Thursday, April 30, 2009

SS moments.

I will post about the incident that made us worry more about SS tomorrow. Like I stated, my tired and very tiny brain needs a break. We will post, we have a debt of gratitude to an amazing mother-daughter team in Florida. They are struggling now, but they have given hope and strength to so many of us. For today, P wants to note some SS moments.

* Our first night visiting with JJ last month. We had been admonishing SS not to touch the heater vent. While JJ was in our room, SS tried and I warned her, for the umpteenth time. I told SS, "You KNOW what do not touch means." SS turned to me, and shrugged her shoulders, in an exaggerated manner. Dude, her shoulders were up to her ears, and she had the most innocent look on her face. I had the decency to turn around before I cracked up. P and JJ shamelessly laughed their ignorant a$$es off.

* Shortly after we arrived home, SS busied her cute self by stomping on one of her DVDs. I told her that if she stomped on it, she would break it, and there would be no more fun. Don't ask me why I bother talking to small children like that. SS looked at me, and stated "Oh yeah?." P witnessed the exchange, and provided me moral support by laughing out loud. Thanks Baby, you are the most amazing moral support a mother could ever need.

* Last week, P allowed SS to use a razor without a blade in the shower. SS proceeded to imitate her Mama and "shaved" her legs. Fair, she's done that many times before. This time, there was no struggling getting her leg up on the tub's edge, and her movements were very fluid. SS then proceeded to "shave" her face. Equally fair, as P shaves in the shower. Eventually, she will realize that she needs to shave her underarms and legs and not her face. SS proceeded to "shave" her back. It did not surprise me, but P was all "what the heck?" I reminded him that SS witnessed me trimming his back before we went to the pool. Oh yeah, she is watching us, like people are watching CNN.

* Regarding our last post... Yes, it is tough, and yes, it is scary stuff. But given the opportunity again, with the same circumstances, we would NOT hesitate to go to China. We made the choice that was right for our family. Please, we mean no offense to anyone, it just was the right thing for OUR family. We would gladly take our chances with a child from China, than with a child from the U.S. foster care system or a domestic adoption. Sorry, but that is OUR reality,

SS loves to sing and unlike her parents, she sings in tune. Please forgive me for my non existent singing skills. SS usually vocalizes the entire time, but once she sees the camera, she gets into ham mode. Still, we think it's cute.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What happened?

I really wish I knew, because I'm doing a great job of torturing myself, looking for answers. Don't have a clue if I should start now or backtrack to our time in China. Then again, does it matter? Well, yes it does matter, because it's about SS and her adjustment. Because there are many other parents (and parents to be) out there thinking that they are alone. Thinking how everyone else's children are well adjusted, but not their own.

One of the best decisions that we made was to purchase the Ergo and not acquiring a stroller. We had SS strapped to me for most of our outings, only taking her out for photo ops. If you go back to our archives, a lot of the time we did not even bother taking her out. SS would reach out her hand to others, but could never really leave us. Also, we were surrounded by other parents who were in the same situation as us. When SS would reach out to others, she was met with a "you need to be with your Mommy." That is, except for the female guides. I know they meant well, but they were irritating at times.

Then we came home and jet lag, coupled with a cold and sleep deprivation, made SS's exposure to others minimal. We have been discussing how we failed to notice that SS is possibly struggling with attachment. I wrote one or two posts on what seemed like clear stranger anxiety. SS's bait and switch approach, smiling at strangers and when they approached her, quickly pointing at me and saying "Mama." Then there was the incident at P's company Christmas dinner. SS was truly scared when Andrew picked her up, and she immediately reached out for us.

Then the last incident I recall was when she met her Abu. It took her 2 hours to warm up to her. That one is the easiest to explain, since SS was asleep and P woke her up to meet her Abu. But what about the other incidents? It seems to us that it comes down to control. I don't think we ever realized what a tiny control freak we have. Now, we can't blame her, it is how she survived life in a SWI. When I was stupidly thinking that SS did have stranger anxiety down, she was simply in a control kick, and doing very well, thank you very much.

