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!