Monday, September 08, 2008

consultatieburo, month 7

dear grandparents, godparents, and friends of gracie :-) ,

we just got back from the consultatieburo, and i wanted to give you all the latest update.

first off, we've all adjusted pretty quickly to being back here in hengelo. gracie has slept the last two nights all by herself in her crib, but she's doing that same annoying thing she was doing all summer long in colorado: she's waking up at 4:30 and is NOT interested in going back to sleep on her own. sigh. the last two nights we've brought her to bed with us after a quick diaper change, but i really don't want to get in the habit of that. fortunately she IS able to sleep on her own, we've both witnessed it, at least from about 8:00 pm until 4:30 a.m. and this is definitely an improvement from a few months ago, where she was up at midnight, 2:30, and 4:30, needing a binky and maybe a snuggle before going back to sleep on her own. so now we're just down to one middle-of-the-night adjustment, and i think that's a pretty good deal for now. if her diaper wasn't so full at 4:30 i'd just leave her be, but i can't ask her to sit in a cold, wet diaper (sometimes with a poo in there too) until i wake up at 7:00. anyway, the last two days we've brought her to bed with us at 4:30 and then we all end up sleeping until like 8:30 or 9:00 if you can believe it! holy cow!

anyway, we're mostly adjusted. in fact, i'd say we're all the way adjusted. things here are great. the weather is warmish, but cloudy, but mostly dry, so that's good. our house is still kinda cluttered from unpacking, but our kitchen is stocked and the laundry is mostly done. i went to ikea yesterday so now gracie has a new area rug to roll around on instead of our cold hardwood floors. and she has a highchair now, too, which makes mealtimes so much easier and more fun for all of us. the last two nights we've sat down at the table as a family and eaten a meal together, saying grace beforehand, and practicing good eating habits. oh! i love our little doodlebug! i love being a momma!

okay, so today. because we all woke up so late today, she got a pretty abbreviated nap this morning, which made her pretty grumpy when i first woke her up. but when she figured out that we were going to go on a walk and then on a BUS (!), she quickly cheered up. adam helped us get out the door and walked us to the bus, and then continued on his bike to work. gracie was SUCH a good girl on the bus, looking out the window, playing with my "hot women vote obama" button on my purse, and smiling at the young women on their way to school. i was just beaming. she's soooo good!

we got to the consultatieburo a few minutes ahead of time, and i got gracie undressed to be weighed and measured. the kind lady who does the measuring/weighing/rescheduling of appointments had a nice conversation with me in dutch about what we did over the summer. and she complimented me on my dutch (which was funny, cuz when she said to me "your dutch has gotten better" i had to say, "what did you say?" ha! i got it the second time, though. and even the doctor told me i've improved with my pronunciation. strange, since i've been away for 2.5 months, so i'm happy that they noticed a difference!) anyway, she's gained over 1 kilo and grown 5 cm (2.2 lbs and 2 inches) since her last appointment, which was way back in june, when she was just over 4 months old. she is now 9660 grams (21 lbs) and 74 cm (29 inches). what a big girl she is! (in fact, she's soooo tubby, especially in her legs, that we can barely get jeans to fit on her -- her thighs are just so chubby and yummy, that we have to practically squeeze her into them! ha!) she's still at the top of the charts for growth, and is growing at the normal/average pace.

the doctor was very impressed with her developmental progress. gracie can sit straight up all by herself, she is nearly crawling, is up on her hands and knees rocking back and forth, rolling over, and has been eating solid foods with her four little teeth for over a month now. she can grab small objects and transfer them to the other hand and then back again. she notices herself in the mirror and looks at us when we call her name. she's just so big! our dr said that she was acting like a 9 or 10 month old baby, she is so advanced for her age! (as my friend's mom would say, gracie is "highly superior in e-ve-ry way!")

we also talked a lot about nutrition and which foods to avoid, and which ones were okay. i was surprised to learn that things like yogurt and kwark (kinda like ricotta, but tangier and softer) and meat were all okay for her to eat already, and that bread (especially the crust) was something that i could give her with maybe a little butter or "smeerworst" (a meat paste you can spread on bread) or some appelstroop (i think it's like apple butter). it sounds like mg can have just about anything that we eat -- pasta with sauce, chicken and rice, sandwiches, etc. how exciting! so of course, as soon as we got home, we both sat down to lunch, and i gave her a small piece of my bread and butter and she sucked on that thing for a long time. she LOVED it! hooray! i'd much rather be giving her healthy bread than those little teething biscuits i've been having her chew on, because the second ingredient in those things is "sugar". so, more bread for gracie! maybe later this week we'll go to the bakery and i'll get her one of those hard rolls to gum on for a while. she might like that.

no shots this time, and we don't have to go back until november when she is 9 months old.

anyway, we got home, and of course she was an angel on the bus again, and we ate some lunch and she was such a big, patient girl and played on the floor while i cleaned up our mess, and when i brought her upstairs for a new diaper and a nap, she fell asleep without protesting one bit! she's so wonderful!

so, that's the news of today. we miss you all already, and wish we were still home in the usa to see you. but at the same time, we're really glad to be back in holland, with all the good beer and bread and cheese, and of course our great friends here. everything is great, we're doing well, and gracie continues to impress us and makes us laugh every day!

much love to you all.

amber, adam, and mary grace

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