It is hard to believe, but we have been home an entire month. In some ways, it seems like Samantha has forever been ours, and I suppose she has, in our hearts. She is a dream come true. Honestly, I can't express the ease with which she has transitioned into our family. I keep waiting for that moment when I think "Uh Oh, the honeymoon is over" but she is just a laid back, happy kid. Our household is chaos, but fun, loud chaos. I didn't really think I ran a tight ship before Samantha came home - I always felt like I was nagging the boys to pick up clothes or toys, etc. But now, our house is often a wreck. Interestingly, it doesn't stress me out as much as I would expect. (well, maybe it does...) I am finding that I am more relaxed as a parent with Samantha than I was with the boys. I admit now that I was a control freak with them. Now, Samantha sets the pace - we take slow walks through the neighborhood and look at rocks and grass and whatever else we come across. She also has to stop and wave at everyone she sees. I find this funny, as they inevitably talk to her, and she can't respond. She just stares at them quite seriously and waves. Depending on who it is, I sometimes explain she doesn't know English. Occasionally I just let folks wonder if she is mute. :)
We are only facing a few minor issues. She arrived home with a double ear infection that was not cured with oral antibiotics. She had to get the shots after she perforated an ear drum. Apparently she has a lot of scar tissue in there - likely due to chronic ear infections. She also has ring worm. But, the kid didn't complain about either. I wouldn't have known about the ear drum if I hadn't noticed the ooze coming out of her hear! She was sitting in my lap perfectly content eating a banana. And that brings me to our next "issue". FOOD. The kid loves to eat... and eat... and eat. We are using some baby sign language, and she has made up her own for eat. She signs it often. It is impressive what she can pack away in a single meal. I try to offer only healthy foods, so that I can give her a satisfying quantity. Then we try to distract her away from the kitchen in between meals. We went to a play date with 7 Ethiopian toddlers. I thought at snack time a melee would ensue. It was somewhat comforting to realize the others had the same problem, though.
The boys have adjusted well. Colby needs some extra attention and cuddles, but seems to be turning the corner. The first week home he was verbally awful to his brother, but now they just seem to fight as they always have! Harold, the puppy, drives Samantha nuts because he often walks by her and gives her a big lick. He is great at under the high chair clean up though! He is just a big, goofy 6 month old puppy who is forever chewing on something he isn't supposed to. If he isn't digesting a lego, he has a toilet brush in his mouth. Betty, our 2 year old mutt, on the other hand is not handling Samantha's arrival very well. In fact, she is going on doggie prozac today. Now, she was already neurotic and couldn't handle being around men. She was nervous all the time except around me and the kids. Lately, she is just so anxious - she tore through the screen to the porch TWICE. (the second time an hour after we had it fixed!) So... drugs it is.
Other than that, life is just plugging along. We all went to the beach for Easter weekend. The boys seem to love the beach in theory, but really don't much like sand. I think if they had friends to play with, they would be happier. Samantha, on the other hand, LOVED it. She was rockin' the bikini and sunglasses. She was covered in sand - head to toe - and was happy as could be. She stopped to visit with all the people sitting near us. She was just too cute.
So... I will post some pictures soon. Today is my first day back at work (I returned part time for a while) so I really need to get busy!