Last week, I got a very encouraging email from a fellow blogger who has been home just a couple weeks longer than us with her 3 year old daughter. She wanted to let me know how she struggled at first and now things were now improving, right around the one month mark.

I was thinking about this last night, as yesterday was one full month we’ve had custody of Ilya and Lena. And as I reflected on yesterday last night, I was thinking “wow, that wasn’t so bad.” Lena barely cried or screamed at naptime two days ago and not at all yesterday. That makes my day so much better. Three days ago, she was doing her 20-minute crying and screaming routine.

I’ve learned that Ilya really does better with just one adult around. Even if the second adult is not a disciplinarian with him, he really just does better if it is just me. Since my mom is home, and Aaron is back at work, he has been behaving a lot better this week. Wayyy fewer tantrums. He constantly amazes me with his English. Today, we were joking around. I was pretending to eat his play-doh food he was making me and then I told him to eat, ’cause this was his lunch. He said to me, “Ne cashow(don’t want), ne play-doh. I’ll take ummm… pasta.” He sings the ABC song ALL THE TIME. This morning, he asked me if there was milk on his cereal. He is a very “with it” kid. Always paying attention, asking questions, repeating things. One of the funniest things about his speech is that he cannot say “h”. It always comes out as a “c” sound. So hands are cands, hurt is curt.

Lena has really, really improved. I mentioned the no-screaming at naptime thing. I think we could make it through the whole day without her screaming now. If she takes a decent nap, she is way better behaved in the evening. Lena has such a great sense of humor. This morning, the dogs started barking when Aaron let them outside and Lena started crying. This was 5am. Instead of getting up and sitting with her until she calmed down I just brought her into bed with me. We both fell back to sleep and then I woke up to her tickling me. She has developed a good bond with me. Every night when we watch a movie, I settle in, then turn to her and ask if she wants to sit on my lap. Without fail, every time, she gets so excited.

We’ve also added a nightly bath to our routine. Both of them get SO excited about it. BUBBLES. We have no bath toys, but last week, my mom suggested giving them cups to play with. Huge hit. They love pouring the water with their cups. Both of them had been throwing fits about getting out of the tub, but yesterday, I told Lena it was time to get out and she stood right up. As I got her ready for bed, Ilya picked up all of the toys and put them in the basket next to the tub. He asks me every night for his train pajamas. Too bad the shirt is so small on him that it comes unbuttoned within a few minutes. I may have to be on the lookout for different train pajamas!

Here are their weekly photos, which I forgot one week. Ilya finally decided to have fun with it!

11 thoughts on “Progress”

  1. they are just so beautiful and with the constant love and nuturing you and Aaron are giving them, they will grow and learn and progress and give it back 10-fold!:-)

  2. Awww, love it! As for trains, Target has Thomas pajamas and swimsuits right now. How do I know this? Because someone in our house is also obsessed with trains.

  3. Your babies are so photogenic! Love all the pics!What a wonderful update, yay!!! It must be so much fun (and exhausting) watching them grow, learn and find their place.

  4. i am so glad that things are beginning to get better with them. i am praying for the family daily! i am excited everytime i see you have updated, as i can not wait to see how they are doing and seeing all the amazing pictures of them. you both are so wonderful! you are blessed to have such beautiful children.

  5. We carefully "track" your progress because we are right behind you. Last night Tori asked if I wanted to give Ali a bath. Sure, I said, but don't come rescue her once we start. OMG! She was NOT happy with me bathing her, but I just chugged through it and got it done quickly. So glad to hear that you are finding your groove. All our best, McCoys

  6. Glad to hear that everything is going so well. On the train pajamas-I found my nephew a pair of Thomas pajamas around Christmas at Walmart. They were $5, I think. Not the kind where the shirt buttons, but more like a long sleeve t-shirt and pants that are kind of like tights (pardon my poor explanation of children's clothing-if you can't tell I don't have kids :).

  7. What a wonderful update! A cup in the bathtub is the best toy ever. Children learn by doing and when you give them cups to pour water in and out of, they are learning while they're playing. My boys still have several cups they keep in the shower and play with every single time they're in there.No crying at naptime? That's better than my kids!

  8. The children are beautiful. Lena looks so much like Pippi Longstocking (the strongest girl in the world!) and she seems to have the same personality as her 🙂 Ilya is also so adorable and clearly has a great linguistic talent.

  9. Love reading your updates and glad that things are going better this week. I bet you're missing your mom, though?Thanks so much for your encouragement and prayers! Can't wait to share some good news with you, one of these days!! 🙂

  10. Right? Out of ALL the words in the english language I'm asking him not to use ytwo? Also I am cracking up at Aaron's response. THAT is true love!!! That's what I want in a man.

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