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September 09, 2005

Precious Gwen

(Donna posting) I looked back through the many pictures on this blog and notice that Gwen wasn't smiling in most of them. This struck me as odd since, frankly, she's almost always smiling and her smile is precious.

I think she is very curious about the camera and puts on her serious face when she sees it. The rest of the time, she's wearing her happy-go-lucky heart-melting face like you see in the picture on the left.

Here are a few things we've learned about our new daughter in the last five days:

  • She "self soothes" by fingering the corner of a washcloth or towel. The Director at her orphanage said she didn't have a crib-mate and she'd comfort herself by playing with the corner of a towel in her crib. She also makes little sucking motions with her mouth as she does this. I have to tell you that she's incredibly cute when she does this and we're really happy that she's found a way to calm herself.
  • She likes her formula very hot and mixed with rice cereal. She can down an eight ounce bottle in about 90 seconds! This morning, she just about turned the bottle liner inside out!
  • She won't feed herself. She'll pick up food but won't put it in her own mouth. Maybe she was discouraged from doing this at the orphanage. Yesterday, we convinced her to try to feed herself a baby cookie. She's a quick learner!
  • She loves --- LOVES! --- her shoes! I think shoe time was equated to outside play time at the orphanage. When she's ready to go play, she'll get her shoes and try to put them on herself. Here at the hotel, Andrew and I sit in the hallway on the 7th floor (our floor) and she spends lots of time running between us.
  • She's not so happy about baths. Many of the children only are bathed by being wiped down. She tolerates that quite well but isn't as happy to be dipped into the water. Even if Mommy takes a bath with her. We'll try the swimming pool this afternoon.
  • She won't be spoon fed anything unless you practically force it on her for the first few bites. After she's had a good taste, she's eager to open her mouth for the rest of it. When she's had enough, she let you know! She's a big girl -- about 20 pounds at 14 months.
  • She just about never cries. Other than 15 pretty unhappy minutes on GOTCHA day, she's not cried at all. At night, she'll wake up and fuss a little bit but she hunts around for her 'lovey' (the washcloth) and after searching out the corner and placing it between her thumb and forefinger, she'll just drift back to sleep instantly!
  • She seems to prefer that Mommy hold her but will happily play with Daddy. This is slowly changing and last night she went to Daddy on her own. This morning, she's back to being a mommy's girl but she still likes having daddy around. I could use the break and would sure love it if Gwen would more readily go to Andrew. I know Andrew would love it too! But if this is our only complaint, we know how blessed we are! Gwendolyn Claire is charming beyond words and we can't imagine having any other baby but her. She really is perfect and every irritating thing people said about "...getting the baby that was meant for you" has turned out to be true!


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