Thursday, January 7, 2010

This is It...I Promise

Leah had a great first Christmas. She was totally clueless but it was fun to think back 1 year ago today and realized were we were! Meeting her on Xmas Eve! Wow has time flown by. I got the best Xmas present from Leah the other day when I was sitting on the floor and she came over and hugged me and said "I love you Mommy." I am not sure if I was touched more by the context or that she actually spoke in a sentence!

I am going to hit the print button on the blog today. Please let me know if you would like to follow along with our second adoption from Korea. Yes, you heard me correct. We are doing it again! I am working on a new blog, but it isn't up and running yet.
A Big Farewell!
The Hill's

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

I am closing out this blog with this last Halloween post. After this post, I am making this blog into a book for Leah. makes blogs into bound books and it looks very professional.

We had a great Halloween! Davis was Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Leah was a witch. Leah didn't have clue what was going on, but Davis was a maniac this Halloween! We had a party beforehand and went Trick or Treating until 10pm! We used my brothers trailer to pull the kids around from house to house so they didn't have to walk so much. Leah didn't make it that long so Milon took her home around 8pm. We have so much candy I think it will take us until next Halloween to eat it all!

Leah Update: She is doing great! She is very happy and laughs very easily. She is starting to run and her speech is incredible! She can repeat anything you say..including sentences! She picks up the phone and says "Gigi where are you?" Her modeling ability is incredible. I find her copying things I am doing without even noticing. The other day, I was itching my elbow and I look down and she is doing it also! The funniest is when I do push ups on the floor and I look and she is trying to do them also!

She loves stuffed animals and even takes her baby dolls out of the play stroller to put the stuffed animals in! She understands basic commands and is very good at throwing things away! I find all kinds of things in the trash can, most of which shouldn't be in there. Davis and Leah are starting to really play together! They chase each other around the house giggling. She loves to play hide and go seek and thinks it's great when Greta (dog) chases her around the house. The dog is really after the food in her hand, but she thinks she is chasing her!

She is much more social and is totally over her shyness. In fact, at the grocery store she yells "Bye" to everyone we pass and blows them kisses! It is great to see her making eye contact and being social. She walks up to people she knows and says "up" to be held. She loves her Poppa. In fact, I think she likes him the best of everyone! We can't figure out if she just likes saying his name! She bosses him around like crazy! She yells "Poppa" and then babbles some long sentence that sounds like she is telling him off!

Her height has exploded and she is in the 25% now! Her weight, well not so much. She is gaining but it is much slower than I had expected. When she eats, she does great but she is still rather picky. She loves her cheesy eggs and I am now putting heavy cream in them as well as her milk! Her hair is so silky and curly! I can straighten it if I brush it but she has rings of curls!

Everyday, Milon and I say how lucky we are! We could not have picked (or made ourselves) a more perfect daughter! She is beautiful on the outside and inside! It is so much fun to start seeing her little personality shine through and it is so much fun to watch her turning into a little toddler! We are very blessed and proud of both our children!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Yes, We are Still Alive!

We have been caught up in the daily grind and haven't had a chance to post. Leah is doing wonderful. She is walking now and says a variety of words. I realize I am a mother to a 3 yr old when Leah's first word was "thank you"...go figure. She says Poppa, Ball, Apple Juice, Momma, Dadda, Davis, Greta (which comes out like Ya Ya), Hi, Bye, and a few others. It's quite funny to go into her room in the morning and be greeted with a big "HI"!
Davis and Leah are having a great time together. It's amazing how a 15 month old and 3.5 yr old can play well together. They are enjoying each other a lot and we love to sit back and watch them have fun.
Leah has found a new freedom since she can walk and I have also! I was actually able to weed outside while she walked up and down the driveway! It sure beats having to carry her everywhere and gives her more freedom to explore.
Food is still an issue for her. The only food I have found that she reliably likes is eggs. Scrambled, hardboiled, she doesn't care. To add calories, I make cheesy eggs that are cooked in a ton of butter! She doesn't like fruit or vegetables other than avocado and will tolerate and few bites of banana. I thought for sure I was going to get a good eater from Kazakhstan but instead I think she is more difficult to feed than Davis! She now weighs 18lbs and is almost on the growth charts for weight. She is in the 10% for height and head circumfrance. The doctors are not worried because she is steadily increasing in weight and they think by her 18 month appointment she will be on the chart.
As for Milon and I, nothing much is new. Milon still likes his job and I have adapted to life with 2 munchkins. We are still contemplating a second adoption but haven't finalized where, how, who, what or when!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Good To Be Stone Free!

I am a little late posting, but Leah is finally stone free. She had the stone removed a few weeks ago with a 2 night hospital stay. She did great and was much more accepting of the nurses and doctors poking and proding her. They did leave a stent in because of the inflammation and we had to go back to the hospital last week to have it removed. It was an outpatient surgery so we were in and out in a couple hours.

We have seen a remarkable difference in her! She no longer hangs on my legs and fusses. It's amazing how much pain she was in from the stone. Well, for those that have had a kidney stone, it's not that hard to imagine. I threw up the entire way to the hospital when I had one!

She is taking big strides with strangers and is now at the point of only crying when I am in the room if someone is holding her. Although, daddy can hold her with me standing beside him! Yeah! She has actually reached for him to holder her a few times!

