Sunday, December 15, 2013

36 years 3 months 25 days

August 1977, Sandy Macri and her 2 and a half year old son Chris in Florida.

November 2013, Ann Macri and her 2 and a half year old daughter Avi in California. 

These two photos were taken a mere 13,266 days apart. My how time flies. I think both moms are thinking the same thing. I remember how much easier traveling was when it was just my husband and I. What will we do to keep this little person entertained and still make it back in time for nap? Will they remember this?

To be honest, I mostly don't. I have only little glimpses really. The familiar look of seaweed on the beach, the sound of the water, the feel of the wet sand.  These are more flashbulb images than anything else. I'm not even sure these images are from that time or just an amalgamation of memories over the years. I wonder what Avi will retain, if anything, from this portion of her life. The reality is she'll remember very little which is why we're trying so hard to document everything.

Times are good now. But I'll let you in on a secret. This blog is a highlight reel. I realize that when I look through it. Times are good, but there are things we miss. I feel tired a lot of the time. Between work and taking care of Avi, Ann and I have a lot less down time time together. We still have fun and we smile and laugh a lot. But, we're tired. Papa Gene and Aunt Pam have been a blessing when the take Avi for a few hours on occasional weekends. Sometimes Ann and I don't even do anything, or we end up at Target just wandering around. We miss these simple things. Avi is a wonderful addition to our life, but parenthood is exhausting. It gives me a real appreciation for the hard work my parents put in over the years.

It has definitely gotten a lot easier than it was originally. Avi is communicating more each week. That's made a big difference. Instead of getting mad and screaming, Ann has gotten her to say "help please". That's a fantastic change over where we were 4 months ago. She's asking for apples, milk, water, cookies, and a myriad of other things. It's so nice to be able to have back and forth communication to figure out what she wants.

She's still not sleeping great though. We're each getting up once or twice a night to go tuck her back in. People I've talked with have said it's a good year or two before she'll sleep through the night. That's seems like it's the path we're headed down.

When I look at the videos we took when we first met compared to the kiddo who's with us now, it doesn't even seem like the same child. The out of control kid who was tearing up books and hitting foster mom now eats what we eat for dinner and says please and thank you with ease. Instead of pulling away from me when I go to hold her hand, she climbs on top of me at story time and wants hugs and kisses.

I guess, when I write it all out like that, we really do have it pretty good. I still read posts on the internet adoption groups. Kids having "traumaverseries" on the anniversary of their adoption, or acute episodes of screaming attacks brought on by any adoption related issue. Grated, I have my opinion that some of these issues are parent induced, we have none of that. In fact, we've got a fantastically well adjusted, yet frustratingly typical two year old. After all she's been through this year, we're thankful for that. She's a bouncy, fun, sweet little person who just happens to be two.

So yes, the pictures to follow are selected from the best of times. But I have to say, tired days and all, we're still having a great time.

Avi's second airplane flight was WAY better than her first.
We took a trip to California for Thanksgiving. It was a mixed bag. She traveled so much better than the trip home from Seoul. But after a few days, she was done. By day three she was over it. We had wanted to take a trip with family early next year, but after seeing how this trip went, we're thinking we'll wait about 6 months before we try it again. 

We decorated the Christmas tree with Avi's new word. Avi and I went to the park and collected pine cones. She's an expert at identifying these little guys now and thrilled when she gets to point one out. She's also pretty excited to point them out on the tree. 

We also decorated the tree in Avi's room. She's pretty impressed with it. 

Avi's first haircut. She did pretty well.
1st day of vacation

Can you tell the difference on the last day?

Met Santa. Meh...

Avi's favorite little friend, "doggie".