Thursday, June 28, 2012

One month home...

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
Not sure what is going on here exactly- but some sort of sisterly thing. They are getting along well for the most part. We have moments of beauty and moments of screaming and tears

First haircut here. Everyone comments on how cute her haircut is that she had from China so I asked him to keep the shape, and he did basically keep it but he didn't cut enough hair or trim all her bangs so it looks all weird and shaggy now- total waste of time and a haircut...

Playing in a fort

es, she dressed herself, and yes that is a band aid on her chin and yes she's starting a new rock band. We are obsesses with band aids and booboos here- and I make a big deal out of each and every one. I have a rule to try to never tell any child "oh you're OK- you don't have an owie" ( although at times Nora really tests that rule :) I think Lia  is making up for years of no Mama being around to kiss her owies- she has multiple owies that need many kisses
every day.
Trampoline fun at a friend's birthday

Nora went to farm camp last week and came back dirty and/or covered in paint every day. She loves farm camp- it's an awesome place and she has so much fun there. She'll go to 'school' there next year.


  1. Christina - There must be a children's book about fear of thunderstorms. I will check with our family librarian.

  2. I am glad to her that Lia is doing so well!