Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas is coming

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat...

We are madly scrambling to get everything together for Christmas.  We shipped to Norway & Illinois.  I am still working on Christmas cards & we need to find a photo that we could send to everyone that isn't a little out of focus.  The phone is very convenient for snapping pictures, but they aren't the best quality.  I keep meaning to go to JCPenney's for portraits, but it hasn't happened yet.  Maybe today.

I made sandnotter and sirupsniper (like pepper-gingerbread cookies) for her Dad (he is rejoicing behind me for that), and Sofie actually helped cut out some of the sirupsniper with a star cookie cutter. She didn't quite get it (some funny shapes where she cut with no dough), but she had some fun doing it.

It is raining like cats and dogs here (finally) and it seems like going to the park will be out of the question for the 2nd day in a row.  We might have to visit Gymboree today too.

Sofie continues to amaze me.  Yesterday, she was a little parrot, repeating everything we said.  She is still having problems with "b's", "d's", "p's" and "t's", but she is really coming along with the vowel sounds and combining with m, n, s, th...

We might have been accepted by the Shriners to do all her cleft palate/plastic surgery work for free.  They have booked us for a hearing test next week & said they will pay everything that the insurance doesn't pay.  We are also booked to be evaluated by the team (ENT, plastic surgeon, speech pathologist, etc.) at the end of January.  It would be wonderful if the Shriners would be able to help us out with her recovery for free.

I am a little homesick at the moment but am looking forward to upcoming family visits in the next few months.  I am contemplating making a Christmas tree coffee cake (my mom's speciality) but I am not sure who would eat it... we don't have enough mouths in the house to do it justice.  I can't believe Christmas is already here.

The house is half-@$$ decorated and I think it is going to stay that way.  I just don't have the time to devote to it, and I don't want everything to break.

Ok, she up.  Have a great one!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Adapting to changes

It has been about 2 weeks since we got home, and we continue to adjust to one another.

We have finally got Sofie on Central Time.  It is wonderful.  This morning, she is still sleeping at 8:00.  We went to a fancy park yesterday, and Sofie ran around for more than an hour so I think she was extra tired.

I am feeling much better, though my eyes still have a tinge of pink.  The antibiotic my doctor put me on really packs a punch though, and it knocks me on my butt for the first 4 hours after I take it.

Oh, she is awake.  I will have to post more later.  Take care.  Happy Holidays.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The bugs have landed

The 3 flights we took to the US really packed a punch. Her Dad got a bug, and now Sofie and I are suffering. I was diagnosed with pinkeye & a virus and Sofie has stopped eating. He is still sick.

I don't have the words to really talk about being sick. It is extra challenging since Sofie can't tell us what hurts.

Tomorrow will be better

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hello, Kitty

Sofie is all about cats at the moment. We got her some Hello Kitty slippers yesterday because her feet are so cold and there are great big cats on the toes. Before she puts them on, she kisses each cat. Too cute. It makes my heart smile. Also, she has conquered her fear of Pita and she calls to her "hiiiiieeeeyyyy eeeta" because she can't say "p's". And she pets, kisses, squeezes, and loves on Pita all day. Love it.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fake it until you make it

When I bought a new Blue Ray player, I received a manual about an inch and a half thick with instructions on how to install it, how to maintain it, and how to troubleshoot it.

When we received Sofie, we got a little card with an email address from the Orphanage where they requested we send updates and some notarized documents confirming that we adopted her.  That's it. No manual.  Even though we spent months preparing for this change, we felt like we were tossed into an alternate universe & were spiraling to a place with no map.

My philosophy in life has tended to be "fake it until you make it".  I carry myself as if I am already the person I want to be in order to catalyze the changes within me and the opportunities manifest in my life.

It has been an ongoing struggle to diagnose what our little girl wants and needs.  It is hard to tell her feelings.  She has trained me into a constant state of awareness at night to be on call at any moment to allay her fears or comfort her sorrow.  In some ways, it is like we have gotten a 26.6 pound newborn.  We are still getting to know each other's personalities and foibles.  She wants to be carried, except when she doesn't. She is potty trained, except when she isn't.  She likes yogurt at the beginning of the week and won't touch it now.  When she eats, she loves making funny faces at me in hopes that I will make them back to her.  She is a baffling enigma, and yet, when she smiles at me she lights up my heart.

This morning, I am feeling the remnants of sleep deprivation.  I was up all night, waiting for one of her episodes to start, and there was a minor one at midnight and then nothing the rest of the night.  She might almost be on our time zone now (thank goodness).

I interpret this success that she might be feeling more secure in this rabbit's hole we have thrust her into without her consent.  She has accepted my vision & I am feeling more like a Mom.  I have made it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Transitions (again)

I know I have used this title before, but it is still apt so I am going to go with it.

Things have been so hectic since we got home.

So, yesterday we went to the doctor for a look & physical.  First, my doctor is the best doctor in the world. I had never seen her with kids, and she totally soothed our Sofie.  When she took out the scope they use for eyes/ears/throat/nose (forget the name), she did an amazing demo to show Sofie that she wouldn't hurt her with it.  It was amazing and almost made me cry.  Sofie was totally open to having the doctor check her out.  Good news - besides the tiny hole in her mouth & her nostril being slightly droopy, We have one healthy kid.  Her lungs are good. Her heart is good.  Her ears & sinuses & throat looked good. The organ check was good.  Her height/weight for a 2 year old was also great.  We did start our vaccinations (poor baby - 4 shots), and the doctor requested some blood drawn (she was such a trooper & the nurse practitioner did the blood draw quick & accurately on the first go. Yay).  All in all, our Sofie is in great condition.  I am still waiting for her to be put on our medical insurance so we can get moving on the surgery.  We also need to contact the Shriners with her updated birth certificate & certificate of adoption to get moving on that front.  But all in all, we are so lucky that she had someone loving her in China & helping her to develop & grow.  Also, good news - her Dad doesn't have strep. We thought he might because he has been sick since Friday & his throat has been getting worse and worse.  However, the test came back negative at the Dr. so he will just have to get better already.