SS is a charmer, although I know that we are biased. Still, there is no denying that we get way too much attention wherever we go. Our family and friends have commented on this. At times, P just looks at me and asks me ,"did you ever imagine it would be this wild?" No, I didn't and I can't wait for it to stop. Last weekend, I told P that if I posted on the daily encounters we have with total strangers and what they say, it would come across as boasting. I'm pretty sure people would think that I'm drunk, high, lying or all three.

Then add SS's size to the equation. Children are social magnets, they are cute for survival purposes. Here is this tiny child, who started out in this world in dire need of medical attention . I'm sure it did not take SS long to figure out how to pull at people's heart strings. When we met, I was not aware that SS and J were from the same SWI. The other four children were from the Kunming SWI. Amidst all the chaos of our meeting, I could tell that P and I were being closely watched. The SWI director took a lot of pictures of us, and SS's nanny stared at us the entire time. They definitely were watching our interaction with SS. When I found out that afternoon that J was from the Yunnan SWI, I felt really bad. There was not much interaction with him and his parents. Then again, J was 18-months old, and looked very well fed. SS, three months younger, was not doing as well.

So SS, like any child in those circumstances, honed her attention getting skills for those 15-months. She has safely used them from afar, and done a great job of not alarming us. I think things began to change when Abu and Grandpa visited. P and I, knowing that Abu might not be able to make a return trip, deviated from our routine. Much to SS's detriment. Our girl was sleeping through the night, in her crib, and had only shared a bed with us for nine months. Allowing her to sleep with Abu was a dumb mistake and for that I'm sorry. But, at the time, P and I thought all was OK, and we did not want to deny Abu the opportunity to do with SS the same things she did with JJ.

But that's the thing, SS and JJ are completely different children. When JJ met Abu, he had been with me for 18 months without disruption. SS had experienced at least two major losses. The loss of her birth family and the loss of her SWI family. As much fun as SS had during her grandparents visit, she was overwhelmed. JJ and Grandpa left the same day, and I'm sure that shook her up. Then when Abu departed, SS understandably fell apart. What the heck? Everyone is leaving, are you two next? I can only imagine how scared she was, how insecure she felt, waiting for us to disappear. SS was also very angry after Abu's return to PR. She unleashed her anger on me, and it was not pretty. She slapped my face several times, a big no no here. One evening, out of the blue, she walked up to me, and threw her sippy cup (filled with milk, giving it heft) at my face. SS had wonderful aim, and a lot of momentum, and it hurt. I was so stunned, that I am ashamed to admit that I lost my cool. P was outside, I picked up SS, placed her next to him and stated, "I need a break from her now, please DO NOT bring her inside until I tell you." I then cried my eyes out, not because of what SS did, but because of why she did it. I realized that she was in a lot of emotional pain, and that hurt me deeply.

So SS went back to what she probably did very well while at the SWI; indiscriminately latching to any adult in her presence. This decision by our tiny control freak (said with lots of love), coincided with our Easter weekend trip. Once again, SS was presented with an assortment of adults, willing to hold her and hug her. We initially thought that she felt comfortable with Taun, Eric and Auntie C, because she could tell we were comfortable with them. But that was not the case. She willingly went to M, JJ's coworker. Now, M is Asian, and perhaps the familiarity did it. But P and I did not feel right about it. There was that gut feeling that it just was not right.

The real kicker came at Mickey D's Easter Sunday. We were having breakfast and SS did the sign for up. P and I explained that she was not done eating, so she had to remain in her high chair. SS tried with her loving brother, but JJ smartly turned her down. See, JJ is aware that if something happens to us, he is responsible for SS's upbringing. Our son is a smart man, he knows that indulging his sister now, might have serious consequences for him down the road. SS simply turned to the man sitting next to us, gave him her mega watt smile, and did the sign for up. I vividly remember how awful I felt, how crushed I was at that moment. P and I knew that this was not OK. We talked a lot on the drive home, mainly me beating myself up about not recognizing the obvious. I had only one thing to do for nine months, to take care of my daughter. Great, I really managed to screw that one up.

