10:37 AM

Turned a big corner

This past week has been amazing for Elora. She is doing new things every day, but the difference is she is embracing and enjoying new things. Holidays with two families in two days could stress out any toddler, but she handled it like a champ, it was so amazing to be able to share our girl with the family that waited so long for her too. Another amazing part of Easter was to see her hunting for eggs. This is a new idea for her and we did it outside so I had no hope that she would find any due to the light's impact on her vision and her experienced big brother there to swipe them all up. But she got the idea right away and managed to find 3 eggs on her own! I was so impressed.

Yesterday she had her developmental assessment and she also did very well there. She was only scored as delayed in two areas (things that are because of her history not her potential). We are happy to know that we will be able to get a development coordinator to start visiting us next month to help her catch up. During the assessment the tester asked if she could do certain things and I said no, but with in seconds the tester showed her what she was looking for and Elora did it! I was amazed again... are you seeing a theme here, I am just amazed by this girl, she is just changing, growing, loving in leaps and bounds.

Next amazing thing she had a bath last night with no tears!!!!!! This was an amazing breakthrough previously she was having hour long fits surrounding bath time, then last week we had a mini breakthrough when she, Emery and I all got in the tub together and she stopped crying for about 30 seconds, then last night a whole bath with no tears at all. I think having her big brother with her helped a lot. We were unable to do it earlier though since giardia spreads easily in a shared bath so we needed the clean bill of health first before we could try it.

There were times as little as a few days ago when I was thinking to the summer ahead with sadness about all the things we would have to sit out for Elora's benefit. Water and the outdoors in general stressed her out so much I thought we would never get to go to the beach or pool or splash pad. Any thing seems possible now. She doesn't do any thing small. She grieved big and now she is adapting in a big way too. I will say it again, amazing!

Another thing we have tried is switching her from one nap to two. The orphanage reported that she was napping for 2 hours at noon, but since we got over jet lag this has not been the case, she was only staying down for about 1 hour max and then waking up screaming and then being upset the rest of the day. She was clearly not sleeping enough, so I googled "how do I know if my baby needs one nap or two?", found a handy check list and ah ha two naps were needed indeed. So now she is doing a total of 3 hours a day in two bits one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Her mood is greatly improved. I wish we had tried it sooner but I really was trying to mimic the orphanage schedule for consistency and then I had to rule out many other factors before we tried the nap flip. A tip for any newbies out there these two things have always been true for every baby I know:
1. Sleep begets sleep, meaning an over tired baby sleeps less. I know that is not logical when we think of how we as adults sleep, but it is always true for babies.
2. Don't declare failure until 3 days have passed. Don't ask me why it's 3 days, but you need to give it at least 3 before you can rule your new change as a success or failure. It's easy to get into serious problem solving mode and try something new every hour even, but to officially scratch it off your list give it 3 tries. Also only try one new thing at a time when ever possible, makes it easier to pin point what worked and what didn't.

I have to laugh at my self because I know these golden rules, I live by them, but I still doubted the nap change would make any difference and we were having such struggles with naps I dreaded adding another bedtime schedule to my day since it was such a fight every time. A well rested Yoyo is a different girl and her head banging has not been violent since the switch and bedtimes are all easier. So things are good here. A lot is working and I am so very hopeful for each passing day.


Catherine said...

Great news on so many fronts! Way to go Elora!!!

I totally believe what you say about sleep. A friend told me early on that a well rested baby sleeps better and it's so true! Even now at 3, Hannah sleeps better when she's had a good nap! She fooled me for months as she gets hyper when she's tired so I didn't think she was sleepy. Wrong! The more hyper, the more tired she is. Now I try to get her to bed before the hyperness starts and it works wonderfully!

So happy to read of all the great changes in your little love!

Paula said...

I love your posts and love your honesty in them. I tend to be one of those bloggers that only writes positive things because I don`t want to seem like I am complaining (especially about someone I have always wanted) But on bad days reading the sunshine blogs can make you more depressed and alone. It brings comfort that other people are having challenges that they will overcome. So three days ago I briefly touched on the fact that my daughter still doesn`t seem as settled and happy as I thought she would be by now....and we have now had the best three days yet, she has had a completely turn around and making the whole family laugh all day.
So happy Elora is also having an amazing week and I absolutely love the picture of the two of you :)
thanks for sharing

Maple Walnut Mama said...

So happy for your Elora - she sounds like she is really starting to thrive & change & grow now that she is with her family. Amazing!