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progress report - 9 months

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We've passed the nine month mark since bringing Maddie home and I have to honestly tell you - it feels like she's always been a part of our family.
Its weird how it works.
I was telling my sister-in-law, Valerie the other day...with the three older children it took about six months to feel like they were really mine (in a nobody is going to take them away, kind of way) a year to reach a new normal...and two years to get to the point where I couldn't remember life without them.
I'm already past all of those marks with Maddie.
She is honestly and truly a ready-made fit for this family.
Anyway...you didn't come here to listen to me get all sappy.
You came for an update...so here you go!

SCHOOL TIME

Its been a month since Maddie started preschool, and while I still have some concerns about how overstimulated she gets...and her inability to calm down, I have to say it has done wonders for her speech.
This kid is talking.
And we're starting to understand her!
Just the other day she told me, 'Not right now. Wait.'

Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but I'll take it.
She was using new words!
Correctly!
She's been working a lot lately on the endings of her words. She usually sounds a lot like a toddler...dropping the end of almost every word in her vocabulary.
Truck is tru...
Dog is daaa...
Kitty is calini...I have no idea where she gets that one.
It makes understanding her incredibly difficult.
But now she's starting to add those endings.
Today at speech, truck was actually 'truck'.
And cat was caaaa-t.
Progress.
BUILDING THE BONDS
The best part is, I don't think preschool is impacting Maddie’s bonding.
She's coming along. Slowly...but surely.
Valerie told me last weekend every time she sees us, she sees progress. A huge comfort, coming from another international adoptive parent. I’m too close to Maddie to see the little steps she’s making...but Valerie says she's noticing some big changes, especially Maddie seeking me out, looking for me when she needs me.
I hadn't thought about that, but she's right. She does seek me out for comfort, for answers and just to say hi! ;>)
After that talk, I started noticing a few things too....
The other night I read through the early blogs - the ones where I talked about Maddie working to get away from us to go to other adults.
That is a thing of the past.
Maddie doesn't try to get away from us at all anymore…in fact we’ve moved “mostly’ past the stage where she runs up to other adults at all. She still isn’t afraid to talk to adults, but she isn’t seeking them out, holding up her hands to be held or sticking her nose on their nose, trying to get their attention.
She is even starting to show some signs of being hesitant around adults.
For the first time the other day someone said Hi! to her and she hid behind my leg.
I about jumped for joy! While we certainly don't want to squash her outgoing personality...we do want her to be a little more reserved, instead of just running up and hugging absolutely anyone on the street.
I think she is starting to realize these people are strangers.
And what's really big is she’s just now starting to look to us to see if it is okay to engage with someone new.
THAT is huge!
We're still having some small issues...
ROCK 'N ROLL
Maddie still rocks.
It hasn't subsided at all.
I wouldn't worry about it, except it leaves Maddie's hair a matted mess AND since she shares a room (we have a three bedroom house) Anya ends up having trouble sleeping at night because of all the noise.
So we've started a new bedtime routine.
As Maddie's getting ready for bed we put a ponytail in her hair. The thought is, if she does rock it won't leave her hair in knots AND hopefully it will keep her from rocking in the first place.
It looks like it may be working...at least a little bit. Her hair isn't as knotted in the morning. I need to talk to Anya about whether its any easier to sleep.
If that doesn't work I'm going to head to Wally World to get a tennis ball to put in the back of her sleeper. I've heard it really cuts down on the rocking.
The other thing we're doing is a lot more cuddle/rocking time.
After she's dressed for bed, teeth brushed and potty stuff is done, Maddie and I sit in her dark bedroom and rock.
And rock.
And rock.
Sometimes with music...other times without. She loves the extra cuddle time...and I'm hoping it will help replace the rocking that she seeks when she sleeps.
I'll let you know how it goes.
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Above: Maddie LOVES to pretend she's reading. She'll grab anything that looks halfway interesting, climb up on the couch and start jabbering to herself, while her finger follows the text. This morning I caught her at the breakfast table (notice the cereal bar - her reward for finishing her cereal) reading the paper! ;>) Finally, a kid after my own heart.

8 salty messages:

Diana November 14, 2008 at 3:13 PM  

Sounds like things are going well. My Matthew still rocks all the time, too...except he's either on his hands and knees, rocking back and forth and and banging his head, or bobs up and down. I haven't found anything that helps him - except picking him up and cuddling him right as he's doing it.

Bethany November 14, 2008 at 3:53 PM  

Such cute pictures! Sometimes you have to step back to see the whole picture. Looks like lovely progress!

Tina in CT November 14, 2008 at 5:54 PM  

Look at all her progress in just 9 months. I'm glad you decided to keep her in preschool as she has definitely benefitted in just the two months. She has great services and all the socialization with her classmates. Any playdates yet with classmates?

I thought about sewing a pocket for a tennis ball in my ex's tee shirts to keep him off his back because of his snoring.

Perhaps Maddie will be an early reader with her interest in books.

Trying to Stay Calm! November 14, 2008 at 7:40 PM  

I ♥ your blog! Thanks for sharing :)

Kathy and Matt November 14, 2008 at 7:51 PM  

Great to hear how much progress she's making especially regarding her speech and the bonding.

Your nighttime routine of rocking is great -- helps with the rocking problem and allows for great bonding!

Courtney November 14, 2008 at 10:45 PM  

Dima and Maddie sound like two peas in a pod. Thankfully we haven't had the rocking or the stranger-love, but the speech and "reading" are dead-on. Should I be concerned since my child doesn't have a hearing problem? ;)

Rachael November 15, 2008 at 7:32 AM  

Ah, sounds like she's doing so great! And she's such a little cutie too. Sounds like you all are doing great.

Here's my unsolicited armchair psychologist take on another reason why things clicked so quickly this time: the first time, you were a new mom; the second time you brought home two at once. This time, you were an experienced mom and there was less family dynamic shake-up.

Ashley November 17, 2008 at 4:12 PM  

This is great progress! I remember how hard it was for you when Maddie seemed to want a lot of other people. I recall you saying you were chopped liver!! Noooo!!! She loves you so much and I am so happy she is bonding so well.

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