As if that wasn't a real riot, we had an incident two days later . That incident made us even more concerned about SS's stability. But, I have rambled long enough and it's 4:00 a.m., so I'm going to give my tired brain a break.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I waited 36 years to have a daughter. So what do I do when my wish comes true?

I dress her like a boy, yep, that's me alright. I picked the shirt, but P picked the pants. I really need to do laundry, and did not have the heart to tell P those pants were meant for Baby D. But with the practical halt in International adoption, I am not sure Baby D will be home anytime soon. However, like with SS, we will do everything we can to try to bring our boy home.

Our little thug. :)

That's right Mama, I can go from a dress to pants and still look amazingly beautiful.

P took this picture yesterday, quite a pretty rainbow. P took some flower pictures Easter day that I need to post. He did a really good job.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What a difference 10 days make.

This is SS's Chinese passport, or as P proudly calls it, "her communist passport." P really likes this document, because it is one of the few things we have of our girl before we met. The picture was taken on or about July 4 2008, and if you are one of our three readers, you know that is the date when we departed from SFO to China (via Tokyo). As grateful as I am to have this picture of SS, it hurts my heart. Look at her eyes, talk about deer caught between headlights. She also looks so gaunt, lifeless, my little girl was scared. Being her Mama, I am upset that I was not there to ease her fears.

This picture was taken July 17, 2008, ten days after we met. It was freaking hot in Guangzhou and that explains the bad hair. SS was sweaty and again, a tad bewildered by what was going on around her. It took many shots before the photographer settled on this picture. It was partly my fault, because I kept snapping away, messing up his pictures. It was my only (I think) ugly American moment in China.

Anyhoo, there is a reason why I posted this picture. Look at her face, there is a noticeable difference. In the ten days we had her, SS managed to put on some cheeckage (I'm sure I made that word up), some flesh on her beautiful face. This picture is a painful reminder of what our daughter went through before we met. When we were not there to make things better. When she had three 8 ounce bottles of formula a day, at 15 months. Maybe that explains why P and I are so @nal about making sure she eats well. Yes, we to tend to indulge her, but, how can we not do so?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Her first greasy cheeseburger, and playground time with Baba.

We had an easy breezy day, just hanging out and doing much of nothing. P made scrambled eggs for breakfast. Totally out of character for him, because the man does not eat breakfast. He was in an "I remember SS had scrambled eggs every morning in China" mode, and he wanted to feed her.

For lunch, P treated us to greasy cheeseburgers. A first for SS and a long time since P and I had the greasy stuff. SS is not a fan of burgers, but surprised us by eating 3/4 of her cheeseburger. We also ordered fries, always a hit with our baby girl.

We then drove to the local museum/exploration park. P and SS enjoyed looking at the fish. P was really proud when he realized how much SS loves fish. Yeah dude, she IS your daughter, a total fish freak.

Look Mama, bees!

What exactly am I looking for?

SS wanted to run around, not be forced into a K0dak moment.

Drumming again

Friday, April 24, 2009

Drumming S.

This morning, SS attended her first music class. There were only four children registered, and only two showed up. The other little girl, J, will be two in a few months, and was born in Ethiopia. She is one gorgeous little girl. J's mother and I exchanged contact information and plan to get the girls together for a play date.

SS loved the drums, the piano and the xylophone. SS had music and instruments, she was happier than a swine in excrement. The class is half an hour, just the right length for children with the attention span of gnats. It is four sessions, and I hope they add more sessions to the schedule.

Little drummer girl. Check out how well she is holding her drum sticks. SS did that on her own, no help from me.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

SS finds her echo amusing.

SS had a blast after our morning walk, by simply listening to her echo. I am always amazed at how the smallest of things, bring so much joy to little ones.

