Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We're moved in!

Yes, I know, 2 months later. Phew! Finally we are moved in and working towards a more normal life. Here is the update in bullet point style:

  • We've moved into a gorgeous new home in Ladera Ranch, CA. This town is MADE for families with tons of moms and kids our age in the neighborhood. Unpacking and getting set up is a challenge with an active toddler, but we are working feverishly to be out of boxes and parking two cars in the garage. :)

  • Ever since the move 4 weeks ago, I (Zeena) decided to quit most of my day job (only work Saturdays) and spend my time helping Zaleeya adjust. The 2 moves in the last 3 months have been rough on all of us. I finally felt more like a mom, and ready to commit fully to my daughter and her needs. It's been a journey, but I'm finally beginning to enjoy it all. I actually attempt to cook and have dinner ready for dad when he comes home. Who knew I could do it!

  • Azeem is dealing with a longer commute in stride and continues to be amazing at juggling work and heping mom around the house. He is also super dad on Saturdays and spends the whole day with Zaleeya.

  • Nana and Nani (Zeena's Parents) now live 5 mins away which is a huge help. Dadi and Bapa (Azeem's Parents) are a bit further away but everyone is making an effort to make it not matter.

  • Zaleeya is totally adjusting better ever since we got into the new house. The first few weeks we witnessed a few tantrums (confusion we believe) but then she started really get into a rhythym. She has plenty of words now and has started to put them together (All Done). She has started to ask for specific foods (Crackers) and toys (Elmo!). She has finally developed an interest in books and can point and name a lot of pictures. She still loves putting things inside things and especially LOVES her new little house in the backyyard that the previous owners left for her!

  • We're still working on a few attachment issues that have manifested themselves in odd behavior such as sitting in other mom's laps in music class and constantly taking toys out of kids hands. My new favorite book (Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child by Patty Cogen) helped calm me down and explain why she is compelled to act these ways (control, belonging etc) and it's been a great comfort.

  • She has gained weight but is still barely 20 lbs and her active lifestyle now makes it harder to gain weight. However she is a great eater and will now try anything. She LOVES rice so mom hides veggies and meat in the rice to get it down! And will eat most fruits. Crackers (chips, goldfish etc) are her favorite as I think they help calm the ever constant teething. She finally mastered the art of eating with a fork/spoon, however mom keeps dog Ziggy nearby to help with the cleanup.

  • Our biggest issue still continues to be sleep. We weaned her cold turkey from the bottle and put her back into a crib (old crib, same room decor and color) and she did okay. Mom helped by sleeping next to her again for the first week. However after a few weeks it was apparent that her sleep issues were now becoming a habit and an "addiction" to having mama and dada around to comfort her. After lengthy reading and discussion with our social worker, it was time to sleep train. I must admit feeling quite relieved to start this process ,as some nights it was taking 1.5 hours to get her down (especially with no bottle) and perhaps 2-3 wakes ups a night! No one was happy! We started this past weekend, and as much as it's horrible to hear her "cry it out", we are all now going on 3 straight days of 12 hour night time sleep and 2 hour naps. Her personality is amazing and she has fewer tantrums and is more fun! Sleep was really holding her back. We know it's controversial to make an adopted child "self soothe", we just felt the sleep was more important. In fact, the reason I can blog now is because she is asleep at a decent hour!

Anyhow, enough for now. I'll be better from here on forward I promise! Thank you for tuning in!