Wednesday, July 19, 2006

What's been going on at home

Sorry that we've neglected the blog but we have been busy nesting. We all struggled with jet lag for about a week and then Donny and Alycia got sick with a cold. We have all kicked jet lag and most of us are healthy now. Donny is still trying to shake his annoying cough but finally seems to be feeling a little better every day.

Alycia jumped back into her summer schedule of speed/strength training and volleyball. She has spent some time at the lake with her cousins and has reconnected with her friends too. She still seems to enjoy her little sister (the novelty hasn't worn off yet!). Alycia has always been a remarkably easy child and continues to be an amazing young lady and a wonderful big sister. Her little sister thinks she is the best!!

Sydney has made an amazing adjustment as well. She struggled with sleeping through the night during our first week home but is doing well in her own bed now. It's difficult for us to know when she is awake because she won't make a sound when she wakes up... she sits quietly on the floor in her room or the hallway upstairs until someone discovers her! It would be nice to be able to communicate with her to tell her to say something or make some noise so we know when she's up!! We have tried to be creative and put some bells on her door and we'll keep working on the communication stuff. I don't sleep as soundly anymore because I keep listening for the bells or some sign that she might be awake before anyone else is up in the morning.

Sydney has not had any major temper tantrums since the first few days we were home and the screaming fits seem to have disappeared too (our ears are thankful!). Her personality is fantastic! She has a wonderful sense of humor and loves to be silly. She wakes up happy in the morning and stays that way until it's time to go to bed. She does not like taking naps or going to bed at night and still cries for a while when we lay her down. Her communication skills are growing every day. Mom was correct when she said that if we were half as smart as she is we could be learning her language as quickly as she is learning ours! Sydney understands most of what we say and uses lots of gestures to communicate with us. She still mainly speaks in Chinese and refers to herself as Er Wei most of the time, however, she responds all of the time now to Sydney and has started to use her new name too. She is extremely observant and figures things out very quickly.

I thought that I would be cooking congee and noodles until she was 20 but she has decided that whatever we are eating is much better than congee! She's pretty happy when her plate looks like ours and she will point to her food and her sister's food and smile! She had her first pieces of pizza and discovered ketchup last night.....her Grampy Gary will be so proud (pictures to follow soon)!! We haven't discovered much that she doesn't like to eat and, thankfully, her system seems to tolerate all of the new foods too.

We decided to try her at daycare to see how she would do and planned to gradually transition her during August so she would be ready to roll when school started in the fall. We picked a small (about 8 kids), home-based daycare with a provider (Patty) who has her early childhood degree and follows a curriculum. Sydney decided that she LOVES her daycare and the kids! Her first day was going to be half a day but she did so well that she stayed the whole day. Patty thought that we could try her a couple days a week to start. This week is her trial run. Yesterday Patty decided that if we wanted her to come Monday through Thursday every week, that would be great with her. Sydney has already learned the routine and plays so well with the other kids that she's easy for Patty to keep. Sydney is very excited in the mornings when she sees her bag by the door to go to Patty's house!! She is happy to see us when we pick her up and does well when we bring her home, so we'll see how the rest of the week goes. We don't need to push Sydney and we'll be watching for any signs that she feels overwhelmed.

With Sydney off at daycare, that means that Donny and I are back to work this week. It feels like we have been gone for months!! One of my co-workers commented that Sydney looks like such a natural part of our family in our pictures. Although the adjustment for Donny and I has taken a little longer then it has for the kids (slight change of pace from parenting a 15 year old!), I can honestly say that she is a wonderful fit for our family.We'll post some new pictures as soon as we can so you can see the little monkey in action!


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