Tuesday, March 27, 2012

DUCKS!! :)

If you've been around my blog for a while you know that every spring there is some excitement when the ducks show up in our neighborhood.

I have absolutely no idea why, because there are no ponds or any significant water source on our street or anything, but every March mallard ducks invade our street. They come in two's, always a male and a female (I think I read that ducks mate for life) and they wander up and down our street for a few weeks and if you're lucky they'll stick around and lay eggs in your yard. When spring is over they leave and we don't see them again until the next year.

When we first moved here there used to be lots of ducks, but we've started seeing fewer and fewer over the years. This year I really haven't seen very many at all, which makes me sad.

A few years ago we started getting a duck couple that decided that they especially liked our backyard and two years in a row the female stuck around and laid eggs. The first year only four of them hatched and the next year twelve of them hatched! The next year we anxiously awaited their return and they never came. A few duck couples came that year and wandered up and down the street but none of them stayed and we never saw our little duck family again.

But every spring as soon as I see the ducks I get really excited. I think I've decided that one reason I like the ducks so much is that it signals the end of winter. I tend to get a little depressed in the winter and by the end of it I'm going a little stir crazy. The ducks show up at the same time the sun starts shining again and the spring flowers start peeking their little heads up. Once the ducks show up I know that winter is over and the sunshine is coming back into my life again. Spring always feels like a new beginning and the ducks are the first sign that it's here. I'm always ready for a new beginning this time of year.

Plus, being the crazy animal lover that I am, I just love ducks!! I love hearing the quacking sound outside, I love how they travel in two's and I LOVE duck babies!! There's pretty much nothing cuter than fuzzy baby ducks.

So it's that time of the year again, the ducks are back and I'm on my annual quest to make friends with them. If I hear quacking in my yard I stop whatever I'm doing and run out there with bread like a crazy person. :) I keep hoping I can convince them to stay and have more babies in my yard!

The last few years were not successful. I saw a few ducks in my yard but could never convince any to stay.

This year I think I just might have been successful! I don't want to get my hopes up yet, but a few days ago a pair of ducks showed up in my backyard. I went out there and fed them and they were unusually friendly right from the start. Usually you have to be really careful not to get to close because they're skittish, but this ducks don't seem to be very nervous. I fed them the first time and when I noticed them out there again later I opened my backdoor to go back out and feed them again and as soon as I opened the door they came running to me! They get really close to me and let me feed them. As long as I sit on the step and don't move towards them or anything they'll come up really close to me.

So I've been making friends with the ducks for the past few days, and now they're pretty much living in my backyard full time. They leave occasionally but they come right back and they spend a good portion of the day hanging out in the grass.

This is what the other pair of ducks did when they decided to stick around and have babies. They spend their days hanging out in my backyard for a few weeks and then the eggs started showing up. The mama duck lays one egg a day until it "feels" right to her (it's usually between 10-12), and then she starts sitting on them full time and the male duck takes off until the babies are born. I haven't seen any eggs yet but I purposely haven't looked very hard because I don't want to scare the ducks off or make them feel like their egg hiding place isn't safe. So I don't know if there are eggs in my yard yet or even if there are going to be, but these ducks are sure acting a lot like the the ones that stuck around.

In fact, I know it's crazy but I almost wondered if it IS the ducks from before. I doubt it, because those ducks have been gone for a long time and I really doubt they're coming back at this point, but these ducks are acting a lot like the other ones. They're hanging out in the same spot in the yard and they're not very nervous around me and neither were the other ones because I spent so much time with them. Ducks all look alike though, so I guess there's no way to know.

We're leaving town in a couple of days to go on a little spring break trip and I'm kind of bummed to be leaving them because I hope they don't give up and leave when I'm not around to feed them. It will be interesting to see if they're still here when we get back. I'm going to set some duck food out for them before we leave because I'm just a weirdo like that.:)

Anywhere, there is the latest duck update! If eggs show up I will definitely be back to post about it! :) 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Past, Present, Future

I saw something like this on someone elses blog recently and loved the idea so I decided to sit down and give it a try. When I started I thought I would just give brief descriptions and make it short but I had some free time this afternoon and I was in the mood to write so the words just kept coming. It's long (and possibly boring), but it satisfied my need to write today, so...there. :) 

Thirty Years Ago: In 1982 I turned seven and I was in the first grade at Hillview Elementary. I have two vivid memories of first grade. First, even back then I loved to write. In fact, first grade was when I realized that I loved to write. Our teacher used to pass around a box that had a pile of pictures that were cut out of magazines and we had to pick on out of the box (no peeking!) and then glue the picture to the top of a piece of paper and then write a little story or paragraph about the picture.

