Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sofia Joy and the Watermelon and an update on the Wild Child!

How many pictures can one mama take of her kid eating watermelon? Apparently A LOT! But she's so cute! This was her first successful (non choking) time eating watermelon independently! Woot! That's an area we've worked really hard on and we're finally at a much better place! 

It's hard to believe this girl will be THREE in September! If she is anything like my other two girls, 2 years old was a walk in the park compared to 3 years old. If that's the case, please pray for us! This girl keeps us on our toes! 

I wish I could tell you what happened to her nose, but I really have no idea. She's going to be the kindergartener in stitches on picture day, I can picture it now!

She has a mind of her own, and that's an understatement! I never knew such a little person could challenge me so much, nor did I know I could ever love such a crazy little person the way I love her! I'm learning from this girl....I'm learning a lot!

Her wild emotions means she feels deeper than most....a gift, I think. 

She has a spirit that is unbreakable, even after a 30 minute tantrum she has a way of putting a smile on her face and starting over from that moment on. I'm still working on my ability to do the same (the smile part, not the tantrum, because I've got that part down)! 

Sofia is slow to warm up in new situations and she makes others earn her trust and work for her attention, but when you get a glimpse of the buried treasure inside her heart, you know you've hit the jackpot! She's still slowly crawling out of her shell.

She is opinionated....very very opinionated, about everything. Lucky for me, she is of the opinion that she has the best Mama in the world-so good in fact that she can't stand for me to be out of her sight for more than 2.5 seconds....and she lets the world know when her Mama has left the room, oh yes she does! 

She is so confident and so uncertain all at once.

But when she's confident, and with Mama or Dada by her side, and when she's good and ready, she dives in head first, full of joy!

That mischievous spark has not left her eyes! 

Neither has her stubborn streak determination.

Sofia and I could not be more different from one another and yet the Lord knew somehow we couldn't live without each other! 

Sofia's separation anxiety has gotten a bit more intense since we moved and she's still trying to figure this whole thing out! She loves her new house and the huge yard full of hills! With her sensory processing disorder, she needs lots of proprioceptive input and she's getting better about finding appropriate opportunities to meet those needs. She was pushing this very heavy car through the grass tonight after dinner! 

Just don't, for the love of all that is good in this world, don't ask her to touch shaving cream, or really even LOOK at it! 

"I will not look. I will not look. I will not look (at the teeny tiny miniscule amount of shaving cream on my tray)!"
Promise, I'm not being a mean Mama. Kids with SPD need opportunities to train their brains to process sensory input in a regulated way. Sofia is extremely tactile defensive, but little by little we make progress! Why is this important? It's important so she learns to interact with her world on a daily basis without breaking down due to sensory avoidance. Think foam soap in restrooms, think eating a messy sandwich or meal, think washing your hair, etc. There are so many daily activities that require us to interact with our environments through our tactile senses. And that is my PSA on SPD for today :) My goals with new sensory activities start very small for her. Just watching her sisters play with shaving cream was very distressing for Sofia. So that was the goal today. She smelled the shaving cream and also allowed me to help her touch a very small amount, hand over hand, for 10 seconds. 

She's really starting to babble a lot more and attempt words. She is a follower-only of other children, though, not adults ;) She will do anything her sisters do, so often if I want her to do something I use them as peer models and she will try new activities that way too! So she tries to say all the words her sisters say and lately she has started talking a lot more to us. She has a conversational tone and she clearly knows what she is saying but we haven't a clue. She just laughs and laughs! She has really been loving learning her letters lately and reading "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom." She is such a smart cookie!! 

Her curls have returned for summer! 

We've decided not to rush into preschool with this little lady, so once she turns 3 in September we'll lose our in home therapies and probably continue with some low key outpatient speech therapy and I'll work with her a lot at home where she's most comfortable. She needs a year to just be the baby and continue building trust outside of her family at her own pace. 
We love our crazy beautiful Sofia girl, or Sofi-J as we like to call her! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Beautiful {Little} People

"The most beautiful people we have known....

are those who have known defeat....

 known struggle....

known loss....

and have found their way out of the depths.

These people have an appreciation....

a sensitivity.....

and an understanding of life....

that fills them with compassion, 


and a deep loving concern. 

Beautiful people do not just happen." ~Elisabeth Cubler-Ross

Thursday, July 10, 2014

We're Home!

The big move is over! It was a bit rough to say the least. We are digging out from all the boxes and trying to get settled! Once we get our Internet up and running I will will be back to post more about it! We are enjoying our beautiful backyard view and the peace and quiet out here in the country ;)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fourth of July: Out with a Bang!

We have a Fourth of July tradition: hiking at our favorite spot and having lunch and playing by the creek. 

This year Gramma Liz came with us! 

Sofi-J. (that's my favorite nickname for her) got a free ride with Mama on the way to the creek! 

 Shawn was in charge of "the beast" (the name for our stroller-not a child!)

I love, love, love this beautiful place! 

I know this picture is blurry but it's probably because Gramma Liz was trying to keep up with me! Shawn got ahead of us and, ahem, lost us....and I was stuck carrying Sofia on my back and Zoya on my front! I may have muttered something to Zoya about wanting to kill her father! This just adds to our tradition, as it's the 2nd year in a row we have a memorable story that made the trip very interesting....last year was THE YEAR OF THE MUD PIT!  And well, THIS YEAR, everything turned out perfectly, but then again we only had one child and many more brain cells that hadn't yet been killed by the joys of parenting :) (look how tiny Zoya was!)

We finally made it to the spot for some lunch and splashing! 

Sofia wasn't too sure this year about getting her feet wet! 

Zoya has always loved throwing rocks into the water! She needs some work on her aim, so it's a miracle nobody got injured! None the less, watching her interact with nature is always such a reminder of how far she's come from the 4 white walls of that darned orphanage! 

Sofia being very cautious, for once in her life! 

Mila, the thinker! 

I think Mila was signing and saying "veggie straws" (she says "ju-ju-jus)...if you look close there is a pretzel near her foot, how dare we give her a pretzel and not a veggie straw....such a princess! 

I love seeing how calm Zoya is when we come to this place! 


Mila decided to take a snooze on Mama on the free ride out of the woods! 
I tell ya, there is absolutely nothing sweeter in this world than holding your sleeping child watching her sleep! 

Okay, take one last look at this precious, unscathed face of Sofia's!....... 

Because Little Sister decided to end the day with a bang....or more like a boom...
Sofia-0, Pavement-1

We went out for dinner at an outdoor diner and Sofia was sitting at the picnic table with the rest of us, she turned to look at something and lost her balance and fell face first into the concrete below the table :( She did not break her fall at all with her arms/hands, just face first into the ground. I get nauseous thinking about it. Poor baby! It was totally out of character for her because she's so strong and stable and we usually don't have to worry much about her gross motor skills! I saw it happening but couldn't grab her fast enough. I felt so bad. Sofia is a very tough cookie with an extremely high pain tolerance and when she was crying she just kept saying, "ooohhhhh, owwwww, ohhhhhh" in the most pitiful way ever :(....broke my heart. I was all *$*!@#, we need to get to the ER! stat! she broke her face" and she was all "hey I'm ready for more french fries now." Oh that girl! Funny how the Lord gave us "our little boy" after all ;) Seriously, I'm still having PTSD from this incident, and 3 minutes later Sofia had forgotten all about it!!!!! 

Happy Fourth of July! We are so thankful for our freedom and do NOT take for granted what that means for us, and for our girls!!! 

This time in 48 hours we'll be in our new home buried in boxes trying to find our way out! See you on the other side of those boxes!