Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Progress and Challenges

The title of this blog post explains exactly where we are right now with Vivian.  She is making so much progress in so many ways, but that progress is bringing with it a whole new set of challenges.  Lets start with the challenges, and then I will report the progress.

The biggest challenge we are having right now with Vivian is communication.  For the first few weeks it did not seem to matter much to her that she could not communicate with us.  I think she was just too overwhelmed to care. Now that she is more comfortable with us, she is ready for us to understand more of what she wants and needs, yet she doesn't have the words to tell us.  This really frustrates her at times.  She has taken to what Rob has coined "the Chewbacca".  She whines for things in a loud "aahhh" until we figure out what she wants.  Lets just say this is not our favorite new trick of hers.  She continues to be very attached to me.  While this is a positive thing for our relationship, it is not a positive thing for helping me be productive!  If I am not holding her she is standing in between my legs WANTING me to hold her and giving me the "chewbacca".  Here is what happened the other night when I tried to put her down to cook dinner:

We are also still having some food issues.  Girlfriend just does NOT stop eating.  She continues to eat pretty much anything we give her (except fruit which you would think she would love).  If she sees that someone has something on their plate that she doesn't have, she gets upset and wants to have some of it.  She has a heartbreaking habit of crying when we take her food away.  We KNOW she is getting more than enough to eat, but it is still hard to to watch her cry when we take her plate away.  Even if it is empty, she does not want to let go of it.  Hopefully over time she will trust that we will always give her as much as she wants to eat.

Now, on the positive side, she continues to make progress EVERY DAY.  She is more and more comfortable in our house, and will roam around for a few minutes without me.  She is definitely feeling at home with her siblings, and doesn't hesitate to boss them around.  Yesterday she made both her brothers get in her pack and play with her to read books

She is doing better when we go out and about, also.  We went to a park the other day and she ran around and played!!  This is such progress.  The first few times we went to a park she just sat on my lap, to afraid to play and too unsteady and weak to climb the equipment.  It was so encouraging to see how much her strength has improved already

not so sure at first
she went in

doing the stairs by herself!

it takes a lot of concentration

always someone willing to help

oh, that face

Luckily, the big kids don't mind that we are spending so much time at "little kid" parks

We are also seeing a lot of progress in the relationship between Vivian and Kate.  Kate has been SOOO patient with Vivian.  All of the kids have.  Major breakthrough the other morning .. Vivian wanted Kate's seat pulled right next to hers so they were touching during breakfast.  This is a big deal for a girl who can be grouchy slow to warm up in the morning

eating eggs together

Another big event this week:  Vivian got in the bath!!  As long as Kate is in with her, she is happy.  This is making bath time much more fun (and efficient)

The girls are getting in a routine of taking a bath and then having some special play time together.  It is so sweet.

I think anyone who knows me knows how happy it makes me to see the beginnings of this sister relationship.

Whew!  That was a lot of pictures!  I have to try and start blogging more often (yeah right) because Vivian is doing new things every day!

Last thing I wanted to include was this video of the kids working with Vivian to get her to say "mama".  She is certainly not lacking for any attention right now.  I hope she feels as loved as she is.

the long road


  1. Oh my, there is so much love in your family. Sounds like Vivi is doing great. Eating issues seem to work themselves out after a few months. Have you thought about teaching her a few "signs" until she picks up more English? Love the MAMA video, so cute!

  2. I feel your pain. My daughter was so how you described. She ate enough food as a grown adult. She also hoarded and hid food. The doctor promised she would self regulate and she did. She was also attached to me at the hip. To be honest that problem lasted a long time. It took her almost 2 years before she would go upstairs without me. And that was only if I talked loudly to her the whole time. We still have some separation issues but we have learned some tricks around some of it. But it did make for some very difficult times. Luckily my husband was a great daddy and he separated better from him so he had to take on lots of rolls like getting to bed, getting to school, etc. Not easy road but one that has truely blessed us.

  3. Oh my gosh, that video at the end was SOOOO precious!! Made me laugh :)It is visible how loved she is and I am sure she feels that!

  4. Love all the pictures! We've been home 15 months and Brielle still does that sometimes at dinner time...hanging out at my feet wanting to be picked up. :) If I sit her on the counter where she can watch, it really helps. The video of them all crowded around her and cheering her amazing, the cheerleaders she has in her life now.

  5. Oh that last video made me cry happy tears!!! So sweet and such crazy love.

  6. I have a tip i recall a friend used................using the baby carrier on her in the house to do household stuff. Our little love was nicknamed munchie as that is all she did when she 1st came home. I have to say it lasted alomost 1 yr but she did eventually adjust.

  7. Have you considered wearing her? A front pack facing you gives her lots of face time with you & keeps your hands free :) And my vote for more words is always Sesame Street. She is darling!

  8. So precious the bonds forming between your beautiful children! These photos are such gems that will be treasured.

  9. It's been a while since I've checked in ... LOVE seeing all of those smiling faces! The bath time pictures are my favorite.