I remember specifically getting a cartoon picture of a boy and an older man (his grandpa?) playing checkers in front of a window and there was a bear peeking in the window. Twenty years later I can still remember what that picture looked like. I don't remember the details of the story I wrote but I remember how much I loved writing it and the teacher loved the story so much that she hung it up on the wall outside the classroom so that everyone could read it. Every time I went in or out of the classroom I walked past my story and I remember how proud I was of it. That's when I started telling everyone that I was going to be a writer when I grew up. I never did become a writer, unless you count a few articles in my high school newspaper, but I still enjoy writing and I now have an 11 year old who tells everyone that he's going to be a writer when he grows up. I sincerely hope that he does. :)

 The other thing that I remember about first grade is that there was a little boy in my class who always came to school dirty and his mom had to send an extra set of clothes with him because sometimes he wet his pants. After recess each day our class had to line up against the wall outside the building before we were let back inside. I can clearly remember each day our entire class trying really hard not to stand next to the dirty little boy. There would be the whole class lined up together and then a big space and then that poor little boy standing by himself.

As first graders all we cared about was that the boy was different and kind of weird and no one wanted to stand by him. But I've never forgotten that poor little boy and as adult looking back on it my heart breaks for him. I don't remember his name anymore and I don't think that he went to school with us anymore after the first grade, but I've always wondered what happened to him. First grade was not fun or easy for that little boy. I'm sure there is more to that story that I'll never know, but I wish I could find that kid and tell him how sorry I am that I didn't stand by him after recess. He could have used a friend. I hope that wherever he went his life got easier and that he found some good friends.

I have told my kids that story several times over the years to stress the importance of showing love and compassion for people who are different. I will always regret not being nicer to that little boy and I hope that in a similar situation my children would make a different choice.

 Twenty Years Ago: 1992 was a big year for me. I turned 17 and was a junior in high school. It was the year I got my first real job, bought my first car and met my first boyfriend.

I got a job working in the kitchen of the hospital in our town. I went in after school, helped prepare the dinner trays for the patients, delivered the trays up to their rooms, collected the trays after they ate and then cleaned up and did the dishes. It certainly wasn't a glamorous job, but it gave me the freedom of having some spending money and some of my friends worked there so we had a good time even when we were up to our elbows in gross hospital food.

Thanks to the job I was able to buy my first car. My first car was a 1985 Volkswagen Atlantic that I paid $900 for, which was an absolute fortune to me at the time! What is a Volkswagen Atlantic you say? Well, that's a good question, because apparently there is no such thing. At least that's what the DMV told me when I tried to register it. A Volkswagen Atlantic is basically a Mexican Volkswagen Jetta. Apparently my car had made it's way from Mexico at some point and in the process the VIN number had suspiciously been moved and changed. After I bought it and had problems getting it registered a police officer had to come to my house and look at it because they were pretty sure that it had been stolen at some point. After checking it over and deciding that it wasn't worth their bother they let me register it and I was the proud owner of a super crappy car and I loved it. :)

The speedometer was in kilometers instead of miles so I was never sure exactly how fast I was driving, the gas gauge was broken so I was never sure how much gas I had and it turned off every time I drove through a puddle. But I bought it myself, it got me around and many good times were had in that car.

In the midst of getting my first job and buying my first car, I met my first boyfriend. He was a friend of my cousin and a year older than me. I felt very grown up dating a senior, lol. I fell fast and I fell hard, thus beginning a long and complicated relationship that was off and on for years. In typical teenage girl fashion, it was dramatic. :) I have wonderful memories of that time in my life. That relationship eventually ended up breaking my heart, but it was amazing while it lasted and those are memories I cherish.

When I think of high school I think of that year. The job, the car, the freedom, the boyfriend...those were fun times. Whenever I hear kids say that they can't wait to grow up I want to grab them and shake them and tell them to enjoy every minute of their youth. It goes by fast and you'll miss it when it's gone.

