Katrine update

Still no photos of Katrine because she is still sick…with Scarlett fever.  Yes you read that right.  When I first heard the doctor say the diagnosis I had a Little House on the Prarie flashback…except with chinese girls.  I think that TV show and books are the only places I have heard of people getting it.  Well, guess it is a modern day illness too.

Katrine has been one sick girl.  After a day on antibiotics her fever is no longer super high, but it is still around.  Her rash is starting to fade but regular doses of Benadryl are needed along with cool showers to keep the itching at bay.  Throat and nose are looking marginally better but her cough is the same.  Energy level?  I will describe it this way – our active, go go go girl has spent all of the week on the couch.  Elspeth is now familiar with all of the non-cable children’s cartoons.  On the plus side, Katrine is too weak from not eating and fighting this off to care about doing anything other than watching TV and it seems to be helping Elspeth’s speech because she is coming out with more multi word combos. (I guess that could be from all of the books we are reading when I can’t stand TV anymore).  The doctor said that she is no longer contageous today but I don’t think that she will be up to going out for much until the weekend which is okay as we are going to be spending the weekend getting her caught up on all of the school work that she has missed.  It is really shaping up to be a fun weekend.  Beat you wish you were here!

And now I will end on a lighter note, with some random cuteness from February.  Have a great weekend.

Hanging around with Grandpa.

Katrine’s 7th Gotchaversary

(Yes I am procrastinating again, but this time lets call it deciding on the best assignement to complete.  The plus side is, that you get another photo update.)

We didn’t have this blog running when we adopted Katrine 7 years ago so I thought that I would put up some photos of our first day as a family.  I was originally going to wait and post up to date photos of us with Katrine so you could compare but, she is still sick and I promised her I wouldn’t so enjoy these old ones from the day that our family was born.

This is how our day started. Waking up to this empty crib.
After a speech by an official assuring us that the girls would adjust, the babies started coming. As they brought her through the door, we knew she was ours. I got to hold her first.
This day the tears came from us. Katrine took it all in solemnly until the nannies came in to say good bye. Then she was all smiles.
First family photo.
As soon as the nannies left, Katrine started to shut down. It is exhausting going through an emotional upheaval.
The day ended with her showing off her crawling skills. Now that was unexpected.

Barbie Carnaval

It was a festive day on the Attwood front lawn.  You see, Barbie Carnaval had arrived.  I am told that it will be here all week but I really think that is up to Mother Nature.  It was suppose to come last week but between Katrine being ill and the snow melting all of the ice slides and sculptures the festivities were postponed.  Here are some photos so that you to can partake in what could only happen in a house with two girls.

The Barbies wait patiently for the arrival of the sleigh.
And they are off in a 'One Elspeth Open Sleigh'.
Those rides can be exhausting, time for a hot tub.
They finish off their day with a snake.

In our house we do *rap!

And no, I didn’t mean rap.  Did I get your attention though?

This morning Elspeth came out with a request that went something like this, “Mama, mama…..cra*, cra*!” Well that stopped me in my tracks.  No, she was not having a potty emergency.  When I didn’t get it, she said in an exasperated tone, “Sparky. Painty……*rap.”  Okay, CRAFTS.  She wanted to break out the art supplies so we did.  We may need to work on her prounciation of the word craft though.

Procrastinating and Attachment

Okay, I am very tired from being home with sick Katrine and Elspeth, and not having enough sleep that I am looking for an excuse to avoid working.  (Hence the procrastination in the title)  It is not that my AQ course is not interesting.  To the contrary, it is very informative.  If I can start to apply myself again, I will be the better teacher for it.  Alas, I think that tonight will end with a complete assignment more full of flaws than learning.  Perhaps tomorrow will be more conducive to learning and retention.  Thank you for humouring me as I procrastinate and now onto to attachment.
We were thrilled on Gotcha Day to see how strongly Elspeth reacted to the chance.  To us it was a good sign that she had been loved and known attachment with her foster family.  Fast forward 6 months.  As hard as it is to have a sick and well kid at home, Elspeth seems to have chosen this week to enter a new stage in the development of attachment. Yippee! We now have Follow The Parent. She will follow me everywhere or call out to check and see if I am still around.  Yes, this is anxious behaviour but at least she is seeking to connect with Glenn and I as preferred caregivers.    Seek out Comfort When Hurt. When we first got home we literally had to force our attentions on her if she got hurt.  Today she was walking in circles around the coffee table (we were watching TV -the sick kid activity of choice- and Elspeth got bored) and kept bumping her side on the edge.  With each bump she would announce “Oww” and run over for a cuddle. We also have my favourite stage developing What! I Have to Share a Parent which is more frequently called having a sibling.  If one of us were rubbing Katrine’s back, Elspeth just had to get her back rubbed too.  If Katrine was cuddled up against me with her head in my lap, Elspeth would climb over top of her and try to wedge herself in.  Ahh.  Happy times. Finally, Mommy as a Security Blanket.  Got that one during play time at playschool.  There is one of those plastic playhouses with shutters that all of the kids like to go in.  Of course, most want to be in by themselves.  Well, Elspeth decided to venture out and try to enter the house while another child was inside.  Needless to say, the child was unimpressed and pulled the door shut on her which caused her to run to me.  Happy smile.  Don’t worry, the attachment also extends to Glenn.  He fills the Security Blanket role at swim class where she will do lots of things, like blow bubbles, if he is holding her but not so many if she is in the wading pool without direct contact.