This afternoon, SS received the cutest compliment from a boy. We were at T@rget and the little boy (3-4) and his mother were coming in the opposite direction from us. The mother looked at SS, smiled at me and was about to say something. But her son beat her to it and stated, "Mom look at that little girl." The mother responded "She is the cutest thing I've ever seen." The boy then stated, "Mom, look at her eyes, they are beautiful." My first reaction was to chuckle, thinking that the little boy had the whole "I love your eyes," lame pick up line down. Later, it dawned on me that being Caucasian, he was probably referring to the shape of SS's eyes. Anyway, it was a rather interesting thing for a child his age to notice and state.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SS is learning to accesorize, the fun way.

It seems that SS is enjoying our morning walks. She knows when we are getting close to her beloved ducks and happily states "duck, duck." This morning, I dressed her in a red shirt and beige shorts. SS pointed at her shirt, said "red," then made the sign for down. I placed her on the floor, and after saying red twice, she picked up her red and white checkered hat. Cool, she is making sense of what matches. SS then walked to her closet and said "shoe." She grabbed her duck slippers and proudly showed them to me.

Duck slippers? Those are for the house and the pool. SS would not budge, and clutched the slippers to her chest. Oh, what the heck, she is only two, why stagnate her creativity. SS has a long life ahead of her, where people are going to try to make her fit into an all size fits all schema. So duck slippers it is, no matter how many weird looks her Mama gets.

Thank you D!

Here are the promised pictures of the wonderful quilt D made for SS. Thank goodness I have befriended creative and talented individuals, because I do not have an ounce of creativity or talent. Well, except when it leads to evil, then I'm freaking amazing. D, thank you so much for the quilt. SS has been snuggling up to it daily, and we know she will treasure it for many years.



Look D, I have lots of room for growth.

This afternoon, while SS took a power nap, I decided to put together her Grandpa's Christmas gift. SS has used the tubes, but we did no think she was ready for them to be connected to the teepee and the tent.

It turns out that SS is not ready to be away from us after all. Good thing too, because after I took these pictures, a strong wind blew the parts in four separate directions. Fun, really fun. I am going to try just the teepee and the small tube, and see if that helps.

You are expecting me to go inside the tunnel of doom by my tiny, lonesome self? Mama, put the camera away, it is just not going to happen.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

SS had a long day.

SS and I left home at 8:00 a.m. and did not return until 3:00 p.m. We left early for our walk, because today is play group day. We were having a nice walk, until I was harassed by the sun police. You know how China is notorious for their clothing police? Well, those ladies were nasty, more like the sun N@zis. They yelled at me for having my daughter out on the sun. First, mind your own d@mn business. Second, you do not know my child. When the sun is bothering her, she screams like a banshee, closes her eyes, and says "eyes, OW." She also had two hats and her sunglasses in the stroller, easily within her reach. She can put her hat on and says "help Mama," when she needs her sunglasses. I so wanted to tell them to f*** off, but Mami and Papi taught me to respect my elders.

After our walk, SS enjoyed the chaos that is her play group. She tried a few new toys, a tricycle and a car were the clear winners. We might have to get her the car, she loved it.

After play group, we went to see SS's new buddies, the fish. It was feeding time, what better fun that to watch fish in a feeding frenzy. When the worms were thrown in, SS exclaimed, "NU NUS" (noodles). So when P asked me if I wanted to go out to lunch, we settled on Thai food. SS LOVED the Pad Thai noodles with chicken. No hanging on to food in her mouth, no slow eating. Our girl stuffed her little face. We took home a good portion for dinner. I'm going to have to learn how to make them.

Hi guys, remember me? (Cute dress by Grandpa, cute shoes by the Abus)

Yes, it's me, your new best friend.

After lunch we went shopping, where SS once more made me regret exposing her to the public. At the store, I heard a voice approaching us stating, "She's beautiful, she's beautiful." It was a deep and loud voice. The man caught up with us to look at SS, and I wondered if he was a bit slow, or just dorky. He said hi to SS, and I think his voice and volume made her hesitate, so I told her that it was OK. At this point the man laughed. OK, I have to describe it, so the best I can say is imagine the dorkiest laugh you have ever heard. SS then said hi, in a very deep voice, that I have never heard from her. She then laughed, imitated his laugh perfectly. I froze in place, totally embarrassed, and also impressed by her imitation. SS made quite the impression on the people around us, as some were chuckling or stifling their laughter.

