that out too. Bummer! Okay, we'll try again tomorrow...
So the next day, I tried plain old vanilla yogurt. Guess what? She liked it! She ate quite a bit, to my surprise, and that was the beginning of a complete transformation! Later that day, she actually munched on a Ritz cracker... she got more on herself than in her mouth, but the victory was that she was trying new things!
The next day I tried strawberry yogurt- again, the smooth kind, and she liked that too! I ate a baked potato for lunch and she shocked me by coming over to me and opening her mouth as if to ask for a bite! I gave her one, and she liked it! I shared another 5 or 6 bites with her and she seemed to like it. She ate goldfish crackers and rice that day too! YEAH! We were amazed.
The next day, I tried scrambled eggs. She did try to eat them, but didn't seem to get much swallowed... she didn't seem to know how to get them to the back of her throat to swallow them. "That's okay," I thought... we'll keep trying, and I'll give her smaller bites next time, with a little something to drink to help wash it down.
The next day, she ate scrambled eggs again, but this time I helped her figure out how to swallow them by giving her sips of juice, and that seemed to do the trick. She now can eat scrambled eggs and I can clearly see her chew and swallow them! SUCH A BIG GIRL!!!
She also loves rice and beans, and she likes Cheerios too, although she refused them or spit them out the first couple of times she tried them.

So those are the milestones of her eating! We are so pleased and thankful to see such progress! I've already dropped one of her bottles and am working on dropping another. She's having no problems with her BM's other than them being a little more loose, which is normal and actually good according to her doctor, so that's great.

Other Kelly stuff:
~ She's very funny and playful. She likes to blow raspberries and kisses.
~ She's learning sign language. She can do "more", "please", "all done", "thank you", "no", and "cat".
"Cat" was a new one she learned today. We watched her Baby Einstein video and they do sign language on it, and when they did the sign for cat today, she did it afterwards, and actually tried to say it too, which was soo adorable! It sounded like "ta" as in "tack" but she had the exact same inflection as the narrator on the video. She simply transposed the sounds, but she most definitely was attempting to say cat and it was soooooooo cute!
~She loves the dog and cat but is learning how to touch them. She either hits them out of sheer excitement, or grabs at their fur. Sometimes she just goes up to them and screams this very excited scream, which doesn't exactly make them want to snuggle up to her. She's so funny- I know she'll get it eventually.

I know there are so many other firsts I'm forgetting, but I want to post more pictures, so I'll take the rest of the time I have now to do that. Ask questions to remind me of anything I've forgotten. (Nanna, I know I'm forgetting some things, so feel free to ask me.)
Oh, by the way! Mollie, you asked about the apple trick! That picture was actually just a fluke- the apple had slipped out of her hands and I just happened to catch it in that picture. When I saw it, I was inspired to do the little "karate chop" sequence of pictures for my own amusement (and hopefully yours as well)!
Oh, one more thing I can tell you: she still doesn't like shoes! I can put them on her feet now, but as soon as I try to get her to stand in them, she pulls her feet up under her and screams as if the shoes are burning her feet when they touch the ground! I keep trying to tell her it's okay and I've even pushed the squeakers on the sandals to show her they are "fun" but she still won't walk in them. She loves to play with them when they're not on her feet, but she just does not like to wear them!
Okay, I just realized it's dinner time and I told Clint I'd be out to serve it up, so I need to run and do that. I'll post pictures afterwards!

Miserable Kelly (Miserable Mommy)

Kelly has been having a really hard time sleeping and napping lately, so I think we're both feeling tired and grumpy. I am not able to get much done, especially during naps, because they're so short, which is why I haven't been able to email those of you who have emailed me in the past week or two, or do much updating here either, so I apologize, although I know you all understand.
Nighttime is a little better- she usually wakes up a couple of times but goes back to sleep pretty easily, but the problem is that I don't always, so I often start the day tired. By the time I put her to bed, I am so tired that I go to bed soon after.
She has a doctor's appointment tomorrow so I'm hoping to find something out, although it seems like it was shortly after her last doctor's appointment that this restless sleeping started. That doctor's appointment was VERY traumatic for her- she was extremely upset by it, so I don't know if this could be post traumatic stress for her or what, but I feel for her. I'm wondering if it's her ears or her teeth, but even with Tylenol or Motrin, she still seems to sleep restlessly, so I'm stumped.
I'll let you all know what I find out at the doctor's tomorrow. Oh, I hope this appointment is not as traumatic as the last one. Any prayers are definitely appreciated!

