I am growing up so fast!

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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Almost one month home report :o)

The stink eye? LOL
Lack of flexibilty is not an issue here

Funny girl

Mosquitos are just eating her up, Kara too. Fresh blood?

Tomorrow Amanda will have been home one month! My camera is broken, I am having terrible picture taking withdrawals, I hope to post some a bit later, but will have to borrow DD Julia's camera.

First of all I cannot believe she has only been home a month, besides Kara not wanting to play with her yet, she has just blended into our family almost seamlessly. I am amazed at her resilience and I believe that it must be a gift little ones with Down syndrome possess; because Kara also adjusted more easily than I had anticipated, (she is readjusting now that Amanda is home). Perhaps it is also their age.

Some positive changes in Mandy Moo:

Her spontaneous smiles and hugs, sometimes even kisses.
Seeking out the company of her sisters instead of wanting to be alone (half the time, she still seeks solitude).
Face to face playing with Meghan, and Mommy and Daddy, she has the cutest little coo and laugh, so sweet, endearing.

She is eating food without turning away and spitting it out, and eating more at one sitting. She does turn her face away, but I think it is to prevent us from shoveling food in; she seems to be savoring each bite and truly feeling the texture of the food, tasting it, and enjoying it. I know the orphanages do this to save time, but feeding her while she is flat on her back and pouring food down her throat was not the best way to teach her to love food. She does not move the food to the back of her throat correctly, she sticks out her tongue and sucks it down, and she does not chew, seems strangely familiar and leads me to wonder if there is some weird feeding manual all orphanages use, “How to save time when feeding 200 children”. Kara had so many of the same issues, though she never turned her face away from much. LOL

She is gaining weight, especially in her legs and belly; we are hoping her ribs will not show as much after 6 months. I am trying to picture her face when it is rounder, when she has more hair, a pageboy would be darling on her, and putting pants on her that do not fall off. The only thing that stays on is leggings, size 12 months!

She is accepting foods that are not as sweet and is no longer needing extra sugar put into her food, something we are very happy about, her teeth do not need the extra sugar.

She is beginning to play just a bit more with toys; I saw her playing with the dollhouse, looking at the windows and doors. She was there for 30 minutes exploring each little nook and cranny. She does not play appropriately with toys yet, all are picked up and wiggled, and she throws even more. Right now playing with paper makes her the happiest.

She is pulling to a stand more often and cruises furniture a little more. (Why do these little girls love to throw everything on the floor?)
She tries to climb up on the sofa, but lack strength and height. I am going to remove the cushions to help her.

Though she hates it so much, Amanda is letting us brush her teeth and they do look better, she smells better too. Her gums have almost stopped bleeding completely. Neither one of us loves tooth-brushing time with her though; her abject cries of misery are heartbreaking.

Things we need to work on:

We need to help Amanda to feel more comfortable with playing and being close. I know this will come with time, so I am not overly concerned about it. She plays with us more than she used to, but after some silliness and giggles, she needs hugs of reassurance, at first she would tremble in my arms if I got silly and laughed while playing with her. Now she smiles at me looking into my eyes and tries to kiss me but the saddest thing of all is, she has no idea how to give kisses.
So she smushes her wet little lips on my face and wipes her face on mine (a very wet, but very sweet little kiss). Did I mention she was adorable?

In my round about way, I am saying she does not really know how to give or receive affection the American way, but why should she. She is learning, but it scares her, and it worries me that she is scared about hugs or nose kisses. We are a very affectionate family, it was hard for me to hug my boys less as they grew up, two still like hugs, and two do the MAN hug. The little people still love hugging though. Amanda looked at us as if we were nuts when we hugged her the first time, the only hugs we got those first few days were when she was clinging to us for life, but poor little girl was terrified. Therefore, her progress here is that she loves hugs if they are quick, and enjoys being held, she no longer turns her back to us when she sits in our laps, but wants to look at and play with us, and she asks to be picked up more often (sits at our feet, that is how she asks, otherwise she crawls away to a room by herself).

Amanda enjoys going places, she is so happy in her car seat, she gets an almost regal set to her head as she sits in that tall seat, one could almost picture her doing the parade wave! LOL We also have to watch her when the front door opens because she will crawl out and be in the middle of the yard before we know it. She is beginning to get curious about where she lives, admittedly, we do not have the girls outside all that much during summer, it is just too hot for them, and none of them can handle the heat well. The only time Meghan and Kara want to venture out to the back yard is after a nice rain, Amanda though, wants to go out the front door, not the back. When it is cooler, I need to put some jeans (she scoot on her bottom, you should see her pants at the end of the day) and shoes on Amanda and let her follow me out when I water, but since she cannot walk, I worry about ant bites. I cannot wait for the bugs to go back to sleep for winter, especially mosquitoes, they adore Amanda. She is all spotty from their bites and she truly loves scratching them.

I think she is doing well, she does refuse to nap, and throws off Kara’s naptime, Meghan is indignant when Amanda “sings” very loudly during naptime and tells her to be quiet repeatedly. Kara, hearing Amanda’s singing, refuses to sleep herself and jumps up and down in bed, and Mommy does not get a couple of hours to clean up messes and have a little time alone with Meghan and Julia. The caregivers warned us that Amanda did not like to nap; I suppose the napping when we first came home was from jet lag? LOL I would LOVE it if she and Kara would nap at the same time…Amanda does sleep 10 hours a night though, so at least that is a good thing.


GoldenAngelsWorks said...

Horrayyy for Amanda.
One month home I can not believe it. I am so glad she is progressing well.

Marlo said...

Wow! time flies! She looks so much more grown up in those photos.. her hair looks so soft and it's growing so fast. She is such a cutie and it's amazing to see her flourish. I know what she is going through with the 'squitos. We have the same problem here. 4 of us can walk out on the back porch and they make a bee-line for me. They even swarm around other people to bite me. Someone told me it was probably the body soap I use.

Hope the next month is full of joy, growth and a lot less skeeters!

Lou said...

Amanda looks like she is doing fantastic, and she is so adorable in your pics. I LOVE the one at the top of your blog!! It's precious!

My three little girls

My three little girls
Finally got all three to smile at once