When I got to the car, I called P to advise him of his daughter's latest stunt. My husband did not let me down. He laughed his a$$ off, while telling me how proud he is of his SS. P also asked me to give her a kiss for him.

SS fell asleep on the way home, but only napped for half an hour. SS requested more nu nus, and proceeded to inhale the lunch leftovers. I took her outside to tire her out, but no nap. We were still outside when P came home from work, and we did not make it inside until 7:00 p.m. SS had a relaxing bubble bath and called it a night at 8:00 p.m. Tomorrow, we are going to walk at our normal time, to avoid the sun N@zis.

Baba taught SS how to bounce a ball against the wall.

Quick study.

Staring contest.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Go to an Easter egg hunt on a whim, and end up in the Sunday paper.

When P was two years old, he happened to be at a Chinese restaurant with his mother. A food critic from a local newspaper was also dining there. The FC was impressed that P, at such a young age, was eating the spicy food. P was featured in her review of the restaurant (no picture though). When P visited his grandmother in 2006, she gave him a copy of the article.

OK, Back to the Future. When my friend DD spotted us because of SS, I was surprised. I was more surprised when she said her husband noticed our daughter. Look at her, she is so tiny, and there were so many children there. I don't have a decent video clip of the egg hunt, because she was so hard to spot at times. I honestly thought that only P and I, proud parents, were the only ones aware of her at all.

Then as DD and I were bidding goodbye, the photographer approached JJ. The photographer thought that SS was JJ's daughter. OK, JJ looks like a sumo wrestler and SS looks like a miniature Sumo wrestler, I get it. That the Photo Dude could easily see. When JJ pointed to us, the dude was baffled. PD said, "If they let you have her, it is OK for you to consent (to have her photographed)" They? They? Who are they? Ah, SS's "real parents." I admit that I overreacted, you now, flashbacks to people not believing that JJ is mine. PD finally asks if we would consent to have her featured in the paper. I asked if he had to use her name, and my first reaction was hell no. I have done my best to keep my children's names out of the public domain. Why would I want to change that now?

PD looked really disappointed and told me that he could delete "all the cute pictures I took." Way to manipulate a parent PD. I then looked at P, and saw the disappointment in his face. Although I am known for being dense, I also immediately made the connection. I knew P really wanted this, even though I didn't. Ugh, that man is so lucky that I kind of like him. So instead of using her full name, we only used P's last name, which happens to be very common. I made a mistake by using her nickname, which is very distinctive. This compromising stuff is really a pain in the rear end. Now we can place the articles side by side on SS's scrapbook.

Yesterday, we purchased a season pass to the Exploration Park. They have a lot of activities for children, and a pretty cool playground. I was strolling around with SS, when a family stood next to us. They had a teenage daughter that was clearly developmentally delayed. I'm not sure what happened, but the teen burst into tears and was whining like a young child. As I have mentioned, when SS hears a child cry, she always tries to comfort them. This was different and I did not think much about it. SS stuck her head out of the stroller, pointed at the teen, and in a very loud voice stated, "Ahhhh, BABY!" Of course this had to happen on a very crowded day. Local day care centers had some sort of get together there and the place was packed. I felt awful for the parents, and once again wondered why things like this do not happen when P is there to share my consternation. At least SS is capable of empathy.

Baba is right, sturgeons are really cool.

Shortly after I took this picture, SS walked over to the glass, tried to get the fish's attention, and frantically did the sign for poop. I checked her diaper and she was fine. Not sure what she saw or what she was trying to communicate, but she was dead serious.

I love her stance.

Patiently waiting for Slinky the porcupine to arrive for his daily training.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

No Ferris Wheel for SS.