Fifteen Years Ago: 1997 was a huge year for me! It was the year I got married! I met Shawn in 1995 at work. I got a job answering phones for a multi-level marketing company and Shawn was one of the first people I met on my first day. The boyfriend from high school was still making an occasional appearance in my life and apparently trying to make a career out of breaking my heart and that relationship, while not currently on, was still messing with my brain, so dating wasn't really in the cards for me at the time. Shawn was a wonderful friend but it was two years and one more appearance by the heartbreaking boyfriend before I finally came to my senses and realized what a great thing I had right in front of me and I married my best friend!

We got married on June 21, 1997 and I'm excited about celebrating our 15th anniversary this year! When we got married Shawn was just starting his doctorate in pharmacy and he had four years left. We lived in a cute little apartment for the first three years of our marriage before the university sent us to the town we live in now so that Shawn could do his internships. I have such wonderful memories of those first few years. We were poor and struggling but we were ridiculously happy and I smile when I think of those years.

Ten Years Ago: In 2001 Shawn was finally finished with school, our first child was a year old and we were ready to be done with poor college student life and we built our first house! When we moved to Boise in 2000 to do Shawn's internships we only planned to stay here for that one year and then move back to our hometown. But at Shawn's very first internship they loved him so much that they offered him a job with a huge sign on bonus when he graduated and after four years of being poor college students we just couldn't pass it up. We knew that it would put an immediate end to apartment living and scraping by and we were ready! So we stayed in Boise, Shawn took the job and we built a cute little house in a new neighborhood. I loved that house and it was so fun to watch it being built and to pick out everything in it. We spent a good part of 2001 picking out carpet and tile and light fixtures. That was a year of exciting changes.

(Duh, after posting this and reading through it again later I realized that 10 years ago was 2002, not 2001. Why did I write about 2001? Oh, well, I'm sticking with it. 2002 wasn't that interesting.) 

Five Years Ago: I'm realizing as I'm writing all this down that it seems like every year listed was a huge, life changing year! 2007 was definitely no exception, because it was the year we decided to adopt!! Josh was born in 2000 and Matthew was born in 2003. We knew immediately after Matthew was born that our family wasn't complete, but due to Matthew's traumatic birth, some health issues I had and some other factors, I really kept dragging my feet when it came to adding to our family. We talked about it for a few years and every time the subject came up we both just kind of felt uneasy about it. I couldn't explain it then and I can't explain it now, we just could not feel good about having another biological child. There wasn't one specific reason that I can pinpoint, but it was something we struggled with for a while.

The long version of that story is in the first post on this blog, so I won't go into it, but the bottom line is that in 2007 we felt strongly prompted to adopt and finally our struggles were over. It just felt right. It was like a light finally went on in our heads and all the "should we or shouldn't we" discussion about having another baby immediately stopped. We knew exactly what we needed to do and we were so excited about it!

2007 was the year of the paperwork. International adoption is an intense, time consuming process where they pretty much bury you in paperwork for a while. We filled out more paperwork in that year than I think we've filled out in the rest of our lives total.

It's funny to look back on that process now because I can see that we had absolutely NO idea what we were doing! I could pretty much write a book on what I know about Korean adoption at this point but in 2007 I could probably write a paragraph and I probably would have had to consult the internet first. We knew we were doing the right thing but we were still kind of vague on exactly what we were doing or exactly how we would be going about it. It was kind of like when our first child was born and we said "Yay! We have a baby! Ohhh...crap, what are we supposed to do with this baby?" You know that feeling? Anyone who has had a child knows that feeling! Deciding to adopt sort of felt like that. Fortunately we worked with an amazing adoption agency (WACAP.org, in case you're looking for a great agency!) and we picked an even more amazing country to adopt from and everything worked out great.

One Year Ago: Anyone who has been following my blog knows that last year was not my favorite year. I had some health issues, I was stressed out, frazzled and anxious and I needed to reevaluate myself. I did that, I worked through it and I have closed the book on last year. Enough said. :)

Yesterday: I spent yesterday morning reading book two of the Hunger Games (I know, I'm way behind the times) and I spent yesterday afternoon shopping for shoes with Shawn. All in all, a pretty good day. :)

Today: This morning I went to church, had a meeting after church, started book three of The Hunger Games (I'm officially obsessed) and then I sat down to write this blog post, which has become much longer than I thought it would be. I wonder if anyone actually read all of this. :)

Tomorrow: This week is spring break for my kids so tomorrow all three of them will be home. I like it when they're all home. They play together well and the boys help keep Clarissa entertained so there's a good chance I'm going to get the rest of the Hunger Games book read. That's pretty much my plan for tomorrow.

