Friday, October 13, 2006

Happy Days

First, thank you to Dale for the lovely comment after our last post. Your timing could not have been better. At the time we read it, Jerry and I were starting to feel like the world's worst parents. When Zoe was awake, she would just cry and moan. Nothing we did seemed to help. She drank very little, refused to eat, and became steadily weaker throughout the week. We didn't go anywhere or do anything, except try to figure out what food or liquid would tempt her to eat and drink. Now that it's over, all I can say is: it was depressing. I think there are few things worse than being unable to feed, comfort, or soothe your child. Anyway, your post raised our spirits, and helped us make it through. We are lucky to have good friends!

So, we had decided to take Zoe back to the doctor on Monday, but then Sat. night she ate an M&M cookie, and things started looking up. We should have known, everyone feels better with a little chocolate!

On Sunday, she began eating and drinking more, and seemed happier. Since Sunday, she has improved a little each day. Tues. night we went to Marie and Joe's for dinner. Zoe had eaten a small jar of baby food when she woke from her nap at 3 p.m., so I figured she wouldn't eat much. Boy was I wrong! Marie had made beefstew, and Zoe could not get enough. She just kept eating and eating and eating. Even when the rest of were done, she kept going. On top of that, she was a delight to be around -- smiling, flirting, and laughing, just like in China.

Here she is chowing down on beefstew. (Sorry for the "see"food.)

So, here's what's new:

Zoe turned 17 mos. on Oct. 9th. The rash is completely gone. She has gotten used to Rosie, and will reach out to pet her (although she's not fond of dog kisses). She loves to play in Rosie's water dish. She's very snugly and loves to be held. She's always happy in the bathtub. Her favorite game is still peek-a-boo. She also does this thing where she blinks both eyes at us, holds them squeezed shut for an instant, and waits for us to do it back. She will "brush" her hair, wipe her mouth with a napkin, and hold her foot up for me to put on a shoe (all things she learned in the orphanage). She's learned about telephones, and will put any long object up to her ear to "talk", she also knows what "bye-bye" means and will wave when we say it. She knows her name. She can say: hi, mama, dada, and Doug, and is working on Katie. She loves to shake her head (vigorously) "no" or "yes", depending on her mood. She has certain ways she wants to be held, and Jerry swears she is classically conditioning us to just the right position. She's becoming more independent, and enjoys exploring on her own, she also wants to feed herself.

She has become more of a daddy's girl. No matter what she is doing, if she sees Jerry, she stops and reaches for him. She's not big on strangers, and has been warming up to everyone slowly. Other than those who went with us to China, she has only gone to our pastor, and to Julie. She also let Kyra feed her the other day.

She has had no problems sleeping. From day one, she has preferred to sleep by herself, in the crib. Most of the time she goes to bed without a peep. If she fusses, it is never for more than a minute. She sleeps about 12 hours each night and will take a 2-3 hour nap during the day.

Although she was walking pretty well by the time we left China, since she was sick, it's like she's forgotten how. I think part of the problem was that with no food and little to drink, she had no energy or strength. Hopefully, that will come back quickly.

We've noticed that the times she seems truly sad, are once in awhile when she first wakes up. I noticed this in China, also. It's almost like sometimes she is still expecting someone else to be there. When she sees one of us, she just hides her head and cries. It usually doesn't last long, and is becoming more infrequent, but it is sad to see.

She loves playing with Doug and Katie, and they love playing with her. Doug likes to make her laugh (which is usually pretty easy). Katie is more of the disciplinarian, and I hear, "No, Zoe" a lot from her. Both of them are always concerned about her. If she cries, they expect us to pick her up immediately. Last night, Doug was reading to me on his bed, and Zoe was playing next to us. He was sure I wasn't watching her properly, and he couldn't concentrate, because he thought she was going to fall off the bed. He had to keep stopping to tell me to watch her or to hang on to her better.

It was beautiful outside tonight. We went to "Aunt Julie's library" downtown (Sorry, Julie, you were already gone, but all your co-workers recognized Zoe from the blog). We then walked over to the Jacksonvile Landing for Mongolian BBQ at Mongo's . On the way, we checked out several of the new artsy jaguar statues, which are popping up all over town. At dinner, we sat outside on the river ("just like in China"). The highlight was S'mores for dessert. Afterward, we went downstairs and watched a band perform, while Katie ran around the fountain about a zillion times. Doug declared it the best night since we got back from China. I'd have to agree.

By the way, I just have to mention our camera. If you've been following this blog for awhile, you know that our camera and video camera were dying about a month before we left for China. Jerry went online and discovered a recall, and sent both cameras in for free repairs. The video camera came back in time for our trip, but not the camera. (Julie was kind enough to loan us hers.) We finally got our camera back the other day, only it wasn't our camera. Apparently they couldn't fix it, so they sent us a new, smaller, better camera. So, the lesson here? I don't know, I guess: check for recalls before throwing anything away!