Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Time flies...

...when you're having fun! (Turn on your volume for the song; and the video at the bottom of this post...)

Fun shopping consignment sales for skinny-waisted, long legged pants; Ava-approved skirts; festive long-sleeved shirts; shoes, (Sponge Bob, bright yellow) croqs, (Hello Kitty) rain boots; gum, candy, did-I-say GUM; dolls, bunnies and accessories.

Fun playing with the Little People house; her assortment of babydoll and stuffed animals w/ their "own" pack n play, stroller and bottles. Fun singing and dancing to her Chinese Children's Songs CD. Fun jumping on the mini trampolene and watching Tinkerbell (our barn cat) bounce along with her. (Tinker is her first "favorite" pet on the farm; she calls for him all day and he happily gives up a mouse chase to come running for a piece of whatever she's handing out.) Fun watching Winne the Pooh and getting as hooked on it as her little mei mei, Eliza; oh and yes, Barney too; Sponge Bob Square Pants...just to name a few others. Fun coloring and drawing wonderful pictures of her new life on the farm.

Fun asking Mom and Dad to "act out" Trick or Treat over and over again so she gets it just right come October 31, which no doubt will become HER favorite "holiday" since she is the biggest sweet-tooth I've ever met. Fun getting a balloon and free cookie every time she goes to the grocery store.

Fun adding the word "pee" to the end of every english word she repeats for us: Thank you Mompee; Trick or Pee; A B C Pee; 1 2 Pee 4; Hopee (Hogan)...and laughing hysterically at herself when she does it.

After about a week being home, Derek and Ava had run into a fast food restaurant to use the bathroom, so I moved over to the driver's seat to pull closer to the building for them. I slightly drove up on the curb and started laughing. I had to remind Allie that it was the first time I had driven in about 3 weeks. At that, Derek and Ava came out of the restaurant to get in the car. When Ava got in and saw me behind the wheel, she said "Uh oh!" and looked at Daddy with a startled look. We all started cracking up and it dawned on me that we took a taxi everywhere in China and Dad had been driving since we came home. She probably didn't know that I knew how to drive. We all had a good laugh over that.

Ava's doing really, really well. She seems genuinely happy. She's respecting boundaries better now with minimal re-directing. It seems that I only have to correct her once or show her once how to do something and she's on it next time w/ no prompting from me. She still tries to slighly squat on the potty instead of sit and we had an accident in Target when she was squating over a (I guess?) higher-than-normal toilet seat and pee'd all down her leg, into her undies and skirt that she had pulled down to her ankles. She came shuffling out of the toilet area calling "Mommy". I was a bit shocked, but told her to pull 'em up, wash her hands and out we went to purchase new undies and pants; pay for 'em; and return to the rest room.

She and Eliza are interracting well; seeing some teasing from Ava, but Eliza is pushing her back and in some ways seems more mature than Ava (lol). She has to wear and have everything that Eliza has. She no longer wants to wear her hair up because Eliza wears hers down (a short bob). She actually wants me to cut her hair short (yikes!) Considering Locks for Love, but would never go shorter than the 10 inches required to make a donation. When she wears her hair down, she sits on it or it gets caught in the back pocket buttons on her pants and she screams in pain. ... She wants the same clip in her hair that Eliza wears, ya-da, ya-da, ya-da. They get into the silliest giggle fits and I've caught a few on video. They are still happily sleeping in the same room and going to bed on time (wow, mom's dream come true).

She sets the table for me every night and has to count out the napkins herself. She also likes to put on an apron, pull up her sleeves and wash dishes. She helps me fold clothes and does it with such skill that it makes you wonder who is doing your laundry when you send it out in China!

She is still whining about not going to school like everyone else. I've got her reigstered and think she'll start soon. She's been in school (Half the Sky) since she was 3. She's an outgoing girl and in my heart, I think she needs to be there. She is "fitting herself" into the family more and more every day in many different ways...all good. She wants her artwork displayed in the kitchen like Eliza's. She had us hang her China things over and around her bed. She understands her seat in the car and at the table now. She draw pictures of herself with the family. She and I set up her closet and her drawers in the dresser.

