Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday Night Rant :)

I think being a new mom is lonely no matter what the circumstances. You can go days with out talking to another adult, wearing anything but sweats or pajamas, or getting out of the house. Your kids drain any energy or sanity that you might be clinging too. I think this is mostly normal. It is a huge adjustment period, even if you couldn't wait for your child! Whether your child is your first, second or fifth, birth or adopted, there is still an adjustment period and it is hard.

I grew up in a very busy and loud home. As the oldest of four chaotic kids, there was always some one to hang out with or talk to. Our door was always open too. We were quirky, authentic, flawed and a whole lot of fun. Friends would come over just to watch TV or even hang out with my mom if us kids weren't home. I don't miss the chaos but I do wish there were more people around to talk to. I have Jon right now but we have very different communication styles and like our space from each other some times :) Having him home is an adjustment in itself. Thankfully, we've been too busy to really get at each other much!

It is hard to find a remedy for Mommy-loneliness right now. I think it is just a stage in my life. Once my kids are all in school I can get a regular job again! Most of my friends are either child less, so don't have patience to hang out with a mom and two rambunctious kids, or they are in the same situation as me. They have to be home for nap times, cleaning and cooking the same as me. They don't get out much, just the same as me :)

I think I'm feeling extra alone because of the different parenting situation I'm in. At least, I'm feeling like I'm in a different situation. Maybe all new moms feel like that. We are still figuring out how to parent Sofie properly. She needs a lot of parenting right now. I find myself questioning which parenting issues are just adoption issues, which are normal 3 year old issues and what are down syndrome issues.

As much experience as Jon and I have with people with different abilities, we don't really know anyone or have a lot of experience with kids. We have friends who have adopted babies (typical and different abilities) and older kids but know no one with toddlers. I don't get nearly as much advice from strangers or even family as I did, or even still do, with Livi. I'm mostly thankful for random people not butting in, but right now the silence is just echoing to me how unique our family is. No one knows what advice to give or what to say when I complain about Sofie hitting and pulling hair CONSTANTLY! Or the fact that she still rarely naps, but when she doesn't nap she is ridiculous from 3pm until bed time.

In my annoyed, easily disappointed state of mind, I get mad that our family is so unique. We shouldn't be. Why don't more people choose adoption? Why are people so scared of people with different abilities and quirks? Why, when strangers find out I have adopted a child with DS, feel the need to either question why I would choose to do that and some how get some understanding or clarity from the fact that I have a sister with DS or tell me some awkward anecdote about how they know some one with DS and would love to adopt "one" because of how cute and simple they are? One lady even told me she thought DS people would be easier to parent because they are easily manipulated. Wow. This lady was cutting my hair at the time and I was really at a loss for words. Having a sister with DS does NOT explain why we have adopted Sofie and please DO NOT talk about my kid like she is a puppy you want to take home.

Haha... this blog post did not turn out like I thought it would :) It sounds like I'm judging anyone for getting pregnant. I'm not. Pregnancy and birth are some of the most amazing things I have ever experienced but people get so attached to their ideals and what they think the perfect life should look like. People want what they want and they don't want to mess with anything by adding unknowns to the mix. News flash: There are a lot more unknowns with pregnancy than with adoption! My birth child is no more or less a miracle and no more or less my child than my adopted child is.

Anyways, I am going to go to a signing playgroup for families with kids with DS 0-5 years old next month. I'm really excited and I really hope I can connect with some other families with toddlers with DS. I think it will be good for all of us! I'm also going to make a real effort to go to the DS parent group once a month. I only went once when we were just starting the adoption process and haven't been since. Basically I just need to get out of the house and have some adult conversations!

I leave you with some amazing family photos that my friend took for us a few weeks ago! Enjoy...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Results Are In - UPDATE

Since we've been home from Bulgaria Livi has been complaining of stomach aches. It did not alarm us at first since everything was such a huge adjustment for her. She did not have Mommy or Daddy for 16 days and we brought back a sister who takes up a lot of attention away from her. We figured that all the added stress was most likely the cause of her tummy aches or possibly just a way to get some extra attention from us.

Her complaints did not seem to be subsiding though so at the one month mark we took her to doctor. Our doctor is wonderful. He normalizes everything while at the same time checking everything out very thoroughly. He suggested it most likely was stress or attention seeking or that she possibly wasn't emptying herself thoroughly when she went to the bathroom. Apparently this is common in toddlers and I have noticed that Livi will clench, literally hold it in until she has to let out a little turd and get off the toilet as quickly as she can.

