Monday, April 7, 2014

3 weeks

Taking a break during Hope for the City.  Two of these little troopers worked very hard and helped pick up leaves and trash at a local elementary school.  The third was an excellent supervisor.  

(I attempted to get a family picture...notice the matching shirts.  Does anyone know how to make a composite photo?)

It's hard to believe we've had Liz with us for over a month now (counting time in China), and that we've only been home for 3+ weeks.  In a lot of ways, it seems like much longer.  At the same time, oops, here's another week gone with nary a blog post in sight.

This past week was an exercise in continuing to adjust my expectations.  Some adoption books present the idea of biological age vs. "family age" as a way to think about how your adopted child is adjusting and integrating into the family.  So while Liz is now 19 months, her family age is only one month.  That's helped me a lot, since it reminds me that just picking up where we left off is kind of ridiculous.

When you have a newborn, it's easier to remember that you are more tired, and maybe you shouldn't dive into a big project, and your home cleanliness/tidiness level may dip a bit, and your weekly routine will be shaken up until everyone settles in.  And then the napping schedule changes, or there's a growth spurt, or the baby starts teething/crawling/walking/eating solids...really, it takes a while before your routine is really set and predictable.  In the meantime, you are learning your baby's moods and faces and triggers and everything else that helps with non-verbal communication.

So, yeah, I had some pretty unrealistic expectations that first week on my own.  :)  Because it's harder to move through all those stages starting with a twenty-two pound 19 month old.  She's heavy to carry around!

Some things that have helped:

--I'm rebuilding/remembering my "19 month old" arsenal of activities.  :)  Liz may be happily playing in the living room, but as soon as I get up to empty the dishwasher/clear the table/make lunch, she's at my knees, begging to get up.  I had forgotten about the kitchen cabinet in the corner filled with random things for playing, and that cabinet usually buys me at least a few minutes to get something done now.

--I'm not attempting to rearrange the kids rooms by myself any more, or even contemplating big house projects.

--I'm putting things down more.  It's only been three weeks!  She's attaching/bonding so well, I forget that bonding should still be a top priority right now.  The first week didn't even really count since we were all jet lagged.

--I'm celebrating the things that make it easier with a 19 month old, like self feeding and walking and first words!  She learned to say Mama last week...and she calls everyone that.  :)

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