Thursday, May 9, 2013

Moving on Over.....

Sofia has been home over 4 months now and I feel it's time to wrap this blog up and blog solely on our family blog!  So here's one last update on our Curly Girlie! Sofia has made a lot of progress in the short time she's been home and we're so thankful we have the pleasure of being her parents. We're learning how to parent a whole new type of child. Sofia has a wild spirit that cannot and should not be tamed :) She is no mystery, we almost always know exactly how she's feeling, as she shows her emotions no matter what they may be. She is very observant of everything happening around her, loves to explore her surroundings, and learns very quickly! 

 Just recently we've noticed that she is finally starting to feel more comfortable here. She has been giving more snuggles, and seeking out comfort from us, which is huge. For the first few months she seemed to not understand that she needed comfort and love from us. For her first 15 months of life she learned to survive without those things and was "tough enough" that it took her some time to realize there was a better way. Sometimes we still have to remind her that she is just as deserving of our love as our other girls. I know she's only 19 months old, but I always felt as if she'd look at us with this "I don't deserve this" look and it still haunts me to this day, because I think she really believed that and learned that in her young life. Sometimes when I look into her eyes it's as if a much older soul is inside of her. Most days people who meet Sofia would have NO IDEA she ever spent any time in an orphanage. She is well adjusted, so resilient, and very happy. I will always remember that look in her eyes and wonder how many more months or years it would have taken for her to lose her fighting spirit. Thankfully we don't ever have to find out because she is right where God meant for her to be! 

She is close to walking and will take 2-3 steps from the couch to the ottoman. She loves the jeep walker and will walk all over with it. She says mama, dada, and hi. She signs more, eat, please, me, among others :) She feeds herself pieces of food and is working on using her spoon and fork. She loves putting things in and taking things our of containers (reminds me of zoya), playing spoons on metal bowls, and also destroying the play room :) She REALLY loves baths and walks. Baths give her lots of good sensory input-sometimes too much-and she's usually pretty wild in the bathtub. Sofia is most calm when taking walks. She loves the breeze and constant motion when on a walk. She loves climbing on things and exploring the house. Sofia can navigate from room to room and even go upstairs on her own when the gate is open. She hasn't shown much interest in watching shows such as signing time or Mickey Mouse, yet. She will sit for several minutes when Elmo is on though. She reminds me a little of Zoya in this way!

Sofia was not initially in our plans, but we already can't imagine life without her and we thank God for orchestrating this story. She brings a daily reminder that JOY can be found in every day...usually multiple times a laugh from her and we can't help but laugh right along, no matter how bad of a day we're having!

Thanks for being part of our journey! Please follow us on our family blog! 

And a treat to show you the JOY I'm talking about :)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Sofia's First Day Playing Outside!

I can't wait to see what her reaction to the grass is!! Warm weather, we're waiting for you!! 

Love these chubber cheeks! 

She is so full of wonder. I love capturing her quiet moments...they're so few and far between! 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

3 Months Home (The Many Faces of Sofia)

Sofia has been home for 3 months! I just asked Shawn "Are you sure? It seems like so much longer!" He agrees! She is doing SO WELL that we often forget she wasn't always here! She is 18 months old. Her personality has come to light even more in this past month. She definitely thinks she is the Queen of the house! She enjoys following Mila around EVERYWHERE, taking every toy Mila wants to play with, and crying if she's told no or corrected! And by crying I mean carrying on for a lonnnnng time as if she just lost a limb or something! Girl holds a grudge and definitely thinks she should not have any rules! She's a rule breaker for sure :)

My dad calls her Bruiser and really it's very fitting! She is s rough and tumble, loud and rough....much like a little boy! I laugh because if you remember we started this adoption process committed to a little God gave us our hearts desire in a way with Sofia here! We were trying to pick out pajamas for the girls and Shawn picked up a pair of boy pajamas all excited and thought they'd fit her perfectly! The shirt said "I like to crash things!" Oh, so perfect!

