11:47 AM

How are things going?

Well since a bunch of you have asked here is the answer: pretty darn great.
Here's the details:

Sibling Rivalry
Month one was no play together, and Elora hitting her brother.  Month two was some play together and Emery hitting or being rough with his sister.  Month three is a lot of play together and a lot of competition for resources (affection and food).  Elora is determined to have every thing her brother has, just because he has it.  If that means sitting on the book at story time to get a more prime spot on daddy's knee so be it.  If that means choking on your cookie because you gobbled yours so fast in order to fit the one you stole from your brother in your mouth too before mama can reach you, well that's a small price to pay.  If one gets carried up the stairs the other will climb your leg to get the same ride.  Well that's what you get when with two kids so close in age, something tells me we have only begun to scratch the surface of this sibling dance.

I know you're thinking "does this woman ever stop talking about naps?!?".  Well no, they kinda rule my life right now.  I tried to switch Elora from two naps down to one since she was frequently skipping the afternoon nap and that made her a holy terror by about 5pm every day.  Well the only thing we managed to do was mess up everything and she has been meltdown city all week long.  It seriously felt like we had rewound about 2 months of progress.  She was spitting out food, she has never done this, usually not a scrap will go uneaten of any thing edible.  She was over tired, Bed time was a war zone, she had a few days of head banging and just over all behaviours that had been dormant for a very long time surfaced with vengeance.  I am still trying to undo the damage from that failed experiment, yet the original problem still exists she will not sleep for more then 1.5 hours at a time and she just can't survive on that little in a day.  This week I am going to try an afternoon nap closer to dinner time.  I will report back... yep there is more nap talk coming your way.

Her language is coming in well with a new word every other day.  We are doing so well that the speech therapist does not recommend we do any thing more then check in on her every 6 month or so.  They are very impressed with her progress and even got some scores exactly on target for her age.  Mostly speech therapy helped me because I learned some valuable things.  Going into the appointment I felt that although the language was coming along well she seemed to be really struggling with her pronunciation and could not manage words that were more than one syllable.  I could see that she was smart but I felt sure she needed a lot of help.  Turns out what needed help was my expectations.  I was comparing her to her brother, not so much how he was at her age, but how he began to speak.  In true Emery form, he did not really say any thing that was not perfect.  He is a do it right or don't do it at all kinda guy, from day one.  They showed us a chart regarding age appropriate sounds and Elora scored at a 2 year old level (!), my 3 year old scored at a 7 year old level!!!!!!!!!  Light bulb moment.  I never realized what high a bar I was accidentally measuring her against. 
So that is how we got kicked out of speech therapy, I guess you could say we graduated, but it's kinda fun to say we got kicked out, and I could not be any prouder.
We are still doing bi-weekly vision therapy and we are consulting with a developmental therapist regarding the moderate sensory seeking we are seeing.  By the way she also feels that our feeding issues are all tied in to that same package.  That was also a revelation, and we are glad to have found some one to help us in this specialized area.

Elora calls her nanny mama.  She cried for mama a lot at the beginning, slowly the word melted away.  This week she started asking me if I was her mama.  She raises her little eyebrows and says "mama?" and I say yes, I am your mama. Other times she sits on my lap and points to me and says "mama?" yes I answer, or she will point to my photo and say "mama?".  She said baba right from the get go, and then that soon became daddy, you will note he never got a question mark after his name (nanny is mama also with no question mark at the end).  He just simply was her one and only beloved daddy.  Our relationship is much more complex to her.  I am just one of many mamas who have loved her.  She has at last decided to try the title out on me.  Now that she has she likes to ask for me about 1000 times a day.  Mama? yes. Mama? I'm right here. Mama? yes? Mama? What do you want? Mama?... I will spare you the rest of the soundtrack of my typical day, its that on repeat.  It's a big milestone for us, so I smile even on the 1008th mama? of the day.

So that is life at 3.5 months together, so much better and so much faster then I ever would have predicted.

11:03 PM

The two of them

As any mom of any toddler will tell you, photographing them is like catching a lightning bug... and you know what they say about lighting never striking twice in the same spot?  That is how I feel about getting a photo of both my kids together.  So I gave up on that silly notion months ago.  I just do them one at a time now because I am practising and one bug is plenty of practice.  Just when I got the focus and the light (on my sensitive girl) just perfect, another little bug jumped in the photo.  Note to self, must write an update on the new sibling rivalry we have.  Until then this photo speaks for it's self and pretty much sums up our week.

The best part is that I love it more this way than if I had got that "perfect" shot.

Ni Hao Yall

9:33 AM

Sunday Snapshot

My beauty has nearly invisible eyelashes.  Unless you study her like only a parent can you may never notice them at all.  I was determined to show off the beauty of her eyes, including what appears to be merely a glimmering of fairy dust around her baby blues to the naked eye.  I am loving the documentation of my girl, who is blooming each and every day.  I wake up to find her prettier than the day before.  She is radiant inside and out.
Ni Hao Yall

11:43 AM

100 Days Home

10:46 AM

Favorite Photo Friday

a href="http://thelongroadtochina.blogspot.com" target="_blank">the long road

9:48 AM

Wordless Wednesday

3:12 PM

In only 3 months time

Back then it was hitting.
Now it is hugging... and kissing too.

Terrified of water.
Now a water baby.

From grieving to giggling

New things are happening here all the time.  Elora has found a deep love for shoes, in fact it is one of her first English words. She is just like mommy, but I swear she comes by it naturally.  She and her brother have discovered the joy in having each other.  They make up the silliest games to play.  We are a family, we are whole.  It will never stop leaving me awe struck, this amazing girl and every thing she has given us.