The doctor ordered a batch of blood work, urine and an x-ray. Livi did so good with all of them. It broke my heart when she just lay her head on my shoulder crying while the needle was in her arm drawing blood. Friday the doctor's secretary called us and told us Livi's results were in and he wanted to see us. 

My husband thinks I'm over reacting but I'm kind of freaking out about the results a bit. In my mind there are two possibilities. She could have a simple bladder infection or UTI which I am praying for! But, the more likely result is Celiac. If she has a UTI the doctor should have just ordered meds for her, right? Not made her wait the entire weekend. Celiac is known to sometimes need a trigger to become symptomatic. The stress of Mommy and Daddy being gone for so long could easily be the trigger. 

Celiac is in my family. 3 out of 4 women in my immediate family have it. I have it, maybe I haven't had my trigger yet because I have no symptoms. Livi has a very high probability of having it too. The doctor said she is likely to be to young to have anything show up in her blood work but with what he all tested her for I don't know what else it could be. 

I'm not on the Celiac diet because I have no symptoms but if Livi has it I will, of course, do it with her. I think that is part of why this is so devastating for me. I haven't accepted this for me, how am I going to accept this for her. It seems like such a difficult lifestyle change and especially so hard for a kid! 

Okay, I hope I'm over reacting. I just needed to get my thoughts out and this is where I do it. I will update this post tomorrow after the doctors appointment and hopefully let you all know that I worked myself up for nothing! Please pray that it really is nothing and she doesn't have Celiac. A friend, who has Celiac, reminded me that there are much worse diseases one could have. She is right. I'm so blessed to have two healthy girls. Even with Celiac, Livi will still be a very healthy little girl. I just want the best for my girls and hope that Livi does not have to be deprived of paska, cake, yummy bread and all that comes with the deliciousness of gluten. I'm hoping this for myself too! I don't want to give it up yet!

UPDATE - Livi's Celiac results were inconclusive due to her age. Her body does not make enough antibodies to measure yet. The doctor is not saying she doesn't have Celiac for sure but she isn't deficient in anything now and seems to be healthy otherwise. We can test her again when she is older if we'd like.

Livi's problem is that she is seriously backed up. She has clenched so much that her intestines are stretching, causing the stomach pain. This could easily have been caused by the stress of us being gone. I didn't notice anything because she was still having a bowel movements each day. Apparently, she wasn't having enough of a bm. She's also had a history of being constipated when she was a newborn. I had to give her suppositories. This time we are doing lactulose. Just a bit until she is all cleaned out, and seriously upping her fiber intake. She is going to HATE this post when she is older :)

I'm so thankful we don't have to go gluten free, yet anyway. Thank you for all your prayers and support and I'm so glad this is an easy fix! If she ever does get diagnosed or I go on the diet, I'll be calling on you gluten free friends!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Belated One Month

I missed blogging about Sofie's one month, so here it is!

Sofie has been home in Canada for over a month now and out of the orphanage for 6 weeks. I'm celebrating the one month from being in Canada because that is when we really felt like our adoption journey had ended and when we started seeing Sofie begin to develop. It has been such an eventful month. My entire life has completely changed! Some things are much more difficult than I had hoped they would be, but most of it is easier. Things are starting to calm down though. Sofie definitely has her fussy, grumpy days but for the most part we are on a schedule and things are getting a little more predictable.

Sofie has exceeded our expectations. She is now 22lbs, which is over 2 lbs up! Most of that has been in the last two weeks since she has begun to eat "real" adult food. On September 3rd she was still 20.6 lbs and was refusing to eat the baby food for her dinner so I decided to try and see if she'd eat what I was eating. She couldn't get enough and hasn't stopped since! She still doesn't chew probably so we have to be careful about the size but the textures don't seem to bother her too much! She is rather particular though. She will usually only eat off our plate. We've tried to trick her a few times in to eating the baby food I still have, so she has some trust issues :) She thinks if it is in her bowl then we are giving her baby food. Oops. Her development in the food area is amazing. I can still not get over how fast this transition was, especially with how big of an issue it was for her in Bulgaria!

