Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas (3 Months home)

Wow! During the adoption process time takes on an interesting quality. Two parallel tracks at polar opposite speeds...and you dance between the two. That quality continues. It feels like Bella has been part of our family forever. Everyone of us is madly in love with her. She continues to do really well. Her language explosion has slowed just a bit but I can see her working on some of the more subtle points of language... pronouns (when to use which ones...you, me, I, etc). She has more words and more words strung together than the older three did at her age. Her newest thing:

B: sneeze (fake, sometimes)
Us: bless you
B: thank you
Us: your welcome

She could do this all day long. She loves it when we sneeze and she has the other part. Her eating has improved dramatically. I don't have to put as much thought into what and how much she eaten. Don't get me wrong...she is a typical two year old eater...but at least I can count on her eating one good meal. She has not gained much if any weight but has grown about 4 inches. She is finally on the height charts (I think). She takes a multivitamin, a multi mineral, and an omega 3 chew. Sleeping improved and then went back to not so good. She comes in with Jason and me every night at about 1am. She is processing something. She is dreaming something. This is where I wish she had a little more language, but in the meantime...she is in with us. Everyone expects that she would be excited about Christmas...she's not. That would assume she knows what is coming. She has no idea what and when. She thinks the trees are "konjo" (pretty) and she had so much fun decorating. She loves baby Jesus in the manger. She loves the snow and playing in it. She takes everything in stride. Some things we will set out to work on early in the new year...sharing with kids her age (thank you Ruth, Aster, Aster, and Milki for being patient), sleeping in her own bed, language, and potty training:)

Now for the three older kids. Andrew has gotten into several schools. He still has to hear from a few. Choosing will balance several factors (cost, majors, soccer, and friends). Eliza turned 15. She is plotting and planning how she can get back to Ethiopia. Zach is loving being a big brother. Life probably changed the most for him when Bella came home. He has become a great big brother. He loves to hold Bella's hand while she falls asleep in her crib.

What a year it has been! Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bella Update

No pics this time. Camera is broken and at the shop getting fixed. I was able to upload one from my phone:)

Bella is doing really well.

Her language continues to amaze me. Her understanding is even more of an amazement. Not to sound obnoxious, but she is really bright. Not sure how it will translate into the school environment but street smarts...she is tops. After a weekend of watching soccer...she figured out that the boys sometimes fake injury to get a call. She then entertained the family...falling down on the kitchen floor, holding her ankle saying "he tripped me, he tripped me." She then looks over hops up and does it again. The only problem I foresee is the post placement visits with our social worker :) No seriously, she has more words and more words strung together than her older siblings did at this age...and can I remind you...English is their first and only language (and they are relatively bright.)

Sleeping- She is now sleeping through the night in her bed. She shortened her nap from 2 1/2 hour to only 1 1/2 hour. It has only been 5 days but we are hoping we have turned the corner.

Eating-marginally better. She is eating. She is drinking milk which she was not doing before. She has a sweet tooth. She does like spicy food and other food not normally fed to toddlers.

She loves to clean. She walks around the house with Windex and a paper towel, spraying all surfaces. She loves the swiffer.

She loves the dogs. One of my dogs, Willow, drives me crazy not listening. My secret weapon...Bella. Willow listens to Bella. Go figure?

We are getting better at the hair braiding. Well, Eliza is. She takes Bella and sits her down...braiding. This started back when Bella came to us asking us to make her hair konjo. (Okay, that just brings up so many trans racial issues for me....so we will be the best hair braiders on the block.) I have to say I actually like her hair unbraided - a lot.

She is a typical two year old who wants her way but she is pretty easily tractable when you explain why or when she can have something....tomorrow, later, not at all bc its dangerous, enough, etc. The one thing that we have noticed is that when she is overwhelmed by her environment either because of sensory overload or a lot going around her she has a frenetic quality to her play. This has dramatically improved but we still see it occasionally. We expected to see it over Thanksgiving and did not. She is learning to enjoy story time. She is learning to enjoy quiet activities like coloring.