Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Hello everyone! It has been over a week since I last posted. As I'm sure is the case with most people, I am really busy right now. We are gearing up for our first holiday with the peanut and boy is she ever loving the gift thing. Every time someone stops by our house, they bring her a present. She is going to think that it will always be that way! She's too cute to watch though when she is opening a gift.

Yesterday was my last day home with Lilli until summer break. I go back to work on January 4 and she starts daycare on Wednesday. I think she is really going to like daycare. She loves other kids and I think she is bored here at home. She desperately needs outside stimulation. I do not regret the time I took off to be with her these first 5 month, but I know it is time for her to start learning things like sharing, and getting along with others. It's hard to do that when mommy gives you anything you want! It will be difficult to leave her with someone else but I know it is for the best. I'm certain her language will take off when she starts hearing the other kids jabber.

Hope everyone has a very happy holiday season. My family has a lot to be thankful for this year. I hope all waiting families are able to focus on the joy of the season. May God bless each of you and guide you through this time and for the year to come!

Friday, December 15, 2006

need to vent

It is 3:37 A.M. and I am having trouble sleeping. Mostly it is because I know that Lilli will be waking up very soon and scream for an hour or more until someone comes and gets her. Nighttime is still SOOOOOO frustrating! We started putting her to bed in her crib on October 3. Bedtime has only gotten marginally better. The last three nights have been particularly bad. She has screamed (and I don't mean cry--blood-curdling, hysterical screams) for an hour or more when we put her down. She stands up in her crib and starts throwing things out. She hits the sides with her fists and just goes bananas. It is absolutely ridiculous! We have tried it all: read all of the books on nighttime woes, taken all of the advice given, etc. and nothing seems to make this time any easier. I'm ready to throw in the towel and just be content with the "family bed". Unfortunately, DH does not want to do this. He thinks that she doesn't want to sleep alone. I couldn't agree more, but we haven't been able to convince her that she will be fine and that we will be there when she wakes up. We have tried all of the techniques of gradually transitioning her to her bed, but again, it just hasn't worked. I need a freaking miracle. I'm not sure how much more my blood pressure can take. Tonight I found myself praying to God and bargaining somehow for some answers to this dilemma. Maybe it is just our cross to bear.

On a more positive note, dh and Lilli seem to be bonding much better. The last week or so has brought about great strides in the attachment department. I'm grateful. I hate to see the dejected look on dh's face everytime Lilli pushes him away. It is hard on everybody.

OK, I feel better.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Santa and Christmas Photos

Here is a pictorial account of yesterday's festivities. The top picture is of Lilli enjoying opening her gift. The second picture is the sheer terror she felt while sitting on Santa's lap. The third picture is of her protesting having to wear the red dress. What a stinker! You gotta love her sassiness! We don't call her the "Spicy Dragon" for nothing!

Spreading her wings

Lilli gets more comfortable every day. She is blossoming right in front of us and it is absolutely amazing to watch. She still prefers me, but she is getting more and more comfortable with Todd.

Yesterday Lilli and I got up to read the paper and play around until Todd got up. She was kind of a cuddle-bug and sat in my lap while I read the paper. At some point she crawled out of my lap, grabbed her blanket and lay down on the floor. SHE FELL ASLEEP! Some of you may be asking why this is such a big deal--well, I'll tell you. Our biggest obstacles have been with sleeping. Lilli hates to be alone and HATES bedtime. It isn't as bad as it used to be, but we always have to fight with her to get her to lay down. The fact that she felt comfortable enough to lay down on the floor and then to fall asleep, I think this speaks volumes about her comfort level and I really feel like that was a giant step for us. Imagine my surprise when I looked down at her and she was gast asleep! I was ecstatic. It was all I could do to keep from running upstairs and waking up Todd.

We also had our first encounter with Santa Claus yesterday. This didn't go quite as well. She was a bit startled at a Christmas party when Santa burst throught the doors shouting, "Ho, ho, ho," and jingling bells. Her eyes searched the crowd for mine and she started screaming MOMMY!!!!! She ran to me and clung to me for dear life. When her name was called for her gift, I carried her up to Santa but she was having NO part in sitting on his lap. I got her gift and she enjoyed unwrapping it. Later we tried again to get a photo of her on Santa's lap, but no dice Chicago! I'm sure this was all very overwhelming for her.

My mom thinks I'm crazy but I think Lilli has an aversion to the color red. When the orphanage director handed her to me in July, Lilli was all decked out in red. We haven't really put her in anything red since then. Friday night I bought her a Christmas dress, and of course, it is red. I brought it home and pulled it out of the bag to show her. At first she held onto the dress and acted like she really liked it. When we tried it on her, she started screaming and fighting and pulling at the dress. We finally took it off of her and put it in her closet. When we got ready to go to the Christmas party I pulled the dress out of the closet and the hysterics started again. Todd had to distract her to enable me to finish dressing her. She wanted no part of that dress and tried several times to take it off. I can't imagine why she detests the dress so much. It was really cute. The only thing I can think of is the red connection. Again, my mom thinks I'm crazy but I think there is substance to my theory.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Feeling better

I think Lilli is out of the woods. She seems to be feeling better. Her mood has improved tremendously and she is up and playing again.

Things are starting to get easier. I'm realizing what life is REALLY like being a mom and I'm dealing with it. I think my expectations about parenthood were a bit off. Many people get this cute, fuzzy image of how it is to be a mom and it just isn't that way. Yes, there are times when Lilli can melt my heart and I LOVE those time; but, there are also times when she sends my blood pressure through the roof. I think the latter is the part of motherhood that I wasn't prepared for. I don't think anything or anyone can prepare you. Being a mom is all about first-hand, on-the-job training and about being brave enough to not have specific expectations. Everyday is a new experience and what worked yesterday may not work today. It is absolutely amazing in so many ways.

I'm done preaching. Lilli starts her therapy tomorrow. She is beginning with Developmental Therapy and we were just notified that they have a Speech Pathologist for us. We are thrilled because she is still not talking. We have noticed that she is making several different and new noises, but nothing with consistency or anything that is understandable. She has called me "mommy" 3-4 times in the last few weeks, but the "eee" sound is a new one for her and she's using it a lot. I will be glad when she can communicate with us and there isn't all of this yelling, grunting, screaming, etc. to get her needs met.

Bedtime is still problematic. She doesn't like to be alone. I hate putting her in her room by herself. I'm sure she senses this. Todd is now the bedtime man; I'm bath time girl: we are a team! For some reason Todd can put her in crib without so much as a peep. I get wild hysteria when I lay her down. Again, I think she can sense my hesitation. I can't help it. I love sleeping next to her. She is quite the cuddle-bug and the sweetest thing in the morning. It has been two months since we started putting her in her crib and it isn't much better than when we started. There has to be a better way.

Well, I'm being booted off the computer. I've got some cute pix to post which I will do later.