She still has a bit of a hard time getting to sleep but this is slowly getting better. We have her on a strict schedule of up at 8am, nap 1-3pm and bed 8pm. We generally have to wake her up in the morning and at nap but if we let her sleep until she wakes up she will not nap at a decent time or go to sleep really late. She generally takes about an hour to relax enough to get to sleep. During this time we lay beside her crib, reassuring her, singing lullabies and modelling sleep :) The time to get to sleep is lengthened if she has been overstimulated during the day but in recent days we have had her asleep in 45 min! There have even been a few 30 minute down times and one 15 min! One particularly bad day we did give her a few drops of melatonin. It works really well for her. She goes straight to sleep with it. I think I'm okay with using it sporadically for her on rough days. She needs her sleep! Once she is asleep she generally sleeps the night through. There has only been a handful of nights where she has woken up crying. I love being able to teach her that I will always be there and come to her!

Sofie smiles every time we come in to the room. It is priceless. She is smiling and responding to us a lot more now too. It is quite awesome to see. She is a little moody though and can give the most deadly glares. When she is upset, mad, or frustrated, everyone knows it! She hits what ever or who ever is closest to her when she is mad and she can hurt! We are slowly figuring it out though. We remove her a few feet from what ever she is hitting or put her down. She usually yells at us then, but once she signs to us that she will be gentle she can come back up or get close again. Not sure if that is in any of the parenting books but it is working. I don't think she is ready for time outs or anything like that yet. Once she starts using her voice to talk, things should get a lot easier! Not sure if that is coming any time soon though.

She did say Mama though! On September 11 she was starting to cry in the hallway and called for me! Yay! She only says it when she is upset but she is saying it. It is the beginning! She understands a lot of English now, particularly when we are telling her not to do something :) Her thin hair patch is almost gone. It is filling in nicely. She rocks far less. We only see her rocking now when she is listening to music alone or when she is winding down to get to sleep in her crib. This is also a huge advancement. She rocked ALL the time in Bulgaria. She also clicks her jaw way less too!

Livi has been adjusting really well too. I think these last two weeks have really been great for her. She has realized Sofie is here to stay and her classes have started. She is in gymnastics on Wednesday nights and gets to go with one parent and no Sofie. She LOVES gymnastics and has been talking about it all summer. She is in the kindergym class now and doesn't have parent involvement. She is such a big girl! Her dance class has also started which she also really enjoys. We've pushed that these are things only big girls get too do and she takes a lot of pride in that. I think it helps her to have something that only she gets to do.

Livi is a very doting sister, most of the time. She helps out a lot in getting things for me to help with Sofie and  likes playing with Sofie, even if Sofie doesn't usually like Livi in her personal space. They are both learning each other's boundaries though. Livi does get easily frustrated with Sofie but doesn't like it if any one else does, even Jon and I. If we use our "stern" voice, Livi is the first one to remind us that Sofie is just a baby and doesn't understand. Just the other day I was telling Sofie not to touch the TV and she was not listening. Livi could hear I was getting frustrated. She turned too me and put her hand up saying "I can handle it. I can handle it." I wasn't sure if it was a smart parenting move to let her handle it but she was so sure of herself and I thought it was too funny to step in.

Another precious sister moment was last week. Livi had woken up first, like she usually does, gone to look in Sofie's crib. When she came over to our room I asked her what she was doing.
"Just looking at Sofie."
I asked, "What were you thinking?"
Livi said, "Just thinking that Sofie is so beautiful."
My heart melted a little bit.

All in all, this first month has been really great. We are getting a routine figured out. Sofie is attaching really well and Livi is feeling loved and cared for too! Now if Jon and I could only figure out how to have energy to spend some quality time together we'd be set! I can't wait to see how well the next month goes!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sofie's Blessing

Today we celebrated the end to our adoption journey and the beginning of our newest parenting journey. My sisters helped throw Sofie a Welcome Home party! Around 40-50 of our closest family and friends were able to join us. It meant so much to us that everyone made such an effort to come out and meet Sofie. Sofie did really well with all the people there. She started getting fussy about 2 hours in but calmed right down when I took her inside for a break.

During the party we took a little time to incorporate Sofie's Blessing in. If you were reading my old blog when Livi was a baby you'll already know what this is. If not, I'll recap for you....

We have decided to do Blessings for our children instead of the typical Evangelical child dedications or the Orthodox baptisms. For Jon and I, being raised Evangelical, we both never really liked dedications. I couldn't wrap my mind around how I could dedicate a child to God who was already so completely and obviously of God and from God already. It didn't sit well with me. I also don't love the idea of having a dedication in a large church setting with people there who are not in your close community. In Evangelical dedication services that I've been too, they always have a part where the church affirms they will support the parents and hold them accountable to rear their child in a Godly manner. I'm sorry, that is just opening up a whole can of worms that I have issues with. Most of the church goers, in my experience, are not going to actually support the parents, so why vow to? If anyone who is not in my close community comes and tells me I am not raising my kids right or in accordance with their ideas of Godly rearing, there is going to be some very pointed and harsh words spoken. It is not their place. As for a baptism, this was more my issue. I just can't get totally on board with the theology behind an infant baptism, though I have no problem with other people choosing this.

