Well we've been home from China for just over a month.
Our biggest happy news is that we've gone to both the pediatrician and cardiologist in the past couple weeks and Lia is healthy and her heart is doing great. We have to return in one year to the cardiologist and we'll be catching up with some immunizations and maybe some physical therapy over the next year but we're relieved that her heart repair in China was so successful and that she's a healthy girl. The cardiologist said that her patients with this same repair go on to play sports, climb mountains, have normal pregnancies and live long lives. So that was wonderful to hear.
Other than that we've been busy becoming a family of four, getting into new routines and working very hard on attachment with Lia. Bedtimes and getting to her to sleep have been our biggest challenges- thankfully most of the time she stays asleep once she's down for the night- but after several very challenging and long evenings, we transitioned to full time co-sleeping with her. So now she goes down in our bed from the start every night rather than being in her own room at all. And for her, that has been incredibly helpful and seems to have lowered her fear level significantly.
Also, I'm not sure if it's all due to the co-sleeping, or partly just the effect of time and effort- but the last several days we've seen enormous jumps in attachment behavior (direct, maintained eye contact, seeking us whenever she has a need, sitting on my lap facing directly into my face- this is a big change- she used to just sort of back into me all the time and always wanted to sit facing out, a decrease in tantrums and angry yelling, etc) And her English comprehension has increased even more just in a few days- I can give multi-step directions and she will do them. She is repeating everything we say and using all her words appropriately and in context. She even uses "uff dah" often and appropriate to the situation at hand- Erik is a proud Norwegian Daddy!
Today we had a very LOUD thunderstorm here (thankfully a little rain too- I am praying for all our fellow Coloradans who are in the path of those terrible fires...) and she was TERRIFIED. She sat on my lap with her face pressed so tightly into my chest I was worried she couldn't breathe. Poor baby. But after the thunder passed we were able to talk about the storm; we told it to go "bye bye", to not come back, how loud it was, how scared she felt of it and how it was gone now and how it wouldn't hurt her inside the house. And she understood all this and discussed it with me and acted out how scared she felt. I wished she hadn't been so scared but I think it was a good thing for her to be able to process that with a parent, and I am so amazed how far she has come in just six weeks of being with us. Tonight she would periodically say "thunder!" and press her face into my chest and we would talk about it again.
So here are a bunch of photos- in no particular order. All iphone as I can't carry both Lia and the big camera around :)
|First family photo|
|New shoes, new dress and new hair clips. She strung all these necklaces herself and was very proud|
|We go for a walk to the park almost every night|