Coco Update

I have been meaning to get this done for the past week but it’s always so crazy busy around here!!  I also decided it was too much pressure to do these monthly like I did her first year home so I will just do them when I can.

Okay, now that I have gotten that out of the way, what’s new with the kiddo? Excuse all the mommy-bragging stuff but I there are so many things I want to remember!

Well, I keep being astounded by her vocabulary!  What kinds of words does she use?  Comfortable, snatch, shadow, frightened, shoulder, ghost, friendly, statue, beautiful, huge..  It is so fascinating to me to hear her talking and have her say things I didn’t know she knew about.  I got her report card in December and it had a section on it for reflection where the kids are supposed to share what they learned in Semester 1 or what they liked or simply their thoughts.  Hers said, “I like the playground…Dogs and cats and secret agents.  And I like balls.”  😀  How funny is that??

I noticed she used ‘flew’ for the first time instead of ‘flyed’ this month. She also uses bought correctly now most of the time.  Maybe it’s just me, but I think grammatical errors are cute. And when she says everything properly it will mean she is all grown up!  Sniff. At least she still says ‘nana’.

She’s 40 inches tall and weighs 41 pounds but she looks huge!   She looks like a little girl, like a 5-year-old little girl not the little 3-year-old that she is. People tell me all the time how tall she is. This is so unexpected because she was only in the 50%ile for height when I brought her home.  Maybe she was malnourished? Or maybe it is all the love and exercise and home cooking that have caused a growth spurt. I kind of expected that my daughter was going to be short but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. The other day I saw her feet crossed under the table and I thought to myself, ‘Oh how cute, I gotta photograph her cute feet and legs.’ And then I looked at the photos and realized she’s doesn’t have cute, little feet anymore. She’s got really long legs and her feet are huge!! Her shoe size has gone from a size 7 to a size 11 since we moved here six months ago!


Her hair has gotten a lot thicker and a bit longer.  She still doesn’t have much length.  It’s surprisingly short–so much so that people occasionally ask me if I gave her a haircut! No, it’s just realllly slow to grow. Half the time I just let it be out in a fro, especially at home after school and on the weekends (which is why it looks the way it does in most of these pictures! Don’t judge me! :)) She continues to be a good eater, liking pretty much everything except onions and mushrooms and spicy foods, and she will often tell me now when she has had enough.  It took about two years, but the overeating that she did when she first came home has finally leveled out and normalized. Still a huge fan of sweets, though!

She is always spontaneously telling me she loves me. Every day. Several times a day. She can be sitting watching a movie and she will turn to me and say, Mommy? I love you. Sometimes I ask her why and she cracks me up when she says, Cause you’re so cute! LOL

She loves to pick me flowers.  I get flowers almost every day!  It is so sweet!  Mommy, look what I pick to you!

Which leads me to how she still says ‘to’ in place of other words like ‘for’ or ‘with’.  “I want my Mommy to sleep to me.”  Or when she’s upset, “I’m not happy to you!”

She used to sleep with a whole assortment of animals. She mainly sleeps with her faves: Doggy, Ella and Hippo but here was the whole crew who she used to cram into her bed:

She loves tiny things: ants, spiders, crumbs, little scraps of paper, etc.  She will try to pick them up and will tell me how cute they are. The other day I was clipping my toenails and this conversation transpired: “Mommy, can I see your nails?” No, Pumpkin, they’re gross.  “Please, Mommy?!  Please!!” Okay, but don’t touch them. “Thank you, Mommy…  Momma, can I touch your nails?” No, Pumpkin, ew. “Please Momma? Okay.                       She picks one up and cradles in her hands and says, “Aw, it’s so cute!!”

She has a great imagination. I know this comes from being in a play-based preschool. Play, and conversations about your play, are encouraged and it has really fostered her imagination.  She will pretend to be a dog or a cat or a lion.

She makes pretend food in her kitchen.  She dresses up and pretends to be a princess.  She loves to hide and climb into small spaces.  She loves to make her animals talk and will carry on full conversations with them if I am the other voice.

When I tell her no TV she comes up with all kinds of creative ideas and games like making a telescope or making a family out of slips of paper.                                                           

Along with swimming class on Wednesdays, I have her in art class on Thursdays.  She really enjoys both.  I still need to find a ballet class that works with our schedules as she continues to have a huge love of music and dance. I tried to buy her a recorder today but the bookstore was sold out.  She really wants drums but I don’t know if I can go there. She makes up songs all the time and loves when I join in.  I can usually follow along as there is often a repeating pattern or refrain.  This morning she made up a song with only four words. It was called I Love My Mommy. She kept repeating it over and over again and I would sing it with her. Then I changed it to an octave higher and sang it and asked her to repeat what I did and she did it with near perfect pitch! Then I went back down to the original octave and she was able to do that as well. Amazing!  She has a gift I think. I wish we lived close to my grandparents as I know my mother would put her right into music classes like she did for me. My mom was the one who went with my nephew to Suzuki violin and I think Coco would love that.  I wonder if they offer it here?  I know she would also enjoy a cooking class and soccer. Not wanting to overschedule her but school all day is play so I think it’s fine–not to mention she loves being around other kids and trying new things.

