Monday, August 30, 2010

Are you ready for some football?!!!?

We've been stupid busy with football since summer. Both G&C are playing and Buckeye football hasn't even begun...yet.
It's going to be quite the year of football. Our only day off is Sunday, so by the time we slide into late fall, my brain will be toast.
The pictures are of the kickoff game for the varsity team that was held in the Ga Dome. It was quite the situation~

Monday, August 23, 2010

& now I've held her longer...

An update on my girl, on her attachment, her anxiety, her physical delays, her

On May 24th, 2009, the world changed in an instant. You might have felt a tip in the universe as well when some stranger handed me my daughter. When I say this journey has been more
beautiful than anything I could have ever dreamed, I mean it. I still get very teary eyed when I remember her journey home. I wish the entire world had the ability & or desire to adopt just so they could experience the weight of it all.
My girl has now been with us longer than her time in China.
So over the past 15 months, we've been really busy healing her wounded heart and teaching her to learn what trust is and just how to enjoy life.
When I see this photo of my girl in China, I am reminded how everyone
thought she looked so peaceful and content. Sadly, her little eyebrows tell a different story.
Fear was her life.
I know this look & when I see it now, I can usually pinpoint the issue quickly.
This is not a look we have seen for a long time.
Fear does not control my daughter anymore.
We watched her experience a life like she had never lived before.
From day 1, she loved the kind of girl=0)

& it was also in these waters that she allowed her Daddy to hold her for the first time, nearly 3 weeks after she was handed to me. It was just a moment for them both, but it was progress. She didn't cry & better yet, she didn't vomit on him;0) Their journey as Daddy & Daughter has been slow & I melt everytime when I see her go running to him.
He has had to work very hard on helping her to trust him.
I do not see this anxiety ridden fear anymore, but we do see moments of uneasiness about certain situations. If there was a choice between Daddy or Mommy, she'd always pick Mommy.

Her sensory issues have improved greatly.
She despised grass instantly and warmed up to sandy beaches very quickly.
Loud noises are still not her thing, but we've noticed her improvement on this issue as well. Just this weekend she enjoyed the high school football team doing there thing and all those obnoxious horn blowers and cow bell ringers in the stands.

She's grown an incredible amount. She was once so tiny, so weak, with no muscle tone and now she's sturdy=0)
Though we've grown together on her attachment, we've had our share of set
backs with her hospitalizations and all the tests they've had to run on her. Anxiety crept back in like an old unwanted friend.
This photo was taken after we returned home from some very nasty tests that made both her & I sob. I pouched her up in the ergo for several days afterwards and brought back the warm fuzzies of security. Her crinkled up brow soon turned to a relaxed look.

She's been able to form a special bond with each of her brothers and she knows which one she can call on for the activity she's in the mood for. If it's pushing strollers and carts, then W is her man. If it's riding play toys outside or playing in the park, she'll need C for that & G has continued to be her bright shiny man to go to for all things, including comfort. She does not seek comfort from C & W, they are her playmates.
She's also very good at knowing who's clothes are who's when we are folding them. She calls out the owner of each item.
She's also a reliable source for finding out who was at the park and who took her potty. ;0)
We said goodbye to the paradise life together & I worried about what this might do to her sense of security. It's been 3 months since we left and I am shocked how well she has transitioned. I am all about expect & plan for the worse, and I can honestly say that she has handled this like a pro. We have seen no anxiety in her and felt safe enough to move her crib into her own room shortly after moving. She did fabulous! Like it's where it was always supposed to be. Just 2 weeks ago, we moved her to her big girl full size bed and removed the crib from her room. And like the trooper that she is, she welcomed this transition with open arms. For the most part, she goes to bed very well and sleeps through the night. If she's had to good of an afternoon nap, then getting her back down can be kind of tricky. Occasionally she will come into my bedroom in the middle of the night and I will snuggle her for a few seconds and carry her back to her bed where she falls back to sleep. Girlfriend has come along way with sleeping!

We've continued our visits with her China sisters, this year it was a trip to Ohio and she now has the memory to know them by name and loves her LL. LL & her have a love/hate relationship, but they love seeing each other. We look forward to continuing these relationships throughout her life.

