Sleep - overall, sleep is going well. The second night home, Emma woke up at 2 a.m. ready to play. I can't say I minded it. It was such a sweet time with her. We sat on the porch where she enjoyed a Cheerios snack. We took a walk around the neighborhood. We visited with Daddy who also happened to be awake. I did give her some Benadryl around 3, and she went back to sleep around 4:30. She hasn't done that again. We are working at getting her into a schedule, but it is hard since I have to be with her. Currently I am sleeping with her in her bed. She does still wake up during the night but is easily comforted and goes right back to sleep. I don't know how long I will need to sleep with her, but I know that she needs it right now. She flops and wiggles less than before, so that is a good thing. She does like to have some part of her body touching me when she is going to sleep. She also really likes for me to rub her back. She gives a special grunt when she wants me to do that. If I stop too soon, I get the same grunt again.
Eating - her need to constantly have food has greatly decreased. She still eats plenty. Unfortunately, her diet is not the best. I cannot get her to eat any fruit with the exception of watermelon. Sometimes I can manage to get some in her mouth, but she promptly removes the offensive item. She will eat yogurt with fruit in it. The only vegetables she will eat are corn, potatoes, and black beans. She loves any kind of noodles and rice. She really likes eggs and will also eat meat. She will not drink milk unless it is in her cereal. We have some work to do, but she will get there :-). We have been eating out a lot because meal preparation has been really tough. I did manage to cook a simple dinner tonight and felt as if I had accomplished something really great :-). Emma definitely appreciated it!
First cake pop
Discipline - this little angel can't possible need discipline, right? Discipline and boundaries are just as important with her as they are with any other child. They provide her with a sense of safety and security and also show her that we love her (same as with any child). We expect things out of her if we know that she is capable of them. Now that she can sign "please", we expect her to use it and will not give in when she chooses the angry pouty route instead. The way we discipline her is a bit different than the way we disciplined our other kids. We use a lot more over-the-top praise with her. For example, if I need to take something from her and know that she will become upset, then I take it and we immediately start clapping and cheering for Emma while telling her what a great job she did not getting upset. This is extremely effective with her (we don't have to do this every time). While meeting with the speech therapist (who was fantastic and will be talked about later), she witnessed Emma trying to open the door to leave. Mark told her "no" which she accepted and went back to playing. Later, the therapist told Emma "no" when Emma was walking into an area the therapist didn't want Emma to go. The therapist remarked how most internationally adopted children that she sees shortly after they come home will became so very upset when they are told "no". It was very validating and reassured us that we are on the right track.
Ouchies - we had thought that Emma's gross motor skills were right on track, but we are not so sure now that we are home and she is running around a lot. She falls all the time, and her knees are paying the price. They look much worse now than they do in this picture. We don't know if it is delays or if it is simply being 2. We are taking a watch and see approach at this point (and trying to put her in jeans when she goes outside to run around). Emma cannot stand Bandaids. Mark managed to keep one on her knee for about 5 minutes. She becomes very upset about having a Bandaid. She is also one tough cookie and may not even cry when she falls even if blood is streaming down her leg. That sounds like a good thing, right? In the adoption world, this can indicate that she wasn't really paid attention to when hurt. If a baby/child gets hurt and cries but no one comforts the child or someone harshly punishes the child, then the child learns not to cry. They learn that their voice does not matter and that people are not there for them. Another thing I loved about the speech therapist is that she knew this fact and picked up on it with Emma. When Emma fell in the therapist's office, she looked at me but didn't cry. When I picked her up and made a big deal out of it, then she made a tiny moan. The speech therapist brought that up later and knew what that meant. If you can't tell, I was so very impressed with the speech therapist. A lot of professionals are not knowledgeable about the unique issues involved with internationally adopted children. This therapist completely understood these issues. Anyway, we are trying to baby Emma when she gets hurt and working at getting age-appropriate responses to injuries. When you see us making a fuss over a little owie, don't think we are nuts :-). She does seem to be making progress in this area (some of the time).
There is lots more to write about, but I am T.I.R.E.D. Here are some photos.
I needed to get Emma a booster seat for our table. She also got a doll, a doll stroller, a grocery cart, and a tea set. She loves them all.
Pushing her doll stroller on the playground equipment.
Playing with an old rifle scope. No worries, Mark has all of his guns and knives safely locked up.
She is fascinated by all of Mark's deer heads that he has in the garage. Most are hanging, but Mark showed her this one. I have no comment at this time.
I dry my hair with my head upside down. She needed her hair dried too.
We had a low-key 4th. No fireworks this year.
Nate wanted to ride his bike, but Emma took over. Poor Nate :-(
Precious, beautiful girl. You are already so very loved.