After running a few errands, we drove to the Mall to check out the carnival. The plan was for the three of us to ride the Ferris Wheel. We then saw this:

A height requirement for a freaking Ferris Wheel? And we are not talking about the old fashioned type. This one had huge bucket type seats.

Oh well, see you in 13 inches.

We then decided to try some of the kiddie rides. Since SS is so small (and totally afraid), she had to be accompanied by an adult. This resulted in a tab of $18 for three rides. I so miss Southern California, and our season passes to the amusement parks. P and SS first tried the carousel, where SS freaked out the second P placed her on the horse. P ended up riding the horse and holding his little girl. By the end of the ride, SS was almost in tears.

SS did much better on the train ride. I have no idea how P managed to squeeze his 6' 1" frame into such a small space. The man just does what he has to do for his daughter. SS did not smile once during the ride and did not even acknowledge me when I waved at her. But at least she did not cry.

I had to woman up and ride the huge pink elephant with SS. I was hoping that I would not be allowed to ride, too heavy, too tall, whatever. No such luck. SS was relaxed during the ride, no tears, but also no smiles. I did not ride kiddie rides when I was a kid, so this was a first for me.
There are no amusement parks in PR, so my only exposure to rides was in carnivals during las Fiestas Patronales (patron saint celebrations). My mother made it a point of taking us every year, and we could ride whatever we wanted and as many times as we wanted. Since my brothers are much older than I, they would drag me to the more exciting rides with them. And, for some reason I don't understand, my mother did not allow me to ride alone, so I was stuck with them. This afternoon brought back a lot of fun memories.

SS was out by 7:00 p.m., a little earlier than we expected, but what the heck. P and I were talking on the way home, and we were wondering if we have been over stimulating SS. But if we just sit around and do nothing, not only will she be bored, but she won't sleep as well. She slept on the sofa for a few hours, until P changed her into her PJ s and placed her in her crib.

P and I are Amazing Race fans, and tonight we had a treat. The competitors were in China. Not only that, but they arrived at the Guangzhou Airport. How cool is that? We were there last July. When we saw the first team walk into the airport, we both got that rush again. The whole butterflies in our stomachs, adrenaline rush and joy we felt then. Once again, my malfunctioning eyes began to leak. I should really have them checked.

A visit with D.

Today, we spent a few hours at the park with our friend D. We last got together in October, at the pumpkin patch, so we had a lot of catching up to do. D came bearing gifts and BUBBLES. SS was in bubble heaven, with three adults simultaneously blowing bubbles around her. D even let SS keep two of her bubble wands.

D made the most beautiful quilt for SS. I have to take a picture of it tomorrow, because it is now covering SS's sleeping body. P and I were touched by how much work D put into the quilt. Thank you so much D, SS is loving her quilt.

SS had a blast with D, and was cracking her up big time. D is going to be a great mother to some lucky kid. She is unassuming, kind, but also has healthy boundaries. She is definitely our local to go person if P and I need help with SS. D also owns a horse and a donkey. SS can't wait to go for a play date and some rodeo training. D's animals are as naughty as their owner. Her horse, Scooter, recently gave her a wedgie. Good thing that you can't do that with a diaper. It can't be done, right?

For me? D you are one cool lady.

And bubbles too? My parents need to get out more, so you can baby sit me.

Loving every second of the bubble fest.

Tell me honestly, how photogenic am I?

Hamming it up with D.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kayaking S.

Ever since we met SS, we have been worried about how she would react to being inside a kayak. Being water whores, we enjoy paddling, and vowed to do our best to get SS out there with us. We felt ready to try it out today. The weather was nice, but not too hot, and the wind was negligible. We stuffed her little face with a corn dog, and headed out to the lake. It was a miracle that we got in the water. As I was about to put the paddle together, I realized that I brought the same ends. P took it very well and asked me to stay with SS while he drove home.

P called me when he was almost home, to tell me that he was heading back to grab the keys. Yep, the house keys were in the diaper bag, and I had the diaper bag. I was honestly expecting him to return, and tell me we were going back home for good. P picked up the keys and made another trip to get that darn paddle. Talk about being up a creek...

