Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 4 of Nap Protest

So since the day we got home Zoya has been an excellent sleeper...she is still doing very well during the night (knock on wood??).  Naptime, however, is another story.  She was taking 2 hour and a half naps the first week we were home, and then she started phasing out of her morning nap.  So we decided to do one long afternoon nap and she was sleeping for 2 and a half to 3 hours.  Well for the past four days she has been really hard to get to sleep, even when I rock her.  She was such a sound sleeper in Ukraine...if you remember, there was NOTHING we could do to get her to wake up!  We know she took a 2 hour afternoon nap in Urkaine as well.  So once I do get her to sleep, she often wakes up when her head touches the mattress, I've tried everything.  It's almost like she is afraid she is going to miss something.  She will let me rock her back to sleep but then wakes every time I try to put her in her crib.  I have to wait 30 minutes and then sometimes she stays asleep and I can put her in her crib.  The past few days she has only slept 30 minutes to an hour or so and then she is exhausted by nighttime and a very crabby pants!  This makes for an exhausted Moma, especially when Shawn has been working long days this week. How do you crazy people with multiple children do this? Haha.

Overall, I have to remember that she is adjusting very well given her circumstances and most of the problems we are seeing are to be expected and will need some tender loving care to change.  My goal is to keep this blog honest account of our journey to and through adoption of a child from an orphange.  I am struggling a bit with how to deal with some of the behaviors.  Zoya most definitely knows right from wrong, she knows the rules.  However, she still very often does the wrong thing before doing the right thing.  For example, she will pull Mya's hair and then I will tell her nice hands or "no, pet Mya nicely" and she will then do it nicely.  Sounds like she needs the reminder right? I don't think so, only because sometimes I will say nothing at all and I will just give her "the look" and she will do the right behavior.  Every time she chooses the "wrong behavior" she looks at me waiting for the correction, almost to check and see if the rule is still the same, or to gain some attention (although negative) from doing the wrong thing.  She prefers the positive attention though so I'm not quite sure why she does this.  The hard part for me is trying to figure out what behaviors are orphanage related, what behaviors are just "almost 2-year-old kid behavior," and what behaviors she has control over.  She does do things simply to be defiant at times.  I have to remember that she has learned to be very manipulative because that is what helped her to survive life in an orphanage...she learned, very early on, how to get what she wanted and/or needed.  Either way, the part I'm struggling with is balancing my instincts as a parent with remembering her orphanage life.  It seems like I know how to react, how to discipline, what to do for each scenario that arises, but I always second guess myself when I think about the orphanage and if maybe she is scared and thats why she is behaving that way, or maybe she is still grieving the loss of the only life she's ever known, or maybe she is just testing the waters (over and over and over again).  I just. don't. know.  I know a lot of things she does are typical kid behaviors, and I keep telling myself I have to let go of her past to some extent.  I can't keep feeling bad for where she came from and feeling bad for her first 2 years of life to the point that I spoil her.  That has been my biggest struggle...finding a balance....

Anyway...onto the good things....Zoya continues to do well and progress.  We are realizing her strengths and needs and getting to know her better and better each day.  Zoya is very very very socialable! She loves people and waves to just about everyone now as she realizes this gets her smiles! She has incredibly sensitive hearing and will stop whatever she is doing when she hears any sound....even the faintest sound miles away that only a dog could hear! She picks up on sign language easily, and usually gives each sign her own little twist, signing in a way that is easier for her.  Her two new signs are "dance" when she wants us to turn on the radio and dance with her (she will sign it and bob her head at the same time...too cute) and today she learned "sorry" (after she pulled her friend's hair for the third time).  She is very loving and can sense when someone is sad (or frustrated as was my case today on day 4 of nap protest).  She wants to please us and does try hard to show us that she knows what behaviors are acceptable.  She is a good eater and not too picky.  She loves laughing and snuggling and being silly.  She is getting so much stronger each day and improving her cruising and crawling skills.  She loves music, dancing, and singing.  She loves being outside, she loves trees and flowers and nature.  I have never known such a young child to seriously love nature as much as she does.  She gets so excited when we walk outside or up to a window to look outside.  She really enjoys just watching the wind blow through the trees.  And I'm glad she does because I can't tell you the last time (before having Zoya) that I watched the wind blow through the trees.  She takes the time to enjoy the simplist, but most beautiful things in life.  She gets life.  She loves life.  She will forever have this happy outlook on life and I am so glad that we have been given the opportunity to see life through her beautiful soul every day. 

