Our girl is 18 months old today! Looks like Pearl Harbor day will be an easy way to remember Meili's half birthday from here on out. Everybody says it but it really is true: We can't believe that it has already been 4 months since she has been home and at the same time, it seems like she has been ours forever. Part of the miracle of adoption, I suppose.
The last 4 months (6 months really) have been an 'adventure' in our home. We are now broadcasting from the central gulf coast of Florida and how we got from there to here without medication is still a mystery to us (but I'll fill in the blanks with some catchup posts coming soon.) I only mention it now because it means that in the last 4 months, our little sweetie has had to adjust to a new home environment-twice. We left Tucson just under a month ago and lost most of the gains that we had made with Meili since bringing her home from China. She was back to screaming in the bathtub and not wanting anything to do with Daddy among other things. We are just now starting to see our happy girl emerge once again. It's been a rough ride for her and we have some work ahead of us but she is a smart, brave and strong little girl and she is going to be just fine.
Yesterday, Meili and I were hanging out in my room and I actually had the presence of mind to get the camera out. Here are some shots with a little bit of Meili 411 in between:
This is pretty typical Meili Grace above. She loves to rip her shoes and socks off, particularly when we are getting ready to head out the door. She is still using a bottle and lets me feed it to her, but most of the time she is using a sippy cup. I was ready to let her bottle feed until 2 just to give her the attachment time, but she was ready for a cup and I was ready to not have a bottle leak all over the car and house. :) She is drinking whole milk, usually with a packet of Carnation instant breakfast thrown in for some extra vitamins and calories. She's a bit of a picky eater-likes something one day, but not the next. In general, noodles are a hit but she considers bread more of a toy than a source of nutrition. She hasn't had an official weigh-in in a while but she is probably just at 18 pounds. Such a little thing!
This is the smile that melts my heart. I still think that Meili is much prettier in person than in any photo that I have seen of her but this one comes close to capturing my Meili Grace. She just finally started to get the idea of what a camera is for and will say 'cheese' when I get it out. Speaking of speech...Meili says over 30 words. For any 18 month old, that would be fabulous. When you consider that she has only been exposed to the English language for a little over four months, it's amazing! She can say mama (but shouts MOM! when she wants my attention), dada, Noah (wowah), baby, baba, up, Jackson (Jacksah), cheese, flower, diaper, stinky, dog, hi, and bye-bye to name a few. She has even said 'I love you' during a few diaper changes!
Here, I caught her during a giggle and you can see that she is sporting some more teeth. She came to us with 6 teeth and now has 10 including a couple of molars. Two more are following closely behind. We have the drool, snot and tears to prove it!
Now that she is walking (and running!) like a pro, Meili Grace is into everything. She is especially enthusiastic about all of the Christmas decorations around the house. She is a true girly-girl and likes anything that sparkles or shines. The tree has a barricade of chairs around it and anything breakable is out of Meili-reach. When she isn't making a mess, Meili likes to play with her 'babies,' play on the swings at the park across the street, and go for walks in her stroller through the neighborhood.
She's still fascinated by her belly button and so are we...we had to adopt a child to have one with an 'innie.' :) You can see in this picture that Meili can manage a size 12 months in pants only if the waist band is rolled down. Size 9 months fits the waist most of the time but is a little short in length. Unless we can find pants with the adjustable waist, she'll have to stick to leggings in the future. She is a skinny little thing!
We still can't believe that Meili is HOME to celebrate Christmas this year! I listened to the song 'Merry Christmas' by Third Day a few days ago. It still makes me cry, but for a different reason. We couldn't love our girl any more if she was born to us and and are so blessed to have her as a part of our family.