Red Thread

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break." ~ Ancient Chinese Beli

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

10 weeks as a family of four!

As times passes, things change...thankfully for the better these days!  Hard to believe that Lexi has been a part of our family for only 10 weeks.  Being a family of four seems so normal now and hard to imagine life any other way.  The progress that Lexi has made is remarkable when we look back to where we were in those first days and weeks.  We have lots of giggles and funny moments together - and we LOVE to see the smiles!!!  These are the moments that we hold onto tightly in order to get through the challenging times that still exist but are getting more spread out and not as constant.

It really seems as though Lexi feels at home with us and her attachment to each of us is finally in full swing.  She comes to us when she needs something, asks for us if we are not around and even gives kisses when prompted.  Still waiting for the unexpected kiss or cuddle on her own account but we know it will happen.

Ella and Lexi have formed a real bond and genuinely adore each other....most of the time.  Thankfully Lexi's aggressive outbursts are channeled else where these days rather than constantly at Ella - or at me for that matter.  She is not afraid to let us know when she is frustrated, angry or upset.  We take this as a positive sign as well because she is comfortable enough to let us know how she is feeling.

We are really pleased with the progression of Lexi's speech and really have confidence that in time it will all come together.  Her receptive language seems quite good and she is becoming more expressive as well.  We continue to speak in very simple sentences, repeat everything multiple times, make a lot of eye contact and use hand gestures/sign language.  What ever we are doing seems to be working well - and of course Lexi's eagerness to communicate helps!

Our first house guests arrived last week and all is going well.  Patrick's brother and family from Switzerland will be visiting us through the Christmas/New Year holiday.  I am actually quite relieved to say that it is going better then expected.  I had some concerns that Lexi would feel overwhelmed and that chaos would lead to additional meltdowns and trauma but that really has not been the case. Lexi seemed quite anxious in the days leading up to their arrival but it all disappeared relatively quickly.  I am sure seeing Ella so happy and content with her cousins helps.  The additional language has not caused any problem either - and if anything reminds us that Lexi does seem to have a comfort level with Swiss German as well as with English. This makes Baba very happy.

Ella and Bastian

Coffee time overlooking Victoria Harbor

Bruder and Bruder with the kids at Hong Kong Park
Introducing Stillis to Dim Sum - Lexi of course in her glory!

A beautiful morning in Stanley

Elvira, Fabian, Tamara and Bastian on Repulse Bay Beach

A fun pizza party on the beach!

We are having a great time and enjoy having family visiting us in our home.  Ella could not be any happier to play tour guide and to show her cousins all around Hong Kong!  Opa arrives today so it will be a wonderful Stillhart Christmas in Hong Kong --- and Lexi's first!!!


Monday, December 13, 2010

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

There have always been so many reasons why I love the holiday season...everything from the lights, tree decorating, holiday music, festive baked goods, wrapping presents, getting the annual greeting cards from friends & family etc. But this year we have so much more to add to the list.  Bringing Lexi into our world has made every day a bit brighter for us and it has been so fun for us to enjoy the build up of the holiday season with her at our side.  

Lexi is not sure about the funny looking white haired man in the red suit that we all call Santa...

,,,but Ella assured her that if she smiled for the photo then she would get lots of presents on Christmas morning!!

Not only do we enjoy going to holiday parties but we continue to get so much satisfaction out of contributing to the true meaning of Christmas. It is a wonderful gift for our children to understand that Christmas is not only about receiving lots of presents and eating yummy treats --- but the real joy lies in giving back to those in need. On Sunday we had the privilege of participating in a holiday party for the Cheshire Home for the Disabled. Ella took part in the Christmas Pageant as an angel while Lexi charmed everyone dressed as a little elf.  The smiles on all the faces made the day so worthwhile!!

The greatest gift of all this holiday season is the news that we received from Lexi's neurologist today.  Her MRI and EEG reports came back normal which is great news! This does not mean that there are no medical challenges ahead but aside from Lexi's previous seizures there is nothing of great concern for us today. This leaves us feeling very hopeful for Lexi's future and for this we feel so blessed.

Ho Ho Ho

Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

A week in review

We had a fun week as we got out and about a little more.  Our golden streak of great days came to a halt but we are not complaining because the three days were glorious.  Having said that, Lexi continues to make good progress in so many areas and we just ride with all the ups and downs that go along with it.  

With the winter season upon us, we  had to sneak in one last swim in the outdoor pool. Not a lot of swimming as the water temp had dropped so much but it was fun to enjoy poolside snacks and splash about one last time. 

A bit of a rarity with these next photos as Ella was still awake when Lexi had already gone to sleep - I think this is the only time this has happened in the 7 weeks that Lexi has been with us! Ella loved tucking Lexi in and smothering her with kisses.

Lexi has not really started on the play date scene yet but there are lots of requests out there.  We have been invited to join a few different playgroups that we will slowly progress into.

Brooke is quickly becoming a "good friend" because she shares her snacks so nicely!!

...and she invites us to her outdoor swimming pool which is heated!!

While Lexi is busy getting used to life in Repulse Bay, Ella continues to enjoy her days at school as well as her after school activities.  Gymnastics has become a new favorite past time. 

And Lexi is not too far behind in the extra curricular activities either.  We have signed up for a swim class in the indoor pool and today was her first trial lesson.  Lexi seemed to enjoy it and only let out a few of her ear piercing shrieks! ;)  I am in the water with her so hoping this will also enhance our bonding.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

On a roll!!!

I dont want to jinx myself but it really seems that we have taken a a big step forward in the attachment process.  By big I mean Lexi actually wants me to hold her and comes to me regularly with out stretched arms - this is soooo new.  She comes to us constantly with what she refers to as her "owa" and is looking for a kiss or a cuddle.  She has been playful and much more content over all these past few days - ironically since her hospital visit last Friday.  The nights can still be a bit of a challenge but Lexi is calming down within an hour versus several hours. Being void of  rage multiple times through out the day is such a welcome relief!! 

Over the weekend we finally got to enjoy a Thanksgiving celebration with our dear friends Gloria, Tom, Andrew and Brooke - who happen to be the first friends that we made when moving to HK in spring 2007!

Lexi being very protective over the crackers with Brooke

Rooftop dining!

Andrew being a gentleman and serving Ella sparkling cider!

Good Friends - so glad you moved back!

Big turkey dinners are great sleeping aids - Lexi's not in her bed but went to sleep quite easily!

 We continue to be so thankful for our family and friends who are such a great support to us  --- and we are also so thankful for these balanced days because we really needed to recharge our batteries!!