Introducing our budding family. We hope you will enjoy watching us grow... and everything else under the sun. ;)

Happy Holidays from 4 V's

It's almost New Year's here and that means Deeana celebrated her first Christmas with us as a family!  Both her and Hayden have been waiting for Santa for weeks - all while Mom was worrying about meltdowns. I am happy to report things went well!

Let's back track to a few weeks before Christmas and update you about how things have been going. Deeana is still doing Theraplay once a week and we all find it to be very beneficial. About 3 weeks ago, Mommy decided to try and "move out" of Deeana's room again. We started a sticker reward chart, and reminded her that sleeping in her bed wasn't scary, but a big 3 year old thing to do. We go through a nightly routine of telling her that we will come and get her in the morning when the alarm rings and such, and minus a few bad dreams (to be expected) and a few stubborn moments, she has slept on her own and Mommy is sleeping soundly back with Daddy. ;)

We are still working on potty training - this still remains to be a struggle. We sometimes wonder if it is a power struggle or a typical kid thing. Is she being a child who is too busy to be bothered with toilet training, and would rather play, etc.. We know she knows when she is wet, when she has to go, and she is physically able to go by herself, but she just won't do it. Oye...

Leading up to the days of Christmas I could sense the anxiety coming from Deeana. She became cranky very fast and easily fell into a tantrum. Then again, my 8 year old was very wound up as well. ;)

Here is what we have found that has worked for us, it was suggested by our Theraplay therapist. We would take Deeana into a quiet room, sometimes dark, and sit her on our lap. We would gently tap her from chest to toe, starting front then back. Similar to the patting of a baby's bottom. Sometimes we would hear a deep sigh and would know she had relaxed. Other times if the house wasn't quiet enough or she was wound to much, I would rub her arms and legs with lotion (I frequently do this before bedtime before she puts on her pajamas). The lotion has helped a lot with bonding as well.

Onto Christmas. We spent Christmas Eve at my mother's, leaving early to open presents just with my mom first before the rest of the family came and the house got full. We V's then spent Christmas Day at home. Deeana was a delight to watch when unwrapping - she would take the smallest bit of paper and hand it off to us or go to throw it away before fully unwrapping. It was bliss to see her and Hayden's wonderful smiles.
We took a small break from opening more gifts with Michael's family and just saw then recently... spacing out the gift giving just enough that the kids had plenty of time to play with their new toys and help with anxiety.

Deeana still thinks Santa's "here" and it's Christmas time, then again, she still talks about Trick-or-Treating. :) In do time she will understand the holidays and really believe in Santa, the Easter bunny, and so forth.

She is growing so much with our family and learning more and more everyday. Just the other day she told us "I kidding!".... and her favorite knock-knock joke.... about a moon, up in the sky.

May you have a blessed New Year!
Till 2012

P.S. Enjoy some pics:


One Day at a Time

It's been almost 3 months since my last posting... and we've been home almost 4 months. I never wanted to be one of those adoption blogs that told people all about our journey and then fell off the face of the Earth. What matters most is that I am here now. I hope to try and come back more often... "try" being the operative word. ;)

No one ever prepared us for what this new beginning was going to be like. No one ever said to me, "Mel, she's going to be like an infant in a toddler's body... don't expect to sleep, pee alone, clean, or get anything done for a long time". Maybe if I would have heard that a few times my expectations wouldn't have been so high. Maybe if I would have done more reading...

On the brighter side, the bonding is MUCH better. Over the past several weeks there has been a big improvement when it comes to Deeana showing love and affection to her Mommy. What's even better is that she shows this love when Daddy is around as well. Now if we can only get her to continue this "love" when friends and family are around. Otherwise she mostly skirts away from me and prefers Daddy. She has a tendency to say hi, etc. to strangers, or even fall into their lap (that is a work in progress, but still hard with a language barrier).

A continuing struggle of ours is her anxiety of Mommy or Daddy leaving the room. Because of this I sleep on an air mattress in her room at night (have tried a zillion other combinations for sleeping, and this seems to be the best one). Though the air mattress is horrible on my back, it gets her to sleep just inches away in her bed. I sneak out when she snores, and then come back when I am tired. We wake up together in the morning. If I try to sneak out and she's awake - she panics - literally.
We have gone back to potty training basics as she has "un-trained" herself. Actually, we have just let it all go out the window. She's wearing a pullup - unless she says she wants to use the potty, we don't force it.
Independent play is almost impossible, though I see it emerging. I'm not surprised she hasn't learned this skill. But it is frustrating when trying to wash dishes, or any other mom jobs.
Her word count is amazing! (as is her memory!) We have lost count at how many words she knows and can now tell us what she wants to eat. (If only she would tell us when she needed to go potty.) She can recite the majority of the ABC's and we even heard her count past 12 one day! Short paragraphs are no problem for her.

And with Hayden, yes there is some jealousy there. They fight over silly things, and yell "YES!", "NO!" over who knows what. Hayden has become a great help though, and is happy to have a little sister.

A few milestones I have failed to mention. Deeana thoroughly enjoyed Halloween. She loved dressing up in her "Bat-arina" costume. It was chilly weather here for trick-or-treating, but we V's still managed.

Deeana also had her first Thanksgiving. We decided to have it at home and invited some friends to celebrate. Hayden and Deeana enjoyed playing with my girlfriends children and us adults got to relax. I made my first turkey and I heard rave reviews (that or they didn't want to hurt a woman's feelings). Deeana chose her outfit for the day, and as usual... the girl likes to look fancy.

And most recently, we decorated the tree and the house for Christmas. She was tickled pink that she got to "help Mama" with such a beautiful task. Hayden and Deeana had some kid ornaments set aside and loved looking at the ornaments and finding just the right spot for them. The following day Hayden set up the train around the tree and Deeana was mesmerized. It was a very stimulating couple of days and we had a bedtime meltdown.

Now my weeks are spent taking Deeana to occupational therapy (for some minor concerns) and physical therapy, also minor. We also participate in Theraplay. I have nothing but rave reviews for Theraplay - as they specialize in helping children form a bond and attach to their family. A great part about our therapist is she is able to come to our home and she was once a developmental therapist for a short time when Hayden was young.

I know I need to remember to take each day as it comes, one day at a time. Things are a lot harder than I imagined... I think we are all still adjusting. ;)

Please be patient with my lack of blogging. I hope to get back into the swing of things as Deeana becomes more independent - or enjoys TV more. YAY! for TV!

Lastly, please view our Daily V's page for a bunch of pics. Hope you enjoy!!! *EDITED 9:04PM - sorry, hasn't been working all day. I will try to get the pics online when the site is back up and working.
Happy Holidays!

~Mel 2 comments