Well life at home for one week....in heading format:
Mary can say "Mama", "Daddy" and the beginnings of "Kitty Cat". She is working on learning the signs for "more" and "all done" and is beginning to use them when encouraged. We are impressed with her receptive language, she is already picking up routine phrases ie. "Let's go potty" (and she walks to the bathroom), "Mary come here please", "Push up your sleeves", "Take your shoes off"...ect. She babbles continuously, so we are hopeful that more words will appear soon.
We are almost afraid to comment on it, for fear of jinxing everything. Although it has not been a walk in the park, we realize it could be much more challenging than it has been. We have taken the crib mattress out and placed it on the floor in the girl's room. Either Cory or I will lay down on the floor in the room until the girl's drift off to dreamland. Everyday the crying during the going to sleep time seems to decrease, especially at naptime.
Both girl's were waking up a couple of times at night each the first couple of days, most likely due to jet lag and the new environment. However, they weren't waking up at the same time, and when one little girl began crying it would then wake up the other and thus more crying. The last night or two, Mary has only stirred and cried once earlier one in the evening, and with a little back rub and reassurance she has drifted back to sleep. Fingers crossed this continues...
Cory and I both seem to be over the worst of the jet lag. We are both still napping each afternoon with the girls and setting the alarm so we don't sleep past the two hours. We are finally able to fall asleep before midnight, much better than the 2:30 am time when we would finally nodd off. We are trying our best to be on a tight sleeping schedule and have made sure we are all up and moving around by 7:30 am. We are even having to wake the girl's in the morning, a much different story for Sylvie who was the queen of getting up early on our days off!
Most of our tantrums are surrounding food right now. Mary gets very, very upset if she sees someone else eating and she is not. Or even if she has some food still - which makes it interesting because she shovels food in as quick as she can, and Sylvie eats slow. She is still very anxious about food and having enough to eat, and as such is eating an enormous amount of food.
We are taking it slow, dishing up food on the counter and then bringing everyone's food to the table, so she can focus on what is in her bowl/plate and is not distracted by food in serving dishes. We have also taught her to use a fork or a spoon. She is doing much better using them now, and this also helps to slow her down when she is eating. She would still prefer to eat everything with her hands (as it gets into her mouth quicker), but is now using her fork or spoon when we ask. It will take time, but this will get better as her trust in us providing for her needs will grow.
We are both impressed with how the girl's play together. Often we hear lots of giggles and laughing between the two. Mary watched Sylvie play with her toys carefully, and imitates how she plays with them. Mary has learned quite quickly how to make the different toys make noise and how to put together and take apart the Mega Blocks.
Sylvie is relearning how interesting some of her toys can be - especially now that there is another little someone who finds them interesting as well. However, this leads the occasional fight over a specific toy - and with her limited communication skills, Mary has resorted to biting at times to get her point across. We are working hard on curbing this behavior, and being thankful that her cleft makes of so she mostly gums Sylvie, rather than actually biting. Any suggestions on reducing/replacing this behavior?
One of the hardest parts of coming home was the sudden change in weather. When we left home at the beginning of November, it was +10C. When we returned it was -4C and snowing hard. This first week home the weather dropped to -16C, and we have been shoveling the driveway several times a day. This has made venturing outside to play much less enjoyable. Luckily today, the temperature rose to a balmy -1C and we bundled up and headed outside...
Happy to be outside playing in the snow...
Not happy with the subsequent chores associated with winter...
The fun that comes along with snow...