Later in the week we're going out of town for a few days for a little spring break trip. Details of that adventure to follow soon! :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I'm clearly not updating my blog as much as I used to! I just feel like I don't really have a whole lot to say these days. I'm feeling kind of creatively tapped out lately, I guess. This time of the year always makes me a little blah. It's been cold and dark for months and as much as I always tell myself that I'm not going to let it get me down, it always does. I struggle through the second half of winter until the sun comes out again. We're getting close to sunny days again though. I'm looking forward to getting back outside and sitting in the green grass and seeing flowers and feeling the sun again. We're getting there.

I quit therapy last week. I was sad about it but it had kind of run its course and we were running out of things to discuss. It kind of got to the point that I knew exactly what my therapist was going to say before I even got there and I realized that paying $100 a week for that was pointless. Therapy was good for me in a lot of ways. I'm glad I did it and I learned a lot of valuable things but at this point it's just a matter of putting the things I learned into action and that's nothing my therapist can do for me. I've been working on making some healthy changes, I've evaluated my weaknesses, I've resolved some things that needed resolution and I'm pushing forward. It's all good.

So that's that. My year of reflection or my year of the early midlife crisis or my year of really not being a whole lot of fun is behind me. Let's close the book firmly on that one, shall we? :)

In other news, Clarissa and I got a fun opportunity recently! I have a friend from high school who has a business  making ADORABLE hooded towels (http://www.rubadubbuddies.com/) and she e-mailed me and asked if Clarissa could model one for her website! She still lives in my hometown and we're probably not going to be making the trip in that direction in the near future so instead of having her go there for the photos I offered to do the pictures myself. She mailed me the towel last week and it is freakin' ADORABLE! It's so cute, it even has Clarissa's name embroidered on the back.

So I pulled my photography studio equipment out (it's been awhile!) and we had a fun time taking pictures of her.

Here are the photos that I sent to my friend for her website:

Then while I was at it I took some with her regular clothes on.

Then Sunday I managed to get the kids to sit still for five seconds for a quick photo together. (Literally, Clarissa's attention span for that project was about five seconds. She absolutely would not sit with the boys. I'm amazed that I actually got a photo at all!)

And then I took some of Josh and Matthew, but I'm going to have them do them again when Clarissa is otherwise occupied because by that point everyone was distracted and kind of done and I was having a hard time getting them to sit and focus. The boys really don't love photo shoots!

And last but not least, Josh took on of me and Shawn.

It's been a while since we've been in a photo together since I'm always the one behind the camera! Next up, a family photo! I might have to wait for the sun to come out and do that one outside though. It's definitely a project for another day! Stay tuned!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The saga of sleep

This is a post I've been wanting to make for a long time! As of a few days ago, Clarissa is FINALLY sleeping all night, in her big girl bed without us in the room. YAY!

Sleep has been a big problem with Clarissa ever since she came home. I haven't blogged much about it, but it's been on ongoing issue that we've been dealing with the for the past two and half years. (Can you believe that she's been home for two and a half years?!)

When we were waiting to bring her home I did a LOT of research on attachment in adoption. Attachment when adopting an older baby or child is tricky. When we were waiting for Clarissa I tried to talk to a lot of people about it and most people who had never adopted and didn't know anything about attachment just figured that we'd bring her home, we'd all instantly love each other and it wouldn't be that big of a deal, but it generally is a bigger deal than that.

When you're dealing with a child whose whole life has just been turned upside down there's going to be an adjustment period and sometimes that comes with attachment difficulties. Clarissa didn't automatically love us when we became her parents. In fact she didn't even LIKE us at first! The day we picked Clarissa up for good was one of the most wonderful and also one of the most traumatizing days of my life. Finally getting that beautiful child who we loved so much in our arms was amazing, but watching her scream for her foster mother and try her best to get away from us was heartbreaking. I sat with her for hours that first night while she screamed and screamed and all I could do was apologize to her over and over for taking her away from everything she knew and loved. She went through a lot of trauma being taken from the life she had known and I went through a lot of trauma being the one responsible for that.

So when I talk about attachment, that's where I'm coming from.  When I talk about our adoption process I usually like to stick to how wonderful it was-and it WAS and continues to be absolutely wonderful-but any time you adopt a child who isn't a newborn, there is going to be some trauma involved at first, and there definitely was.

