Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gotchya Day!

It's October 20th and exactly ONE YEAR ago today we picked up Zaleeya! We celebrated with a party over the weekend and today was a nice normal day. I'll do a more detailed update later, but for now here are some great pics from the last few weeks!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Zaleeya Turns TWO!

Hello! It's Zaleeya's second birthday today, our first with her and we celebrated with a fun filled day of activities that she enjoys (books, playing in the pool, crackers, balloons, stickers, bubbles)! We plan to do a big celebration later in September with the whole family, so today was a lot of mommy and little Z time. :) Pics from the day are littered in the post.

Things continue to go incredibly well as we start to move past the adoption issues and into "normal" parenthood. Moving to Ladera has been a huge help to making us feel comfortable about our new roles, and keeping Zaleeya active with other kids her age. Here is the update...

Her weight continues to increase and she is a pretty good eater on most days. Teething has calmed and her fork/spoon control has improved. She still loves rice and crackers the best. I've kept her away from most sugary stuff and was happy to see her barely interested in the cupcakes that were offered her today! She is not about 21 lbs and looks much healthier than ever.

I am so happy to see many of our attachment
behavioral issues resolving. My favorite change is when we walk into a new situation and she clings to my skirt for a short time (under 5 mins). Soon thereafter she is off and running but those few minutes make me feel confident that she really knows where her "safety net". The grabbing of toys out of other kids hands in getting less and sitting in other moms laps is better too. However she is, and probably always be a very "touchy feely" child and super friendly. Most other kids don't react well to her when she tries to hug and kiss them but she is learning to be "gentle" in her love. :)

She has become quite attached to her stuffed animals since the sleep training process which I know is very healthy and normal. Now, during our bedtime routine, we must be holding: pepe, monkey, doggy, googoo, paula, and blankie all at once! Again it's wonderful to see her developing habits and comforts that represent her attachment to her "home".

SLEEP is amazing! Now after the routine we put her down and walk out of the room with hardly ever ANY crying! She talks herself to sleep in usually under 15 mins and wakes up talking to herself usually about 12 hours later. IT IS GLORIOUS!! Nap however still is an issues. Since her nighttime sleep got better, nap has been averaging 45 mins. Grrrr for mommy
who barely has time to get anything
done! However I really can't complain after all we've been through. It has made a huge differe
nce in all of our lives.

She is talking up a storm! This week's full sentence was "Ziggy Take It Outside". We are counting to three, we know all the names of the characters on Seseme Street and we love to say NO! She loves people and really knows the names of all the people in her life (there are a lot!). We have a few cousin babysitters now ("uby" for Ruby and "eesha" for Neesha and "ofia" for Sofia) As she falls asleep she runs through the names of all the people she saw that day. We especially like our new neighbors with a son exactly her age ("Locu" for Logan) who is her favorite playmate.

We have started some "terrible two" stuff with tantrums that feel a little different than her adjustment tantrums. These we can tell are related to her "wanting" something an
d not getting it. Since we feel more comfortable in our roles we now let her cry things out a bit or ignore her when she is acting out. Our biggest challenge in now "hitting", both other kids and us (especially mom). We've started some times outs and removal of privileges (Elmo gets turned off!) and we suspect it will just get better with time.

I must say that personally, I still have moments of "what have I done!" but in general I am settling into a groove. I do enjoy not having to juggle a thousand things at once! I can focus on keeping house and keeping Zaleeya busy. I have launched a new Jewelry business that I can do casually on the side (take a look at http://www.stelladot.com/zeena) and hopefully I'll take some Pilates clients in my new home studio in a few months when we put Zaleeya into a preschool program nearby. Phew I just can't sit still!

Anyhow enjoy the pics and thank you for reading!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We're moved in!

Yes, I know, 2 months later. Phew! Finally we are moved in and working towards a more normal life. Here is the update in bullet point style:

  • We've moved into a gorgeous new home in Ladera Ranch, CA. This town is MADE for families with tons of moms and kids our age in the neighborhood. Unpacking and getting set up is a challenge with an active toddler, but we are working feverishly to be out of boxes and parking two cars in the garage. :)

  • Ever since the move 4 weeks ago, I (Zeena) decided to quit most of my day job (only work Saturdays) and spend my time helping Zaleeya adjust. The 2 moves in the last 3 months have been rough on all of us. I finally felt more like a mom, and ready to commit fully to my daughter and her needs. It's been a journey, but I'm finally beginning to enjoy it all. I actually attempt to cook and have dinner ready for dad when he comes home. Who knew I could do it!

  • Azeem is dealing with a longer commute in stride and continues to be amazing at juggling work and heping mom around the house. He is also super dad on Saturdays and spends the whole day with Zaleeya.

  • Nana and Nani (Zeena's Parents) now live 5 mins away which is a huge help. Dadi and Bapa (Azeem's Parents) are a bit further away but everyone is making an effort to make it not matter.

  • Zaleeya is totally adjusting better ever since we got into the new house. The first few weeks we witnessed a few tantrums (confusion we believe) but then she started really get into a rhythym. She has plenty of words now and has started to put them together (All Done). She has started to ask for specific foods (Crackers) and toys (Elmo!). She has finally developed an interest in books and can point and name a lot of pictures. She still loves putting things inside things and especially LOVES her new little house in the backyyard that the previous owners left for her!

  • We're still working on a few attachment issues that have manifested themselves in odd behavior such as sitting in other mom's laps in music class and constantly taking toys out of kids hands. My new favorite book (Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child by Patty Cogen) helped calm me down and explain why she is compelled to act these ways (control, belonging etc) and it's been a great comfort.

