Saturday, June 30, 2012

Priorities and moving forward

I just returned home from a 1 week visit in Paris, and it was hard.  I left the husband and Sofie at home.  It broke my heart to hear about how sad they were while I was away.

Since I have gotten home, Sofie is happy.  But, there has been regression in behavior.  The first thing that goes is always night-time/nap-time potty training.  I don't understand it.  I have read about i and the specialists say that we shouldn't worry until she turns 5 but she was so potty trained in China.  It is completely weird.  Today, she didn't even take much of a nap and she still wet the diaper.  Also, she is crying any time anything doesn't go her way, which was how it was when we first got her.  I am trying not to lose my temper with her expression of frustration and continue to be as loving as I can.  I know it has been hard for her.

When I was in Paris, I met this interesting colleague who was enthralled with my story of adoption, and she had lots of questions.  It was like she looked deep within my soul, and she tried to give me advice of what she had learned on her journey with her 2 sons.  She talked a lot about the typical company profile and how it tends to recruit hard working, challenge loving junkies who have a hard time setting limits and saying "no".  I totally meet that criteria and have been an over-working fool over the last 15 years.

Anyway, she said that she had seen a lot of new mothers get burned out as a result of their inability to set limits and that she herself had struggled with it when she was a new mom.  She recommended that I think about what my limits are and how to make sure that I respect them.  It was a timely discussion (I don't doubt that this is higher intelligence trying to keep me on track) and I do feel like I have been out of control.  I have been working 12 hour days regularly in the 4 months I am back, and the upcoming travel schedule for Q3 is gruesome.  Also, we are going to be commercializing our new software and there is potential to work 16 hour days every day to make things work.

Every time I leave home, Sofie suffers at the moment, and I wonder if I need to give her more mommy time so she feels more secure.  I don't know what the long term ramifications of my traveling & the adoption will be (will she always feel abandoned because I leave her regularly)?  How can I balance the needs of my child with the needs of my job with the needs of my husband and my needs?  It seems exceptionally tricky.  I am not good at having limits - as seen by my numerous knee surgeries, bad joints, pinched nerves and achievement driven success.  How can I put them on myself and remain an outstanding member of the team delivering what the company needs?  How can I say "no"?  Can I say "no" and still respect myself?  I am struggling with these questions at the moment.

Meanwhile, our next round of visitors is arriving tomorrow (a Norwegian family of 4) who is staying off and on for a couple weeks.  We are unaware of what their English level is and I am feeling a bit of trepidation about it, but what can I do but seize the day and go with the flow (and drink?)?

Oh wait, they don't drink.  What on earth will we do together? LOL. I am kidding.  I have reduced the sauce significantly since Sofie came into our life. I just don't feel as compelled to drink it, and I have been on a bit of a health improvement kick for months.  I became a vegetarian about a month and a half ago (some days are better than others; being a vegetarian in Paris is nearly impossible)... Anyway, respecting my body and feeding it better fuel has been part of my health kick which means less alcohol, though I do have the occasional margarita.  Boy, this turned into a rambling about alcohol.

Anyway, what to do?  Where is the balance?  How can I do it?  I need your love and support to make it so.

All my best.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

7 months now, Baby

It's been awhile. Time just rushes by in a blink of an eye.  I don't know how long it has been since I wrote - too long.

We had a nice trip home to see family a couple weeks ago.  Sofie is in love with her cousin and they were awesome together, holding hands, running through sprinklers, pointing at huge bigger-than-life bugs... We never could get a good picture of them together, but they look just like those greeting cards with the kids holding hands.  My sister in law commented that it would be funny if they got married.  I am just happy to see those kids so happy.  I am relieved that Sofie can be so happy since the transition has had its ups and downs.

Sofie also enjoyed seeing grandma, grandpa, the great-grandmas, great-grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins, 2nd cousins, great aunts/uncles, etc.  It was a good time.  She slept through the night after the first night of night terrors.  She loves airplanes.  She is that kid on the plane I used to curse about who screams her head off and bounces.  She is a kicker too.  After the people in front of us reclined 100% for a 2 hour flight, I didn't care anymore.  Chocolate kept her at bay for part of the flight but by the time we got home, she was WIRED!

Today is the official start of month 7.  I can't believe this transition.  She is joyous during the day most of the time.  She is as smart as a whip according to unnamed house guests with recent 2 & 3 year old exposure.  She also has been assessed by a kindergarten teacher relative who is very impressed with Sofie's fine motor & counting skills. She has been moved to age appropriate kindergarten.  She continues to grow up.  Her hair is positively stunning.  Her language skills are getting pretty good.  We still need the speech therapy, but we understand her a lot more of the time.  The other day, she shocked the heck out of us when she said clearly, "Mommy, I need medicine! PAIN medicine..."  (we were trying to figure out where she got that, and my mom takes credit because she had rotator cuff/ruptured biceps surgery twice (long story) last month and was liking the pain meds while we were home)...

It totally floored us.

She has totally taken to our houseguest for these last 2 weeks and has the best time with him.  He has a 3 year old at home and says that they couldn't be more different.  He plays with Sofie for hours, but he is looking forward to going home where his daughter is less active and watches tv.  Sofie wears him out.

The night terrors are intermittent.  I am trying different techniques but their frequency does seem to depend partially on how tired she is.  Hopefully they will pass.  Last night I got 6 consecutive hours of sleep before she woke up (unbelievable... it has been 7 months since that happened!), and I didn't know what to do with myself at 4 am when she woke up and cried.  I thought about doing yoga, reading a book, exercising, walking, going to work early... and laid there for a whole other hour fantasizing... LOL.  until I drifed off to sleep, and then my alarm went off.

I am enamored with this kid and am so thankful we got matched.  Yes, she has her funny things ("Mommy, I need medicine..." she says this a few times a day.... I have slipped her fresh vegetable juice, ginger juice, tictacs, vitamins, kefir, and fruit juice under the guise of medicine since she is so relentless in her quest...) but she is awesome and I am so glad we got her.  I believe in fate & miracles & the power of good.

I am headed to France in a couple days and don't know how THAT transition will go because my trip is longer than last time, but hopefully we will skype and everything will be ok.

Hugs to all.  Peace out.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Walking like elephants

Tonight was superb fun. Sofie and I played with the etch-a-sketch... First I did letter ID with her. Then she flexed her drawing muscles and drew mommy, daddy,the cats, kailan & friends, etc. then, I was thinking about yoga and we did table pose. That turned into pretending to be elephants, monkeys, tigers, dogs, horses, and some other animal that she keeping saying over and over that sounded like 'tin' and had rolling hand motions, jumping up and down, spinning, and lots of shouting. Even her Dad joined in the fun. We laughed until we fell over. magic! Then, Sofie made us snacks in her kitchen. She wouldn't let her Dad and me eat from the same pot, and the kettle was boiling for 20 minutes at least. It was a riot. We have the best little girl. She is a hoot and a half and is talking more every day. Also, at preschool they moved her up to the 3-4 year olds (she was a year behind to learn language) and after only 2 months she is in her age bracket. Amazing!