It will really be a miracle if we make it to her 2nd birthday with no trips to the ER! She has figured out just about how to climb out of her high chair if not buckled in. She can pull herself out of the jeep walker by walking over to the kitchen drawers, opening the third one up, and using her upper body strength to pull herself up and nearly out!!!! Seriously you guys, we are in SO.MUCH.TROUBLE with her! She is close to taking her first steps I believe, but until then she'll use anything and everything as a walker (kitchen chair, desk, push toys, baskets) to get to her destination faster than crawling! 

Giving me her classic "duckface"
She was being silly while I was feeding her dinner tonight, so I snapped some pictures! You can see her meatloaf (on her face and clothes) and some kiwi on her tray. She is a great eater, except she needs some work with the chewing part. She will chew/crunch hard foods, but soft foods like cheese or cooked veggies she will swallow whole. I actually had to give her the heimlich the other day and it scared the pants off me! Thankfully it worked and we avoided any real problems there. It's not the first time she choked but definitely the first time she needed that level of assistance! I tell ya, I'm learning to sleep with one eye open because this child is FEARLESS! 

 And this look, don't even get me started.....I am afraid of Sofia as a teenager after seeing this look! And seriously, she can give some DIIIIIRTY looks! No idea where she learned it!

More duckface! 
Even though her personality is so overwhelmingly FIERCE, she has moments of tenderness and moments where she really needs her mama and daddy! She has been going through a stranger-fear stage lately, which is a huge positive in this stage of the bonding game! She acts shy around new people who come to our house or when we are at a new place! It is so funny to see her go from wild and crazy to calm and needy, but I love it!! It shows me she is bonding with us and understands we are "her people!" 

Seriously, when she gets happy, her ENTIRE BODY shows her excitement! 

When I look at these pictures of Sofia I clearly see that bright mischievous spark in her eyes! Can't you? 

She recently had her early intervention evaluation and we'll be starting a couple formal therapies soon! 

Since they don't make bubbles for little kids, we may need to invest in a crash helmet for this little lady! 

To all of you with crazy little boys, I get it now :) 


Deanna and I have been slacking a little on getting this final post up....sorry! We are busy mamas trying our best to balance our time :) So we're finishing up this series with a brief list of some great foods and a little description on the bone broth we have talked a lot about!

Here is a list of some "super foods" that we like to use! Feel free to do some research on the products to see if it's an ingredient you might want to consider adding to your child's diet!

Pure Coconut Milk (the kind that comes in a can, not the carton. Native Forrest Brand has BPA free cans)
Blackstrap Molasses
Coconut Oil
Chia Seed
Raw Honey
Bone Broth!

So, speaking of Bone Broth!!! I truly believe this stuff can contribute to bringing adopted children (and all children and adults for that matter) to much better health! THIS IS A VERY GOOD ARTICLE TO READ to understand the benefits of bone broth, and find out exactly what bone broth is! It's certainly NOT the broth you buy in a can or a carton in the store!! It's really important to soak the bones in the water/vinegar as the first step of making bone broth...make sure you don't skip that step! We mostly use chicken bone broth here but every now and again I make beef bone broth. I've never made the fish one, though! If your child's no longer on a bottle, you can find lots of other ways to incorporate it! Any foods that you'd use water to make you can substitute the bone broth (mashed potatoes, rice, crock pot meals, etc.). I hope that link is helpful! We'd love to hear from some of you that have made changes since reading our posts!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Videos of Sofia! And a List.....

Thought I'd share some cute videos of Sofia! 

She still LOVES LOVES LOVES playing in water. This scares the daylights out of me because she'd probably walk through fire to get to the bathtub (or another source of water)....neither of the other girls have that strong attraction to water, and this is another reason I can't sleep at night! HAHA 

And here is the wagon that we got for Mila for her birthday! Clearly you can see Sofia enjoys it more! I love Mila's little wave from the chair. If she could talk I'm pretty sure she'd say, "Thanks for the effort mom, but really you should know me well enough to know I would have much preferred a bag of Veggie Straws and a princess wand instead! Either way, I'm glad someone is getting use out of that thing!" 

