Whew - December was a crazy month, to say the least. But, it was also an amazing month for us, celebrating Christmas with Olivia for the first time, and enjoying Ansley as she enjoyed the holidays.
The month started out kind of rough. Olivia got sick for the first time on December 1st. She ran a really high fever, but thank goodness it was just a virus. That passed quickly. We are so blessed that she has been healthy up until now, despite moving across the world with new germs and such.
We did, however, have a more serious health scare in the family. My 88 year-old uncle, Joe, had a stroke and has been in the hospital/now rehab center since December 12th. He is to be discharged on January 2nd, and we are really excited. He is doing well, but that has been heavy on my heart, and the hearts of my family members throughout the holidays. (After all, he has been like a grandfather to me growing up. Both of my grandfathers passed away before I was born.) I'm just so glad that he is doing better and back to his mischievous self! (We ended up postponing our big family Christmas celebration until he is home.)
Again, Olivia is talking more and more. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but she calls me, "Ma" and Philip, "Da eeee." She calls Ansley either "Sissy" or "Ansee." And, her favorite phrase throughout the holidays has been, "I did it!" Definitely moving in the right direction, and her new speech therapist starts with her in early January.
She is doing pretty well with her potty training and is beginning to tell us when she needs to go. I'll be glad when this is done. Potty training is my least favorite part of parenthood.
Olivia did really well during the craziness of the holidays. I had read and been told by several adoptive parents that the holidays were the hardest time of the year for their adopted children. Any time you get "out of routine," it can be hard for any child, but especially adopted children. Olivia didn't really "get it," but she enjoyed opening the presents and meeting Santa. She remained pleasant and happy the entire time, so for us, that was success. She did enjoy seeing us put up the Christmas tree with the lights and ornaments, and at first, she was taking the ornaments on and off the tree. That was interesting, to say the least.
She also participated in her first program at school. Just think: 8 months ago, she was in a small orphanage in rural China, and now she is performing on a stage in front of many people…singing in a language she doesn't know about a holiday she has no idea about. She did as I expected, and just stood there, but she didn't cry and was still really cute. :) Again, success!
Susan, Hilary, and I took Ansley to see the Rockettes. This has become a family tradition for us, and I'm really disappointed that this is their last year in Nashville. We will have to come up with something new to do next year.
I am blessed with a large family, and we enjoy getting together when we can. We still have more family to get together with once Joe's home, but here are some photos of the holidays. As I mentioned, with the new babies moving around everywhere, it is hard to get many pictures. Here are a few: