Sunday, November 30, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
How could that be?
Sorry for the lack of any significant post. Things are going well. Alia is settling in and seems more and more comfortable every day.
Alia is sleeping like a champ. It seems like that is the most common question I get from people - especially other moms. She did not get a lot of sleep on the flights over. They arrived home in the evening. Scott handed her over to me at the airport and she fell asleep almost immediately. She slept all the way home and through the night that first night. She usually sleeps from 8 to 8 with a morning nap (where she is right now) and an afternoon nap. Alia does seem to sleep a lot. Luca did too. I think he was well over 1 before he gave up his morning nap and continued to take an afternoon nap until this summer. But, Alia is also used to spending most of her time in a crib in a hospital where I am sure she did a lot of sleeping. I have also read that babies who are adopted are grieving their old life and overwelmed by their new to a degree, so they sleep to cope.
Alia started regularly eating solids when she came home. I cannot believe how quickly she took to being fed with a spoon. She is even learning how to pick up her own food and put it in her mouth (with limited success, but she is getting there). Her pincer grasp is getting better and better.
Last night she ate lentil minestrone that had not been pureed. She easily gums most solids. She has also had kale potato frittata and whole green beans. I continue to be amazed that she doesn't shy away from different textures and seems to have no swallowing issues. She has about 3 bottles of formula a day as well. I am not sure what she weighs now - she was 18 lb while we were visiting her and 20 lb in Almaty. We have not been to the doctor yet. We have an appointment with our pediatrician and FACES adoption clinic in St. Louis next month.
Alia has been clapping the last few days. It is so cute because she basically just hits the back of one hand with the palm of her other. But, she does it so earnestly. She sits on a play mat and sticks most toys in her mouth. She does seem to prefer this big stuffed spider she had with her in Kazakhstan. She also enjoys her exersaucer and Baby Einstein DVDs. Luca also loves these and picks out which one they watch together.
Scott is convinced she has book preferences - Boynton books are in, Jamberry is out.
We have taken some walks and she also likes to do housework with me strapped in the Baby Bjorn.
The first few weeks Alia was home she seemed anxious and pensive. Her happy babble disappeared and was replaced by a whine. I have to admit that was hard for me to cope with. She was home - I wanted her to be content. I know in my mind that of course she is going to be anxious. How could she not be? But, my heart still hurt for both of us.
Every day she becomes more and more comfortable with us. There are increasingly more smiles. The last week or so she has taken to yelling and squealing happily.
There have been some really difficult moments like this past Saturday night. My mom and stepfather were in town to see us, so Scott and I decided we would put Alia to bed and go out to celebrate our anniversary. Well, she wasn't completely asleep when we left and was basically up with my mom the whole time we were gone. Alia kept it together when she was with my mom, but she refused to go to sleep. When we got home, she just lost it. She was crying so hard that I was scared. She threw up several times because she was so upset. On top of this she has a cold. Anyway, we did not need a trip to the emergency room - which I thought about - in the end. We got her to settle down and go to sleep, but it was scary and traumatic. In retrospect, we should have made sure she was completely asleep when we left. I also realized she had a long day full of new people and stimulus and she was just completely overwelmed. Scott aptly described her state of mind as fragile. We are her constant source of security. When we aren't there she must feel like she is free falling through space with nothing to hang onto.
Overall, she seems to be doing pretty well. All of this is a process - creating bonds, deepening our love and attachment. I just have to remember that.
Luca has been amazing. He genuinely loves Alia and being a big brother. He remains his happy-go-lucky self. "Alia cute! Alia funny!" is a constant refrain of his. I asked him how he felt about Alia being home last night and he said "Good!, but I want to feed her more."
Since we decided not to take him to Kazakhstan with us, I was worried about how he would react when we dropped a little sister into his life. We talked about the adoption, but the physical presence of a growing pregnant belly wasn't there to remind him every day. He had been an only child for so long . . . I wondered how he would do sharing the spotlight. So far, so good.
Thanks for the emails checking on us. I plan to write back soon! Also I will add photos later - Scott has the camera right now.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Pinch me again.
P.S. "First week home" post coming soon!