A Blessing, for us, is a much better choice. We invite our friends and family, who we know are in our community who do and will support us. Because we have not really had any special bond with our church pastors, we have our closest friends do the blessings. This is also in part because when we did the Blessing for Livi as a baby, Jon's dad had just died and he would have done it for us. So, we needed our close friends involved to help fill that void. We chose to have the blessings in three parts. Blessing the Child, Blessing the Parents, and the Pastoral Blessing for the whole family. It is such a special and unique experience for us that seems to be catching on with our friends too!

Geoff was Jon's room mate all through college, best men at each others weddings, and have remained 'hetero-life mates'. He is also our most "pastoral/religious" friend so he was the obvious choice for the Pastoral Blessing. He opened up the ceremony and closed it with some words of affirmation and a prayer.

Brent was also one of Jon's room mates in college and we have remained good friends through out the years. Jon and Brent both met their wives in their college years and Mary and I have become good friends too! They are so good to us and help push us out of our comfort zones, which Jon and I need every once in a while. We asked them to do the Blessing for the Child. Mary made a beautiful quilt for Sofie as part of the blessing that will be treasured. Brent also read a poem to go with it.

Patchwork Quilt

This family is like a patchwork quilt
With kindness gently sewn
Each piece is an original
With beauty of its own
With threads of warmth and happiness
It's tightly stitched together
To last in love throughout the years
This family is forever.
- Unknown Author

Ben was another roommate of Jon's in college and the same as Brent, met his wife in his college years. All 6 of us have remained quite close through these last 10 years. Ben and Danielle became parents just a few months before we did, both times! So, they were the obvious choice to do the Blessing for the Parents :) Ben gave some words of wisdom and Danielle read a poem as well as gave some rocks with significant words of blessing written on them. The words were Space, Rest, Breathe, Release, and Gentleness. I've needed each of these things in the past few weeks and I'm sure in the coming years!

The Way

It is in spaciousness
That we breathe
Find stillness to rest in
Allowing what is
To be
Letting go of expectations
And embracing gentleness
As the way to truly heal
Opening and softening
We become
This is how we unlearn our way back to God.
- Lisa A McCrohan

All in all it was a fun party! My sister made a super amazing ladybug cake. She's been taking some cake decorating lessons and getting really good at it! The weather was amazing and we had the kid's pool out. I don't know what we would have done if it had rained. We felt so blessed by all the love and support we received from people. We truly are one lucky family. My only regret was that I didn't get to talk with everyone. I said goodbye to some people before I said hello to them. It is very different visiting when I have to attend to two little ones who need my constant attention and get in to everything!

Life is definitely full right now. Exciting, challenging, adventurous, difficult, joyful, fun, and frustrating all wrapped up together. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I love my life, my husband, my girls, my family, and my friends :)

Livi got a few gifts at the Blessing too. 
This apron was from her Uncle Tony and Aunt Lisa. 
They searched high and low for this gift and it was much appreciated by Livi!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Goings On

These last few days have been going much better. Getting to sleep for Sofie and Livi still really sucks but Jon and I are working at remaining calm. This is a very difficult task at times, particularly at night when Livi is being completely defiant and Sofie won't settle. Us being calm seems to really help Sofie especially. She seems to REALLY pick up on our moods. Sofie is still taking about an hour to go to sleep at nap time and sometimes longer at bed time. We are laying down beside her crib to reassure her until she is asleep or nearly asleep. It is easier to do when both Jon and I are in the room. Livi gets jealous of the attention to Sofie and acts out keeping Sofie up at bed time. With one of us with one kid each, things tend to go a bit smoother and we keep each other calm too! Our rooms are attached so we sleep with the door open and she can see us in our bed from her crib if she wakes up but we generally have to wake her up. We are trying a strict schedule of up at 8am, nap time at 1 until 3 whether she sleeps or not, and down by 8pm again.

