Friday, September 20, 2013

"Now she has us"

Here we are...almost two months from Gotcha Day.

Nothing major has changed since my last update...she continues to be sweet, happy, and lovable in every way.

Everyday, we become more aware of this one truth about her: she is one smart girl.

Her language is developing quickly. In addition to signs, she is now often repeating one- or two-syllable words like "baby" and "shoes."

She still likes to let out her high-pitch screams sometimes, but (in all honesty, to our delight) it happens less often now. I think she came to realize that she's the only one who squeals like that around here (she must have had some allies at the orphanage).

Another truth she has figured out is that she doesn't have to be so defensive and/or aggressive about food anymore. Before, she would chow down her food very quickly and ask for more, no matter what we fed her. Now she has figured out: these people will feed me three times a day, no matter what, and will always give me enough. Her eating pace has slowed waaaaaay down (I mean, it's almost annoyingly slow at times), unless it's something that's extra tasty for her. She has developed a new habit of storing enormous amount of food in her mouth like a chipmunk...and she'll keep chewing...and chewing...and chewing.... She seems to do this with food that's extra chewy or that's not particularly her favorite. I'm telling you, she's smart in more ways than one.

She is an expert at reading people. Instantly. I thought Peanut was always good at this. Mini-Lu is even better. As I mentioned before, she figured out that Daddy was more of the "softy" between the two parents. He's the one more likely to answer to her whines (many times he does this without realizing). Once she figured this out, there was a time period (maybe a week) where she was an absolute fuss-ball around him. For things she would never fuss with me about, she would constantly whine and throw a fit and eventually annoy him to no end. She was like a totally different child. Finally Daddy had enough of this. He reinforced stronger boundaries and answered less to her whines. Her fussy behavior immediately disappeared.
It didn't take long for her to figure Mimi out. She and her sisters were taking a bath at my parents' house. I heard my mom tell Mini-Lu a couple of times to sit down. She didn't. I poked my head in the bathroom and said, "Mini-Lu, you need to sit down." She sat down immediately.
She will instantly read whoever she's with, or whatever situation she's in, and adjust herself accordingly. It's very amazing to watch.

She continues to enjoy playing with her sisters. Sometimes she knows that she can't quite do whatever her sisters are doing. She then will either play near them by herself or find a different place in the house to play by herself. She will also do this when her sisters are watching a show. She still finds no interest in TV, except for some shows with real people (like Sesame Street). Even then, she's interested for five minutes at the most.

The friendship between LittleBit and her continues to grow. They even started giggling together about who-knows-what when we close their bedroom door at night for bed. Mini-Lu adores Peanut. Peanut continues to be a great big sister, but I can tell that she's sometimes annoyed by having a shadow EVERYwhere goes...Mini-Lu never letting Peanut out of sight. Peanut was trying to read a book today...and she finally came to me and said, "I can't find any place in the house where Mini-Lu won't follow me!" I felt bad for her, but at the same time, I found it so cute.

The bond between Mini-Lu and me are growing too. She's so friendly and affectionate to everyone, it's really impossible to not be enamored by her. It's easy to make her smile and laugh. She loves to wave at everyone. She seems to particularly be fascinated by tiny babies. She trusts any adult instantly. She loves being at church nursery.

The only time I see any kind of stubbornness come out in her is when she's fighting over a toy with another child. She's never aggressive or mean towards them, but she will NOT let go of the toy. No, sir, she won't. She has this determined look in her eyes, as if to say, "If this is a contest of who can hold onto it the longest, you better quit now, because I ain't losing."

Finally I want to share about a sweet moment I shared with Peanut the other night. She was telling me about how much Mini-Lu loves her. I told her that she makes Mini-Lu very happy and makes her laugh. I then asked her, "Do you remember how in China, she didn't have a Daddy and a Mommy?" She nodded with a big smile and said, "Yup. And now she has us."

Now she has us. And now we have her.

God is Gracious,

At Daddy's favorite restaurant

First time at Nocatee Splash Park!

At PapaG and Mimi's

First time at Discovery House

She LOVES sunglasses!

Cold but good!

Eating snacks at Peanut's school

Making friends at MOPS playdate

Eating lunch with sisters

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