I'll be posting more pictures as I can... I have several from our time with our friends I want to share. My friend, Debbie, really had some special times with Kelly. It was really sweet and I'm eager to share the pictures with you.
Hang in there with me!
Love to all... Jen

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Kelly Picture Fix

Sorry not to post pictures in a while... I've been busy! We had company last week- our very good friends, the Blomquists, of whom the precious little blondie in the middle picture belongs. We had such a great time with them- I will tell more later and post more pictures too, but here is a quick "Kelly picture fix" for our faithful blog followers. How I long to sit down and give a decent update- hopefully soon!

Camryn managed to get a headband on Kelly last week! It only lasted for about 10 seconds, but at least Kelly didn't scream when she had it on.

Kelly & Britney in their matching dresses with Camryn

This sweet little smile is one we're seeing more and more of on Kelly
More pictures to come soon!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sunday Best

We took these before heading off to church on Sunday. I just love Kelly in this dress! These pictures don't even truly show how absolutely darling she looks in it, but I thought I'd share some of them with you anyway...

Here's Caleb, giving Kelly a few pointers about posing for pictures... look at how intently she's listening to him.
"Now Kelly, you always want to blink right BEFORE the flash goes off, okay?"

Mommy gives Kelly an apple to hold... hey- looky there! It matches! Well, maybe it will help make for some cute pictures...

"Hmmm..." says Kelly. "I wonder what I'm supposed to do with this thing?"
"So really, Mom. What AM I supposed to do with this?"

"It looks kind-of yummy. I bet I can do something fun with it before I eat it...

I know! I can karate chop it in mid-air, then we can each have a bite!"

"Hih Yah!"

"Nice trick, Mom. Real funny. This isn't a real apple, is it? Well, you can have your dumb, plastic apple back- I don't want it. You can't karate-chop it OR eat it!"

"Hurry up and take the picture, Mom, because this is the best pose I can muster. Honestly, after that little apple trick, I'm not much in the mood for picture-taking anymore."

"Hey, since I couldn't eat that plastic apple, maybe I'll just chew on my dress instead!"

"That's crazy! My dress tasted just like green apples!!!"

Isn't she the cutest?!?!???

Sunday, July 6, 2008

More Fourth of July... and Starbucks!

I really need to sit down and give an update on all of Kelly's progress. She's doing sooo well, but she keeps me very busy... so busy that I'm not finding much time to update with anything more than pictures!

Oh well! The pictures are the best part anyway, right?

I will try to get an update posted very soon with more details on how and what Kelly's doing though...

Until then, enjoy the pictures!

Getting ready to go swimming in my cute Fourth of July bathing suit!

I'm a little firecracker!

Aren't I cute when I decide to go for a little walk?

Hey, but I'm still just as cute crawling, now aren't I?

Hey Mr. Giraffe! Could you hold still so I can get on for a little ride please?!

Big sis Camryn wants me to sit in this chair with her here at Starbucks, but I really want to go explore this place. It is not like the Starbucks I remember in Guangzhou!

Chatting it up with Mom, laughing about all the good times we've spent at Starbucks. Aaaah, it's good to smell that freshly brewed coffee again!

Okay, Mom, as fun as this is, I really need to get going and explore this place a bit more. Could you please put me down now?

Goodness Gracious! These chairs are not nearly as comfortable as my chair in Guangzhou! Caleb and I are outta here!

Sooo, how do we get out of here anyway?