Yesterday, I took Sofie to see Kathy. She is a doctor in Traditional Chinese Medicine. I love her. She has done a lot for my entire family. I can't recommend her enough! She made some suggestions of food to watch out for with Sofie that will hopefully help her get healthier and sleep better. She also recommended a few minerals that we are going to try. Sofie is obviously deficient in some of her nutrition and minerals but we are working hard at getting her healthy! The bags under her eyes that she had in the orphanage are almost gone and her color is so much better. She was so pale when we first got her. I'm so amazed at the change. Hopefully these mineral changes can help with her sleep too.

Melatonin really worked for Sofie. We had tried it at nap time for a few days and it really worked. She slept for over two hours both days but then wouldn't sleep until 10pm each night. We weren't sure which way was worse. We didn't want to give her more at night because we've heard that dependency can form on melatonin so we don't want to prolong or over use it at all. With her hour and a half settling time though, we are definitely thinking of using it again. We're going to give Kathy's suggestions a bit of time to work though before we go back to it.

We were able to go to the water park the other day. Sofie really liked the swing but the water was too cold for them to really play in. Livi is more of a pool girl anyways. With how much Sofie likes baths, I suspect Sofie is too.

Enjoying the swing way too much :)

 Staying close to Mommy!


Sofie has all but not given up baby food! She refuses to eat her food unless it is the fruit purees. She has eaten fish and rice, taco salad and mac 'n cheese. She thinks that we are trying to trick her too and won't eat it unless it is off our plate from an adult fork! A little frustrating but great developmentally! She has made leaps and bounds in this area. She is still not chewing properly but it is coming. We just have to make sure she gets small bites and it is mostly soft. I'm not sure what we are going to do with all the baby food I bought!

Today was Livi's first day of gymnastics! All summer she has been talking about how she is going to gymnastics in September. She was so excited. She was in the big girl class all by herself with kids up to 5 years old! She didn't need Mommy or Daddy to do it with her. I must say I was exceptionally proud of her. She listened to the teacher like a pro and did everything! The teacher was really impressed with her jumping and bum drop ability! She starts dance on Tuesday then the following week both girls, with Mommy and Daddy, have a music class that I think is going to be tons of fun! Livi isn't in preschool yet so we figure some extra activities are good for her :) 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Rough Day

Today was rough. Sofie hasn't napped in three days. I know some people might think that maybe she doesn't need to nap. She is three after all. Many three year old's have given up there naps. As her mother, I truly do not believe this is the case. If we can't figure this out, it may turn out to be the case, but in my gut I feel like she still needs naps. When she misses her naps she is tired, grumpy, hits and pulls hair more, has more melt downs and bigger food issues. She needs a nap. Quiet time isn't cutting it.

I had a melt down today too. Up until these last two days, I'd been doing really well. I think I have still been on the adrenaline of bringing Sofie home. I remember that same adrenaline when I had Livi. I felt like I could do anything. I had Livi on Thursday and I think it was Tuesday that we went out for the day, my house was clean and I wanted to show off my baby! The feeling hasn't been quite so drastic this second time around but it has lasted longer. I'm at week three today of having Sofie home and only now having my first melt down. I think with Livi it was within the first week.

There is such a thing as post-adoption depression, like postpartum depression. I don't think I am there. I think I am just entering the 'blues' stage. Like baby blues. I remember crying almost every day for a few months with Livi. I don't feel like that is going to happen with Sofie. I had a lot of other stuff going on when Livi was born. I am just adjusting, just like everyone else in my family.

Jon was trying to be sweet and supportive but he had had it with the kids today too. I think I handle it better when only one of us is at the end of our rope, but today we both were. He suggested I go out with a friend or my sisters tomorrow but I honestly don't have enough energy to go out. I wouldn't be relaxed. I would just be thinking of all the things at home that I should be doing or cleaning. I know he was trying to help. This is my issue right now. I feel like once I get the house clean again and things more organized then I can handle it all, but the reality is setting in that my house will never be clean! I'm living in a basement suite with a sub-standard kitchen and unless we want to invest some serious money, things will never be as organized as I want them. There will always be splatters of who-knows-what on various perplexing spots around the house and I will continually step on things that are lying in the floor. I know I'm exaggerating things but this is my reality right now. I'm trying to tell myself that this will pass but tonight it doesn't feel like it!

