Tuesday, November 29, 2011

All By Herself

Watch what Lily can do now...all by herself :)
video

Friday, November 25, 2011

Lily's Photo Shoot!

Check it out! This link will only work through December 2, so go look now!!!

http://www.lbhphotography.net/lily2011/

Thursday, November 24, 2011

This Thanksgiving I Am Thankful...

...that today Lily learned to clap her hands! She clapped while sitting on my lap watching the Macy's parade, then later she clapped at the dinner table!!

This may seem like a such a little thing to some, but it is HUGE progress for Lily. We have been working on teaching her to clap her hands ever since we got home in July :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

First Hairdo

Today I experimented as much as Lily would let me, and this is what I got:
Unfortunately it only stayed in for about an hour. Still cute, though :).

This afternoon Lily didn't nap, and the weather was beautiful so I took her to the park and pushed her on the swing for a looooong time. At one point while swinging, completely unprompted, she CLAPPED her hands TWICE!! I almost fell over! Of course I couldn't get her to do it again, but still that is the FIRST time she has done that! Then when we got home from the park I gave her a bottle, and naturally she fell asleep. She even STAYED asleep, and this is how she ended up when I put her in her pack and play:
Completely folded in half like a taco! I have no idea if she is down for the night or just a few hours, but she is clearly SO exhausted that I think it's best to let her sleep.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Notice Anything Different???

NO MITTENS!!!!
Yup, Lily has been mitten-free for exactly one week now. I am SO relieved. Her ears have scabs and scratches in them, but her anxiety is gone! 

Today Lily had photos taken by Lara Hopkins...I can't wait to see how they turn out! Lily did great during the session, too. Here is her outfit:
Have I mentioned that she likes to climb onto and into things???

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Four Months Home and Questions

Lily has been home four months today! Here is a short list of things she's learned to do since coming home:

  • Stand and cruise
  • Help put on her shoes and shirt
  • Say "Ma-ma" and mean me
  • Say "Ba-ba" and mean bottle
  • Shake her head "no" (but without the meaning behind it...yet)
  • Wave her hands
  • Occasionally tolerate getting her teeth brushed
  • Climb onto things, especially stairs and boxes
  • Shake toys to make noise
  • Bang toys on the table to make noise
  • Scribble with a marker (with some guiding)
  • Touch her lips to any food we offer her
  • Drink things that are cold
  • Occasionally swallow some solid baby food from a spoon
  • Smile and giggle
  • "Dance" by bending and straightening her knees repeatedly
  • Turn pages of a book
  • Sign "eat", usually with help
  • Understand "more"
  • Touch everyone's nose
  • Fuss when things don't go her way :)
Today we went to a new playgroup and met several other moms & their kids. This is one of the few times that I've gone somewhere with Lily where the people I was with didn't know her story or anything about her. It was my first experience fielding a few hard questions. I know these moms didn't have any malice behind their questions, they are just uneducated. Here were their questions and my answers...I hope I did ok.

  1. "Is your daughter mentally handicapped?"~~ My answer to this was just, "She has Down Syndrome".
  2. "Her face looks funny" (from a 3-year-old)~~ In response I said, in a silly voice, "Well YOUR face looks funny!" and they all giggled. I'm pretty proud of how I handled that one :)
  3. "Did she cost less to adopt because of her disability?"~~ I explained that *she* didn't "cost" anything, the money went to other expenses. I also explained how children with special needs are not usually adopted in their own country, so it is "easier" to adopt a special needs child (usually), especially if you want a young child.
  4. This was more of a comment: "I saw a documentary on kids in orphanages in Romania and I thought, 'Wow, I could give love to a child like that', and here you are living it!" I didn't quite know how to respond to this, but as I thought about it later (and if we'd not been in a cramped living room full of loud adults & children) I was surprised by what I would have told her: I would say, "Adoption is a huge blessing and a challenge, but it's not for everyone. Before you commit to adopt, please do a lot of research and reading about what it's like to parent an internationally adopted child". So now I'm ready for next time :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sleeves Experiments

With our new discovery of Lily's anxiety regarding her sleeves, we did what any normal, research-oriented parents would do: we started experimenting.

Experiment #1: On Sunday evening we took her sleeves off completely for an hour, and she totally lost it. She could not calm down, would not stand or play, would not smile or laugh, etc. Periodically she would look at us with a panicked expression and bust out wailing. It was bath time and even THAT didn't calm her down. So after the bath we put her sleeves back on, and within ten minutes she was fine: standing, cruising, smiling & laughing.

Clearly cold-turkey is not the way to go.

Experiment #2: On Monday morning I un-mittened her right hand. I chose to do that hand because she scratches more with the left. She has had that hand free for almost 48 hours now, and has done just fine. She has been scratching at her ear a lot and it does have some cuts in it now, but she has been herself and not panicky. I filed her nails this evening to see if that will help minimize the damage to her ears.

Experiment #3: At dinner this evening, Rob un-mittened her left hand so that she had both hands free. For a minute or two she was ok, but then she got that look of panic again and started wailing. She didn't even scratch herself this time! So we re-mittened her hand and she calmed down after a few minutes.

It seems like her anxiety is tied to her left hand being free, not the right. Tomorrow I'm going to try having her right hand mittened and her left hand free, just to see what happens. My hypothesis is that she'll panic. I'll let you know how that turns out :)

The next thing we're going to try is to buy some thin gloves and put one on her left hand. Hopefully she will be ok with that, and then she will at least be able to move her fingers independently and work on her fine motor skills. If that goes well, then I think we'll start cutting off fingers (in the gloves) one at a time, until all her fingers are exposed. If THAT goes well then we can try taking the gloves off completely. I feel so much better having a plan.

However, we still have the issue of bloody ears. Please pray that God would somehow speak to her heart and help her find another way to comfort herself. I am becoming more and more convinced that only God can heal this need for comfort. There may even be some spiritual warfare going on over her.

She is doing better and better with her glasses! Today she wore them for almost an hour, and didn't try to take them off nearly as much. As a result, I was able to get some better pictures of her with them on! Enjoy :)
Happy Halloween!
She's standing very tall now:
Daddy makes me giggle :)
She was totally posing for me here:
My favorite :)
(please excuse the snot, this wasn't exactly a planned photoshoot!)