Ava looking up at Daddy in airplane

Ava and Tinkerbell on the sidewalk

Mommy walking Hogan (Eliza ripped the paper in half)

Derek has had to travel 2 times now since we've been home (back-to-back weeks) and she's accepted it fine. We draw pictures of airplanes and count the days. Her eating is getting better; she loved my beef stew and was intrigued watching me make it. I love hearing her talking to her dolls or playing and talking to herself in Mandarin. She sings a lot. She is perfectly comfortable talking to the mandarin speaking people in our Chinese restaurants too.

As for me, I can't believe we've only been home 2 weeks and that it's only been 4 weeks since I first met Ava. She's an in-your-face type of child, which has taken me a bit to settle into, but her smile and laugh is infectious. The jet lag wasn't as bad this time for me, but I think that's because I had Ava talking and going non-stop every day vs. Eliza being a baby-toddler and me being home alone with her last time. I go to bed exhausted every night and my ears ringing from the noise all day (lol). I'm still trying to balance being a mom to every one and a wife to Derek; pretty irritable every day, but hoping that time and sleep will ease that...okay and compliance from everyone! I went for a walk alone on Sunday with Hogan; alone for the first time in 3 weeks. Wow; I require a lot of alone time. I walked so slowly that I was almost walking backwards! The peaceful, wind-blowing, cool breeze, sunshine, the time alone felt so good. The days go by so fast that I rarely have time to take it all in and give thanks for this beautiful, spirited, so-wanting-to-be-loved and accepted child that, frightened as she was, took my hand and let me bring her home.  There was a time in China, when I didn't think she would.  The song that I chose to play is for Ava and our time together.  "Thank you, Ava, for letting me be your mommy and showing you the world that you didn't know."

(To watch the video, stop the song in the sidebar so you can hear Ava.)


Reena said...

Sarah-- WoW! Absolutely amazing! I am so happy for you, Ava, and your family. It is amazing to see how much Ava has changed in so little time!

Ava and Eliza are adorable together! What a lucky Mom you are!


Dinn Family said...

Oh, Sarah! I'm so happy for all of you. Thanks for the update! So encouraging for sure!

The Montieth Family said...

Oh Sarah! I can't believe that you have only been home for two weeks either! It is amazing how our children just fit into our families because it was all simply meant to be. Ava looks so HAPPY! I played the video of her singing and performing over and over...I love how Eliza runs through giggling. :) I love how A has to be like E! So cute. So funny. So normal! I have the SAME issues buying pants for Emma...her waist is teeny tiny and her legs go on for miles...all of her 5Ts are cinched tight! :) The Childrens Place is having a fall sale online, things are up to 40% off now and I have a 15% coupon code that I can email you if you'd like. I got some inexpensive things for Emma a week or so ago. Our consignment shops around here are no good so I just buy new knowing that Sophie will wear them eventually. I love your new blog format! I miss you and can not wait until Dec!

day by day said...

Oh, I LOVED that video!!!

looks like lots of fun things going on over there...so happy to hear everything is falling into place!


Kristi said...

So cute!! Ava has proven herself to be such a strong and resilient little girl; just amazing. I love hearing how she wants to be like her little sis! It sounds as if Eliza is doing great as well - if not, would she be sleeping with her big sis? No way!! :-) Well, I just can't even fathom how difficult it is to parent 2 children with 1 of the 2 having nonverbal autism. You are an inspiration! On that note, can you believe that we still don't have the Alt Chat for Viv yet? I bet that you can!! I sure do wish that special education didn't have so much bureacracy to deal with. As of today, we are awaiting word about funding from our insurance company for the device and they can take 30 days (we started the quest for the device about 6 months ago!). Oh well, did I really ever think this would go quickly? Of course not!! I can't wait for her to get it though. Has E's school mentioned a device as a possibility for her?? I think she'd do well with one.
Glad you were able to carve out a walk for yourself; aren't those the best!! Those little moments can keep us moms sane can't they?? More later. Glad to see things progressing for both of your girls so well. Oh and about the good mother and good wife thing...I tell my husband that one out of two isn't bad ha ha

Jean said...

The video is so cute!! Sarah has listened to it and thinks she remembers some of it but can't translate it. She loves Ava's hair!! It is her dream to have long hair like Ava and her new sisters Emma and Ellie!!

Love hearing how she is doing and I am loving reliving our past through your stories! Eliza is so cute in the video too! What a blessing to have those two wonderful girls!! God is so good!!

Colin and Jill Canada said...

I love the song you chose for her, so fitting for such a beautiful beautiful girl.

Many blessings.