Saturday, November 24, 2012

One month home

One month has already passed (nearly) since Kendyl came home.  I don't know that we could love her more.  It isn't an unrealistic love either.  It is the real deal, sometimes frustrating, sometimes breathtaking, always worth it kind of love.  Her resilience continues to astound me.  She just takes everything in stride.  In the beginning she was emotional and would tear up and wipe her face continually if something upset her.  That was the first week.  Once her body adjusted to the time change she was far more even tempered.  Nothing seems to shock her.  She doesn't ask many questions about what we're doing and why, she just floats along in a happy little sing-songy way.  She is a merry little soul. 

I have to say I'm learning far more Russian than she is English but this is just the first month.  Obviously it will have to go the other way at some point but I wanted her transition to be easy (er) on her and new house, new fam, new life is enough without adding new language to the list.  It is happening though.  Attention Kendyl: we all speak English over here.  Oh and the name change.  We called her Nastya for the first few days just for ease and then Chris gave her "the talk".  The first of many.  He explained that in America we all have two names and that his two names were Christopher Jared.  She asked "what are my two names?" and he said "Kendyl Anastasia".  After that she was Kendyl.  Just a few hours later we were all (most) in the bathroom brushing hair or teeth and Chris said, "Where's Kendyl?" and she said "Behold!  Here I am!".  Love that girl.

Kendyl has been through two holidays already, well three if Veterens Day makes your list.  Halloween was great.  She was all in as soon as she heard the explanation.  Just this past week we had Thanksgiving and that wasn't as unusual as Halloween but still she took it in stride.  She isn't a big eater (she's a whopping 30lbs at 4 years old) so I didn't expect her to embrace the feast that is Thanksgiving but boy was I wrong.  She sat atop my lap and put down forkful after forkful of pretty much anything.  The yams and marshmallows weren't her fav but everything else was.  We're trying our best to fatten her up but the pediatrician (a friend of ours) said it may just be genetics so as long as she stays on her own curve we're okay.  She has been way more willing to eat whatever is served lately.  If it is on the plates and the bros are good with it she usually is too. 

The troops as Robgirl, Batman, Robin and Batman.  
Brothers.  Brothers and sister.  What to say there?  She likes her siblings.  She is more fascinated with baby Jaymes now.  She'll touch her while she's nursing and is, of course, baffled by breastfeeding.  She still doesn't want Jaymes to be too near her for fear she'll pull her hair but she likes her and notices the things that make Jaymes laughs and encourages those laughs.  She'll repeat the tone and words i use when I say "Ohhh Jiminey" when I refer to Jaymes and her baby needs or antics.  I hoped that Kendyl would understand somehow that Jaymes is a baby and babies need a little more momma than the rest of the crew.  She seems to have picked up on that.  I don't want her to think "oh mom just likes her more".  Today was a good example of that.  I was nursing Jaymes to sleep and Kendyl was close by.  I carried Jaymes to her crib (the girls share a room) and Kendyl followed.  The moment I set Jaymes down and stood up Kendyl threw her arms in the air in true Mary Katherine Gallager style and said "mozshna na rooki!" which means "May I in your arms?".  So we merrily embraced :) 

Working with Daddy.

Sundays in the park

5 kids is a lot of kids

Teletubbies in Russian on Youtube.  Bravo.

Arts and crafts time

Kielbasa.  Her one true love.

Little K has been through two ear infections since she's been home.  No fun.  Minus the pictures you get when you're too tired to eat your sandwich even if it did have kielbasa on it.

Little brother's birthday party.  1st jump house experience.  Loved it!  

Pinata, loved it, until she realized she was going to miss the candy since she couldn't see it all.

Luckily one kind hearted little boy hooked her up, big time.

Turkey day!  Friends and feasting, what more can you ask for?

She likes thanksgiving.
There is nothing I love more than holding Kendyl.  A. she's virtually weightless.  2.  She wants to be held and 3.  She's missed years of proper momma love already.  We've got so much to make up for.  Just tonight, I again nursed and rocked Jaymes, and then went and snuggled and laid with Kendyl.  She just wallows in the love, her and I both.  I haven't seen her do her self stimming (self soothing) for a long while now.  She used to hold her arms up in front of her, bent at 90 degree angles and rock side to side with her whole body.  I'm totally convinced it was a learned thing.  Something she picked up just from seeing other kids do it.  I could be wrong though.  If the child doesn't get enough stimulation throughout the day they have to do something to meet those needs before they can escape to dreamland.  Maybe she's been bored for years.  I can say the time we spent with her in her most recent institution was terribly monotonous.  Routine is key yes but that place was just plain boring.  Point is, she doesn't rock back and forth anymore.  I was watching her tonight as I patted Jaymes to sleep and she does all the normal kid things like mess with their pajamas and parachute their sheets and see how fast they can swing their braids side to side.  Goober. 

This coming week is Kendyl's appointment with the mega eye doctor.  Can't.Wait.  Having rather poor eyesight myself I long for the day when she can actually, really, truly see.  Forget the lazy eye, I just want clear vision for her.  Even if it is in just one focused eye. 

All in all we love her.  We love her so much.  She's too easy really and if I eat those words so be it.  She'll still be ours. 


  1. Glad to see things are going well. Sounds a lot like my boy when he came home. Amazing resiliance, picky eater, just going along with everything. I learned more Russian at first too: his took about 1.5 year to fade (he was 4.5 so knew a lot!). Everyone told me he was genetically small until he hit 6 then he really shot up! He was wearing size 2T when came home. Now he is typical size 7.

  2. Wonderful, what a nice post you are a great mother:)

  3. Hey babe, just catching this post. I love your descriptions of your little girl. Esp. how you call her "merry" she seems exactly that. I am so glad for all the love and hugs you both get to enjoy. And good for her for loving thanksgiving food!!

  4. So happy to read this update! It sounds like things are going amazingly well! That is awesome! Kendyl is so stinking cute, and I LOVE her little Russian phrases ("Behold! Here I am!"-kills me!)