Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How are we doing? ( Home 5 weeks)

Butterfly House at State Fair
Gracie's First Time to Somerset
Gracie with her big brother the "pro".

The three peas in a pod.
Short Answer: FANTASTIC!!!!!

Detailed Answer: Everyone here is doing exceptionally well.
Will, is phenomenal. He is the "professional big brother". I do not think he could adore Gracie more. He loves her so much and is so sweet and patient. He plays with her, helps her, entertains her, makes her laugh, wants to carry her around, feed her. He insists that she is the smartest and cutest baby he has ever met. He regularly tells me he loves her so much. I am so impressed with him. Now, if your talking about how he treats Leo, not quite the same. With Leo, Will is either fantastic or terrible. However, I must say that fortunately, I often see them really enjoying and loving each other a lot. Yet, they annoy each other quite often as well.

Leo, is a "tweener". I have come to the realization that 3 yrs old is a "tweener" stage and having a new sister really makes that more obvious. When your 3, your not the baby anymore and not really a toddler anymore either but it still feels good to be "babied" sometimes. Yet he's not really a full-fledge preschooler yet. He's a young preschooler. Three year olds seem to be a lot like two year olds just bigger, louder and more verbal. We have had some serious tantrums, which we describe as "chimp wars" because when he's screaming it sounds like chimps fighting and sadly it's not really an exaggeration.

Leo still wants to be carried sometimes. He wants to be in my lap when I'm holding Gracie sometimes. He has probably had daily crying spells of "I want my mommy" when I am taking care of Gracie and he has to have Papa help him instead of me. He says to Papa, "I don't want you/ don't like you." Yet on the other side he is proud to be a big brother, to be getting bigger, going to preschool, having his backpack for school, starting to be able to sort of write his name. All of this, I certainly attribute more to his age than having a new sister.

He does really love Gracie, he likes to give her hugs and kisses--which she does not exactly appreciate because they are not always very "loving" or gentle. He is still trying to figure out how to interact with a baby and what it means to be a big brother. He sticks his face about 2 inches from hers and just smiles at her and says nothing. She of course responds with the, get out of my face reaction. He has figured out some games that make her laugh and really is proud when he does make her laugh. There is already some "sibling rivalry" like knocking her over and taking toys, not wanting her to touch him or be in the room with him when he is watching TV--- all of which he has learned by the fabulous example set for him by Will (and I think it's also "instinctual" to some degree).

Gracie is doing so well I feel like I need to pinch myself sometimes. She is the sweetest, easiest baby. She has adjusted very well, quickly and easily. She is well attached to me and has been enjoying everyone else in the family. She loves Papa but will not let him give her a bottle. She lets him rock her to sleep and doesn't protest when he tries to give her the bottle, she just doesn't drink it. Yet when I come in and rock her, she sucks the bottle down. Her signals are very easy to read. She really only cries when she's hungry, tired, wants a bottle or is mad because I am changing her diaper, washing her face or getting her dressed. She says "mahmah" which means food/bottle in Korean so she isn't really calling me mama yet. She has picked up the signs for "more" and "all done" very quickly. She is a very smiley, happy baby. She is very curious and likes exploring and checking out things around the house. She is definitely shy of new people and needs to be close to me (or John) when new people are around. Once she gets used to them she becomes can become very engaging, social and even teases. She sleeps great, naps great and goes to bed early (7-7:30). I can put her down awake and wave "bye" to her and she waves back and if she does "protest" it is done within about 3-5 minutes. She is an amazing and precious little girl. I have moments daily when I am so grateful and honored to be her mother. I an humbled to have the privilege of sharing this life with her.

So all in all, we couldn't be doing better.

I will put up a post for the great Tol party we had for Gracie's 1st birthday next.
Take care.