I mentioned jet lag previously (we're still struggling with it),  and last night was a doozy.  Sofie's legs were in big pain, so much that she was limping, from the vaccinations.  She fell asleep at 10:30 pm, and she woke up at 1:45 this morning.  She felt terrible.  She was weeping from the pain, missing her foster granny, and just generally out of sorts.  She almost fell asleep 3 times but kept waking up right as her body relaxed and started the crying over again.  She probably fell asleep again at 4.  My heart was breaking that she was so sad.  I know these transitions take time, and I wish she wasn't suffering so.  She is a sweet little girl, and I wish I could fix it.  Time will fix this.  Think good thoughts that her transition will be as painless as possible from here on out.

So, I woke up this morning at 8:30 today, and I decided not to wake her yet.  I went downstairs to make my kale & egg omelette (I have been missing them), and her Dad was already down.  It was lovely to have a nice breakfast just the two of us.  We haven't had a lot of together time since Sofie because she ALWAYS has to be with me.  I know sooner or later she will convert fully to a daddy's girl, so I am relishing this time.  There could be some drama later today because I need to go get a reflexology treatment for my neck/back, and she will miss me while I am gone.  I am hoping they will figure out a truce.

So - in my lost post, I wrote about a funny situation I experienced in China before I left.  I just thought I should include it (for chuckle worthiness) as an end to the story.  It is a bit of potty humor for those weak at the thought of bowel movements.

When we first arrived in Taiyuan (where she is from), her Dad and I went on a walk around town.  We were walking back to the hotel when we passed a little tyke (probably 1 year old), whipping off her pants and squatting next to a light post at a bus stop.  The mom was standing next to her, giggling as the little child did her business.  Her Dad and I were a little shocked and appalled at that point and shook our heads a bit.

Fast forward to a week later when we were in Guangzhou at the 4th floor children's play center at the hotel.  Sofie was playing on the slides, and we thought we might have heard the chinese word for potty as she was climbing up the slide.  We gestured to go for a walk to the potty, but she shook her head and kept playing on the slide.  We thought we misheard.  However, 20 minutes later, while we were playing tag, she ran to the side of the play area next to the trees, whipper her pants off, and proceeded to take a pee before we could do anything.  She went A LOT.  On padded tiles that were outside.  In front of other parents.  It was cringeworthy.  They laughed.  Now, I take her every hour on the dot whether she wants to go or not.  LOL.

We had another incident a couple days later at the hotel.  I was in the bathroom doing #2 and she heard me fart.  She ran into the room, brought down her pants, and squatted quickly over a pile of used towels in front of the shower.  I stood up real fast, said "no", lifted her up, put her on the pot, and she proceeded to go #2 too, with a gigantic pile of poop.  I was thankful I moved so fast because THAT would have been a mess.  Can't even contemplate.

Since we got home, we bought her a princess potty so she can go when she is ready.  She has mastered that one for during the day for sure.  How do you sterilize it?  Bleach?  Blech.

Anyway, I hope you are having a wonderful day. I am going to wake the princess soon.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

At home

When my sister said it had been a week already since I posted, I told her she was crazy, but I realize she is right. I had written another entry, and I thought it sent, but it looks like it was lost in the ether forever (on the Chinese network)...

Our time in Guangzhou went fast. The Marriott felt like paradise after Taiyuan. You could see across the street. It was warm. The room was bigger. There was an outside playground for 1-6 year olds on the 4th floor. It was good. We completed her medical exam and consolate appointment with no problems (but lots of crying).

The 26 hour journey home (not counting drive to airport/wait to leave/baggage claim) was long and arduous. Sofie was a trooper for the first and last flight. The middle one was hell (12 hour leg). She cried off and on for 12 hours. Within 10 minutes of boarding the plane, the flight attendants wanted to gag her. It only got worse.

Anyway, we made it home. When Sofie saw her room on Thursday night (12:00 am ish), her reaction was fantastic. The mural was so worth it. She knew the room was hers. She played with all her toys. She had the biggest grin on her face I have ever seen.

Since we got home, we are dealing with jet lag. Not only ours, but hers too. It is awful. She is wide awake at midnight, dead tired at 10 am, and kind of fuzzy until 5 pm. I grossly underestimated how long it would take for her to adjust - and, when she wakes up, she has to have Mama, so I am on call. Before my nap at 10:30 today, I think I grossed 10 hours of sleep between wednesday and Sunday. She needed a nap bad this afternoon and I slept too and added another 4 hours to my tally. Bliss.

She had a real big homesick moment this morning before her nap because I played some Chinese children songs (in Chinese) and she wanted to go home & wanted here foster mommy.

I'm hoping that she will start calling for Papa some of the time so I can go to the bathroom alone, but I know that is a lot to ask of a 2 year old... Maybe someday.

We see the doctor tomorrow to start working on the medical plan.

I had funny stories in my lost post, and I will try to write it again soon.

Sent from my iPad