  • She has gained weight but is still barely 20 lbs and her active lifestyle now makes it harder to gain weight. However she is a great eater and will now try anything. She LOVES rice so mom hides veggies and meat in the rice to get it down! And will eat most fruits. Crackers (chips, goldfish etc) are her favorite as I think they help calm the ever constant teething. She finally mastered the art of eating with a fork/spoon, however mom keeps dog Ziggy nearby to help with the cleanup.

  • Our biggest issue still continues to be sleep. We weaned her cold turkey from the bottle and put her back into a crib (old crib, same room decor and color) and she did okay. Mom helped by sleeping next to her again for the first week. However after a few weeks it was apparent that her sleep issues were now becoming a habit and an "addiction" to having mama and dada around to comfort her. After lengthy reading and discussion with our social worker, it was time to sleep train. I must admit feeling quite relieved to start this process ,as some nights it was taking 1.5 hours to get her down (especially with no bottle) and perhaps 2-3 wakes ups a night! No one was happy! We started this past weekend, and as much as it's horrible to hear her "cry it out", we are all now going on 3 straight days of 12 hour night time sleep and 2 hour naps. Her personality is amazing and she has fewer tantrums and is more fun! Sleep was really holding her back. We know it's controversial to make an adopted child "self soothe", we just felt the sleep was more important. In fact, the reason I can blog now is because she is asleep at a decent hour!

Anyhow, enough for now. I'll be better from here on forward I promise! Thank you for tuning in!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pictures of Zaleeya!

Hey everyone! We have finally moved out of our house and are settled in with my parents, and currently in escrow to buy a new home. PHEW! In the move, I somehow misplaced the camera. Oh no! But I have a few shots from cell phones I wanted to share with you quickly before naptime ends.

Zaleeya is still doing great and is fast becoming a super talker! New words include: Shoes, Bird, Car, More, Please, Blueberry (or a rendition of this), and our personal favorites, MAMA and DADA!

Littered here are pics with her grandparents (Nana and Nani) and Hedy and Emma (from Dillon). I promise to get more family pics ups soon! We are ALMOST at our 6 month anniversary home. WOW!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I Know I Know, it's been 2 months!

Ok I know I'm a super bad blogger, but wow it's been a crazy few months! I keep procrastinating since I need to upload tons of pics and video so I decided today to just post an update and I'll upload later!

So it's the beginning of March, Zaleeya is now 18 months and she's been home a little over 4 months. Things are good in general! Let's start with the developmental milestones: She is walking like crazy! Running and walking backwards are also on the list. We can now go to a park or mall or other public place and let her stroll around. She hates holding our hands because she likes to explore, but she's pretty good at staying relatively close by. She still loves her Ziggy and Buzz (my mom's dog) and kisses them a lot and takes their slobbery kisses. She is currently OBSESSED with buckling anything that can be buckled including her high chair and stroller buckles. She can really understand us now and will respond to some actions like, let's go take a bath (walks to the stairs), are you hungry (walks to high chair) and let's read a book (gets a book). She has a few words now including "hot", "shoe", "ball" and "dada". She still doesn't have a name for me though. We keep working on "hi mama"!

As for our schedule, we keep it a little more hectic than we probably should. Tuesdays and Thursdays I head to work while my parents pick her up and take her to their place. It's like club med there with a swing and dog and backyard with putting green so she LOVES it! They also watch her once on the weekends so Azeem and I can escape for a date night or afternoon out. We also go visit grandma and grandpa Dhalla and stay there on occasion and the bonding process is going smoothly there was well. She's starting to figure out who her close friends and family are.

Zaleeya still has some sleep issues, some nights waking frequently, but in general it's better. Her eating is NORMAL toddler chaos since we're learning how to eat using a utensil. I wish she was more focused on eating than playing but she's drinking milk frequently and she seems to be growing out of her clothes gradually so I'm not terribly worried about her weight as much. She has gotten a few colds, again normal, but in general she is pretty darn healthy. We feel blessed on this front.

Another reason for being so hectic is that we decided to undertake a house change. We currently live in a 3 story house and it just wasn't working out for us with a crazy active toddler! So we expected a 60 to 90 wait in this crazy market, but after a week after listing we ended up in escrow with a solid offer! We are still waiting to make sure things are moving smoothly before we start packing, but in the mean time we have been looking for houses like CRAZY! Nothing yet, so our plan in the mean time is to move in with my parents to "club med" and take advantage of their unused 2nd floor bonus room. It will definitely feel like INDIA with a bunch of us living under one roof. :)

Anyhow that's it for now. I promise to upload a few things in the next few days!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

NAWBO Baby Shower Fun!

Before entering this world or Mommy madness, I was an active participant in the Orange County chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. More important than the monthly educational meetings, are the amazing women that I've met and who have supported me on this journey to motherhood.

Two years ago I participated in the mentor program and was matched with an AMAZING mentor, Beth Adkission, who was so generous in hosting a Baby shower for me this past weekend. We had decided to wait until after Zaleeya was home to do the shower so that everyone could meet her!

With food provided by another wonderful NAWBO friend/mentor Susan Johnson, the shower was so much fun as I got to bond with my favorite business ladies in Orange County. Complete with "Zaleeya Bingo", we drank wine, ate amazing food, and oohhed and ahhed over a creative array of gifts.

Zaleeya has gotten really good at handing social events and Daddy was around to help so Mom can socialize. She waddled around chasing the cats, eating strawberries and attempting to grab at everyone's wine glass and eat the cat food- normal toddler behavior. She was tired after a couple of hours and a bit over-stimulated but it was worth it!

Special thank yous to BETH and SUSAN for an amazing afternoon!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Zaleeya the Dancing Queen!

So check out this video of Zaleeya's new dance moves now that she's walking... Enjoy!