In honor of her first birthday (which was today!) here are some answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about our new daughter:
So, are you going to keep calling her Ting Ting?
Probably, at least for awhile. Ting Ting was her nickname in China, so it made sense to use it when we first met her. And because we kept her Chinese name, Shu-Ting, as her middle name, it still is technically part of her name. Besides, we just think it's cute.
I am starting to call her by both names, though, so she'll learn that she is also Rachel.
And her big sister Lauren calls her Squidget.
Is she sleeping through the night?
. . . I'm sorry, what was that? I must have dozed off.
Just kidding -- we're finally having success in that area. She often wakes up about two hours after she initally goes to bed, but she is learning to go right back to sleep. And she's even taking a regular nap now. Hallelujah!
How big is she?
SOOOOOO big . . . sorry, toddler mom humor. On Tuesday, she weighed in at 19 pounds, 2 ounces, an increase of 2 pounds, 2 ounces since her first checkup just four weeks earlier. Her doctor is pleased with her growth (also in height and head circumference) and says she is thriving.
She's starting to outgrow her size 6 months clothes, but we mostly had 9 months clothes for her anyway.
Even so, she really is a tiny little squidget.
Why doesn't she grow some hair already?
(Actually, this is the question her father most frequently asks her).
Her hair is growing; it's both longer and thicker. Her doctor says it was so thin because of a lack of protein in her diet; that has changed in the last six weeks.
Does she have any more than those two teeth we keep seeing?
She has three teeth on top (and another breaking through) right now. The two you see in her photos are the two bottom teeth. For awhile I thought she might be in need of major orthodontia, but soon we realized that she is jutting out her jaw when she laughs or grins. And she sticks out those teeth when she's concentrating on doing something, too.
What does she eat?
The real question is what doesn't she eat! She's still on formula (her doctor approves) and takes several bottles a day. AND she eats several meals a day. She loves noodles, as you've seen, but she's enjoyed grits, too. And she has eggs for breakfast nearly every day. She eats chicken or ham, and tonight she had macaroni and cheese. She'll eat just about anything -- except baby food.
Is she walking yet?
She took her first steps this weekend, for Lauren on Friday night and for me on Saturday. Her legs are quite strong (must be all the dancing), and she seems to have a good sense of balance. The walking is still a bit tentative, though.
Heaven help us when she gets that down.
Can she talk yet?
No, but she can sign! So far I've taught her to sign "more" and "eat" and "milk." We're starting to work on "hurt" and "help." She's not making the signs perfectly, but she's consistent, and we know what she means. (That's a big reason she all of a sudden has gained so much weight -- she asks to eat all day long!)
Can you tell us a cute story?
Well, OK, since you asked.
I took her to Costco the other afternoon. They had food samples all over the place, and apparently it was nearing the end of sample time, because they were handing out BIG portions. For example, they gave me an entire cereal bar instead of just a nibble. I took the cereal bar and figured I would feed her a little as an afternoon snack and then get the rest -- nope, she ate the entire thing, signaling "more" every time she swallowed a bite. Then she ate a sample of pasta. Then she ate a good-sized helping of yogurt. When we checked out, she was laughing and playing with the man loading my cart. I told him she was in a good mood because she had just cleaned out all their samples. Then he asked, "what does this mean?" and I saw she was making the "more" sign again.
When we got out to the van, I ripped open the huge package of goldfish so the poor thing wouldn't starve on the trip home.
That was a great story! Don't you have another one?
Well, OK, just one more -- she has these lift-the-flap books that she just loves. Her favorite is one about the zoo. On one page, they're teaching counting, so you'll see an animal out front, then when you lift the flap, you'll see three or six or eight of them. She kept flipping open the flap that went from one penguin to 10. Then she started playing peek-a-boo with the penguins.
What do Lauren and Brandon think of her?
They absolutely love her. They play with her when they're here and help us care for her. We're so grateful to see how much they enjoy her -- and she loves them.
What about Cyrus the cat?
She feeds him from her booster seat and has learned to pet him gently. She has really cool toys in her room that he can swipe. And she squeals with delight everytime she sees him -- what's not to like?
What are her favorite toys?
She likes to look at books, and she has a toy cell phone that she likes. She likes anything that makes music or has lights. And, of course, nothing beats a real telephone or the remote control. (If I hadn't promised to limit the stories, I'd tell you about how she has called our neighbor and her aunt and uncle).
Could you possibly love her more?
How blessed do you feel to have her home?