Her strength has improved greatly since moving to Ga. At the beginning of summer, she could not hold herself up in her swim float, her abs were just not strong enough to keep her swim legs
underneath her body. Now she's a pro=0)
My beautiful girl has grown by leaps & bounds in more ways than I could ever count. It's been a process and I now know the reward of taking life slow with her, of not allowing anybody into her personal space except for J&I at first & then her 3 brothers & then J's parents. We now have relaxed so many of the initial attachment rules that were in place over the past 15 months.
I'm so glad we took it slow. I have ZERO regrets and the only thing that I would share with the waiting world is that it's better to be safe than sorry. Attachment is a process, not an instant thing. The more attached my daughter became to me, the higher her anxiety grew...which is to be expected. We've earned her trust, but we still keep proving ourselves to her daily.
Recently I got the feeling that we might be ready to experience some gymnastics together and I'm still playing on the idea. I also was thinking I'd join a gym and begin leaving her in the kid care while I work out. A preschool program is right around the corner and I toyed with that idea as well, though I think we'll wait another year on that. We are also thinking of another weekend getaway and leaving Grams & Gramps in charge. But with each new *thing* I have to weigh out what this will do for her sense of security.
She recently was able to attend her first birthday party and I can say that as fun as it was, she did not handle it with 100% assurance. It was a bit to much for her, she went into shut down mode, but we were able to pull her right back into her old happy self very quickly.
I am so thrilled with how far she's come with her speech. She speaks sentences and it's always in the 3rd person. Sometimes she has a way of letting you know exactly what she wants without saying anything at all. She is predictable with most things in her life. She is a parrot and repeats everything. e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.
She has potty trained herself and only wears a diaper at night. I usually put one on her for nap, but they are always dry when she wakes up.
She is happy, busy beyond belief & the joy she brings to our lives is overwhelming...
& I have held her hand longer than anyone else has in this lifetime and I am blessed to be the chosen Mom for her.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bringing my paradise peeps to GA

My dear friends & old paradise neighbors came up for a visit and we had a splendid time. This was almost a month ago, but like everything else on this blog...I'm way behind.
Nat was my only friend that was super psyched at our new location because she has longed to live here or TX for several years now. Needless to say, her trip sealed the deal for her & her family. They are job hunting, packing up their 2 homes in paradise and looking for a place to reside here in my new town. I can't wait for her to get here!
She also stole my bar sign off my pool bar & brought it to me. You see, during the time of my packing & moving, I decided to leave the Bar & Grill sign with our last night because I was simply afraid it would make me long for 'home' every time I saw it and I knew we didn't have a bar here. But after we left, she grabbed it and brought it up to me and I'm so glad she did. It's now displayed on our quaint little deck in our treehouse home.
Out & about with my sassy neighbors!

The only photos I have are of us taking a hike into our community trails & because I seriously sucked with the camera this summer, I have no photos of the other kids playing together, our spouses, or of us boating on the lake and having a grand ol' time.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Backtracking to July 4th~

It's a little late, but just like everything in my life right now, I'm just a little to busy to blog.
So I wanted to acknowledge our over the top fabulous July 4th weekend in our new neighborhood. We participated in the early parade and then moved to the pool for the best community cookout we have ever experienced. We actually stayed at the pool laughing, chatting, eating and having 1 to many cocktails for over 8 hours. There were no fireworks over the Gulf 0f Mexic0, but instead, EG stayed home with Daddy while I walked the boys down to watch the fireworks. She was exhausted and we didn't want to add any loud noises to her little sensory over ridden ears.
To say the least, we **really** enjoyed our holiday in our new neck of the woods.
I really can't believe how different it is here and yet how wonderful it's been for our family.
(my beautiful American girl) (EG & her best bud Brick)

(love this of my 2 lil' boys)
(EG decided she had had enough in the parade)
(W, "Mom, come get her!")

Friday, August 6, 2010

an island return to my perfect beautiful paradise

These are all from our trip home for Princess Ann's birthday bash.
I'm so glad we had a chance to breathe some island air while there.
I know a lot of these photos are repeated, but each one holds a special place in my heart. I really did leave my soul on that shoreline. It is home. I sat and let the tears fall with each crash of a wave. I loved watching my kids play on the coast and I adore each smile that island time brings to my girl. I left my soul on the c0ast of s0mewhere beautiful.

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