I don't like feeling this way though. I yelled at both my kids today... surprisingly it didn't seem to phase either of them. Livi had been defiant as usual and Sofie was trying to throw poo at me for the second time today. It was not my finest hour. I don't know exactly what needs to change in my thinking to handle this better. Sleep will help. What if Sofie never naps? I'll be alone in December and need to figure it out for myself. Losing control and yelling  in frustration or anger scares me. I can't let myself go down that road. I know where that road leads and I will die before letting my kids experience any part of that. It is in me though. I think that is why it scares me so much. I will be better tomorrow. I know I will. I just need sleep.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


I've been a little behind on my blogging. Taking care of two three year olds is a lot of work! They are giant black holes of energy. It has been so much fun though. They are such an amazing blessing and I'm amazed at how much I am continuing to learn!

Being a parent of two is so different than one. My house is always dirty. Laundry is never ending. I continually find splatters of food in places that they weren't eating. Toys are every where and my floors are never clean, even right after I clean them! The biggest thing I am learning is to let my house go. It doesn't have to be clean at the end of each day. It is okay if there are toys in every room. If the dishes don't get done in the evening, I can catch up with them in the morning. I think I'm dealing with the every day messes okay, but when I've slacked a little and not cleaned the floors or bathroom all week I do get overwhelmed and grumpy about it. I'm learning to let the cleanliness of my house go. 

I'm learning to cope on little sleep again. I'm getting more sleep than if we had brought home an infant, but it still isn't as much sleep as I was getting with only one kid! I want sleep with out feeling like I should be doing something else!

I'm learning what both of my girls need from me and when. Livi needs one on one time where she recognizes that I am choosing to spend time with her and not Sofie during this time. I realize that this has a lot to do with her jealousy issues right now but this is something that I can do for her, when the timing is appropriate and Jon is available to be with Sofie or she is sleeping. Morning cuddles have been something her and Jon have been enjoying and I've been spending some big girl time with her before bed while Jon puts Sofie to bed a little earlier than Livi. Sofie needs me to read her properly and move at her pace. I am getting much better at this but sometimes it takes her following me from room to room for 20 minutes before I realize she wants something. I need to slow down for her. 

All three of us are learning things about Sofie and how to make everyone more comfortable. Jon and I are taking turns getting up early with the kids and feeding them breakfast. We are trying new solutions for Sofie's sleeping issues. Sleep sacks are going to be our saving grace for the winter for her and I actually think Sofie feels a little more secure in them. Our only problem is going to be finding them big enough for her. It may resort to me trying to remember how to sew! Staying asleep is not Sofie's problem, but getting to sleep peacefully can be a little challenging still, particularly at nap times. We are laying with her until she is asleep but this is still not always working well. I think we are going to see if white noise helps her. We just need to figure out something that she can't reach and that doesn't bother Livi to much. My sister suggested Melatonin which I think I'm going to try too :)

Livi is handling Sofie's issues like a pro. Each of them have there daily melt downs but I figure this is fairly neormal too. They have both been through a lot of changes. Sofie can't communicate all her frustrations well yet and Livi is a little too good at communicating sometimes :) 

This is one of the reason's we need sleep sacks for her.
She tosses and turns like you wouldn't believe and there is no hope of keeping a blanket on her.

I was really proud of Livi's "realistic" drawing! She said it was a 
car with a tail!

These first few weeks have been filled with eager visitors wanting to meet Sofie. Sofie has been handling the changes, new people and new language amazingly. She has exceeded our expectations. I had expected to shelter her a lot more than we are. I had expected to have her regress at first. I had expected more tantrums and fear from her. I didn't think I'd want people touching her and picking her up. 

Every once in a while people picking her up does make me stop and wonder if it is too soon, but I remind myself that she is three years old. A three year old wants people to play with her. We are still very diligent in being the ones to comfort her and respond when she is fussing but it is okay that she plays with other people, I think. She may have regressed a little in the food area but she has made leaps and bounds in the past few days. Yesterday she packed away more food than I ever thought she could. Her stomach was hard and protruding! Today she ate "real" rice and pesto salmon! Not pureed! I could cry I am so proud! Plus she ate it off my fork! A big fork that poked her tongue and everything! This is seriously a big milestone people :)

Sofie meeting Opa and DD!

Sofie meeting Uncle Tony!

Auntie Lisa meeting Sofie!

Tonight was also another big milestone. Sofie woke up for the first time, during the night, crying. I got to pick her up and hold her while she settled, whispering that she was safe and Mommy had her. This is something I doubt she has ever experienced. It was such a beautiful moment for me. I was then thinking how different these milestones are from having a birth child. This tiny moment around 10:30 at night holding my crying daughter was as special to me as the first time Livi took her first steps or rolled over. It was magical.