SS did really well, because the whole thing took at least an hour and a half. At times like this, I am truly amazed by her behavior. SS is perpetual motion when she is home, but she does very well when out and about. She was wearing a wet suit, and that would have made me so uncomfortable. But she was a trooper and even asked me to put her PFD on. We bought her PFD two years ago, when we lived by the bay, so she has a thick, neoprene albatross. Tomorrow we are buying her a lighter PFD.

We used JJ's kayak, since it is far better than ours. We own two cheap, C0$tco kayaks. We paid more for JJ's than ours combined. It was after he recuperated from what should have been a fatal pulmonary embolism, and we wanted to get him out in the water and improve his level of fitness. I think he's been in it twice. Oh well, it is here, waiting for him to visit. Next time he comes home, we are dragging his a$$ to the lake with us.

I went in first by myself, to acquaint myself with the kayak (never used it before). Also, I have not paddled since last June, so I'm terribly out of practice. SS did not take well to my solo venture and screamed her head off. Good, at least she is interested. P placed her between my legs and she started chanting, "happy, happy, happy." I paddled for a while, and she did very well. I then messed up (I'm sure you knew this was coming) by paddling out of P's sight, and she had a meltdown. OK, so she is OK as long as she can see the parent that can actually swim. Can't blame her for feeling that way.

I had a bit of difficulty turning, and I asked P to try out the kayak (also a first for him). I was concerned that it was because I was so out of shape and practice. Again, SS was not amused by our actions. She had a major fit, and screamed for her Baba. P returned to shore and SS happily joined him. SS did very well, and P is already talking about returning with both kayaks. I guess he thinks that she is ready. We are going to ditch the wet suit though. I might just put it in our wet bag, to use when we stop for a dip. But it is too much, even in 80+ weather. BTW, the difficulty turning is due to the skeg. It is meant to keep you in a straight line, so it takes more muscle to turn.

We were hoping that SS would fall asleep on the way home, but no luck. We rewarded our over heated kayaker with a cherry Slurpee. She cracked us up, because she kept getting ice cream headaches, but would ask for more. Once home, SS was ready to play and goof around, so no nap today.

We went out to dinner, and we had to wait about 20 minutes for a table. SS did great, just sitting on a bench, waiting for her turn to be fed. Again, we were very surprised at how well she behaved, sans nap. We had a great dinner and SS preferred the Porterhouse over the Rib Eye. Seriously, she was a freaking complete angel the entire time. She really knows how to make liars out of us.

After dinner, we headed to the Mall, for SS's first Ferris Wheel ride. P had really been looking forward to this for a few days. When he opened the door of SS's side, I heard him exclaim, "You've got to be kidding me!" He moved aside, and I saw a totally wiped out SS. It was exactly 8:00 p.m. P tried to wake her up, to no avail. Our poor baby girl had reached her limit. She was so out, that I brought her upstairs, changed her clothes and diaper, put PJs on, and she went back to sleep. Tomorrow is our last chance to try the Ferris Wheel, I hope she doesn't freak out.

SS is getting really good at sleeping while standing up.

Quick bite to get her energy up for all that paddling.

Inspecting her gear.

Being a beach bum is energy draining. Got to stuff my face with Cheeri0s to keep my strength.

Littlest kayaker.

OK Mama, this is how I am going to sit.

SS's first time in a kayak. Gosh, she looks so tiny.

Hi Baba, look at me, I'm liking this.

Although it was in the mid 80s the water was very cold.

Baba's turn to paddle.

I got really nervous when P went so far out. I heard SS cry, and was cussing him out under my breath. What was he thinking? She'll freak out. It turns out that she dropped her hat in the water and was pi$$ed. P was able to retrieve her hat, and problem solved.

I'll have the fried zucchini as an appetizer, with plenty of Ranch dressing. For my entree, I'll have the 16 oz. Porterhouse, steak fries and a diet coke. I'm watching my toddler figure.

See the dangling arm? She was holding Funky Dog and dropped him when she conked out.