Ashlyn is doing well. She's adjusting and slowly picking up English. I've noticed that as she picks up more and more English, she's losing her Chinese language. She's still pretty far away from speaking a lot of the English language, but she understands most of it. She's pretty hard to understand still, though I can usually pick up on what she is trying to say. She sure does love to talk though. She'll go on and on about everything. She loves to sing and dance. When I say sing, I mean make up her own songs very loudly :-)
Emotionally, she is doing pretty good. She definitely knows the word "no". We are trying to work with her on listening to what mommy and daddy say and not to say "no" to us. It's a hard battle for all kids, but one we must endure. She tests her boundaries, but is getting better at knowing them. She's not getting in as much trouble as she was for awhile. She's still very sweet and loving. She must say hi to everyone she sees.
When we got her, she was way behind on her gross motor skills, not even knowing how to hold a pencil. Since then, she is slowly getting caught up on that. We have got her tutoring on the side (only 3 days/week for a half hour each time). This tutor is a miracle worker. She has taught Ashlyn the entire alphabet, the sounds for each letter, and even all the blends. They have started adding a third letter to the blends and pretty soon, Ashlyn should be able to read three letter words. She has also worked with her on writing her letters. Ashlyn can write her name now and a lot of other letters also. After she learns all of this, then we will start working with her on numbers and math. I think reading is the most important thing for right now.
We are trying to get her caught up, so that she can pass the entrance exam to 1st grade at Calvary Chapel Academy. This is where Kaylyn has gone to school since she was 3 years old. It is a great school academically and spiritually. I think Ashlyn will excel if she can just get into here. If not, we will put her in the public elementary school directly across the street where I went to school for Kindergarten, First, and Sixth grades.
Physically she is doing really well too! She had her Pediatric Cardiologist visit with Dr. Gessner at Shand's Hospital. Her VSD was completely healed by her heart surgery when she was 2 years old. There was another congenital heart defect found while we were there though. There was a wall in the heart that was thickened. It was somewhere the pumped the blood back through to the body and the velocity of the blood flow wasn't where they normally liked to see it. They said it was still within normal bounds and that we'd have to keep an eye on it as she grows. If the muscle grows, but the wall doesn't thicken anymore, then there is nothing we have to do. If the wall thickens as she grows, she may need heart surgery later on. But, as of right now, she is a healthy normal little girl. She's almost caught up on her vaccines now. She'll have 3 more in June and then one more 6 months later. Then she won't need another until she's 11 years old. They tested her blood (all 8 viles) for a lot of stuff and everything came back normal or negative.
When we first got her, she was highly lactose intolerant. We took away all dairy products and have slowly introduced certain things back in. For right now, we think she's mainly intolerant to milk products like ice cream and yogurt. Cheeses for the most part are ok, but she hasn't had any bad tummy aches like she did when we first got her and for the first month.
Siblings! They are doing better now. You can tell there's actually a great bond forming between the two of them. Kaylyn just told me today, "Mommy, I want Ashlyn to be in Heaven with me because I love her!" They definitely have their sister moments though! You know the ones...mommy, she's touching me...I'm not touching you, I'm not touching you...with the finger pointed right near the other. Oh yes! But they also play house, which is really cute to watch. Kaylyn is the mommy and Ashlyn is the little child. They play Christmas and pretend to open gifts. It's cute.
Well, for now, this catches you up somewhat. I will try to update the blog more often and I'm sorry I didn't do this since our trip to China. Hope everyone is well!