So when Clarissa came home and we were all reeling from the trauma of it all, I vowed to do every single thing I could for her to make her feel safe and loved. I had read horror stories of children with attachment disorders who never properly attached to their adoptive parents and that's a very real disorder with lifelong consequences. Attachment disorders kind of scared the crap out of me, to tell you the truth! I'm a reader and a researcher and sometimes I know too much for my own good. That's pretty much the cause of my anxiety issues.

So when Clarissa came home, one of the ways we wanted to foster that attachment was to have her sleep in our bed. She slept with her foster parents in Korea and I wasn't about to just plop her in a crib and shut the door in a new place after everything she had been through. We've never been co-sleepers before, in fact I used to be adamantly against it, but with Clarissa I didn't see any other choice. She needed to be with us every second at first.

The first night she was home we tried sleeping in our bed with her. She wasn't having it. She screamed the whole night long. She would sleep in short bursts on TOP of me, if I was holding her, but if we tried to lay her next to us she freaked out and would cling to me. So I spent the first few very looong nights holding her while she slept.

When she was in Korea she slept with her foster parents on the floor, on a thin mattress called a yo. That's pretty typical in Korea. Most Korean houses have heated floors and since that's where the heat is, that's where they sleep. We were lucky enough to have been given a yo mattress from Clarissa's foster mother and after a few sleepless nights in our bed we decided to try it out. Clarissa was in love. She gave us a look like "FINALLY! What took you so long to figure this out?" and finally went to sleep. BUT only if we were sleeping next to her.

Thus began the year of sleeping on the floor. Now, you have to remember that we were coming from a place of watching this sweet child go through the trauma of the adoption and we were kind of traumatized by the whole thing ourselves and I had vowed to do whatever it took to make her feel safe and secure. If sleeping on the floor was what she needed to attach to us and feel safe, that's what we were going to do. If I had not adopted and someone told me that they slept on the floor with their child for a year, I would have told them they were nuts and to put that child in a crib and get over themselves, lol. Frankly, we occasionally tried to tell that to ourselves, but the floor was what was working, so the floor it was.

In all this time, from the first night Clarissa came home, she never really did sleep through the night. She's always been a terrible sleeper and there was pretty much never a night that she didn't wake up at least once. She also wouldn't go to sleep unless someone was laying there with her. At bedtime and naptime we had to go lay by her until she fell asleep.

This is not my first time as a parent and not the first time I've dealt with sleep issues. With my boys they had one choice. GO TO BED. lol. I'm not someone who believes in a big song and dance routine at bedtime. When my boys were little I would tuck them in, give them a kiss, say goodnight and that was it. I was pretty strict about it really. I will snuggle and love on my kids all day long, but at bed time you lay down and go to sleep. I firmly believe that kids need to learn how to fall asleep on their own. I would hear about people rocking their kids to sleep or staying in the room until they fell asleep and I would secretly think they were insane. Didn't they know that they were just setting themselves up for years of sleep problems? Don't they know it's better to sleep train your child early so that they get used to going to sleep on their own? I was going to be the mother who never coddled her kids like that. At bed time you get in bed and go to sleep. Period. My boys have always been great sleepers and I secretly patted myself on the back for being such a great sleep trainer, lol. Way to go me, right?!

So then Clarissa came along and all my ideas about kids and sleeping went out the window and there we were with this monster that we'd created, sleeping on the floor with a whole song and dance bedtime routine where Clarissa wouldn't sleep without someone next to her at all times. I want to say that I regret letting it go on for so long, but on the other hand, I don't know that I would have done anything different. She needed us with her at night and we needed to be there for her. Clarissa really did attach just fine to us. I used to obsessively go down the healthy attachment checklists that I found online and in the books I read to make sure that she was developing normally and honestly, she has a perfectly healthy attachment to us. She didn't leave my side for the first year that she came home because it was important to me for her to know that we weren't leaving her. She was fine. Some of that attachment stuff was more for me than for her. I really did carry a lot of guilt for taking her away from her life in Korea. I think she got over it faster than I did, lol.

Eventually we were able to move her off the floor at night and into a trundle bed that is all of about nine inches off the floor. She has a beautiful trundle bed in her room that I'm SO glad we bought.
We still had to lay by her at night to get her to go to sleep, but at least he was sleeping in a real mattress and not on the floor anymore! We could also leave the room after she fell asleep but she was still waking up during the night and we still had to go back in there with her. She was two years old and still not sleeping through the night.