We obviously still have a ways to go before Elspeth could be called securely attached to us.  After all, she lived with another family for almost two years.  We are seeing positive signs of progress which is truly a gift.  Now for a random cute photo.

Both girls like the snow now. Or "NO NO" in Elspeth speak.


Weekend competition #1: Skating Club Competition

It was a very long yet fun day today spent almost exclusively at the arena due to RHFSC’s club competition.  Of course, Katrine wanted to participate in everything and skated in 6 different events for which she had 3 costumes.  I think that my favourite was the extreme costume because it was so shiny on the ice, plus I loved her funky hair.  How did she do?  Well, she put in a lot of focus and effort today.  She placed 4th in her Dutch Waltz and Solo (funny thing about skating – when you add too many jumps you lose points, lesson learned) and 6th in her Extreme spin.  She got 3rd for her Introductory Elements (collection of skating moves), and then a 1st for Longest Waltz jump (funny ’cause she was the shortest by a lot) and 2nd for Longest spiral from sheer determination.  She held that thing until she stopped moving.  Katrine was tickled pink to walk away with a “full set of medals”.  Here are some photos and video.  Enjoy and come back tomorrow for news on the dance competition.

Elspeth gave herself third for excellent form when cheering.

Katrine’s really looooooong spiral

Katrine’s Solo to “Little Orphan Anne”

Weekend Competition #2: Dance

A great morning.  My mom and dad were able to come down to watch Katrine which she was thrilled about.  Again she put in focus and effort, coming home with four medals between 4th and 6th.  The biggest surprise is that she pulled a medal in the reel.  Today was the first time that she did the reel in competition.  Plus, she had the dreeded inside spot (dreeded because you not only have to dance around three other dancers, but change spots through out the dance).  All things considered, she did remarkably well in it.  Didn’t knock anyone over.  Ended up in the right spot.  She was really proud of herself.

And with that, Chinese New Year draws to a close

We had a wonderful time at the FCC Toronto New Years Banquet tonight.  If you have been following us for a while, you know that this is an annual event.  Katrine has been checking the calendar regularly for the last two weeks to make sure that we were not going to miss it.  It is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect and get caught up.  All of the girls are so busy, there is a lot to get caught up on.  Plus, it gives the girls yet another chance to just bond between chatting, eating and running around like crazy.

This year was even more special because we filled up 4 seats not just 3.  It was fun watching Elspeth join in the general craziness of the evening by twirling, jumping and dancing on the stage.  She was also spoiled rotten by her various Aies and managed to consume vast quantities of chocolate from her red envelopes (we usually do chocolate coins instead of money).  Then she had Glenn working over time cutting up items from various dishes.  She couldn’t get the food in fast enough – duck, mushrooms, chicken, more mushrooms, beans.  I don’t think that she slowed down until we were on about the 6th course and then by dessert she barely managed a bite of her almond cookie.

This year there was a Chinese folkdance troop for entertainment.  The girls dance well and put on a really nice show which was made even better by the fact that one of Katrine’s China sisters danced with her Chinese folkdance troop.  Watching them made me wish that we had more money and time so that our two could give it a whirl.  Oh well, only so much time and mental and physical resources.  At least we got to enjoy their performance.

The evening drew to a close with the lion dance.  Katrine was right in there.  Touching, dancing, playing the cymbals.  Elspeth was not so fond of the chaos and noise which accompanied the lions.  At one point Glenn had to take her outside because being held was not enough to help her feel safe.  Once the lions stopped walking around the restaurant she was able to relax enough to come back in.  Katrine reacted much the same to the lions when she was two and now you almost have to pry her away from them.  Hopefully next year it will be easier for Elspeth.