Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Finally...A Blog Post

So all the best intentions in the world don't equate to a blog post.  I keep thinking of things I should write down to remember for the years to come, but it just seems that laundry, cleaning, cooking, writing lesson plans, spending time with Brian and Lydia, etc. seem to get in the way of my blogging plans. 
Lydia is in bed sleeping right now, Brian is at work, the laundry is almost caught up, the house is somewhat clean, supper is in the crockpot and my lesson plans are all ready for tomorrow.  No excuses...time for a post.
I can't believe that it's been over 5 months since we first met and held Lydia.  She has come so far.  Her language development is way beyond what I had imagined it would be.  There's still a lot of times that she has to repeat herself, but luckily she's very stubborn about being understood.  She will repeat something over and over until I finally get it.  Unfortunately there are many word that sound alike when she says them - Patti or potty, Eva or zebra, YaoYao or yellow - you get the idea.  I play the guessing game and try to figure out the context.  : )  She has lost all her Chinese.  One of my former students who is taking Chinese, came to talk to her a few weeks ago.  He said hello in Chinese and she just looked at him like he was crazy.  Her last Chinese word to go is "bobo", which means "pick me up".  Other than that, she's an all English-speaking girl. 
Life has changed so much and yet it's still the same.  I'm still me and Brian is still Brian, but now we have this wonderful extension of our family in Lydia.  We still enjoy all the things we used to, but now with one more person to enjoy them with.
Lydia loves life and is outgoing and talkative, when she wants to be. : )  She loves nature and being outside.  She could live outside and loves walking, going on hikes and especially "sleepy - outside - tent".  She even convinced Brian to brave the allergy season for one last camping trip a few weeks ago.  Reading books has become a new favorite activity.  She even wants to read them herself.  Sometimes she will give each of us a book and then want us to read it while she reads her own book.  She understands the concept of words and is beginning to recognize some of the letters.  She has the LeapFrog fridge phonics letters and the other day she pointed out "X" and told me the name.  She also likes to do the letters and sounds like the kindergarteners do.  She does pretty well with the vowels.  The funniest one is when she does the letter "U".  The word to go with short u is umbrella, but she can't pronounce it right so it goes something like, "u, u, gabrella".  Not exactly right, but the right idea!
We started school a few weeks ago.  I have switched from my beloved 4th grade to teaching kindergarten part-time and gifted and talented.  It's three days a week and I love the schedule.  I must admit though, getting used to kindergarteners has been quite the challenge!  Multi-step directions, using the bathroom only at recess and being responsible to get things done alone is a thing of the past.  It's been really good for me.  I think all teachers should make an effort to move around in the grade levels.  It keeps me on my toes and makes me think.  I could do 4th grade on autopilot, but kindergarten is really stretching me to develop and learn more and more. 
I'm at school three days a week, so Lydia goes with me those days.  She LOVES it.  I was a little nervous about how she was going to respond.  The first day she was a little clingy when I dropped her off, but on the second day she said to me, "By self, Mama" and walked right over to her room.  She has some great teachers who love her and are helping her learn all sorts of new things.  The other kids are great for her too.  She is motivated to try new things while watching others.  Her new found favorite activity is puzzles.  She will put together puzzles up to 100 pieces with guidance.  Her coloring is getting better and the other day, she even wrote "L" for Lydia.  I know that for a three year old, this may not be amazing, but to see her go from not even feeding herself to beginning writing and coloring and other small motor skills, it is amazing to me.  She has truly come a long way in five months. 
We have had the most difficulty with sleeping, but she is getting into the swing of things now.  After visiting Cousin Violet in Iowa, Lydia could not be outdone.  "Nigh-night by self" has been happening for the last few weeks now (for the most part).  Now if she will only learn to stay "nigh-night by self". : )  Oh, well, like Brian says, "It's only been five months.  Give her some time." 
Becoming a parent has been overwhelming, all consuming and wonderful all at the same time.  It is so humbling to realize that God has entrusted us with this wonderful, little life.  I sometimes just lay in bed thinking about how amazing it is that we are now a three-part family.  I have a lot to learn about parenting, but our little "YaoYao" is such a joy to have in our lives.
Here are some pictures I hope you enjoy!!!

Mama and YaoYao on the first day of school.
Lydia and Mrs. Biver on the first day of school.

Sporting our sunglasses!

YaoYao and Baba on a hike

Our family