And I thought it'd be fun to make a list of all the things I've found in Sofia's mouth over the past few weeks. She is so fast and sneaky:

Fire place gravel
Foil from a Hershey Kiss
Hair rubberband
An entire sock (yes her mouth is big)
Dog Food
Dryer Sheet

I'm sure there are more....and I obviously can't write about the ones I never even saw, but I haven't found any surprises in her diaper YET. I watch her like a hawk and she still manages to sneak some things past me! I'm gonna choose to look at this glass as half full and say "at least she doesn't have oral aversion issues because that would be much more stressful!" 

I have a couple more posts planned on this blog and then I'll be shutting it down and blogging only on 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sofia's 2 Month Home Update!

I missed posting on the two month mark of having Sofia home. We've been super busy...better late than never!

Overall, Sofia is doing excellent! Out of all 3 of the girls her transition has been the easiest. That does not mean it has been without bumps, but overall, we're thankful for how seamlessly she has transitioned. Her food "issues" that I posted a lot about have almost become non existent! On occasion she will fuss if someone else is eating and she isn't, but 95% of the time she is perfectly happy playing if one of the other two girls starts lunch before her! She has started turning down food and even throwing it to the dog who happily waits below her high chair!!

She shows a FULL RANGE of emotions from happy to silly to sad to angry! She is very quick to turn on the tears if she is told no or doesn't get what she wants :) She has a hard time modulating her emotions, which we remember well from Zoya! If we are playing and giving her lots of attention and she's laughing and having fun, when the game and/or attention stops she bursts into tears. She has some trouble recovering when she becomes hurt or sad or angry. We are trying to give her enough support to help her get back to "content" when this happens, and recently, she has been able to do this with less support from us. I think for some of these kiddos who've never felt such a strong range of emotions before, it can be very confusing when they feel such extremes and don't know how to turn it off. We continue to remind ourselves that her emotional age doesn't match her real age or her developmental age. If we think of her emotionally as her "family age" (how long she's been with our family) it helps us to remember how to help her emotionally (treat her like a 3 month old emotionally).

Bonding is going REALLY well...she has bonded with us more quickly than I remember the other girls bonding. Lately she has a healthy fear of strangers and if people reach out to hold her she will cling to us and shy away. Sometimes she will even cry when strangers are interacting with her. For example, she was getting fitted for her sure step orthotics and she did not like the man that was measuring her feet. Every time he'd wheel back toward us to take another measurement she tried to dive away from him! If we have company over she is very quiet and observant for the first hour or so before she opens up and shows her true colors. Tonight we took Mila out for her birthday and Uncle Mike and Aunt Carol stayed with Zoya and Sofia. This was the first time we've left Sofia for longer than about 10 minutes. She had a little episode of crying and we're not sure why, but wonder if it was because she missed us. When we came home she clung to me. She put her head on my shoulder and squeezed me like she had never done before. She would briefly look up and me and get a HUGE smile on her face and then snuggle her head back into my shoulder. It was the sweetest thing ever and I could tell she missed me!

She says mama and dada and imitates sounds. She pulls to stand and is starting to cruise holding on to furniture. She can walk with a push toy and climbs on EVERYTHING! She has no fear as far as safety is concerned is a daredevil! She eats table foods, and just recently came off the bottle completely! She uses a straw cup to drink her milk and water/juice. She still LOVES baths (perhaps too much) and soaks the entire bathroom from splashing! She is wearing 12-18 month clothes and weighing in just over 22 pounds (putting her only 4 pounds under Mila!).

We've made it through many of her initial medical appointments. We have ENT and hearing test next week, dentist in April, and airway clinic (to rule out any contributing factors that may cause her possible pulmonary hypertension), and that is about it FOR NOW. She checked out well with her eye appointment and we've decided not to have the biopsy to diagnose celiac disease. We plan to keep her gluten free either way so at this point it's not worth putting her back on gluten and causing her to be sick just to get the diagnosis.

Here are some pictures of Sofia JOY! I keep telling people had she been our first child she may have been our only ;) (said endearingly of course!)....she's...just....sooooooo......FULL OF LIFE AND ENERGY and so very wild! We love her like crazy!

Sofia DRAMAQUEEN (her middle name has been changed) HA

Make sure to check our family blog later, going to update that one now!