Pictures to come in the next couple of days...promise...but I'm too tired right now to transfer them from the camera.   :)


  1. Sara, I am so glad to hear things are going so well. Just remember that children will test, sometimes just to reconfirm that you care enough to follow through. Most of what you discribe sounds like most children her age. Zoya is just being a kido : ) Most children change sleep parterns many many times, give it sometime. I love seeing how much love this little girl has for her new Mommy and Daddy and how much she has changed with your love for her.

    It is amazing how God has been in control of your journey and has been walking with you with each and every step.

    Hugs : )


    I love reading how you are settling into your new world what a blessing!

  2. Ahhhhh - naps! They're lovely when they happen, aren't they? I have no advice - we've been out of the nap stage for a while, but I remember how messed up H, T, & L's moods would be after they'd abstained from resting! (and we were the worst about getting our kids to fall asleep in their cribs/toddler beds -- I used to lay on the floor in #1's room, patting his back, until he fell asleep every night. Not a good routine to establish!) :)

    It's interesting to read about the challenge in determining if decisions/actions are due to personality, age, or past.

    You're definitely making me think -and that's always a good thing!


  3. Sarah, sleepy Sarah...she sounds normal to go through different phases, especially with sleep and naps and not wanting to go to sleep. Hang in there, and remember I am right next door if you need some relief. Love, Liz

  4. Oh, and isn't it great how kids do teach us how to really enjoy every part of life again, like the wind...

  5. It sounds like Zoya is acting like every other 2 year old in the world LOL! When my daughter was 2 I must have told her not to pull the kittys hair about a million times. Babies her age have super short term memory and are really impulsive. I think she honestly forgets that pulling the dogs hair is a no no. a few more weeks of patience and positive re enforcement should do the trick.

  6. Hi Sarah!
    My two older boys gave up naps at 18 months...some kids just stop at that age. Sounds crazy but BOTH of them did far at 2 years old Joaquin still takes a nap but NOT on any schedule unfortunately and it's unpredictable how long it will be so we just go with the flow. HOWEVER, because my boys gave up naps so quickly, they all have a VERY early bedtime....6:30pm and they sleep through the night so it's an exhausting day but then there is a sweet reward at the end for us. Just thought it might help you to know!
    Regarding Zoya's behavior with Mya and other things she "knows" are not right to do....Joaquin can be naughty like that too. Like you said, some of it is 2 year old behavior and some of it is actually I think the "DS" in them...Joaquin knows he can charm the pants off people and he loves to test the waters with his bad behavior to see how much he can get away with. I have found the best approach for him is to let him know with a simple word or a "look" that the behavior is unacceptable and then I immediately redirect him to something that is appropriate. So I ultimately ignore the bad stuff and praise like heck the good stuff and remove him from any situation that is "bad behavior" producing so that it's reinforced. I don't think any of that would be inappropriate to use on Zoya even coming from an orphanage setting. I know that people have told me to be FIRM with children with DS because they are REALLY smart and will learn how to get away with stuff unless you put your foot down so he is disciplined exactly how my other boys are (even when he flashes his amazingly cute grins as I'm being firm with him!!!)
    Hope this helps and you are doing AWESOME!!! I LOVE how she loves nature. She's so incredible!

  7. My daughter quit naps at 13 months. If she ever did fall asleep during the day, she was awake until 1am; some trade-off! Sounds like you need to remember Zoya's new mantra "There is no such thing as bad attention". She is doing what kids do- exactly what you don't think they will. It sounds like she is less demanding on you and Shawn to physically carry her everywhere, look at that as a milestone? Other than that, I got nuthin! :-)
    Take care, can't wait for sailing to meet the lovely Miss Zoya.

    Sue Moczulski

  8. Orphanage behaviors (the hair pulling and attention seeking behaviors)? Maybe. Typical two-year-old behavior? Definitely! Beyond that, the things you mention here--even though some of the things may be tough for mom and dad at times--they are GREAT signs. Zoya is a sharp cookie! She is a great kid. Be aware of her past, but don't let it dictate your life. You are great parents, and you are doing an awesome job with her :)!!

  9. It is so good to hear she is doing so well. It is amazing what we see when we look through our childrens eyes. I pray God blesses you and Zoya more each day.