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...an 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. :)