That was the year of the trundle bed. Things were a bit better but not super great. We had constant discussions about how to handle the situation. Should we let her cry it out? Should we make her put herself to sleep? Should we stop going in there at night? If someone else was telling me this story and it wasn't my child I would say YES! Sleep train the poor child and be done with it!

We tried letting her cry it out a little bit. I could only make it for ten minutes at the most before I would convince myself that she was going to feel abandoned again and I would rush in there. I just couldn't do it to her. I know it's nutty, but I just couldn't. I let my boys cry it out to some extent and they were perfectly fine, but it felt different this time. I couldn't do it. We KNEW that it was time to cut the cord and stop coddling her at night, but I just couldn't feel good about doing it. We knew we had created a monster but we couldn't figure out how to fix it without traumatizing all of us.

And so it's been. A few months ago we managed to move her out of the trundle bed and into the regular twin bed in her room. She calls it her princess bed and she loves it. We still had to go sit with her while she fell asleep but in the past few months she has finally been sleeping through the night most nights. It's finally becoming rare that we have to go in there in the middle of the night.

But for two and a half years this has gone on. Getting babysitters at night has been impossible because no one can put her to bed except us. Going on vacation is a pain because finding a place where she will happily sleep is tricky. To put it bluntly, we're exhausted! I can't stress enough that we're totally aware that it's our own fault. "What should we do with this sleep mess we've created" has been a regular topic of conversation in our marriage, lol.

Occasionally we would talk to her about sleeping by herself. We would try to tuck her in and leave the room but it was always followed by hysterics. Not fussing, but full on panicked hysterics. Complete fall apart meltdowns that would only stop when we finally gave up and went back in there. Exhausted and out of ideas we just let it continue. Stellar parenting? No.

A few nights ago Shawn and I were discussing going on a vacation this summer. We're anxious to take a big vacation but Clarissa's sleep issues make going on vacation a little frustrating. That led into conversation #8,012 about what to do about Clarissa's sleep problems. It happened to be bedtime when we were having this conversation.

We finished the conversation with no solution as usual and Shawn went and tucked Clarissa into bed and said "well, I'm going to go talk to mommy now! Goodnight, I love you!" We've tried this before a hundred times. Hysterics ensue every time.

This time Clarissa happily said "Ok! Goodnight!". Shawn left the room and we both kind of chuckled and said "Yeah, we'll be back in there in two minutes.". We sat on our bed and waited...and waited...and we looked at each other like we couldn't comprehend this sudden change of events. We waited some more and finally a half hour had gone by. I peeked into Clarissa's bedroom and she was sound asleep!

We figured it had to be a fluke. Surely after all this time it couldn't be so easy, right? So the next day at nap time I tried the same thing. I tucked her into bed, kissed her, said goodnight and left the room. No crying, not fussing, she just laid there and talked to herself for a few minutes and went to sleep.

And just like that, the two and a half year saga of the sleep problems is over. No hysterics, no crying it out, no trauma, she has simply decided that she's a big girl now and she can sleep by herself. 

And it feels like a whole new world has just suddenly opened up, lol. It used to take us up to an hour to get that kid to go to bed at night. Now? Five minutes. You have no idea. We feel like we just won the lottery with all our free time in the evening, lol. We do a little happy dance every night when we leave the room and she isn't screaming for us to come back.We could actually go on a date now and have a babysitter put her to bed! We might even be able to leave her overnight with my mom one of these days! I love that child dearly but two and a half years has been a looong time to deal with sleep issues.

So there are happy parents at the White house these days. As I reflect back on this saga I ask myself what I could have done differently. Should I have put her in a crib from day one and just let her deal with it? I know some parents of older adoptive babies do that and it works out fine in the end. Should we have just let her cry it out a long time ago? Maybe that would have been an easier solution but honestly, I know that at the time I just couldn't do it. Dealing with the trauma of the adoption was harder than I thought it was going to be. I'm pretty sure that she has long forgotten the trauma of those first few days and weeks that she joined our family, but I haven't. As a result I think I tend to baby her more than I ought to. I'm working on it. Being the youngest and the only girl is already a surefire formula for a little spoiling, right? :) She knows she's loved, there's no doubt about that.

So there's the saga of sleep. I hate to point out my flaws as a parent, but there you have it. We let our daughter hold us hostage at bedtime for two and a half years because we were too chicken and soft hearted to let her cry it out and learn to put herself to sleep. There are worst mistakes you can make as a parent, right?!