It is official - Aitugan Walks!!!
The walking first began on Superbowl Sunday, but really took shape this past week. She is now at the point where she can predictably walk across a room and, at least once now, she has stopped midway, bent down to pick up a toy, and then continued on.
So much has happened in her development just in the last week. Without warning we began to notice a new tooth emerging. It was not preceded by teething and discomfort, and it is not where we had thought we would see her next teeth.
We met her just prior to her 7th month birthday, and at the time she had two center lower teeth and in the 3-plus months that we have been with her, we have seen nothing further until this week when a lone second incisor on her right side poked through. Presumably her middle teeth are not far behind, but who knows.
Apart from the dental and ambulatory news, as of this week she has also taken control of her feeding. Like so many things it was a gradual progression wherein she first played with her sippy cup, then just held it and sucked air, but now she understands that she must hold it up inverted enough to get her milk, and she delights in showing us how independent she is becoming.
The rate at which all of these changes takes place really is astounding. Sure you hear from others that 'they grow up so fast' but man oh man does it happen quickly when you are there to witness each step along the way and to recognize both the subtle and not so subtle transformations.
A couple weekends ago we left Maine for a quick jaunt across New Hampshire and Mass to Rhode Island to attend a party for some Kaz adoptive friends of ours, and then went on to the Cape that evening to visit with my older brother and his family for the night before returning back to Maine Sunday.
It was terrific to see so many important people and to share time with our daughter in a number of different environments. She did astoundingly well with the adjustments and all of the people. We are very encouraged by the ease with which she adapts and handles new situations.
As well as feeding herself, Tougy delights in feeding us. Each time we take a bite from her she reels in delight.
There is still nothing quite so soothing as her left thumb - and I'm okay with that. It sure beats keeping track of a pacifier.
Since the day we met her, one of her most remarkable qualities has been her amazingly engaging and bright eyes. I can't look at them enough.
Clean up is sure a lot easier with a pair of willing dogs at the ready. They watch her every move and await the 'okay' from us before swooping in for the spoils.
The dogs attention and wants are not lost on Aitugan either, she both taunts and rewards them and has begun what seems to be a universal favorite past time of all infants - the throwing of food!
With a look somewhere between Derek Zoolander and Harry Callahan - Tougy enjoys makes faces.
Judging from the comments already received about this photo, joining your child in the crib is not something every parent does. I see it as sort of a cross between leading by example and the idea that if you cannot beat them, join them.
Both KJ and I (on separate occasions) have climbed in to help ease her into sleep. It is really quite a comfortable mattress.
Perhaps not every crib would welcome a parents weight, but having both designed and built the crib, I knew it would hold us all. That said, it is just a standard sized crib mattress and so the space can be an issue.
Here is our little Tougy enjoying her first solo bottle. A very satisfied little girl!
On a final note, congratulations to both Regina Ruopoli and Susan Serra. Over the course of the last week both of them - longtime readers of our blog - received word from their respective adoption agencies as to which region within Kazakhstan they would be traveling. We wish them the best.
05 February 2008
Our little Aitugan turns 10 months old today. I know that before long we'll go from counting months to counting years but for now, we continue to marvel at the changes that present themselves on a daily basis.
Incredulously I revisit the seemingly distant memory of our first day in the baby house playroom with Aitugan and remember that it was just three months ago. Three months ago - how can that be true.
I continue to check in on the Kazak Adoption online forums - as we have for nearly a year now - though the topics and jargon ring out like the names of bands I knew in high school - relics and placeholders of a time long since past.
The I-600's - yeah I saw them back in the day. MFA - didn't they do that song from that John Hughes movie. Dossier sounds familiar, but I was never really into metal.
Our life as a family has moved forward at speeds I never knew existed. I know our passports might proclaim otherwise, but I feel I could convince a lie detector that we have been together all of our lives. How could it not be so? She is our daughter as surely as anything I know to be true.