All I Want for Christmas is......A Fruit Basket
Life with the newest American gets easier and easier as the days go by. Dasha has only been with us two weeks as of today. Two weeks ago, she was a scared, nauseous, silent little girl. She looked so frail and fragile. Today, she is currently running through the house playing hide and go seek with her siblings and daddy. She laughs loudly and shouts through the house - in English! Two weeks ago, we thought it would be months before she trusted us enough to say even one word to us. Today, she talks non-stop, and always in English. I have no idea how she has picked up English so quickly. She seems to understand almost everything we say, and we rarely speak in Russian anymore. Today, I found her in Amber's room teaching Amber all the Russian words for everything in her room. This is the first time I have even heard her speak Russian since she has been home. Amber definitely has the magic touch with her sister, because every time I have asked Dasha how to say something in Russian, she just laughs at me and says, "No Mama!" You have to have some power in your world, right?
Yesterday we had a very low key Thanksgiving, and despite the fact that she has been venturing out to try new foods, she was not the least bit interested in anything that resembled turkey, mashed potatoes, or green beans. That's okay, at least we had plenty of fruit around. In fact, I now have to make trips to the grocery store at least every other day to stock up on all the fresh fruit that I can fit in the refrigerator. We are still in that food stage where she does get the idea that she can eat any time she is hungry, but I don't think that she really believes that there will ALWAYS be food around. As a result, she eats as much of her favorite foods as she can get in her mouth in a day. Lately, that has meant tangerines, apples, pears, bananas, and grapes. I don't mean just a few of these, either. She goes through an entire crate of tangerines in two days, and can eat 6-8 pears or apples each day, too. She is so underweight that I do not mind one bit. Really, at this point, we will continue to let her eat whatever she wants until she starts to get more comfortable and starts wasting food. Then we will set some limits. But for now - EAT!!!!
Today she was so excited when we told her that it was time to put all of our Christmas decorations up. She has been watching the Mickey Mouse Christmas dvd's all week, and now gets the hang of it. Our tradition is to head to South Coast Plaza early on the day after Thanksgiving to vist with Santa and take a picture. We figured that she would not want to participate, but Jacob was very excited, so we went ahead and headed to the mall with everyone this morning. Wouldn't you know it? She wasn't the least bit afraid and just jumped right up on Santa's lap with her little brother, and then even smiled on que for the camera. I guess all those Mickey dvd's did the trick! Jacob had been telling her all morning that he was just going to tell Santa what she wanted so she wouldn't have to be scared. Neither one of them was brave enough to talk when the time came, but if she had been able to talk, I am sure I know what she would have asked for. A couple of night ago, she was sitting on the couch with me while I was flipping through catalogs. The first one I picked up was a fruit basket catalog. She got so excited when she saw what was in the pages. Every page had a bigger and better fruit basket. She excitedly pointed to each one and then pointed to herself and shouted "For Dasha!" The ones that had grapes AND salami were huge hits. It was a little humbling to also have the FAO Scwhartz catalog nearby, and to have her not even be interested in it. Hopefully Santa will be able to come through for her! :)
Tonight she was able to see her new home totally lit up for Christmas, with the tree and all the outdoor lights. All she could say was "Woah", and her eyes got as big as saucers. This is going to be a fun time of year......