I am learning a lot about having a little girl. Like dresses don't work with babies who can't walk! She gets caught up in them when she tries to crawl! Leah took 4 steps on her own a few days ago and ever since is wanting to walk between Milon and me. I am hoping she will be running soon! Her hair is getting longer and wavier and she is becoming more beautiful every day. We still have typical 1 yr old issues like not wanting to sit still shopping, crying when hungry or tired, but this is all normal behavior. She sleeps like a champ and has yet to wake up in the middle of the night. I will credit the orphanage for that one!

Davis is still in love with Leah and tells everyone in the grocery store that this is his baby sister. If we go to the park, he tells all the kids not to step on her and to be gentle! He has become a very big mother hen and I often have to remind him to go play!

We have been going to my parents lake house often and the kids love to swim, tube (Davis only), and ride on the boat. Leah had a shell shocked face the first time on the boat and the second time she couldn't stop smiling! It's cute to see all of first experiences!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sticks and Stones

Leah has a kidney stone. The doctors are not sure if it developed from repeated urinary tract infections or if the stone caused the urinary tract infections. It is very rare that babies develop stones. The doctors don't know for sure how she developed one, but some thoughts are she wasn't changed enough at the babyhouse and developed urinary tract infections as a result.

Another possibility is that she was given formula that contained melamine in the babyhouse which was made in China. I know I gave her Nestle Good Start at my apartment which is a very common formula in Kazakhstan. This was one of the formulas that they found contained the melamine. China added melamine to formula in order to increase the protein reading in the formula. This formula was eventually pulled off the market but babies who drank the formula developed kidney stones. Hmmm...we might not ever know for sure but these are some speculations. The later seems very plausible to me since Kazakhstan is sold all of China's "junk" and I can't imagine the quality control is very good in Kazakhstan to make sure the formula actually was pulled off the shelves!

It is a large stone, 6mm and they have to surgically remove it. We went in to the hospital on Friday for them to place a stent in and use a laser to break up the stone. This didn't work because of the flexibility of her kidney since she is so young. It is very odd for a child to develop a kidney stone so the instruments and techniques aren't geared for babies. The doctor can't believe how big the stone is and is amazed that she isn't in a lot of pain. He said if an adult had this stone we wouldn't be able to get off the floor from pain. Of course, how much pain she is in, if it is intermittent, etc no one really knows. I am not sure she knows what it means to feel normal! He thinks she will be a new baby once it's out. I am not sure how since she isn't that cranky now!

We went home and over the weekend she developed a high fever and was vomiting so we went to the ER where they admitted her to have her kidney drained. She has an infection in her kidney from the urine not being able to drain properly. We spent the past 2 nights at UNC and she is now home with a bag that drains her urine from her kidney. She is scheduled to have the stone removed next Monday.

On the bright side, she is doing great and is continuing to make great progress. She is pushing a walker and loves it! Davis is taking skating lessons to play hockey and the 2 of them practice pushing and skating around the house. They both giggle as they try to chase each other. The dog continues to be the hit of the house. She had a fever of 104 degrees the other night and she was dripping with sweat. I put her on the floor to take her temp and she eyes Greta and makes a beeline towards her. Even sick as a "dog", she can't keep away from her!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy Easter!

Just wanted to post a quick note to say all is well in the Hill Family. Leah is adjusting wonderfully. Everyday we see an improvement in her adjusting to Milon, Davis and being away from me. She loves Greta (the dog) the most. She will leave the room at any given time to crawl after her! She is now starting to explore the various rooms in the house and even played with Davis in his room for 15 minutes! She sleeps and eats like a champ! She even gained half a pound in 1 week! She is now drinking from a sippy cup and only wants food that she can eat by herself.
We are having a combination Welcome Home party/Happy Birthday party for Leah on the 25th. Her birthday is actually the 26th but it works out better to have it on a Saturday.
I love having two children! My day is very busy and there is no time for boredom! I see a third in our future??? Maybe another little miracle??
With much thought, I have decided to make the blog public. I learned so much from reading others blogs and would like to be able to share our story to help other adoptive parents.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Some Pictures!

Everyone is doing much better around here. Leah is full of smiles, crawling around after Davis on the floor, and getting braver every day to explore the house without needing me. Last night, she even let Milon carry her inside from her carseat and didn't start whining until she saw me, but I was carrying her bottle which is what she wanted! She was very excited to see him when he came home from work and played with him on the floor for awhile. We are taking babysteps until she is comfortable but I would imagine after this weekend she will have warmed back up to him. Thankfully, he has Friday and Monday off to spend time with her.

Leah is obsessed with Greta. She will even leave the room I am in to go find her. She loves her to kiss her face and the dog is totally happy to get the last bit of food off!

Both kids are going to bed at 7pm like clockwork and waking at 8am! Who says this is so hard!

Davis is in love with Leah. Yesterday, he gave her all her bottles, fed her yogurt (wow, what a mess) and would break off cheese to feed her. He was so worried about her choking that I could hardly see the pieces of cheese he was breaking off! He has to come with me to get her out of her bed after her naps. The 2 of them giggle and make funny faces and sounds all the way to the grocery store in their carseats. It's really cute to watch Davis turning into such a wonderful big brother. And I didn't realize how lonely he was!

I have finally sort of caught Leah's pig face on camera. Here is it below. She loves to make this face at you and will continue to do so until you do it back to her!