Heck, I barely know what day it is anymore!
Why don't I just start by addressing some of the common questions we've received since arriving home...
Question #1: How are Mina and Aubrey getting along?
Answer: Um. Well. Honestly? Not great.
I wish I could say that our house is filled with a strong sisterhood of love, but it's not.
Things started out fairly well...
But within the first 24 hours things quickly took a turn.
The thing is...Mina spent the last year of her life in a foster home along with three other boys (we think they were the foster mom's grandsons) who were a bit older than her. We have some suspicions she may have picked up a few "unladylike" qualities such as hitting and pinching as a result.
I'll never forget Aubrey gasping in total disbelief when her tiny 18 month old sister hauled back and whacked her. Aubrey never went through a hitting phase or any real form of aggression so this is completely new territory in our house. Pair it with the fact that our queen bee is now forced to share her throne with a little sister, and well, it's been rough week.
The first few days home, there seemed to always be one unhappy child.
Whichever one was not with Mama was upset that the other one was.
After much prayer and begging for God to grant unending patience, I am happy to report we are making progress.
Just tonight I caught these two playing together without fighting.
It wasn't long before I heard, "NO, MINA!", but it was nice while it lasted.
We still have a long way to go, but we'll get there.
I remember not liking my little sister when I was younger either.
This picture below is very much real life right now...
Daniel giddy to have BOTH girls in his arms, while Mina is currently busy pinching her big sister.
I do need to brag on Aubrey a bit -- even though we've seen some not-so-awesome behavior out of her lately. She has not retaliated when Mina hits or pinches her. She has even gone out of her way to give Mina several of her toys or tried to comfort her when she's been crying. There have been some sweet moments, even if they've been rare. :)
Daniel and I are trying to really give her some one-on-one attention when we can. Letting her talk about how she's feeling and showing her that she still is loved beyond measure by her Mom and Dad.
Earlier this week, I put my shower (and jet-lag inducing nap) on hold and played in the snow with her while Mina napped inside under Grammy's care.
Question #2: How's Mina doing with Daniel?
Answer: Better and better every day!
I even captured some sweetness the other night...
(Apologies for the horrendous quality of these photos. Must get my "real" camera out!)
She is so happy to see him when he comes home from work.
She's been giving lots and lots of kisses too.
Which, could this smoochie face be any cuter?
Question #3: Has it been hard cooking things Mina will eat?
Answer: NO! She eats nearly everything! From baked spaghetti to doughnut holes! :)
Question #4: How's she sleeping?
Answer: Pretty well, actually! We were told she slept with her foster mom, so we've been keeping her close to us at night. In China it wasn't hard since we had a king-size bed, but being back home our queen mattress was quite cramped. So, I let her have our bed for naptime...
But when nighttime rolls around, I lay down with her in our bed until she falls asleep. Then once Daniel and I are ready to catch some Zzzzs, I move her down beside us. When she wakes up during the night, I just lean my hand over to rub her back and she goes back to sleep. Some times I scoop her up for some cuddles and then put her back down when she's back asleep. So far, it's been working out.
Besides the hitting and pinching her big sister, I'd say life is pretty darn near perfect.
I might be tired 99% of the time.
And I may not shower as regularly as I'd like.
But I cannot complain for one millisecond.
Life is good.
Really, really good.
P.S. If you're on Instragram, follow me (at ashleyriherd)! I post to it daily (almost).