"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance.The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break." -Chinese proverb

Monday, December 17, 2012

Three months

It has been three months since Liana's Gotcha day!  It has been a busy three months!  We have been on the go since we came home from China.  We have had at least one doctor appointment and up to 4 appointments every week since we've been home.  Liana has just had the usual first appointments/blood draws/immunizations and then the ultrasound and dermatologist appointment for her hemangioma but we've really gotten off pretty lucky with her.  I still need to take her to the eye doctor and the dentist but I think January will have to do for those.  I couldn't squeeze anything else in these past couple of months.  Ella and Ethan have been sick constantly this fall and even shared an ENT appointment last week.  Ethan has tubes and Ella, who had a tube in her right ear when she was just tiny, may now have to get a tube in her left ear if this ear infection doesn't go away and stay away.  I have had a couple of appointments and another coming up and Erik, even Erik who has never needed to go to the doctor for anything since we got married 9 1/2 years ago, is now facing a pretty nasty knee surgery next month!  Along with all of the doctor appointments, I've been taking Ella to dance 3 times a week (1 regular class and 2 classes for The Nutcracker).  Last week, she performed in The Nutcracker as a mouse and an angel and did a wonderful job!  But I am relieved to be getting back to a more normal schedule.  Liana has handled all of this go, go, go so well.  I guess starting her off in our family with the craziness of Shanghai, the most populated city in the world, was a good introduction to busyness! 

She is doing wonderful still.  She is now potty training, thanks to Ethan!  Seeing him always using the potty got her interested, one of the benefits of having two 2 year olds, I guess!  I don't expect that she will actually be potty trained for a while, but who knows!  She does amaze us every day!  She knows a whole lot of English words now.  I tried to count the other day and counted up to 40 words/phrases that she knows and I know that she knows a lot more because who can ever actually remember all that they know at once?  I'm impressed with how quickly she's learning.  More benefits of having siblings to learn from!  She can go up and down the stairs well (on her bottom on the way down and crawling on the way up because her legs are too short for our stairs) but she can't jump and really just walks quickly more than actual running.  After spending most of her two years in a walker, she still has some catching up to do as far as her motor skills go but she's come so far!  Last time I took her and Ethan to the bounce house place, she could go up the stairs of the BIG slide by herself and she could actually keep her balance somewhat in the bounce houses but I still have to go in with her and help.  She's so spunky though and is trying really hard to do the things her big bro can do.  She still has some issues with eating.  She shoves more and more food in her mouth until she can barely chew so sometimes we have to just dole out little bits at a time and sometimes we just keep an eye on her and tell her no more until she's done with the food in her mouth.  She will occasionally still hold a mouthful of food in her mouth but now it seems more like she just shoved so much in that she got full and didn't really want to swallow the rest.  Sometimes these eating issues follow children into adulthood so that may be the case for her but we're trying to help her through it.

Her attachment to us seems to be going really well.  We've even braved putting her in her own Sunday school class.  One day when I dropped Ethan off, I asked if she would like to try her own class next time and she said, "Play!" so I took that as a good sign and went for it the next week.  When I dropped her off, she looked back at me like "you're not coming?" and I assured her that I would be back and she walked off to play.  She did great and the teachers loved her.  When I picked her up, she did seem to let some of the anxiety out and kind of made these pitiful, little moaning sounds like she was relieved that we came back.  I think she knew since she's seen us do it with Ella and Ethan but still must have been so relieved when we picked her up.  She does run to us for comfort when she's frightened, which is a wonderful sign.  One day, I was drying my hair and the sound of the hair dryer scared her and she ran to me and hugged my legs.  I thought it was so cute since I was the one holding the scary hair dryer.  She's always happy when Erik comes home and yells, "Daddy!" and just loves to play with him and tease him.  She loves when it's time to pick Ella up from school.  She loves her Ella.  Her and Ethan are coming along...slowly.  Yesterday, Ethan wanted to play outside and convinced Liana to go out and play with him.  We let them go out alone and just kept an eye on them.  He was actually really sweet to her and even hugged her when she cried about something.  Now, this is not the norm but I will take every one of these  moments that we can get!  I still wonder if she just thinks I'm a nanny who never has a shift change.  I mean, how does she know what a mom and dad are?  All she has ever known are nannies but she has to be at least starting to understand that we're different somehow.  Poor little thing, so sad to think that she has to learn what a family is and what forever means when Ella and Ethan (and Erik and I too) have just been able to take those things for granted.

It's so exciting to be experiencing all of her "first Christmas" moments this year.  Last year, I felt like someone was missing from our Christmas but this year, she's here with us!  I can't wait to see what she thinks of it all!

My little "photo shoot" of our pretty girl

No more pictures!

Okay, okay...one more sweet smile

I'm leaving now and you can't stop me!

No really, Mom, let's go.