She is a wiz at technology. She is forever asking me if she can play on my computer and I am strict with the nos so it doesn’t become a battle of who gets to use it. It’s mine! She also begs to take pictures with my camera but I always tell her no because I don’t want it to get broken. But if I am not in the room you can almost count on her playing with it. It’s such a problem that I have to lock things up when I go to work.  The other day I uploaded pictures and found these!  LOL

She is so naughty and curious and it continues to be very scary. Filipinos call her ‘malikot’ all the time, which means mischievous in Tagalog. This weekend she went into my purse, put on some lipstick and then hid my bag in her play kitchen!

She has been told umpteen times not to touch the plugs!  The other day I shut the TV off and unplugged it and she went and plugged it right back in and switched it right back on. She also figured out how to plug in her earphones so she can hear it.


One day when I was having trouble getting the DVD player to work, she figured it out. I told her it didn’t work and left the room. The next thing I knew she got it to work and put in a video! I was shocked!  I asked her how she did it and this is what she said..

Bedtime has gotten to be a bit of a challenge.  The yaya often gives her the bath and I do stories but then she gets upset when it’s time for me to leave. “I want my Mommy to sleep to me!” she’ll cry, and sometime I will give in. But if I don’t she’ll get out of bed, walk down the hall and convince her yaya to fall asleep with her.  My bed is as hard as a rock and co-sleeping is important for us so I sleep in her room (or hers in mine) about 75% of the time. The other factor, though, is the shadows in her room which she regularly talks about.  I bought her a little lamp, and although brighter than a nightlight, I sometimes leave it on at night so she can sleep in her own room and not be frightened.

She told her first lie!  After several helpings of chips she ran into the kitchen and asked the yaya for more. She told her to ‘ask Mommy’ so she came into my room to ask me.  I told her no that she had enough but then she went into the kitchen and I overheard her saying, “My mommy say yes!!”  I went in to talk to her about it but she lied again later in the month.  I think she thinks she’s being funny or clever (like with sneaking lipstick and the tech stuff).

She continues to be fearless and impresses everyone around her with her courage and risk-taking personality.  She went down the huge slide at the beach a few weekends ago by herself and climbs to the highest rung on the jungle gym. She always tells me she wants to try things and do things herself and is quite competent.

She would love a sibling and honestly I have half way considered it.  Ethiopia is probably out due to cost and wait times. I think it would be about 3 years before the sibling would be home and it is so hard to predict where we will be and what we will be doing in 2015. She needs one now. I can do an adoption here after a 3-year residency but I was told you can have the child home while you deal with the paperwork. I can be like Josephine Baker, why not?! That would be interesting. US foster care is the most affordable option and I have heard of people doing that from overseas. I don’t know… Maybe I should just get her a pet?  She is such an enormous animal lover she would be happy with anything.  If we were home in the States I would definitely get her a dog but there is a 6-month quarantine when bringing pets back so, sadly, getting a dog here is out. Maybe a cat?

She is big on finding the similarities between things, particularly colors. When we got out of the car the other day in the school garage, she yelled, “Mommy!!!!  Look!!!” and I whipped my head around to be sure everything was okay and she said, “There is a red car just like our red car!!!!”  She often compares our skin colors, too, saying “I am brown and you are yeddow.”  I asked her if she thought it was okay if she was brown and I was yellow and said no, that we have to match. That led to a discussion about how families are different and that even though we don’t match on the outside, we match on the inside cause our hearts match–to which she responded, “yes”.  We have been talking more about adoption and I can tell she really still doesn’t get it.  Following the advice of several other adoptive parents, I am going to create a book about our meeting and start reading it to her at bedtime.

So many more things are popping into my head about my sweet girl but I think this is enough for now! Love her!!! I am so lucky to have her in my life!!!

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2 Responses to Coco Update

  1. D says:

    Your little flower as flourished with all the love and nurturing you have given her.
    Btw I hope you guys are ok I have heard about the earthquake.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Love the update and the video. She has changed a lot since I last saw her. H. also told a blatant lie over the weekend. I’m sure there have been others but this was the first really blatant one. H. has also noticed we don’t have the same skin color but so far that’s all she’s said about it. I made her a book on shutterfly of the trip to Vietnam. I haven’t had time to make an actual “life book”.

    The other weekend we ran into a mother and daughter we know ( but not well) and she was convinced it was you and Coco. She just could not get over it!! I meant to tell you that.

Kind words only, please! :)

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