Five months ago today, we met this sweet little girl. I really feel like it was a lot longer than five months ago…I honestly feel like she’s been a part of our lives forever. Sweet little Ashby was just the perfect puzzle piece to the Shull family.
Month five came and went quickly! I must say, each and every month that goes by, Ashby’s little personality comes out even more. This once shy, timid and reserved girl is now a complete ham. She is really funny, has the best facial expressions and we can tell she is not going to be a wallflower in our home…she has a BIG personality! I wish I could share her with all of you so that you can see how sweet she is. Goodness! This girl is PRECIOUS!
Over the last 30 days, we have had mostly ups each and every day with a few downs thrown in there. Ashby’s communication has come the furthest this month. At this point, we are really having conversations. She’ll ask questions, carry on a conversation, make points and is very verbal. I’m going to knock on wood while I’m saying this…but I think we even have a potty trained girl (yay!).
The downs this last month were mostly health related. We had the blood clot scare, we had the MRI (and went over the results), she was having nose bleeds almost daily, so she had a little cauterization procedure done, and we begin compression therapy (she’ll begin wearing compression garments next week).
My favorite part of month five has been watching her move around our house. This month, you can really tell that Ashby feels like this is her home too. I like to watch her go get things and move about without our assistance. For example, we keep blankets in the cabinet under the TV and some days, I’ll watch her get down off the couch, go over and open the cabinet, select a blanket, get back on the couch and cover herself up. Just watching her know her way around the house is so heartwarming.
The other day, I was in the kitchen and she came in, opened the cabinet, took a paper towel off the roll and walked off (I followed her to see what she was doing). Apparently, the stopper hadn’t been in place in her sippy cup and while she and Smith were playing with marbles, it had spilled, so she knew where the paper towels were and went to clean it up herself.
I know these are little things…but when you invite someone new to live in your home, it’s such a great feeling when you can tell that they’re fully comfortable there and that it feels like home to them. I can say, “go get a cup” and she knows exactly where they are. She knows where the Kleenex is when she wants to blow her nose, she knows where I keep her “lipstick” (a.k.a. Chapstick), she just knows. It makes my heart so happy that she knows this is home.
Month five was truly a wonderful month with our little lady here. We feel so blessed to have her.
Language: Her English is improving exponentially. Now, she doesn’t just respond to questions but she asks questions herself. This girl is very chatty and will talk your ear off. Even though her English is broken, it’s pretty darn clear and you can really discuss some things with her. She’ll also talk about things that she has done or wants to do (so she’s thinking, recalling and using her language to express herself). I stole a piece of the kids’ pizza the other day and she walked in the kitchen and caught me. She looked at me and said, “Hey, that’s my pizza!”. See…she knows her English :).
I look back to where we started and then to where we are now verbally and she’s improved so much. I can’t even imagine what her verbal skills will be like five months from today.
Physical Development: She’s growing like a weed :). This girl is still on the tiny side but she’s growing fast and healthy. We think she’s going to be ambidextrous because she prefers her right hand but uses her left hand for most small motor skills (cutting, coloring, writing) because her malformation gets in the way. She’s learned this month how to climb up on to the couch, how to get in the kitchen chair by herself and how to get off her bed. Every day, she develops new skills.
Sleeping: She’s a champ :). Naps are going great and she sleeps through the night every time. She loves her little routine (bed, blankets, prayers, Jesus Loves Me and a million kisses from the four of us).
Food: This girl is happy that it’s grilling season! Ashby loves burgers, hot dogs and especially corn on the cobb.
Attachment: I was most worried and have been most surprised by Ashby’s attachment to us. She clearly knows who she belongs to now and is very secure in our relationship. I am blessed beyond words that we’re not struggling with any attachment issues at the moment. I left her for the first time when I went to Boston and she did great! A huge part of attachment is confidence that the people you love are returning…and she knew that.
Potty Training: She’s wearing big girl undies all the time unless she’s sleeping. Three out of the last six nights in a row, she’s woken up dry…but I would like that percentage to be larger before we switch to wearing undies at night. She can clearly communicate with us when she needs to potty and she understands the whole “hold it” thing now until we can get to a restroom. Woohoo!
In five days, this precious little girl turns THREE!! Our big plans for the month…enjoy summer. Today is (finally!) the last day of school and we are going to chill out this next month. Sleeping late, swimming, eating on the patio and staying up a bit late are all on our to-do list. Ashby has a few more doctor appointments this month and will begin wearing her compression garments, so that’s where we stand on that. We are so excited to just stay home and enjoy relaxing this month.
Five months. It makes me sad that she went 30 months all by herself. She has so much love in her heart…I am so blessed the Lord made me her mama.
On my foodie blog today…
…my Plum Berry Galette. This dessert is so simple and quick that you can whip it up in minutes on a summer night.