Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

I would like to take a moment and remember the people who have enabled our great country to exist.  I am thankful we live in a world that allows us to express our individualism, grow our families, and lets us be the way we are.  I have visited other countries that do not allow its citizens the freedoms we enjoy ourselves, and I am so grateful our people have sacrificed to make sure we live in the best country in the world.

My husband is an amazing guy, and he gave me an hour's break this afternoon.  I have cleaned out a bathroom drawer than I meant to blitz before Sofie came to us.  She is in there every day asking and touching things, and I am always afraid she is going to hijack the items in there & they will disappear forever.  Now, I have some blogging time.

We had an fantastic time at Sea World yesterday.  We fed the dolphins fish.  Sofie was entranced by the shows.  Her favorite was an  animal/human combo that included dancers, trapeze artists, divers, and water ballet as well as dolphins and beluga whales.  It was pretty spectacular.  I got pretty sunburned but Sofie and her Daddy don't have that problem.  The sunscreen appears to work better on them.  We also saw the Clyde and Seymour show, the Shamu show (really, really bad these days), and went to kiddie land.  We waited in line 20 minutes for a baby-coaster, but Sofie wimped-out at the end.  We ended up doing the merry-go-round instead.  Her Dad was waiting for us & watching, and Sofie's face shone like the sun when she saw him and got to wave as we went round and round.  It made my day.  She almost has dimples when she has real, joyful smiles.  I wish I could see some of those smiles every day.

Oh, and we forgot our camera & left our phones in the car so there is no photographic evidence.  I guess we are living in the moment these days.

We had a really good car trip back and forth.  Sofie was pretty subdued, sang, played and was generally happy.  There have been some people providing feedback to me lately, flabbergasted that we didn't invest in outfitting our mom-mobile with the latest in DVD/TV technology, but I really don't want to be that person or that family.  Sofie has been making up some pretty great songs lately & she has been singing other songs she is learning.  Maybe it would be needed for a 21 hour drive back and forth to Illinois, but I just don't see it.

Today we will have strawberry shortcake (thanks for the idea Mom), and fajitas made on the grill.  It should be super.  Let's remember the people we have lost in our life & think good thoughts of them.

Oh, and it has been awhile since I shared some pictures, so here are some recent ones...

Wanting to be in the middle of everything as usual!

Playing house

Eating her first Birthday Cake!

Happy on a Horse!

Riding a horse with friends

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Peaceful night!

For the first time in 3 weeks, Sofie slept through the night! It's a beautiful day.

We are headed to Sea world for fun! Hopefully the dolphins will be good for our girl.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Beautiful girl

My beautiful girl got another bang trim today and looks fabulous. I can't believe how long her hair has gotten. She is a stunner!

She and daddy are singing the "abc's" in the bathroom and my heart is smiling.

She didn't have full blown night terrors last night but woke up whimpering/kicking about 30 times. Eventually she fell into a sound sleep (or I did from pure exhaustion).

I have such respect for parents everywhere. I didn't know it was so hard, and I am privileged to experience it first hand.

We got our 6 month update from the social worker, and it was an amazing report. We are keeping her. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Night time

Night terrors continue to be a problem. Our little girl slept from 9:45-4:30 am last night and then came to our room screaming. She was upset and worked up for an hour. Just when she calmed down again she yanked my hair as hard as she could and started screaming again. We couldn't go near her because she was hitting/kicking. It was a full out fit on the floor. Eventually, she was exhausted and came to my arms. She fell asleep around 6:30 again and slept another hour. When she awoke, she was cheerful and happy. I hope her brain can work through whatever is going on in there. I really hope she wasn't abused at nighttime like the doctor thinks. Poor baby. I wish I knew what was going on in her head.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lazy Saturday

It is a gorgeous day here, and we took advantage of it.  Once Dad woke up, we got dressed and set out on the road.  There is an amazing bike path we don't partake enough of most days, and we headed out on a Saturday adventure.  A slight breeze blew in the air, and it was only like 85 degrees and sunny when we set out.  When we got away from the road, Sofie set out to steer us in the right direction.  She runs with her stroller in a haphazard forward direction (mostly sideways), and she tends to run us off the path quite a bit, but she is exuberantly happy so we are too.  We saw birds, butterflies, jumping fish, dogs, cats, etc.

Eventually we got to the best park in the city (the heights park), and we did a lot of swinging, running, chasing, climbing, hanging, and jumping.  At one point, Sofie thought there was a question about whose mom I was, so she made it clear to the other kids who I belonged to... LOL.  She is a fierce protector.

Once she was sufficiently worn out, we hit White Oak and found a place for a bite we have been meaning to try.  The service was so/so but we were sitting outside and relaxing so I can't complain.  Sofie helped us walk home and collapsed in her stroller the last half mile.  She is still snoozing in her stroller downstairs and I am freshly showered.  The Champion's League final is on downstairs.  All is good with the world.

A nice lazy Saturday like it used to be but better.  Love it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

6 month checkup

It has been a long while since I posted anything, and they have changed the interface for blogging since then.  Good grief!  It has only been 3 months...

But they have been amazing 3 months.  Sofie has learned to say s, f, p, b, r, sh, and more sounds.  She is a big singer.  She still is so graceful and dances with a fluidity I wish that I had myself.

She is headstrong, charming, independent, and amazing.  There are times I laugh or exchange knowing looks with Dad when she does something especially precocious.  She received a singing necklace from a happy meal (I know, I know...) that she loves and she does this little head/shimmy/hip twist thing every time she hears it.  I love it.  Her face gets a funny, happy, sly look on it every time she hears the song.  I giggle to myself every time because I love it.

She has toys that are starting to live and grow with her.  She has burned herself on her tea set (HOT tea), made hotdogs and bananas, and her baby plays soccer & blows bubbles.  Hello Kitty plays prominently in her life as does Kailan.  They are both active fixtures in our imagination.

There are other times when she knows she is being naughty and can't quite figure out how to get out of her temper tantrum... and I give her an out by giving her a big hug and a kiss.

We also have the special times where she is possessed by some unknown spirit and is on a rampage with unknown origins.  It could be related to communication.  It could be related to having a 3 year old.  We still don't quite know how to handle those situations effectively, but they are few and far between.

The time is rushing by so quickly.  We had our 6 month checkup with the social worker yesterday, and it boggles the mind that I have been back to work for so long.  For those of you who don't know, I started a new job and it is pretty intense.  It also involves traveling ... although my manager said it absolutely wouldn't... and it is the way it is.  I took my first trip (4.5 days) a couple weeks ago to the UK, and we have still been adjustment since then.  We had some slippage on the security front but she is finally recovering.  We have entered the world of night terrors since I came home and those are pretty scary.  We are trying to manage it mostly through scheduling and extra love, but wow.  I didn't expect that.

We are so lucky to have our darling girl in our life. I know the transition was a tough one - especially since it felt like we took her away unexpectedly from her life (her complete lack of being prepared for this change).  It wasn't the way I would choose to do again, but all we can do is love one another and grow forward, together.  I sent another update to her foster family in China who loved her all those years today because I figured they would be missing her on her birthday.  All we need is love.

Ok.  Kiddo is home. Gotta go.  Will try to update more often.  Lots of love & hugs.