August 2, 2010
Things are coming right along for Junie Mei.
She is learning so much about her new world:
1. Food is yummy! When we first met Junie she acted as though she had never had solid foods. Well, that is partially true. We were told that she got 4-5 bottles of formula mixed with rice cereal a day and one bowl of congee (congee is like a rice soup sometimes with soft pieces of veggies or meat but always quite flavorless). Congee is so soft that it really doesn't count as solid food. At first, she was so picky about what she ate. At the buffet in China she ate yogurt every day, spitting out the tiny pieces of fruit like a baby learning to eat new foods. She ate a few soft scrambled eggs and a smashed banana every day. She refused almost everything else. For her other meals in China, she ate strictly baby food. And loved it. Even the fish paste which was the most disgusting by far as the smell lingered in her mouth, and nose, for some time!
But, since we've been home, Junie has discovered, perhaps by watching her brothers, that mealtime rocks. She will try absolutely anything now. If she's not so sure at first, I get one of the boys to eat it (whatever it may be) in front of her and make a yummy noise and then she's game to try it! She loves most of the food she tries, although sometimes it's not until the second time around. She will eat for 30 minutes to an hour and if I try to remove the highchair tray before she is done eating, she will grab it and make a very fussy noise!
She has also discovered utensils and is really very good at using them! She loves using a spoon or fork and will put a lot of effort into getting the desired object on said utensil without losing her patience. She even swipes across her own mouth, just like Mommy, when using her spoon.
Junie has learned to drink, and enjoy, water. In one update from the orphanage it stated she
"no like, no taste water" (which we put to music, sang to her at dinner one night and subsequently saw her first "dance"). I am not one to give my kids much besides water to drink so that is what she got in her sippy cup and now she is used to it.
2. She has learned that her brothers are not a threat, not going to hurt her and are actually a source of entertainment! (in her face a tad much at times, perhaps, but not ever out of anything but love!) :) At first Junie did not like the boys (or any child OR adult) "up in her grill". She swiped at their faces with her nails and/or hit them on several occasions. This absolutely broke my heart for them as they just wanted to be close to her so badly. As we were in the "new puppy" phase and they were all over her, we had to tell them to back off a lot. She hated it! But now, we go to the bus stop together and as they get off the bus, she doesn't cringe or try to climb up me to get away from them. She plays with them on the floor sometimes and lets them carry her around without boxing them! We are measuring our progress in baby steps here!
3. She is cruising more and more, walking behind push toys and walking while holding my hands. I am beyond thrilled that we will get to see her take her first steps! That being said, I do hope that will be sooner rather than later for my back's sake and for her sake. I think she will be so happy when she can just get where she wants to be more easily, like at the park for instance.
4. She has learned that swinging is fun. The first day home we went to our neighborhood park. We put her in the baby swing for just a moment and she did not like it at all. Since then Junie and I walk almost every morning and stop at the park. Now, she loves the swing! She is starting to like the slide too.
5. She can do many signs (sign language). Her first sign, and the one she uses for many many things, is "more". This comes in very handy during her hour long mealtimes! I showed it to her one day during lunch over and over. The next day, after she finished the cheerios on her tray, I asked, "do you want more?" and she immediately did the sign for it! I had not even done it. She's clearly a genius! She will use "more" for another book, or whatever she wants more of. She can now do the sign for eat (notice a theme here?), drink, thank you. And she can nod or shake her head for yes or no. Did I mention genius?
6. Animals are not so scary. Junie has gone from freaking out over our neighbor's Yorkie (perhaps she just inherited Daddy's dislike of tiny dogs) to feeding the animals at a farm last weekend. She fed mini goats, cows, sheep, alpacas and full sized horses. All the while signing "more" for more animal food!
7. She has learned how to give kisses. For Junie, this means leaning towards the person receiving the kiss with her mouth open wide and sometimes saying "ahh". She doesn't like to give kisses unless she sees me kiss the boys- then she doesn't want to miss out on the action. She can also blow kisses and does this much more freely. She waves to people while we walk together in the mornings as well.
8. She now knows how it feels to have a Mommy or Daddy rock her to sleep every night. She gets a warm bottle at bedtime and we rock her and sing to her. She goes to bed so nicely. She will usually just lift her head up from the crib and make a little noise and then lay her head back down. She must be exhausted from all she's experiencing every day and seems to fall right to sleep. She also does not wake up crying anymore. I can hear her stir in the A.M.s and then "talk" for a while. Before she gets agitated we will get her up. In China and when we first got home, mornings were very hard for her. In fact, the first 2 days in China, we thought she called a name when she woke up. When she realized where she was, she lost it.
Now, when I walk in her room in the morning, or after nap, she is all smiles!
There is so much more to tell. There is even more that words simply cannot describe.
However, if this post sits in the "edit" box much longer it will be time for the 2 month post!
The most important thing is that we are all doing really very well. I feel like I was not prepared enough for how hard it would be in China (even though i read and read) but I was really expecting the worst at home. It has gone much more smoothly than I expected- for Junie and the boys.
The boys are doing REMARKABLY well with Junie. They are not one bit jealous of how much attention she demands or how much Mommy needs to hold her. They take it in stride when she pushes them away. They want to introduce her to everyone. They keep giving her love and kisses and I just could not be any prouder of them . They are going to be such wonderful big brothers and I cannot wait to see their relationships bloom!