Sink or Swim

Friday, March 23, 2007

All About E

Almost a month ago, E officially became our daughter. It seems like she's been in our lives longer than that, although so much of her is still a mystery. She really is amazing, and while I will never forget the pain and emotional baggage of the long wait, it has faded to a very distant memory. Here's a little more about our girl: THE GOOD
  • She smiles easily and often, and giggles are rarely hard to come by.
  • When I approach her to pick her up and hug her, she will bounce up and down, grin from ear to ear, and quiver with anticipation (that's what she's doing in the photo here).
  • She learns quickly, mimicking us in so many things and creating new little games all the time.
  • She wants to walk with us ALL. THE. TIME. This is the "I hold on to your index fingers while I walk in front of you" style of walking. All over the house. Hour after hour.
  • If we take her to a coffee shop or an outside cafe', she will generally be pleasant enough long enough for us to enjoy a latte' or a meal. Priceless.
  • She is becoming more social and friendly with neighbors and friends, while still always preferring us and coming back to us quickly and happily.
  • She ADORES her Nana, and our weekend visit with her went better than I could have expected (To say that Nana was excited about having her first grandchild is the biggest understatement in history -- she had built the visit up so much, I was afraid there would be a huge letdown, but she and E got along famously, and Nana was not too intense at all. Whew!).
THE BAD
  • E hasn't napped for more than 45-50 minutes for the past several days, generally because the naps are interrupted by what we presume are nightmares. We hear her on the monitor, and when we go in the room, she is just quietly sobbing, often still asleep. And one awake, she will NOT go back to sleep, we think because she obviously doesn't want the nightmare to come back. It breaks my heart.
  • Last night E had a nightmare overnight for the first time, and she ended up spending a good portion of the night in our bed. I hurt for her so much, but having her next to us was bliss. She is a restless sleeper, and kept alternating between cuddling up to me, and to R. But so sweet to watch your baby sleeping.
  • We are struggling with eating. She takes a bottle easily, but at 14 months, she will not open her mouth for a spoon. She actually doesn't put anything in her mouth - no fingers, toys, nothing. She simply isn't getting enough calories for all her activity, so sleeping through the night without needing a bottle is rare. UPDATE: Since I started this post a couple of days ago, this is getting better. She still doesn't open wide, but she will take little bites of very runny food like yogurt...
  • She hits. Oy, does she hit. She loves to bang and make noise, and all her favorite toys are loud. This seems to translate to wanting to pound on everything. So, if she's really happy or really tired/frustrated, she whaps us too (and others, including babies, it's not cute). I know this is not uncommon for her age, but it is a constant battle to tell her "no hit" and "be gentle."
  • She fights sleep with all her might. I'm relatively sure this is a combination of her age (too many fun things to do to go to sleep) and also due to the nightmares/grieving. She is very naughty when we're trying to put her down to sleep. She will whap on us, throw books, and even beat on herself a little to try to stay awake. Luckily, if she is truly tired or not mid-nightmare, she gives up the ghost relatively easily and does succumb to sleep. And once she's happily asleep, she sleeps pretty well (notwithstanding the nightmare issues of the past few days -- after all, she slept for 45 minutes on a hard plastic chair in church yesterday, oblivious to clapping, loud music and much standing and sitting).
I know parenting has plenty of good and bad, so I'm not evaluating our experience based on these lists, just commenting on what's going on. As much as I hate the struggle to get her to bed, I'm also excited when she wakes up in the morning. Excited to see what she's going to learn, and what she's going to teach us. She is helping me be more patient, which has been a constant struggle for me in general. And she's helping me appreciate my husband, and how a partnership is one of the most valuable things around. OK, time to go spend some quality adult time with said husband. Thanks for listening, and I'll leave you with some fabulous cuteness...

2 Comments:

Blogger Corinne said...

So glad to see this update! She is looking terrific! Both of those pictures are supercute. And though I'm not glad she is having sleep woes, I'm glad we're not the only ones who are.

3/27/2007 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger nikki said...

She is adorable, and the good list always seems to outweigh the bad list thankfully!

Best of luck with you on the sleep stuff (we are still struggling with that over here and our girl is almost 3 - UGH!)

3/27/2007 07:31:00 PM  

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