Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease. ~Lisa Alther

Now, as always, the most automated appliance in a household is the mother. ~Beverly Jones

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On the Mend....

BG went back to the doctor today. We had good news. Her ears are clearing up. Although she still has fluid in them, they are no longer infected. She tested negative for food allergies! BB's allergies kind of crept up and took us by surprise. Since she seemed to be having digestive upset, we thought we better get her tested as well. Hopefully the ear infections are done for the time being. At the end of the December we will be taking her to an ENT and to get her hearing checked.

Her language skills have been coming along! She signs "more," "hot," and every once in a while I see the sign for "cracker." She tries to imitate all of BB's funny noises and made-up words. She waves and says, "Bye-bye." She calls her bottle "Ba-Ba." It is so exciting to watch all this emerge. Every once in a while some other words slip out (meow, hot). She is starting to point at everything. DH and I think we saw/heard her point at Jacob the other day and say. "Stop!" I am not sure she was, but it was very funny nonetheless.

BB also has a cold. He stayed home from preschool on Tuesday. I was a very brave Mommy! I took both kids to the Hospital for Faith's blood work and then into DH's office to get a flu shot.

We are slowly building new routines and new ways of doing things. BB has struggled sharing his parents, sharing his space, and sharing his toys. Most siblings do not arrive as active, demanding toddlers! Yesterday BG was crying. He offered her his blanket, his stuffed animal, and patted her tummy. He then asked if he could pick her up. BB weighs about 29 lbs. and BG is almost 26 lbs.! I said that he could sit in the rocking chair and hold her on his lap. He did that and then tried to wipe her tears with a tissue. Not every moment is so "Hallmark," but he is making steady improvements in terms of accepting that she is here to stay (and that she might be a little bit fun as well!).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mother Guilt

This parenting thing comes with a great amount of joy....and a great amount of guilt. It is so hard to know you are making the right decisions for your children. Most of the time I feel pretty good, but then I do something so ridiculous that it makes me question everything!

A while back I (innocently) e-mailed the newspaper. They were looking for local stories. We were very excited because BG had just arrived. It sounded like a good, happy story to me. Well...this has turned out to much more of an article than we expected. Unfortunately, the reporter seems to be having difficulty grasping much of what we are explaining. So...I apologize in advance to all my friends touched by the pain of infertility and the joy of adoption. We are unsure about how those topics are going to be portrayed in the article.

But, I digress. For the article, they sent a photographer to our home to take pictures. BB LOVED it...and the photographer loved him. She ended up posting a picture of him on a blog and writing a little description of his enthusiasm and "question asking" abilities. Fueled by this fun experience, and by seeing the gorgeous pictures of my sweet boy, I decided to e-mail some pictures of him to a modeling agency.

Within a day they contacted us and invited us to take BB to an audition for a Hasbro product. I took him into a marketing/photography studio in the city. Once again, BB had a wonderful time meeting new people and getting his picture taken. We were excited when they contacted us a few days later to tell us that Hasbro selected him to come in and do a photo shoot.

We went back to the studio. At first it was a lot of fun. BB got to wear new clothes (and new shoes...his favorite!). The product was a stuffed Elmo. The people made him laugh and he made them laugh. After a while, someone made the decision that the shirt he had on was too big for him. They had me change his shirt, and basically started the shoot all over again.

This is the point my little boy became overwhelmed. He started to cry and ask to sit on my lap. Unfortunately, apparently parents are supposed to not talk during the picture taking. Every word of comfort and encouragement I gave him, was greeted with evil looks and reminders that I was not helping. I was not helping!!! I am his mother and it was me that he wanted.

I did not do right by my baby. A couple of times they wanted me to comfort him and then bring him back for more pictures. At one point they asked me to step out of sight because they felt he would do better without me there! Obviously, he didn't do better at all.

I should have put on his coat and packed him into the car at that very moment. I so wish I had. I feel like I let him down. Nothing of that nature is worth making him feel bad. I did my best to explain to them that he needed me, and I needed to be there for him. I think it all went right past them.

Will we do this again? I don't think so. Maybe it was just the personalities involved, or the fact that it was his first time. Nevertheless, this does not seem like a good path for us. I think we will stick to taking pictures with my Cannon point and shoot.

Ear Infections

I took BG to the doctor yesterday for a routine visit. She needed the flu booster shot. Since she had an ear infection 3 weeks ago, the doctor checked her ears. She was amazed to find that she still has significant infection/pus in her ears! I couldn't believe it. She has been happy and doing very well.

It may be that BG has had fluid/infection in her ears since she arrived. Although I think she is adjusting and learning new things extremely well, I have noticed that her understanding of the English language has not been developing as quickly as I thought it would. It is very possible that she has not been hearing well at all. Poor, poor baby!

We are trying one more round of antibiotics. We go back to get things checked out next week. By the end of the December we will be taking her to get her hearing checked. We just want to make sure things continue to go well for her! Although we adore her exactly as she is now, I am looking forward to getting to know my daughter when she is feeling healthy!

Sleep Little One

In Korea, children usually sleep on the floor with their parents. The family sleeps on a mat called a "futon." Both my children slept this way with their foster families. BG's pre-flight report said that she slept with her foster mother and was a very light sleeper.

Since BG has come home, DH and I been sleeping with her on an air mattress on our floor. We did this with BB as well. After about a month, my independent little boy started to let us know that he had enough of that arrangement. We were able to lay down with him on our bed until he fell asleep. Then we transferred him into a pack-n-play, and eventually into a crib in his own room.

BG is a whole different story! She is a sweet little cuddle! She reaches out for us throughout the night, checking to make sure that we are still there. Co-sleeping is also excellent for bonding. As we go through the bonding process, BG needs to learn that we are right there ready to meet her every need. As shared with us in the report, she does wakes up VERY easily. Letting her fall asleep and then moving her is near impossible.

Since she seems to be adjusting well and we feel she is really bonding with us, we are making a move to more independence with her sleeping. I love to snuggle with her, but I am not a huge fan of air mattresses! This week we got her a "toddler" air mattress (travel bed). We think if we can get her comfortable sleeping on her own, without touching anyone, then we can eventually work on getting her used to the crib.

As I think about the "sleep issues" that both my children have from time to time, I am struck by how strange our culture is that we expect little children to sleep in their own room by themselves. I sleep so much better knowing that my husband is in my bed, close by me. We are social creatures! As we have these periods of sleep difficulties, I am going to try to keep this in mind. My children are only doing what comes naturally to them! We all like to snuggle down at night with the ones we love.